The first tip-off that a company isn't on the up and up is when the product it's selling is offered at a price that really is too good to be true.
How exactly is BBBCertifiedGifts.com able to offer a $1,000 Walmart gift card for $79.95 -- with similar offers on other gift cards? The short answer: It can't .
To bolster the idea that it is legitimate, the site not only uses the Better Business Bureau's well known acronym "BBB," but also features its logo.
But the real Better Business Bureau told WalletPop that it is in no way affiliated with the certified gift site.
And the BBB's office in Wyoming, where the site lists its address, said the listing is a virtual office space commonly used by scams. It also carries no box number, ensuring that all mail sent to it would be returned to sender.
The BBB said its legal team will investigate the site and its claims as a result of WalletPop's inquiry and is planning to issue a warning about the site. BBB affiliation isn't the only recognized name or identity used on the site; a close look at its 100% satisfaction guarantee logo reveals that it's taken from Schwan's satisfaction guarantee page.
And, if you read the Frequently Asked Questions, the site implies an association with Entertainment.com to answer how they can offer such low prices. When asked about whether or not the offer is real, the site dodges the question, name-dropping PayPal, to further earn your trust.
Additional warning signs include non-specific claims to support multiple charities, a deal that ends in just a few weeks and the fact that the site was registered just this month.
BBBCertifiedGifts.com is a great example of all that you, as buyers, ought to beware.
Update: A woman who only identified herself as Lisa J. provided the following comment from BBBCertifiedGifts.com.
BBBCertifiedGifts.com did not respond to our request for comment.I have forwarded your specific question to our VP of Operations, Chris Norris, who is out on Holiday. However, if you have in depth questions for your article I would be happy to answer them. This is a limited promotion and the goal is not only offer deals to consumers but also increase brand loyalty for selected retailers. The promotion concept is simple: If you receive an amazing deal to a certain store you are more likely to return that store time and time again.