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The Perils of the Rip Off Merchants

I am as I am writing this post doing so reluctantly. Normally I refuse to write a blog post angry and I will go for a walk, take a few days out or even swallow some big chill pills in order to get my head clear before I write, then research and get the facts clear in my head! However in this case the more research I do the more facts keep coming up and the more angry I get, so I decided to write this now as I feel you all need some protection from these complete rip off merchants that call themselves price comparison or bonus shopping websites.

They work by offering incentives to their buyers when they buy from the merchants that are signed up with them I am not going to credit them with a link as they don’t deserve it but sites such as Edirectory and Shopping bank are the main culprits! They have a huge network of websites that have a whole range of merchant products that they sell their products for through their own E-commerce system.

So why am I so hacked off with these complete rip off merchants?

I have a client who isn’t in the wedding industry but it is something that is very dear to my heart as it is the family business and in the past few months as with most businesses things have been a little tough with a drop in clients spending money. Then comes the call from “ShoppingBank” they talk to a director who has a whole bunch of bills in front of him with and a very slow day in the physical shop. The guy on the phone called “Carl Price” (yes I am naming and shaming because they really hacked me off) spoke to the director of the company at length for over an hour telling him that they had a client who was in the same industry and he was making good money from 13 sales a day on average £30 per sale. These figures were repeated time and time again in the process of the “sale” (the word CON keeps screaming at me but I have resisted but feel free to change it if you want to).

During this time one of the things that was continually asked was how would the company cope with the extra orders that they would be sending through! There were going to be a log of orders lets just look at the figures 13 sales a day at £30 a day is £390 and based on it being online it is an average £2,730 per week. So during a 4 week period that is £10,920 and with 13 four week periods every year that was an additional turnover of roughly based on the figures they provided £141,960! Take into consideration that the profit on the products is an average 40% that is an extra profit of £56,784, which to any small business is a rather substantial sum.

Also during the process of the co….ooops sale there was a huge amount of pressure put on the director in question to ensure that systems were in place to handle the influx of business they were going to send. Using credible names such as GMTV’s website and other high traffic websites that they sell their business to and it then saves that site having to run its own E-commerce store. The business made changes to the way that they handled orders and put in place systems and processes to handle this increase in business. An investment of around £4000 in total was put in place on top of their £1600 fee to list 2000 products on their website. In total along with the hours that were required to sort out the data and get things up and running around £8,000 in total was used to get the systems, manpower and fee all paid up. So I am guessing you are saying “But you go £56k in profit from the orders they sent you didn’t you so what is the problem?” Well……

Since the system went live in May I can confirm they have provided 55 orders in the 6 months (not the 2,366 orders that they estimated) with an average of £7.93 (not the £30 that they estimated!) This means that the small business in question is out of pocket to the sum of around £7,800 in total! All that because of these rip off merchants con.

So my word of warning to save you all from losing thousands and missing out long term is please if these con artists call you and try to sell you on their wonderful product, follow this process:


Say “Yeah Right and the Easter Bunny is having an affair with the Tooth Fairy!”

Then hang up….You just saved ££££££

Don’t just take my word on this have a look at what other merchants have said about them:

And please more than any of you those that sell precious stones or metals you are being targeted at this present moment in time!


  1. Kerri Miller on December 17, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Funnily enough I was contacted by the company that does the GMTV shopping website a few months ago – they were asking me if I wanted to sell through the GMTV site.

    I looked the figures over, and asked what guarantee they made that I would be getting those sales, and of course there was none. So I suggested that I pay the fee from the profit I made, after I took those sales – needless to say that was the last I heard from them!

    • WeddingSEO on December 17, 2010 at 10:05 am

      Hi Kerri,
      I know exactly what you mean, strangely enough they have jumped on a number of people that I have done work for a few of them have been caught out. What annoys me more than anything is they use the selling power of big names to grab peoples attention.

      In the case mentioned the director of the company was forced to take out other packages as well which to be honest were a complete digrace and just not up to scratch. I know how easy it is for these companies to run off a quick “mini site” and they charged £500 for it! Daylight robbery if you ask me!

      You did the right thing in hanging up and walking away!

  2. Melita on December 21, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Hi, thanks for the warning! It is sickening to think of these organisations profiteering on hard-working small business owners.

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