Have you been scammed by SammyDress or worried that you might get scammed? Read below for tips on how to avoid being scammed again.
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I can’t remember how I stumbled upon SammyDress, DressLily and Rosewe, but I remember being excited to find their website back in 2014. Frustrations piled up for me when I started apparel shopping for myself in China, and I thought these clothing companies could solve my problems.
If you’re an expat of a non-Chinese type frame, you already know what I’m talking about. For everyone else, here’s the background info.
I’m 5’6 and fluctuating at times between 140 and 150lbs. My pants are comfortably 30 & 31 in the hips, and my shirt sizes are always medium because of my cup size. I wear shoes between the 9 & 10 range.
The pants here are too short, the “L and XL and XXL” shirts here are too small, underwear is too tight or too small, and the shoes are also too small. And… I thought I had image issues in the States when I was 180lbs. Nothing freaking fits here!!
Sorry… my temper tantrum is over.
Is SammyDress…. Chinese?!?!
Any-hoo. I found Rosewe, SammyDress and DressLily! I saw that they shipped internationally for free or inexpensively, so I loaded up my carts with lots of goodies.
Then… Hey… I’ve seen that dress before… and that dress… these are all on Taobao, (my favorite shopping website in China)!! Are they all based in China?!?
After I noticed the pictures, I started noticing the careless grammatical mistakes common on Chinese-business-turned-English-business websites. They wisely removed any traces of China on their Contact Us page, but I saw that they shipped domestically to mainland China. Gotchya!
Oh, how I wanted the many, many dresses I had loaded up in my cart. They were all sooooo cheap. Even for China. But, I decided I’d order just one article and see if they could pass my test. Ok… well… two. Ok…. three…. No! Self-control! Just one red dress!
When it arrived, it was much too short, unless I was only going to wear it inside my closet. It wasn’t even worthy to be worn as a stay-at-home-play-with-kids dress. Everything was showing from the bottom, if you know what I mean.
Dang it! They’re all selling clothes made for the Chinese body!
At least I saved my money; a bullet is better than a cannonball as Jim Collins has said in Good to Great.
Ding. Ding. Ding. Enter the ring: American Customers VS. Chinese Businesses
I’ve learned to live by Jim Collins’ expression while in China, especially when shopping with vendors. In China, there is no consumer protection awareness or services. There’s no such thing as “false advertising laws.” In China, if you get ripped off, where’s the contract? No contract… or the contract is flimsy? That’s your fault. Wise up fool!
I learned by experience and proxy through bad online purchases, friends’ horrifying rental stories, friends’ bad employment contracts, and products that go bad or fall apart after buying them. I absolutely depend upon recommendations by my friends.
Online, I depend upon customers’ reviews, comments and photos about the product . I never buy a product that hasn’t been reviewed by someone at least once. Getting ripped off as a part of life here has made me wiser and appreciate the consumer-friendliness of the States. The consumer wins, almost always.
Here’s the deal. SammyDress is playing by Chinese rules. They have no watchdog. No one is telling them that they need to treat their customers nicely. Once your money is in their pocket, those pennies are theirs unless they have a big brother or sister telling them to give it back and play nice, (Taobao and JD.com win at that!). That’s the way China makes their jiaozi. Check out the China Law Blog, friends; they’ll school you in China laws.
But… other consumers were not as well traveled as me. Also check out their RipOffReport.
How Can Consumers Win? Complain, complain… but to whom?
The only way you’re going to get your money back is by raising a huge voice. You could get your bank involved. But then… by the way… you noticed their refund policy, right? I’m not sure if it’s actually a legal refund policy in the US, but that could be worth a discussion with your credit card company.
If you want SammyDress to change ways, the US and the global market needs to think about accountability for businesses operating outside of the US, but shipping to consumers inside US borders. Global shipping is a beautiful part of the global market until the packages start to stink like days old kimchi, or in this case, like ill-fitting, misrepresented Chinese clothes. Consumers are gonna have to make a stink in the US in a media-sized complaint.
Although the hope is that a media complaint will result in SammyDress changing their ways and apologizing, more likely, they will get shut down simply due to lack of profits. Then they’ll figure out they can rename their website and re-launch on a different website. And the vicious cycle will start again. Therefore, the media-complaint should be targeted toward SammyDress and US and other countries’ lawmakers.
At this point, though, if you don’t want to be scammed by the likes of SammyDress, DressLily or Rosewe, don’t buy from them. Or accept that you could be disappointed once you do purchase from them. I’m the type of gal who is willing to get my credit card company involved, so there’s that option, too. Make sure to work out things in writing, or find out if they’ll say (write in an e-mail) that they will refund in cash before you purchase any items. Then get the credit card company involved with written proof. That’s how I got $600 back from a Thai hotel when they tried to go back on their written word.
If you don’t do what I advise, you’re just going to keep getting pulled back to rip-offs by beautiful pictures. This gorgeous picture sucked me into SammyDress, again. Then I came to my senses. I’ll find this dress on Taobao instead.