Also, having been burned with a similar ‘Patagonia’ scam a while ago, these scammers have really upped their game, and know exactly how to manipulate the credit card dispute process. The scam goes basically like this:
- Your confirmation email will not show what you ordered, just that you placed an order.
- at some point you will get a random low-value item in the mail, likely direct from china. Think of something that is worth a few dollars - knock-off raybans in our case.
- When you take it up with your credit card company to dispute the charge, they will ask if you received something. Since you did, this is now an “I’m unsatisfied with what I received” dispute instead of “I got nothing.” The CC company will insist you try to work it out with the seller. This is a harder process to get a refund out of compared to “I got nothing”
- The seller will respond slowly dragging out the conversation, and likely knowing exactly how long they have to delay for the dispute to be closed in their favor. The CC company may not inform you of these deadlines unless you know to ask.
The CC companies know these scams are happening, and know exactly how they work. They know to ask enough questions like “Did you get something unexpected in the mail”. In my opinion, they are complicit in these operations. The Shimano scam is slightly different, as it has some higher price ($100ish) items on it. The patagonia scam had everything 20-$40, so if you just bought one thing many people would not fight super hard to recover that.
We only got a refund as my wife would not take no for an answer from the CC company. Beware if you are counting on the consumer protections with your CC to protect you from shady sites.
(All this from a US CC perspective.)