When you see prices that are too good to be true, that's your first tip-off that something isn't quite right. These guys were claiming that they'd sell me a software (virtual) instrument for $124an instrument that normally sells for $339. The software developer sometimes sells it for 50% off on their own website, but they control the sale and distribution of their products very tightly. You just can't find their stuff for sale at steep discounts on a million different web sites, so the $124 price seemed pretty fishy.
It didn't take much digging to find that the ".uk" domain is phony. The company (assuming it actually IS a company) is based in China. So how did they get their hands on a product whose distribution is very tightly controlled by a manufacturer based in Germany and the U.S.? How did they get it all the way over to China cheaply enough that they can turn around and sell it to me for a 63% discount? Is it stolen? Is it a pirated copy of the software? I don't buy pirated stuff.
Other red flags:
There's no clear statement of who the company actually is. They call their website "TNL WB", but their "About Us" page says "Our store offers by NanYang ESC International Trade Co., Ltd." Offers what? Later they appear to refer to themselves as "Hohotrade". So which is it?
They don't list a phone number. Instead they show "You can see in your order". Huh? Are they saying that I have to place an order to get their phone number? ...er, not that I'm keen on the idea of calling China in the first place.
The site is loaded with bad grammarwhich is typical of scams.
The page for the orchestral strings software I was looking at lists "Related Items" at the bottom of the page. One of them was "Boating". umm, right -- violins, cellos, and boating. They go together like pancreas surgery and vinyl siding. The mind stops.
Most reputable online vendors charge your credit card when they ship, not when you place your order. Not these guys. They want the money NOW then they'll "process" your order, and then they'll ship it. From China. No thanks.
They list a bunch of "reviews" in the sidebar, but none of the reviews mention the vendor, or say anything about their service. In fact, all of the reviews appear to be for mattresses or kitchen appliances, and appear to be stolen from other websites.
Another link to "Reviews" lists all kinds of products, but the text underneath the product headings is all the same, and it's all for a review of Apple's iPod. Did they think no one would notice? Or are they just counting on people being stupid enough to believe prices that are too good to be true, and just forking over their money to these clowns? Beats me.
No matter when I visited the site, there were always 6,247 members online, and between 35,378 to 35,398 guests online. I don't doubt that there are that many idiots on planet Earth, mind you, I just think it's unlikely that they all hang out on the TNL WB website. They're too busy running for political office.
Some of the TNL WB site graphics are a direct rip-off of the graphics on Amazon.com. I don't mean they're "similar"; I mean they're stealing the images directly from Amazon's server, as shown by inspecting the page code. So, they're thieves. I don't do business with thieves.
With all those warning signs, I wasn't about to give them ANY of my money or payment information. I'd stay away from TNL WB if I were you.
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