Alibaba Bust

My fancy Ricoma machine was going to take awhile to get to me and since I’m not exactly a patient person I came up with the amazing idea to get a second machine. I was also moving between Virginia and Florida so I figured it would be nice to have a machine in both places. Of course, I’m not completely crazy since I knew I couldn’t afford another machine that cost as much as the Ricoma, so I wandered over to the Google and searched for an embroidery machine. Amazingly enough Alibaba seemed to have just the kind of deal that I was looking for! It appeared to have an older discontinued Brother embroidery machine on sale for less than 700 bucks! Score, or so I thought.

Now a little back story. Years ago, one of my friends was conned online while trying to buy a puppy. I mocked him and wondered how anyone could be so silly. It's sort of like when you hear about people falling for the email scams of helping out a prince who is just waiting for his inheritance or something. I think these cons continue to work because people are hopeful by nature, love a great deal, and think the worst won't happen to them. I tell you this to show that I am a natural skeptic and not someone who would fall for anything old thing. I did some Google research on Alibaba before I placed the order, checked out the seller and its reviews, and figured I would take and chance and hope for the best. (Not a thing I'll do again.)

I placed my order using my American Express card and waited. I would get notifications that it had cleared customs and was on the way. Much faster than I thought, but I was just happy to be getting my new machine. It ended up being delivered to my place up in Virginia a week I was down in Florida. It wasn’t supposed to show up that week, but of course that is how things work. The delivery slip said someone signed for it so I contacted the building manager to ask if she had seen it. She had not. A little weird, but I figured it would just sit down in the mail room of the building until I got back.

My husband ended up going back home before I did and I asked him to please take pictures of my new machine as soon as he was able to check the mail. He gets home and calls me tells me he didn’t see the embroidery machine, but asks me if I bought a female urinal. Perplexed I said no, and asked why. He sent me a picture of the female urinal that came in a box that looked like it came from overseas. I immediately was concerned. We matched the tracking number on the box the female urinal came in to the tracking number on the shipping details I had been receiving for what was supposed to be an embroidery machine and it was the same number! I had been conned!

I tried to message Alibaba aka AliExpress and tell them the wrong item had been delivered. I submitted the photo of the tracking number. They had already closed out the order and assumed there were no problems with the order since it was delivered a week ago, but I had just not been home to verify it. I kept trying all the links to request a refund. It was saying I had to download the app to do request the refund, and at that point I didn’t trust Ali anything to be on my phone.

Thank goodness for American Express. I was able to provide them with the information regarding the transaction and dispute the charge. So thankfully I didn’t lose out on my money. Now my story just serves as another cautionary tale about buying deals that seem too good to be true. Please don’t let this happen to you. If you do attempt to buy something that seems like it could be a bust, use a credit card that has a great resolution team and document everything!


Alibaba Bust Images

Images of embroidery machine I thought I was buying the female urinal I recelved.