Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Deception, Knock Offs and Advertising

The boots are still Maine made and say "Made in Maine, USA" with double emphasis of production. 
This winter, I did a check on fraudulent winter coats and found that, in my own estimate, 80% of the Canada Goose jackets and parkas were fake.

This means not only hundreds of dollars lost, but potential for health issues, as some of the "down" inside the chinese knock-offs have included such things as chicken feces-laden feathers.

Millions of dollars of American-made products are stolen, each year, by the chinese with the Chinese government's cooperation.   Martin Guitar saw "Martin Guitar Stores" open up in China that they did not own!

Canada Goose  does what it can in helping people, but if you search on "discount Canada Goose parka" or "sale" or anything similar, you will find an endless supply of fake websites, using real pictures, selling fake products.

 I thought of this in the past winter during a hike where Heather and I were in the woods, and it was -17 below zero.  We were determined to not let the long and unusually cold, snow winter, keep us indoors.  We came upon some ice with moving water beneath, for Dex, and went on it to where it was broken.

The boots we wore were waterproof.

Had they been knock offs and not waterproof:   what would have happened to us had we gotten our feet wet, knowing that, at best, in calling 911, we were still going to suffer frost bite at this temperature.  Deception has its cost.

Since it is that deception is 90% likely to come from missing information and it is true that most deceptive statements can be seen as 100% truthful, sentence by sentence, this next form of deception is a snapshot of this principle:

There is no lie.

There is deliberately missing information.

Growing up, we had always heard that LL Bean was American made quality, and it was quite saddening to watch the American jobs go by to China as the quality went down dramatically.  This is seen in their own description.  Few things are still made in the USA, but when they are, it is stated.

They use this method of identifying importation or location of manufacturing:

Item description. Made in the USA or
Item description.  Imported    

Neither is deceptive.  This is truthful, the item is either manufactured in the USA, or it is imported from a country outside the USA.  Yet, Bean uses another distinction.

Yet, the word "Imported" does not cover all countries outside of the USA.   LL Bean will not specify all of their imported products, except from a few select countries.

Item description.  Imported from Scotland.
Item description.  Imported from Italy.

All the others that say "Imported" have withheld information.

Why would LL Bean withhold this information?

On slippers:
Item Description.  Imported.  Fur Australia.

Only certain countries get specific names, while most are just "Imported" which means that they are withholding the names of specific countries deliberately in their online descriptions, knowing that you will see, in the tag, the country of origin, only after you place the order and receive the items.

When the item arrives, you will see the names of the country including:  China, Dominican Republic, Viet Nam, Taiwan, Pakistan. 

Why list "Italy" or "Scotland" online but not these others?


What does Statement Analysis say about this?  Remember, Statement Analysis deals with what one says, and what one does not say, too.  (Leave your opinions in the comments section)>

Why are most countries not specified?  Why does LL Bean leave out that information?

We count on companies telling us the truth.  At least LL Bean has gone into China, unannounced to simply tear open and test a few random "down" items.

Chinese managers are under terrific pressure to beat the slimmest of margins so even a 1% addition of newspaper clippings into down or just 5% savings in hourly wage by using prison labor, or just...well, you get the picture.  The competition is vicious.

Martin Guitar, in attempting to produce quality sound and paying good wages to employees, has to, at times, store wood for up to ten years to age it to make it appropriately resounding for a quality instrument.  This means not simply delayed profits, but they must store the wood in strictly controlled temperature and humidity environments at substantial costs.

They watched identically looking knock offs, made of freshly cut wood, sell for less than half the price not only in China, but online, throughout the world.  The labels and distinctive all copied.

Martin Guitar appealed to China to intervene in this theft.

The Chinese government refused to help.

Rare 1930 model OM-45 sells for $99,000.  Anyone have a spare they don't want?

These are just a few stories, one small, and two large, of "scamming."

                                         Have you been scammed?

Use the comments section to tell us how it happened and if analysis would have been helpful.

Forged signatures, changed numbers, and so on, cannot be helped by analysis, but where there is communication, there are enough readers here who are quite good at analysis, and might just be able to save you money and heartache.

Surely more than just George Anthony loaned a few dollars to the Nigerian Princess Fund.

We have seen a typical EBay scam, and some sellers weighed in aware of this deceptive practice, but deceptions are as varied as business itself.

Share your scam with us.  


John Mc Gowan said...

My favorites, which pop up on FB pages that people have clicked like are on the lines of "For two days only get (Up to) 90% off xyz. When i pointed out that "90% off" begins at 1% i was called a spoil sport, however, i was stating fact. Not many peeps were happy at my kill joy observation :)

John Mc Gowan said...


Father of woman shot by Clayton Co. sheriff speaks

JONESBORO, Ga -- The father of the woman who was shot by Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill says he is more concerned right now about his daughter's recovery than what happened to her.

Gwenevere McCord, 43, of Jonesboro is in critical condition at Gwinnett Medical Center after being shot once in the stomach Sunday afternoon. Police are eagerly awaiting her recovery so they can ask her what happened.

Ernest McCord said he daughter has been through two surgeries and doctors have told him she is making progress. "She's been responding somewhat, not verbally, because they have all these tubes in her," he said

McCord and his wife left the hospital for a short time and returned to their Jonesboro home for a change of clothes. They were back at the hospital Monday night. They are just as confused as most everyone about what happened to her and what the relationship was between their daughter and Sheriff Hill.

"I'm not sure because they're close friends and from what I know it has not been anything other than that," McCord said. "But then I'm dad, they don't tell daddy everything you know."

Why wasn't Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill arrested?

On Sunday afternoon, Gwinnett County Police received a 911 call from Sheriff Hill who told police he shot McCord accidentally. McCord and Sheriff Hill were the only people inside a model home on Britt Trail Drive in Lawrenceville and the only people who know what happened.

McCord, a realtor, is in critical condition and has been unable to tell police what happened. Though Hill's 911 call said it was an accident, police have not ruled out anything at this point.

Police said Sheriff Hill has been uncooperative, and he refused to say anything to police when they arrived at the shooting scene. He had yet to talk to them more than a day later.

"However we have been in communication with his legal counsel both yesterday and today and our hope is that in the near future he will provide a statement about what took place," said Cpl. Deon Washington.

"We just want to make sure the daughters fine and when due process is taken and it's time, she keeps making progress, we'll know the truth," the victim's father said.

Her parents said their number one priority is making sure their daughter is OK. They said they are content to let due process run its course.


John Mc Gowan said...

A Georgia sheriff suspected of shooting a female acquaintance in the stomach has refused to cooperate with investigators, police said Monday.

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill, 50, shot and critically injured 43-year-old real estate agent Gwenevere McCord on Sunday evening inside a model home in suburban Atlanta, WSB-TV in Atlanta reported, citing police.

Hill called the shooting "accidental" in a 911 call, police said, but he wouldn't tell officers at the scene what happened.

“He refused to cooperate and give any statement,” Gwinnett police Sgt. Brian Doan said. McCord, who was working alone in the model home when she was shot, was in critical condition Monday and unable to provide any information, police told reporters.

Hill wasn't charged and was allowed to leave the scene.

"When you're an active sheriff in the state of Georgia, there are certain legal requirements and steps that have to be taken," Doan told NBC Atlanta. "It's not just an average citizen, where you can take out a warrant for their arrest."

Under Georgia law, “a sitting sheriff cannot be charged except by a warrant issued by a Superior Court judge," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

“You have to have the warrant issued before the sheriff can be arrested,” Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said Monday. “What I’m trying to figure out is, does that apply to a sheriff all the time, or only in the performance of his official duty.”

A statement from Gwinnett County police identified Hill as the 911 caller who referred to the shooting as "accidental." Police haven't released the recording of the call, citing the ongoing investigation.

Hill began his second term as sheriff in 2013 after he was acquitted of 27 felony charges, including racketeering, theft by taking, violating his oath of office, making false statements and influencing a witness.

Katprint said...

I wasn't "scammed" precisely, but the mother of my (now ex) boyfriend mother gave us fake designer watches as Christmas presents. My experience with many designer products (for example, jeans or shoes) is that they are of worse quality than the sturdy generic version from Wal-Mart or Sears. The fake designer watches had battery-operated movements rather than mechanical clockwork movements so they kept great time, probably better than the genuine designer watches would have. However, the "gold" was mystery metal, the "diamonds" were glass chips, the "leather" straps were pleather etc. so if we had actually been tricked into paying $50,000+ for the fake watches then that would have been a huge loss.

Unknown said...

I think it's obvious why they leave out mentioning certain Countries of Origin on line.

It sounds a lot better to have a jacket that originates in Sweden, rather than China, and I would be willing to pay more for an item that was not from China. I am sure that from a marketing aspect, they have found that people picture a certain country in their heads when reading the label. For instance, if your down jacket is from Canadian Goose, picture Whistler and the harsh winters that keep Canadians warm. They must know what they are talking about and I can picture myself standing on whistler mountain in my new down jacket.

When it lists a certain country of origin, I expect a lower quality product. Why would I pay $180 for a pair of snow boots made in Taiwan or China? They have a solid reputation of cutting corners to make things cheaper, and a steady flow of sweat shop rumors.

I am glad you pointed out the problem with Canadian Goose though. I had no idea that most jackets sold here are fake! I will have to be more diligent to take extra steps for the truth in manufacturing of some of the things I use.

Tania Cadogan said...

Certain countires have a cachet.

Depending on the product, if it is made in a certain country it implies better quality, expensive, status.

Rolls Royce made in England sound way better than Rolls Royce made in China.

Certain countries are associated with certain products and people will buy that product if it is made in that country rather than elsewhere.

Lapphroaig from Scotland, Maple syrup from Canada.

If i came from a different country we would feel the quality was not the same, it was not authentic.

Some countries have a poor reputation for quality and people won't buy from there because they know it will be crap.
THis is why many places dont say imported from or made in until the item is bought and the buyer can see what they got often to great disappointment.

This is more so for premium goods with high dolllar value, counterfeiters make their money by deception.

There will always be those who buy a knockoff because they are paying for the 'brand name' not the quality, preferring to buy several copies rather than saving and buying an original which would last far longer.

I love reading all the buy now scams on fb and i am still amazed people will fall for them and post a comment promoting it (usually the site says like this comment and share and you will get whatever.
There are store gift cards for ridiculous amounts and saying only x amount left and when i follow the site it counts down giving the impression the offer will end soon and you will lose out. I refresh he page and low and behold the number starts off the same as before and counts down, fun fun fun.
If i find them posted i will inform others its a scam and report the post and page.

LisaB said...

I have noticed that there are a LOT of eBay sellers in China, Indonesia, and other faraway places who offer jewelry that is described as "diamonds" and "gold" when the stone is clear and the metal is yellow.

I am relatively sure they set up an account, run the scam for a few days, listing hundreds or thousands of similar items, in which each piece sells for a VERY low price ($10 or less plus shipping), send out the items and then close their account when the complaints come in.

In some cases they will be "honest" enough to say the piece is a "man-made" diamond, but often they don't, and even an email asking SPECIFICALLY what type of metal is used or what sort of stone is set in it will be answered with the insistence that the items are gold and diamond.

I purchased several rings on eBay a few years back that were listed as 2-3 carat emeralds or rubies, set in gold. The metal was very light (weight wise, though apparently solid and sturdy) and the stones were too clear and "perfect" to be real, ESPECIALLY when a stone listed as 2.5 carats arrived and was closer to 20 carats in size.

I suspect many people won't realize the items are fake, think they got a GREAT bargain, and will post GLOWING feedback about the item, like "the stone is bigger and clearer than pictured", or stating that their spouse thinks they paid more, or that a friend has an "identical" item that cost THOUSANDS of dollars and is indistinguishable from what they got for a song.

Unfortunately, while it seemingly costs very little (a dollar or two) to ship these items from overseas to the US, it costs closer to $30 to return them. When the item only cost $4.95 (they list so many of these pieces that MANY of them sell for the opening bid price) it is hard to justify keeping it, but in order to win a "complaint" filed with eBay, the item must be returned.