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My Dad is full of aphorisms. One of his favorites? If you pay peanuts, don’t be surprised if you get monkeys. Nowhere does this hold more true than with the growing number of e-commerce clothing sites touting deals that appear to defy all laws of retail. We’re talking about overseas-based companies like SheIn, Romwe, Rose Gal, and Tobi that use targeted ads on Facebook to hawk their trendy yet cut-price wares—think $9.99 dresses, $25 pumps, and $33.99 coats, and that’s before the copious 50 percent–off and free-shipping offers. Cash-strapped millennials may find such deals too tempting to pass up, but they should also be prepared for results that are simply…bananas.
CBS 11, a news station in Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas, decided to investigate for itself the hundreds of complaints about poor quality, glacial shipping times, and nonexistent customer service.
One bargain hunter who bought a cream-and-black “Aztec” sweater for $23 waited an entire month before she received a package. When she opened it, she was greeted with a rank smell, “like mildew or food.” Not only was the garment too short and too tight, its opening was also inexplicably sewn shut with black thread.
CBS 11 ordered a few items of its own, with similar results. One of them, from TBDress, never showed up.
A $16 black “leather” jacket from Rose Gal “looked plastic” compared with the photo on the website. It was also far less structured, with a collar that refused to stay in place.
A $25 red wool coat from Rose Gal looked and felt like cheap acrylic. It had loose seams, too-short sleeves, and elements that barely hung by a thread.
“The [$23] yellow dress from She In was too short and too tight and the color was slightly off,” reporter Cristin Severance said. “We paid for one dress but were sent two identical dresses.”
When CBS 11 reached out to Facebook, a spokesman said that it “prohibits advertisements that are deceptive, false, or misleading, including deceptive claims, offers, or business practices.”
Facebook is currently investigating these claims and says it will take appropriate action against any violations.
Unsurprisingly, none of the companies responded to CBS 11’s requests for comment on the apparent false advertising.