Last week, I wrote about how I was hoping to pick up a replica jersey of Chris Kluwe: a punter for the Minnesota Vikings, and a really interesting online figure. He’s been making a name for himself online lately by standing up for political views I also agree with—so that makes him number one in my book. Since I got my paycheck today, I decided to go ahead and buy his jersey before I realized how little money I have. To the internet!
And that’s when I discovered some shady stuff.
Now, maybe this will make me sound naïve, but I’ve had nothing but excellent experiences in buying goods from the internet. I’ve always received everything I’ve paid for, and I generally have a pretty good eye for scams. But this time around, I nearly got suckered. In my post last week, I lamented the fact that the NFL’s online store doesn’t stock Kluwe’s jersey—it makes sense given the fact that he’s not a player who gets as much time on the field as, say, quarterback Christian Ponder. So when I found his jersey stocked at Storevikings.com, I thought I was saved, and wrote as much.
But it turns out that Storevikings is pretty scammy (I’m not going to link to any of the fake-seeming sites I’ve found, so if you want to investigate on your own, you’ll have to type the URLs into the navigation bar yourself). The website’s grasp of the English language is not great. That’s because it’s based in China, and is not even remotely affiliated with the Vikings. I was tipped off by the fact that Kluwe’s jersey sported number 4—which was only his number for last year’s season, when QB Donnavan McNabb came to town. This was a fact I didn’t notice until Sunday’s game, when Kluwe came onto the field wearing number 5. After looking at the site’s bad reputation on Scamadviser.com, I decided to keep my credit card information to myself. It may deliver what I order, but I’m not willing to take that chance just to save a few dollars.
I kept searching, finding his jersey at Fanzznflonline.com. Once again, my scammy-sense was tingling, but after looking through the site, it seemed legit, even with the relatively low rating on Scamadviser. Fanzz, it seems, is a regional sports merchandise chain that I’d just never heard of before. Everything’s kosher, right?
Wrong. The real website for Fanzz is, quite simply, Fanzz.com. The other site was linking to the official site’s press releases to fool me into thinking it was the real deal. But when I got to the FAQ page on the fakers’ site, one particular question/answer tipped me off. This is exactly as it appears:
“Why do you charge my card more than your product price?
We only receive the product price. The extra money may be charged by the blank as the blank fee.Hope you can understand.”
I can understand. I can understand why the “blank” might charge me “blank fees.” Because you’re a fake store and I was almost fooled.
I feel like a sucker for even coming close to dropping tons of money on these sites…I’m just glad I had the sense to keep snooping when I felt something was amiss. I also went back into my post from last week and removed the links to the above shady retailer.
But what’s worse is that I’m no closer to finding an affordable Kluwe jersey. The quest continues…