Say it with me. “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
As our loyal readers know, we recently blogged about the dangers of buying expensive watches on Craigslist (Click here for the original blog and click here for the follow-up blog). A brand new IWC Big Pilot for under $5,000? Not so fast. SCAM.
Fine. But what about other websites selling expensive luxury watches at hefty discounts? Are those sites legitimate? Short answer – some are, some aren’t. If you’re going to make an expensive purchase on the Internet, do your research. Even legitimate-looking websites could be pretty packaging covering up an ugly, elaborate scam. Want a real world example? Of course you do.
Over the weekend the eRelyx team was researching online competitors. As part of that process we uncovered a business called Windsor Jewelry with the URL www.windsorjewelries.com. They had amazing prices on watches – check out a screen shot of some of the amazing deals.
The prices seemed too good to be true, but I was comforted by the fact that the business had a brick and mortar location in Indianapolis. Windsor Jewelry had been serving the Indianapolis market since 1919 (notice the logo in the upper left corner of the screen shot below). How can a website with a store front be a scam?
Still a bit skeptical, I thought I’d call Windsor Jewelry to ask them a few questions. Unfortunately, customer service only accepted calls from 9-5 on Monday-Friday. I figured the brick and mortar location MUST be open on a Saturday, so I googled “Windsor Jewelry” to find their number. Here’s the site I found (notice the logo in the upper left corner):
Great! Windsor Jewelry does appear to be a legitimate business. One problem. The URL for this site is www.windsorjewelry.com. But the logo is the exact same as www.windsorjewelries.com. Maybe they just have different URLs for their web and brick and mortar business – not hard to believe.
Wanting to dig a bit more, I called the store. The phone was answered by a very nice, polite young lady. When I asked her if her store was affiliated with windsorjewelries.com, she said, “No. They stole our identity and we haven’t been able to stop them. They try to get you to wire money to the UK. I assure you that we’re a very nice jewelry store in Indianapolis. If there’s anything you can do to help us stop them, we’d appreciate it.” I could hear the frustration in her voice.
I told her that I’d blog about their situation and share it with our readers. So, now you know. Windsor Jewelry (www.windsorjewelry.com) is a very legitimate jewelry store in Indianapolis. Windsor Jewelry (www.windsorjewelries.com) is a thief – and while I can’t claim that they steal customers’ money since I have not done (and will not do) business with them, I do know that they’ve stolen the identity of legitimate jewelry business. I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in buying anything from an identity thief.
Say it again – “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Please share this story with your watch-enthusiast friends.
And as a quick update to the story, if you go to www.windsorjewelries.com, the Windsor Jewelry logo is no longer at the top of the page! I certainly can’t claim credit, but I’m happy for the legitimate business in Indianapolis!!