snowfinite (snowfinite) wrote in egl_comm_sales,

scammer alert [ straw_bunny ]

This is a public announcement about a scammer in the lolita community. An announcement was already made on LSIE. Most girls who have bought from her already during her latest sales post have already filed Paypal disputes / received their claims. Those who have not should do so immediately. Please don't purchase anything from this seller in the future!

LJ screenname: straw_bunny
Facebook: Sara Gonzales

Background: Her EGL feedback is littered with negatives and neutrals, but upon reading the reviews carefully, it seems that everyone eventually either got their items or a refund. She has had a past attn buyer/seller post made about her. Wanting to give her the benefit of the doubt as just a busy person who does not have good communication skills, I thought it would be fine to buy from her -- especially because she is apparently still allowed to sell here. She is not on any blacklists at the time of this posting.


09/24/14: Bought items from her lastest sales post and paid for the invoice immediately. Communication during sales transaction was excellent. She even adjusted my balance down 10%, per her sales post (originally listed as "buy two items, get 10% off", shortly thereafter changed to "buy three [...]"). The prices were unusually low, but I've bought from all kinds of sellers before -- some just really want a speedy sale!

10/01/14: Of her own volition, PMs presumably everyone involved in sales that she cannot ship out just yet (though everything is "ready to go") because her funds have not been cleared in Paypal. Highly suspicious, as I myself paid via direct wire and not an e-check, so there should be no delay in clearance. Furthermore, e-checks clear within 3-5 business days, and this was a full week after my payment already. However, not wanting to be rude, I didn't challenge her "reason" and thanked her for the update. People come up with all sorts of things to mask actual serious financial situations and / or busy schedules, so I figured she might just be hiding some personal and embarrassing thing. It was promising that she reached out herself to inform people of the situation.

10/10/14: Having not heard back from her in two weeks I PM'd her to ask for an update.

10/14/14: Still having not heard back, I opened a Paypal dispute, and considered posting an attn buyer/seller alert here.

10/18/14: Found her Facebook and sent her a private message. Due to lack of mutual friends, message goes into the 'Others' folder. It has still remained (presumably) unopened.

10/20/14: Posting on Lolita Sales in English on FB by one of the moderators of similar activities of no contact / no shipment. Others soon chime in with their own experiences -- all of them the same as mine.

10/21/14: Sara resurfaces immediately after this incident and PMs an apology, a continued lamentation of her "funds being siphoned", which prevented her from shipping out. Again: this makes no sense -- shipping items does not take that much money to do, especially domestically. Moreover, it's a very unprofessional logic to force buyers to wait for their items (which they have already paid for) due to issues completely unrelated to the buyer. Sara promises her own deadline of "Wednesday 10/22, or a refund".

10/23/14: Wednesday came and went without any word, so I sent a PM on Thursday reiterating that if I don't get a tracking # or a refund by the end of the night, my dispute will be escalated to a claim.

10/24/14: I receive an automated notification from Paypal that my package has been "shipped". A false tracking # was provided. Another lolita on LSIE said she, too, received a false tracking #, which is too much of a coincidence to be a mistake. Everything up to this point was only speculatory, and I was one of the people who held back on accusing a seller of scamming (which is seriously damaging to their reputation). However, an evasive measure like posting a fake tracking # can only be motivated by trying to get away from the dispute, rather than working with the buyers to reach a resolution.

10/24/14: I escalated my dispute to a claim.

I'll definitely get my money (and so will others, hopefully!), but I just wanted to get the word out so that other people don't go through the same hassle. Feel free to post any comments if you have other questions about the situation. Thanks for reading, and happy shopping, for the most part!
Tags: !scammer alert

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