Dealing with eCrooks or Internet Con-Artists, who do not deliver high heels

Internet Shopping is GOOD for buyers, as well as for sellers. It makes a greater variety of high heels available to more people than ever before.

Most Internet retailers are good, honest and reputable businesses. However, there are a few eCrooks or Internet con-artists among them. They are like a few rotten apples in a crate or basket full of good apples. Some of my friends inform me that there are a few high heel shoe retailers (all located in the United States), who do not deliver high heels that they sell.

Furthermore, they are still in business, selling the same shoes they are unable to deliver to others. Also, some close up and then, open up similar Internet stores in other states (in the United States) using different names and make a few cosmetic changes to their websites.

We do not want to discourage anyone from shopping via the Internet and especially, from smaller legitimate Internet retailers who sorely need buyers in order to stay in business. However, if nothing is done, these few eCrooks may be cheating hundreds or even, thousands of unsuspecting buyers.

Many con-artists get a thrill out of ripping off or swindling others. They laugh at the people they make suckers out of.

Here are some suggestions to avoid eCrook fraud and scams on the Internet:

A) How to Identify Good Internet Retailers

1) Good Internet retailers list their full addresses and/or telephone numbers.

2) Good Internet retailers operate by United States of America - federal mail order rules. From BBBOnLine, " Under law, a company should ship your order within the time it advertises. If a deadline for shipment is not given, federal law says the company should ship the product within 30 days, unless you also are applying for credit. Companies must alert you to delays and get your approval or let you cancel and receive a refund."

3) Ask your relatives and trusted friends for the names of Internet high heel retailers who they have already purchased from and received their merchandise in timely fashion.

B) How to Place Your Initial Order with an Internet Retailer

Until an Internet retailer proves that they can deliver merchandise to you, it is wise to be cautious in placing your first order with them.

1) Purchase only one item to limit your potential losses.

2) Before placing your order, call or email the Internet retailer to see if they have your item in stock or exactly how long it will take to get. If possible, try to order something that they have in stock and ready for immediate delivery.

3) Inquire about shipping options that are available. Overnight delivery is usually very expensive and unnecessary. However, you want the next best option, if you can afford it.

You want to receive your merchandise quickly, within about 15 days in order to properly handle credit card charges. UPS Ground and US Post Office Priority Mail with Confirmation usually cost less than $10.00US and provide parcel tracking, as well as delivery within a week.

4) The only protection you get from most credit card plans (except those with special Internet buying protection) is error handling. You must report the purchase as an error, usually within 30 days.

Beware of any billing charge using a different business name and address in a different city and state, within the United States. Report this type of charge as an error, until you get written confirmation from the retailer that their different billing business name and address are correct.

5) Try not to pay in cash, check, or money order. If you must, then try to use a United States Postal Money Order and mail your order using Certified Mail with Return Receipt or Registered Mail. Then, if anything goes wrong, file a complaint with the U.S. Post Office.

The U.S. Post Office is probably the best organization for cracking down on fraud. They have special investigators and always prosecute criminals to the fullest extent with severe penalties including fines and prison sentences.

If any retailer is afraid of dealing with you via the U.S. Post Office, then you should be wary of buying from them.

C) Beware of Footwear Ordering Terminology

1) "Custom Made" - only includes shoes made according to a design that you provide and/or exact personal (not "standard women") foot measurements that you provide. Nothing else qualifies as "custom made". Custom made shoes can take several weeks and even, up to six months to receive.

Because custom made shoes are personalized and only of value to you, they must usually be billed or paid at the time you place the order. So, you must rely on the honesty of the Internet retailer and hope that they will deliver.

2) "Hand Made" - A "Hand Made" pair of high heel shoes is NOT the same as a "Custom Made" pair. All high heel shoes and boots are made by human hands to a large extent.

3) "Made to Order" - means that the shoes will be made in your "standard women" size, only if you order it. In this case, you should call to find out exactly how long it will take to make and exactly when you will receive it. Also, ask when you will be billed for it. You can try to get all or part of the payment deferred until the date that the order is shipped to you.

4) "Back Order" - If the pair of shoes in your "standard women" size was available or in stock, then it has been sold out. Unless, another pair(s) has already been ordered from the manufacturer, it is similar to a "Made to Order" pair.

D) What You Can Do If You Do Not Receive Your High Heels.

1) Demand an immediate refund.

2) Try to get an exchange for merchandise that they can deliver immediately. Getting something might be better than a total loss.

3) File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. You can do this online by clicking on (BBBOnLine is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Council of Better Business Bureaus).

4) If the retailer in located in the United States, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - Bureau of Consumer Protection. You can do this online by clicking on Furthermore, while you are at this FTC website, read about the ongoing fraud cases.

5) If the retailer in located in the United States, file a complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC). You can do this online by clicking on

Between May 8, 2000 (the birthdate of the IFCC) and November 3, 2000, the IFCC received 19,490 complaints. 64.1% of the complaints were related to auction fraud, 22.3% were related to non-delivery of goods/services, and 4.6% were related to credit/debit card fraud.

6) Also, if the retailer is located in the United States, file a complaint with the Attorney General in the state where the retailer has its headquarters in. You can locate the name and address of the state attorney general by searching Yahoo! at for "attorney general" and the name of the state.


Protect you business from fraud, visit:

1) InternetFraud Prevention Advisory Council

2) Worldwide E-Commerce Fraud Prevention

This report was written by J.J. Leganeur, author of All About Wearing High Heels .

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All About Wearing High Heels

This page was last edited on April 2, 2001.
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