Deceptive Advertising: Not What It Seems
It was such a good deal! But when that item you ordered online arrived your excitement turned into disappointment. Many of us have experienced that feeling. The business card printed on ultra-thin paper or the blender that died after three smoothies.
Shopping online started out as a way to buy products on the cheap. Companies didn’t have to build or maintain a brick and mortar store. They didn’t collect sales tax as they were considered stateless. These savings were passed on to consumers.
Over the years, buying products online has evolved. In many ways for the better. Unfortunately, consumers now have to protect themselves from online fraud. Educating yourself on how to spot deceptive advertising can save you time – and your hard-earned money.
The Low, Low Price
Nothing gets your attention like a low dollar amount in large font. Like Momma always said, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.” Before you click “add to cart” consider the many ways this low price can be deceptive.
- Some companies make up the discount by charging outrageous shipping and handling fees.
- The low price is based on buying a huge amount of the product. (Do you really need 10,000 widgets?)
- The product is shown as “out of stock” with suggestions to purchase more expensive versions.
- The item with a low price is made from the cheapest materials possible.
When you compare products, do you know which features are related to quality? For example, when you purchase a crowd control barricade, you expect it to perform rain or shine. You’d like to be able to use it for more than one event. Our Blockader Classic is heavier because it has more steel. It’s made to withstand thousands of people leaning on it, sitting on it, or resting their muddy boots on it. You need to know what makes the product you want to buy high-quality.
You may not need the highest quality available. Why spend top dollar on a heavy-duty barricade when you’re expecting a small crowd? Blockader Standard is a lightweight, economical alternative. A quality company provides resources to help you understand their product offerings so you can select the right one for your needs.
Talk is Cheap
How a product is described can be deceiving. The words sound good but are meaningless. A vendor may claim that their crowd control barricade is “heavy-duty” or “premium.” But what do those words really mean? Equal products sell at basically the same competitive price. Big price differences mean something was left out or cheapened – even when the product photos you’re comparing look similar. They count on you to make assumptions and not ask questions.
The Company You Keep
Another deceptive practice used is to show pictures of products printed with the name of well-known companies. It’s reasonable to assume that they are customers. But they may not be. Blockader® has pictures of barricade jackets purchased by American Express, Universal Studios Orlando, and the San Diego Chargers. Yup, they really are our customers. Companies big and small have purchased tens of thousands of our barricade jackets since 1993. They trust that the paint won’t rub off or scratch easily. Our barricades are made of real, galvanized steel. Not just painted like we have seen from other companies. Our barriers won’t rub off on your fingers when handling or touching them. For big-ticket items, ask the vendor for references. A happy customer will gladly share their experience with you.
Another way some vendors save money is to provide little or no customer service. A good way to test the quality of their support is to contact them before you make a purchase. Give them a call and ask a couple of questions. Or, send them an email. If you’re unhappy with their response, you will probably be unhappy with their product.
We at Blockader® have noticed that some of our competitors are gaining customers through deception. As the leading supplier of crowd control barricades since 1976, we know what it takes – and what it costs – to build a superior product alongside top-notch customer service. We sell solutions! Whether you’re buying a barricade or a blender, educate yourself on how to evaluate a product, and you’ll avoid deception – and disappointment.
Blockader® Can Help
Read our guide discussing the different types of crowd control products available on the market today. Or, talk to a crowd control expert to receive advice and pricing on Blockader® barriers and barricade jackets.