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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:eek: Hello all wise ones! So... here it is. I had a web designer put up just a real quick very basic name, address, phone, contact e-mail link, temporary web page, (while we are working on the rest of what's to be on there).

I know very very little about how web sites and all that actually work. Plus we are brand new to this printing & banner making part of the biz. (I've been doing embroidery just locally for years.) So please help me out.

Within a few moments after the designer e-mailed me to say she had got that part finished and provided ME with the link, I actually received a phone call from a lady in NJ, asking about our services. I told her to e-mail her file and all the details. She did and the email was the one on my web page, (and that's the only place that I know of that she would know that e-mail addy). It is for an order of vinyl banners and she wanted quotes on 250, 500, and 1,000, (that CERTAINLY would be our biggest sale EVER!). My question is.... does this really happen? It was all so quick, that I guess I'm just concerned that it is a scam. But since I don't know how stuff like that work, I just don't know. And... how would she have gotten the e-mail addy off of the site, IF she hadn't actually been on the site?

Please help me understand? Thank you in advance, Lollie :eek:
 

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If it walks like a Duck .... Looks like a Duck .... Smells like a Duck .... and cooks up really greasy, chances are it's a Duck!

Could also be a competitor trying to see how you'd bid yourself into a hole for such a large order. Google the call back number see if anything comes up. If you have an address, check that as well. In the end, providing a bid can't do too much harm. Just make sure the bid includes terms concerning up front funds to get the job started.

There is always a chance (albeit slim) this is a legitimate inquiry.

Tread carefully .... if it starts to get weird or the requests just don't seem right, go with your gut and politely turn down the request.
 

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Hi Lollie. It usually takes a few weeks for a search engine to pick up a site, so to get an enquiry that quickly is unusual.

It may well be a competitor, as there is a significant difference between wanting 250 banners and 1,000 banners. By the same token it may be a legitimate customer also.

Only one way to find out, but don't order in any materials till you are paid in full and the payment has cleared.
 

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It sounds suspect, but without more information it's hard to be sure.

If it's for a church, it's probably a scam. If she has a stupid name a mile long, it could be a scam. If she's offering to pay by western union, it's a scam. Ditto any kind of overpayment with you refunding the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Lollie. It usually takes a few weeks for a search engine to pick up a site, so to get an enquiry that quickly is unusual.

It may well be a competitor, as there is a significant difference between wanting 250 banners and 1,000 banners. By the same token it may be a legitimate customer also.

Only one way to find out, but don't order in any materials till you are paid in full and the payment has cleared.

Thank you, I have done all that everyone who was nice enough to reply suggested. I've also had my husband be checking. So far to us it seems like it's legit, but of course as newbies we still un-steady!

After reading the posts, I remembered (now that the "shock" stage has calmed down) ... that SHE had called me back, (as well as I had called her back on the (800)# she had given me). So I had hubby check our phone's rec'd calls, and got another number (other than their (800)#) and googled it and it looks legit. So... as ya'll gave good advice...we will heed it & proceed cautiously & give a quote & I guess go from there.

:confused:I have another question....is it standard procedure to have customer pay everything upfront?:confused:

As I mentioned, we have only done business locally, never have dealt with anyone long distance. And Thank the Lord, everyone that we have had dealings with has been "true-blue & tatooed"!! (Old sixities saying!! haha).

Anyway, THANK ALL OF YOU. Lollie
 

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It depends on your company policy. There are some companies who request 50% deposit and 50% COD. There are others who need 100% upfront. We are 100% only, otherwise you get no merchandise! (we used to do 50/50 but it was wayyyyy to much trouble to keep track of everyone and collecting was a pain).

If the customer doesn't have 100% before ordering, then they most likely can't afford it.

Good luck with your new business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It depends on your company policy. There are some companies who request 50% deposit and 50% COD. There are others who need 100% upfront. We are 100% only, otherwise you get no merchandise! (we used to do 50/50 but it was wayyyyy to much trouble to keep track of everyone and collecting was a pain).

If the customer doesn't have 100% before ordering, then they most likely can't afford it.

Good luck with your new business.
Thanks for the interest & letting me know how your company handles customer's payment. My question is...IF I don't know about them being legit (in terms of payment) how do they feel secure enough to pay us (a true-blue honest business) 100 % BEFORE they get any of the garments/banners, etc? Kinda a catch - 22? Lollie
 

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Scammers can work in both ways.ie As a buyer how would I know that the seller is not scamming me? You could ask me to pay 100% up front and all I get is a parcel of old rags.
Well I suppose the seller would of contacted you first? (if you are a buyer, then I suggest you go with a company you feel comfortable paying 100% with in the first place).

Do you offer to pay Bestbuy.com 50% deposit and 50% COD?

It's really up to the company and what works for them.
 

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Yup Will, change of mind is a good point,you could be making banners for some Rock concert, the event is cancelled, and you could be stuck with the baby on your lap. Definitely a 100% up front job.
With the quantities they are asking about absolutely 100% upfront job. There is absolutely nothing wrong with protecting your interests. If it's legit and if they are serious about the numbers they are asking about they will understand why you are requesting 100% upfront.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Rick, Oh, that makes me feel sooo much better and absolutely justified. This is huge to us, just a Mom & Pop outfit, so it could ruin us if we had something happen. I just didn't know if that was the standard or not.

In my embroidery (which is all I have dealt with up to now), the amounts, wouldn't have "ruined" us. I'm used to dealing with far, far less amounts of money per jobs & as I said it all has been local business, word of mouth type of things. And I have never taken a job that IF I would have messed up on the total order that it would have been something that we couldn't have handled. Thank you again. Lollie
 

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I had this happen to me recently. A minister from Africa wanted to order about $10,000.00 worth of banners. Wanted to pay with a credit card up front but demanded I pay S/H through Western Union and he would reimbused me with the credit card he was paying with. THe shipping company was a scam, he was a scam. I googled his name and his orpanage he was with. His website looked legit but I ran across a site where others complained about him. All sorts of horrible stories about this guy. He used several different names, same story, sometimes different items, ie, banners, clothing, housegoods, etc. Just tread lightly and be carefull. They are everywhere. CW
 

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There is a really great thread here on how scammers work here https://www.t-shirtforums.com/general-t-shirt-selling-discussion/t56261.html, I dont know about the person that original poster is dealing with, although I would be very cautious as there are a ton of scammers out there.

Chris, If you read the thread in the link above, you will see there are a ton of different examples exactly like you have posted. And yes the one you stated above is definately a scammer :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Will,
I thought you (and possibly others), might like to hear the end of this saga. You and the other members gave me great advice. I did proceed with all the suggestions and I'm thankful!

It turned out that it was legit. A business in NJ. We did make a bid and luckily for us, the contact person was great. I finally found out Friday that we didn't get the contract, (bummer). BUT.. I did get my mystery solved! Remember, I was sooo excited that day that I was wondering if it was the 1st potential customer from getting on the web? Well, turns out it was a friend of the boss that told the boss we had done business together before and to give us a buzz!! At least that is what the "contact lady" said. So, anyway, I'm not out anything and I have learned a lot more about things than I did then! Still have plenty to learn though.
Thanks for all the help AND Great Advice! Sincerely, Lollie

Hi Lollie. It usually takes a few weeks for a search engine to pick up a site, so to get an enquiry that quickly is unusual.

It may well be a competitor, as there is a significant difference between wanting 250 banners and 1,000 banners. By the same token it may be a legitimate customer also.

Only one way to find out, but don't order in any materials till you are paid in full and the payment has cleared.
 

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Thats great that it was a legit inquery. I just wanted to comment on the payment issue, Recently I have purchased a roland cutter from Speciality Graphics-I paid in advance. I purchased a t-square it from Lou, I paid up front, I purchased a 16 x 20 mighty press again from Speciality Graphics, I paid in advance, same thing with vinyl and from virgina t's I ordered all my hoodies and t shirts etc and i paid in advance, my point is there is nothing wrong with asking for payment upfront for your jobs! Especially on the internet, everything is pre paid! Sorry you didnt get the job, but good learning experience!

Renee
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Renee,
Thanks, yes I agree it's a good learning experience! And , you are so right about the money part of it, I don't have any qualms now about being paid! :D
Thanks for responding, Lollie

Thats great that it was a legit inquery. I just wanted to comment on the payment issue, Recently I have purchased a roland cutter from Speciality Graphics-I paid in advance. I purchased a t-square it from Lou, I paid up front, I purchased a 16 x 20 mighty press again from Speciality Graphics, I paid in advance, same thing with vinyl and from virgina t's I ordered all my hoodies and t shirts etc and i paid in advance, my point is there is nothing wrong with asking for payment upfront for your jobs! Especially on the internet, everything is pre paid! Sorry you didnt get the job, but good learning experience!

Renee
 
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