Tuesday, December 6, 2016

AdWords used in eBay Stores Bait-and-Switch Scam

I was looking at a device that I recently saw online - probably through Facebook marketing, called a Fidget Cube. It cost something like US$20 each or 3 for about $50, including shipping.

I almost bought it on an impulse, then decided to see how much it cost if I googled it.

Sweet, there was an option for a dollar, and if that failed, one for less than $3. Thank you Jyna for your cheap and plentiful manufacturing and shipping capabilities.

OK, now I just need to select a colour, and...

Hang on, that wasn't the price. Every colour was the same price, but at the end of the list of colours, there was this:

So basically, AdWords marketers are utilising a flaw in eBay to put a dodgy, cheap product in as a colour option, so that Google AdWords picks it up as a product with a ClickBait-like price.

eBay lacks an easy ability to report scams, and they show the cheapest price out of the colours list as the overall price, so this is flowing through to Google.

And the other cheap option, which was listed as $2.74 was also a bait and switch, so I'm guessing this tactic, which I've just seen for the first time, is actually pretty prevalent.

So dodgy.

Anyone else seen scams like this?

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