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Buyer beware: Little recourse for online shoppers stuck with counterfeit goods

June 3, 2021 – Sean Ralph thought he’d found a great deal when he spotted a portable camp chair for $30 US on his Facebook feed in March. The avid mountain biker from Ottawa said he particularly liked the innovative look of the chair’s rocking mechanism, perfect for post-ride relaxation. 

Ralph, 51, said the ad looked “respectable” enough — the website appeared to be based in North America and the purchase would be protected by PayPal — so he decided to go ahead with the purchase. 

A month and a half later, Ralph received a notification that his chair had arrived in the community mailbox of his suburban neighbourhood. 

“Which was surprising because I was thinking, how are they going to stuff that in the parcel box?” he recalled.

The chair turned out to be just 28 centimetres tall, a flimsy folding footstool at best.

After some back and forth correspondence with the seller, Ralph now feels cheated and is calling on PayPal to do more to protect its customers. 

He’s not alone: other online shoppers say a loophole in the PayPal system has allowed vendors to exploit unsuspecting buyers with a bait-and-switch scheme involving the delivery of low-quality or counterfeit merchandise. CBC News reports. | READ MORE