Hey, Taylor from UwU Market here!
I'm legitimately about to expose a bunch of online anime shops right now.
Though I won't name names...
And not just because they are our competition either...
But because what these anime shops are doing is putting a stain on the entire online anime merch space.
It's not only starting to make people feel like GOOD & HONEST anime shops are scams too, but it's also exploiting forms of inhumane labor and theft.
Plus it's wasting your money on top of it...
What is this type of scam?
It's called "dropshipping".
It's not the kind of scam you're thinking of.
Not like someone calling you asking for the codes to a bunch of visa gift cards or something...
It's a scam in the way that, they profit off of everyone's hard work and property, but their own.
Let me explain it in 3 main points:
1. Wasting YOUR money and security breaches.
People who "dropship" products make money from other people's products when you buy on THEIR site.
Long story short, manufacturers will list products for sale on a whole sale website for pennies on the dollar - where you could just get them YOURSELF for super cheap...
The "dropshipper" will find those products, list them on their website for 10X the price using the manufacturers images and info... Then wait until YOU buy from THEIR site.
THEN they buy the product you bought on their site from the manufacturer's site... Entering YOUR address and contact info into the shipping details on the manufacturer's website...
It's kind of creepy because you should be able to trust that your information isn't going to be let out when you buy from an online store...
But "dropshipping businesses" will just hire some person from overseas, who hasn't been vetted for security, to enter your information into a website that YOU don't even know exists.
Many of these "dropshipping" companies can't control if someone comes in and swipes all the addresses and contact info from their business.
So it's a huge issue for security.
Here at UwU Market, we make every product in house in Wisconsin USA.
We also have NO physical data entry for contact and shipping information which lowers the chance of a data breach to zero.
Plus the fact that we use the highest encryption for our payment processing through the industry lead, Shopify.
Rest assured that paying for OUR products is 100% safer than a fly by night "dropshipping business".
2. Inhumane working conditions.
The products that "dropshippers" sell you are cheaply made from companies that do not typically follow proper labor laws.
Many workers are FORCED to work and others are working for such a low wage that it barely keeps food on the table.
We are not a supporter of this at all.
We source our products from the most reputable and law abiding companies.
Most of our suppliers are from the United States which we all know has regulations on working conditions and wages.
"Dropshippers" seem to not care at all.
A personal mission of mine is to put the largest dent I possibly can on slave wages/labor in the world.
So I take this very seriously!
“Dropshippers” don’t make their own products...
So how do they get products on their site?
They source them from anyone who sells them for cheap.
Usually that means that they are either counterfeit products or products made without the consent of the owners of the intellectual property.
Also, the artists and craftsmen/women that make the products are either paid nothing at all or very very little in comparison to how much they should be paid.
For this reason, and the reason of wide spread internet art theft, we started the #SupportArtists movement.
It’s a calling to bring awareness to the fact that the majority of art you see on the internet isn’t properly compensated for!
Artists have an incredible skill and we think they need to get the credit and payment that matches that skill.
That’s why we spent so much time on our artist programs including high percentage royalties on our products as well as educational support to increase their customers even outside of them doing art for us!
We #SupportArtists, we hope “dropshippers” would want to too.
What you can do about this.
If you want to stray away from buying from “Dropshippers”, look out for these things...
1. Does the website look a bit unprofessional?
2. Do they have a lot of spammy looking features on their website?
3. Do you see the same products and images on other sites you’ve visited?
4. Do they have bad reviews about REALLY long shipping times (like 6 month shipping times), bad reviews about product quality, or about bad customer support?
If an anime shop fits 1 or more of those criteria you can do the alibaba test...
What’s the alibaba test?
So if you suspect that a website is a “dropshipping” site, you can find a product on their site and search it up on the website: aliexpress.com
This website is one of those whole sale manufacturers I talked about before.
Here’s how to do it...
1. Find a product that you might want to buy on the supposed “dropshipping” site, take this product that I found on a known “dropshipping” anime shop for example: (Note the price!)
2. Go to: https://www.aliexpress.com/ and search the name of the product to find a match. (Most anime shops that are “dropshipping” use this site to source products)
3. Find the product (usually you can find the exact product they are “dropshipping” to people but for WAY less.)
4. If you find a match to the product or other products on their site, I wouldn’t buy from them if you want a high quality product, good service, and high security!
So hopefully that helped you identify some of these scammy websites out there.
Again, UwU Market purposefully makes everything in house ourselves so that we can avoid sending out subpar products and have control over paying our artists well!
I’m glad to put these “dropshippers” on blast because what they are doing is damaging to our entire industry if you ask me...
Anyway, hope you have a great day!