Every year, there’s always a few “must-have” toys on most kids’ holiday wish lists. The toys sell out fast, becoming expensive and hard to find. This year’s hot picks are ZoGalaxy’s Star Wars toys, Funko’s Pop! figurines, Hatchimals and Magformers. Scammers are using these toys’ popularity to trick parents out of their money.
You are looking for these toys, but they are sold out at every store you visit. So you decide to look online. A quick search takes you to a page that miraculously has the toy in stock. The site may look professional and have original images of the product. It may even offer the product at discounted prices, claiming a “last-minute deal” or “flash sale.”
Unfortunately, many such offers are fake. People order the toy online, but it never arrives. When they try to follow up with the company, they find that the website lacks working contact information or has disappeared.
For example, BBB Scam Tracker has a dozen reports from consumers who ordered and paid for Funko Pop! figures, but never received them. One consumer wrote, “I was told it would ship within 48 hours of the release. I have emailed numerous times and received one correspondence that it would be received by June. The order page tells me there was an error and the website is under construction with a notice, ‘all orders are being fulfilled.’”
Tips to Avoid Toy Scams
Only buy toys from reputable stores and websites. The best way to avoid getting scammed when purchasing toys is to buy them directly from a seller you know and trust.
Don’t be fooled by extra-low prices. Unreasonably low prices are a red flag for a scam on many products. Avoid making a purchase from a retailer you aren’t familiar with just because the price sounds too good to be true – it probably is!
Research before you buy. If a company seems legitimate but you aren’t familiar with it, be extra careful with your personal information. Before offering up your name, address, and credit card information, make sure the company has a working customer service number.
BBB Serving the Heart of Texas recently wrote an investigation that included Orbitoys, a retailer of Funko Toys.
See BBB.org/ShoppingOnline for more online shopping tips. For more about avoiding scams this holiday season, check out BBB.org/Holiday-Tips.
If you’ve spot a scam (whether or not you’ve lost money), report it to BBB Scam Tracker. Your report can help others avoid falling victim.
If you see a questionable ad, report it to BBB AdTruth so we can investigate.