Small businesses are essential to our economy. In the age of technology, it’s much easier to get products out to the public. Lately, I’ve been going out of my way to support smaller businesses. It’s imperative to establish financial independence, and I want to help people trying to accomplish that. While the Internet is a paradise for the seller, it can quickly become a detriment for the buyer. It’s extremely simple to make a website look neat and professional. It’s also common of “brands” to steal pictures of someone else’s product and call it their own. This can make it hard for the consumer to navigate who’s selling an honest product and who’s scamming.
Monotiques is the latest company caught in scandal. A denim company, beloved by Instagram and YouTube “influencers”, Monotiques quickly became the denim shop for plus size women. Following their Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale, the company promised all orders would by shipped by December 6th. When that date finally arrived, Monotiques completely shut down its website, as well as disappeared from all social media. Thus leaving their consumers confused and THOUSANDS of dollars in limbo. Another web favorite, Lime Crime, has spent years trying to silence rumors of allowing fraud and using unsecured networks. These incidents beg one common question. How does a customer protect their money while still supporting small businesses?
The best way to protect your hard earned coin is PayPal. Charges can be disputed easily and they conduct a 10 day investigation into all escalated complaints. PayPal is also a preferred method because not all companies use secured networks. This means if websites get hacked, anyone can gain access to your card information. Paying through PayPal lowers the chance of your bank account being compromised. The next best way to protect your money is choosing a good bank. If the bank doesn’t have fraud monitoring, it might be time to switch. Finally, don’t be afraid to use prepaid cards when shopping online. If the website is credible but has questionable network security, load the amount onto a CashApp or Visa/American Express gift card. This way, if a phisher does get that card information, the balance is at zero and the bank account remains safe. With all of these options, safe buying becomes easy. Happy shopping!
Undie-fined Extra: As I was editing this post, it was brought to my attention that Montiques did reappear on social media. Their resurgence came with a weak excuse about them being hacked. Followed by another claim that someone stole their products. Even worse, it wasn’t even addressed on their new page, but in another blogger’s comment section no less! Listen, the same way they created this new Instagram page today, is the exact same thing they could have done a month ago. Not only has this company ruined their credibility, they STILL haven’t given any updates on refunds or shipping dates. I know a scam when I see one and BS when I hear it. Don’t fall for these lies. If you purchased anything from Monotiques, please continue to dispute any charges and report them to the Better Business Bureau.