Shopping Online: Is Electronicsforless.com a safe bet or a fake?

Scam Shopping Websites: Offers You Should Refuse!

Electronicsforless.com appears to offer great prices on consumer electronics; but there are a few details that make a shopper suspicious.  Are these indicators of a scam or fraud, or just a unique business model that helps to keep costs low? See our investigation of Electronicsforless.com below:


What is Electronicsforless.com?

Electronicsforless.com purports to be an seller of electronics, see their FAQs page: and from their home page:

"There are a lot of reasons to come to ElectroForLess.com for your PC-product needs. We've got the largest selection-over 50,000 items in stock and ready to ship from our state-of-the-art warehouse facility. "

What do they sell?

As of late December 2007, their website shows the following:  Camcorders, Cell Phones, Desktops, Digital Cameras, DVD Players & Recorders, Game Consoles, Games, GPS Navigation, Home Theater Systems, iPod & MP3 Players, Memory Cards, Monitors, Notebooks and Televisions.

Who are they?

Their website identifies them as

  • Main Office USA: 164-04 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, New York, 11432, US    
  • USA Logistics Department: 1777 NE Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia, 30329, USA    
  • United Kingdom (Billing Department) 16 St Martin's Le Grand, London EC1A 4EN, United Kingdom   
  • Italy (Billing Department): Via Nomentana, 77 Rome, 00161, Italy

The NY address could be real; the building appears to be occupied by by one or more tenants, including "Porta Bella, Inc". As near as we can tell, the Atlanta address is nonexistent. There is a 1777 Northeast Expressway, but no "Parkway".

According to their website, these phone numbers and email are associated with them:

  • Customer Sales: (800) 691-2604    
  • Sales Fax: (646) 619-4285    
  • Customer Service: (800) 691-2604    
  • Customer Service Fax: (646) 619-4285    
  • eMail: sales@e4l-encrypted.com

We were not able to reach them at any phone number.  We received recordings each time.  Very strange for an electronics retailer a few days before Christmas.

According to Whois.org, a check on the registration of their domain name shows the following owner:

Whois Record

Contact: +66.29575

Domain Name: ELECTROFORLESS.COM 

Registrant:
    Electronics 4 Less
    Anton Pann      ( antondomeniu@gmail.com )
    164-04 Jamaica Avenue
    Jamaica
    New York,11432
    US
    Tel. +718.6577709

Creation Date: 18-Jul-2007  
Expiration Date: 18-Jul-2008

Domain servers in listed order:
    ns2.ps3worlddirect.com
    ns1.ps3worlddirect.com

Status:ACTIVE


What are the red flags that caused them to be investigated by CFR?

We received emails from consumers who had used them and not received the merchandise or were contemplating using them. When we looked into the matter, we found the following conditions that seemed odd to us:

  1. They have a minimum order of $500.  That information only appeared during the checkout process:
    "To continue checkout process your order total must exceed $500.00"
  2. When selected items totaling more than $500 and attempted to pay, then only payment option allowed was a money transfer via western Union:
    "Western Union Money Transfer   -Money In Minutes"
  3. Their published business address in Atlanta appears to be nonexistent.
  4. As best we can tell, from the published commentaries and Archive.org, the website is less than 6 months old.
  5. Their email address's domain, http://www.e4l-encrypted.com/, has an "under construction" page and nothing else.

What other sources of information about them are available?

The Better Business Bureau says (as of December 21,2007): "The Bureau has processed no customer complaints on this company in its three-year reporting period." But they only have listings for their Atlanta address, which we can not locate on any map.

Conclusion

There is no hard evidence to indict this website as a scam. However, the payment methods the accept, wire transfer, is considered to be risky for buyers since the money exits your bank account with no protection before merchandise is delivered. There are so many anomalies here that a buyer would have to make his own evaluation as to whether this is an acceptable risk. Common sense says, we smell a rat here.

If you have any direct experience or knowledge with Electronicsforless.com, please tell us about it!

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