This is the so-called dropshipper. These are online stores that do not have inventory themselves, but order from third parties. This is not prohibited, but the dropship web store must also adhere to the rules. Digital advice clearly doesn’t do that, according to the ACM.
The regulator is now warning consumers about sixteen online digital advice stores selling sneakers, training pants, bags, flashlights and bras. These include lucybreeze.com, swatshorts.com, and Northernrules.com.
A full list can be found on the ACM website. The dubious company regularly places new websites on the Internet, where it is not usually obvious that they are from Digital Advice.
Last year, ACM received more than a thousand complaints from customers who ordered something from these online stores. ACM suspects that this may only represent a small portion of the actual number of consumer problems. Consumers spend on average between 30 and 120 euros on digital advice sites.
The company is not based in the Netherlands, and the websites do not have any Chamber of Commerce or VAT numbers. Only UK phone number reported. ACM stated that it is working closely with foreign regulators to deal with the company.
Dropship website ads also appear regularly as a Google ad on websites and social media.
The number of entrepreneurs selling things this way is growing rapidly. This newspaper discovered earlier in the Chamber of Commerce, that the number of dropship registrants in their description increased from 147 to more than a thousand between 2018 and 2020.
Young people in particular participate in this way of doing business. The actual numbers of dropouts may be higher, because a dropshipper can simply call itself a web store.
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