HelloBH.de & Co. – How Chinese stores mislead European customers


Anyone who calls online shops with catchy names such as “Wolf Fashion”, “Susannes Beauty” or HalloBH.de probably assumes that he is dealing with a German retailer. In fact, the mentioned online stores are all based in China: they are deliberately designed to mislead European customers. Ordering is often followed by a rude awakening.

Consumer lawyers from the Hamburg consumer advice center warn about this. Expert Julia Rehberg: “Who expects a Chinese online retailer with store names like Wolf Fashion, Susannes Beauty or HalloBH?” Only when the goods have been waiting for weeks do many alarm bells ring. The goods are usually listed as “available immediately”, and the shipping is also fast. However, it takes a while before the shipment from China actually reaches the recipient.

Buyers are often disappointed with the quality delivered when they receive the goods. “The product photos and item descriptions on the store pages usually have little in common with reality,” says Rehberg. If you then want to return the ordered goods, you have a problem.

Often no imprint, expensive returns
Rehberg warns that many Chinese web shops with a German camouflage domain do not even have a print on which the address can be found. Most don’t even offer telephone customer service. People depend on a contact form – and ultimately do not know with whom a purchase agreement has actually been concluded. A reverse transaction is hardly possible. In some cases, an address in China will be provided for the return, but the buyer will have to pay the shipping costs themselves. “It can be just as expensive as the actual order,” Rehberg says.

The consumer lawyer warns: a German-language website with a German domain is no guarantee that you are actually dealing with a German online retailer. Often, unusual or incorrect translations point to the true location. If something is not clear, it is advisable not to pay in advance or by credit card, but on account or direct debit. Payment services such as PayPal require you to clarify whether Buyer Protection is available before making a purchase.

Source: Krone


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