bpshoppingspree.com is a scam

bpshoppingspree is no longer online…

The popularity of this post has resulted in some backlash where some people don’t believe my claims that bpshoppingspree.com is a scam. In fact, one commenter has accused me of failing to do my research. I’ve changed this post slightly to reflect some additional research. Be sure to check out the charts toward the end of my post.

http://www.bpshoppingspree.com is a scam

I hate internet scams

I hate the internet scams that have become so prominent. Of course, we all can relate to the spam email that comes to our inbox on a regular basis, and we have learned to shut that out from our consciousness for the most part (my spam blocking software helps with that).

Many of us have also been contacted by someone in Nigeria claiming that we have millions of dollars waiting for us if we only give them our bank account number and other personal information.

It seems like the word of the day in any scam is, “I’ll give you tons of money, if you give me a little money.”

Well, a lady from my church just left my office as the latest near victim of a kind of scam that I thoroughly can’t stand.

(I’ve changed her name.)

Tasha just came by my office and asked if she could have some help using a computer because someone had just given her a gift certificate that she needed to redeem using a computer. We happen to have a spare computer sitting in our conference room for just such a reason, and I took Tasha to the computer to get her all set up.

Now, she doesn’t know much of anything about computers and has had a rough life in general. She told me that during her second year of college, she was shot in the head and has had to relearn so many things. It was clear to me that she was struggling with even pressing a letter on the keyboard or clicking the mouse buttons.

Well, I got her set up, went to the site for her, and showed her how it would work. The claim was that she had $1000 to spend at this online store. She could shop for whatever she wanted, and she wouldn’t have to pay for anything up to $1000 (that is if you don’t read the fine print). In point of fact, you have to pay a “Processing and Delivery” fee for each item.

While she was in the other room doing her selecting, I checked out the website from my computer in my office and discovered that unless you had a “passcode” from one of these “certificates” you couldn’t see their P&D rates.

It turned out, though, that the P&D is nearly 33% of the retail cost! When Tasha was done, she asked me to help her check out. I looked at the screen, clicked on a link, and discovered that her P&D would have been over $323!

You need to have a “passcode” to enter the site, but I’ve copied their P&D table here so you can see how ludicrous it is!

Subtotal More Than But Less Than or Equals Your P&D*
$0 $25 $7.95
$25 $50 $16.95
$50 $75 $24.95
$75 $100 $33.95
$100 $125 $41.95
$125 $150 $49.95
$150 $175 $58.95
$175 $200 $66.95
$200 $225 $75.95
$225 $250 $83.95
$250 $275 $91.95
$275 $300 $99.95
$300 $325 $108.95
$325 $350 $116.95
$350 $375 $124.95
$375 $400 $132.95
$400 $425 $140.95
$425 $450 $149.95
$450 $475 $157.95
$475 $500 $165.95
$500 $525 $173.95
$525 $550 $181.95
$550 $575 $189.95
$575 $600 $198.95
$600 $625 $205.95
$625 $650 $213.95
$650 $675 $221.95
$675 $700 $230.95
$700 $725 $238.95
$725 $750 $244.95
$750 $775 $253.95
$775 $800 $261.95
$800 $825 $269.95
$825 $850 $277.95
$850 $875 $284.95
$875 $900 $292.95
$900 $925 $300.95
$925 $950 $308.95
$950 $975 $316.95
$975 $1000 $323.95
$1000 $323.95


Now, of course that isn’t bad if you think that you are getting $1000 worth of merchandise for only $323.95, but check out the prices on their products. Here’s a sample from her shopping cart:

Code Product Price Sub
51293 Iron Chef Coffee Maker $139.95 $139.95
50128 Venus Overnight Rejuvenation Creme $24.95 $24.95
50506 Genuine Wood 2pc Pen and Letter Opener $16.95 $16.95
51080 Maxam Brand Extra Large Genuine Leather Purse $40.95 $40.95
51548 COBY 2.4GHz Wireless Security Monitor Infrared Camera CCTV02 $329.95 $329.95
50646 Maxam 40″ Acoustic Guitar with case HHGUITAR4 $350.95 $350.95
50786 Maxam 6pc Cutlery Set $44.95 $89.90
Subtotal: $993.60
Shopping Spree Gift Credit: ($993.60)
Total: $0.00

$140 for a coffe maker?!

When you do the crossreferencing, you will see that to get the coffee maker, you will have to pay $50 in “Processing and Delivery”! I can go to Target and get a coffee maker for less than that!

All they are doing is marking up products 300%, giving them away for free, and charging 32% in P&D charges.

EDIT: Some people don’t believe me that they are unfairly marking up their prices. To prove this is the case, I have done a quick search for these exact products online at different stores, and I’m posting them below for your convenience.

Tasha was hurt.

I asked her where she got this certificate, and she told me that the car dealer had given it to her. Last week, she got a letter in the mail claiming she had won a brand new car. She went to the dealer, who claimed to redeem her car she needed to have good credit or get someone to sign for her. She refused, and on her way out, the receptionist gave her this certificate.

It makes me mad.

Additional Research — Feb 8, 2006

Here are the results of my small comparison shopping efforts online.

COBY CCTV02 Camera

Iron Chef Coffee Maker

Maxam Brand Extra Large Genuine Leather Purse

Maxam 40

So here is the chart with the official results:

Product BP’s Price Compare to Diff BP’s Markup
Iron Chef Coffee Maker $139.95 $48.98 $90.97 186%
Maxam Brand Extra Large Genuine Leather Purse $40.95 $16.99 $23.96 141%
COBY 2.4GHz Wireless Security Monitor Infrared Camera CCTV02 $329.95 $69.99 $259.96 371%
Maxam 40″ Accoustic Guitar with case HHGUITAR4 $350.95 $138.29 $212.66 154%

As you can see, I need to admit that I have slightly misrepresented bpshoppingspree.com.

For example, let’s say you ordered the coffeemaker. BP would charge you $139.95 + $49.95 = $189.90, but your certificate would cover the $139.95 and you would be responsible for the $49.95. However, if you had ordered from the site I just referenced (no longer online), then you might have paid a shipping charge in which case bpshoppingspree.com would have been the better overall deal!

However, the point remains that bpshoppingspree is still engaging in what I believe are deceitful marketing tactics. It appears that a savvy customer might be able to avoid getting ripped off, and might even get a good deal out of it, but many will be ripped off.

I do not accept the “buyer beware” argument.