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DealDash is under fire for selling crap products with couture labels

(BUSINESS NEWS) DealDash is under scrutiny for selling products that aren’t what they claim to be.

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DealDash’s deception

A lawsuit filed in Minnesota last week alleges popular penny auction site DealDash’s advertised prices don’t reflect what bidders actually pay to win an item. Unlike eBay or a physical auction, bidders on DealDash pay for every bid made.

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This means each time someone makes a bid, they pay even if they don’t end up winning the auction.

Knee deep in the hoopla

If the winner bids multiple times before placing the highest bid, all the bids along the way still cost them. For example, if an item is advertised at $50, the winning bidder may have really spent well over one hundred dollars leading up to the eventual victory.

While slimy, this is standard practice in penny auctions.

So what’s the problem? The case against DealDash further alleges that the company is misleading consumers about the brands up for auction. The plaintiff placed thousands of small bids on a travel bag, ultimately winning after spending $848.

Compared to the listed retail price of $2900, he got a bargain.

However, after some investigation into the bag from the brand “Bolivant – Paris,” things got murky. Consumerist did some digging and found Bolivant lists their mailing address in Paris’ fancy-pants shopping district Place Vendôme, but it doesn’t seem to actually have an office there.

There is no contact number for customers or any physical retail locations.

The only place the brand seems to be sold besides DealDash is Amazon, where the products are sold directly by the Bolivant brand. Reviews on Amazon appear to be fraudulent as well, with users reviewing many other products featured on DealDash.

The plot thickens

Other brands auctioned on DealDash like New Haven, Schultz, and Wilson & Mille don’t have retail locations or legitimate contact information either. Additionally, these brands websites are all registered using Domains by Proxy, which hides the website operator’s identity.

And it just keeps getting more exciting.

Many of DealDash’s brands are also registered under the same trademark holder, Galton Voysey Limited, whose site doesn’t mention DealDash. However, the lawsuit claims many of the trademarks were signed by William Wolfram.

This is the same name as the man who launched DealDash in 2009 and is currently the largest stakeholder.

Whoops. The lawsuit alleges, “DealDash’s purportedly expensive, high-end brand names do no legitimate retail business anywhere because they are nothing but the cheap, recent inventions of DealDash and its principal(s).”

A few laws broken

These practices violate multiple state-level anti-fraud and consumer protection laws in Minnesota, where DealDash is based. The lawsuit is seeking class-action status, but the company has yet to comment.

In the meantime, don’t trust any deals that seem too good to be true.Click To Tweet

And maybe don’t bother with penny auctions or anything else that makes you pay to lose.

#NoDealJustDash

Lindsay is an editor for The American Genius with a Communication Studies degree and English minor from Southwestern University. Lindsay is interested in social interactions across and through various media, particularly television, and will gladly hyper-analyze cartoons and comics with anyone, cats included.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Rania

    April 18, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Hi Lindsey! Thanks for the article. I’ve been watching their commercials run all day long practically ever since the company was launched. Their most recent ads portray “mom’s”, which in the online retail world are known to just spend money without thought. On top of that, for some reason all the women or “mom’s” if you will have some type of slur to their speech. Just really cheaply made commercials, that basically seem like they are going to get one over on you and now this law suit seems to confirm all of that is true. Just an unethical way to do business. Especially since it catches the consumer that had the most to loose.
    Thank for reporting this.

  2. Pingback: Ivanka Trump's clothing line is going incognito with a new name - The American Genius

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How employers should react to the new age discrimination court ruling

(BUSINESS NEWS) A court case that could likely land in the Supreme Court is one that all employers should react to and prepare for.

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In January, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that then 58-year-old Dale Kleber did not get protection against age discrimination from CareFusion as a job applicant.

For employers, there are some important takeaways. Namely, that Kleber v CareFusion does not give employers open season to only hire young workers.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects employees against age discrimination. There are also protections against disparate treatment under ADEA.

Basically, employers cannot intentionally discriminate against aged applicants. When posting a job, that means you should never advertise for someone under the age of 40 when posting job descriptions.

While Federal law may not apply to older applicants, the Texas Labor Code,  for example prohibits discrimination against people over 40 years of age. Employers should be very aware of inequity throughout the hiring process, whether you’re looking at internal or external candidates. You do not want to be a test case for age discrimination.

How can you avoid violating ADEA and other applicable laws?

First, you should work with your legal counsel and HR department to make sure you are following the law. If you are accused of age discrimination, you should talk to your lawyer before responding. It’s a serious complaint that you shouldn’t try to answer on your own.

Next, go through your job postings to make them age-neutral unless there is a reason for hiring someone under the age of 40. The legal term for this is Bona Fide Occupational Definition. The qualifications can’t be arbitrary. There must be industry standards that determine a definable group of employees cannot perform the job safely.  

Words in applications matter. Don’t ask for GPA or SAT scores. Avoid things like “digital native,” “high-energy,” or “overqualified.” These terms indicate that you’re looking for someone young.  

You should also update application forms that request birthdays or graduation dates. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, you should structure interviews around skill sets, not personal information.

Train those responsible for hiring about the current laws in your state.

Make your managers aware of bias, both conscious and unconscious. It’s not age discrimination that runs afoul of the law, and you must be prepared to confront any situation where it occurs.

Talk about age bias and discrimination in your workplace. Don’t assume that older workers aren’t tech savvy or that they don’t want to keep their skills current. Instead of putting generations against each other, have a multigeneration workplace.

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Cities are fighting back against the motorized scooter companies

(BUSINESS NEWS) The scooter wars are on, and major cities are filled with them – residents and government are finally fighting back.

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When the scooter-pocalypse began, it seemed to come out of nowhere. One day, the most annoying thing in downtown traffic was maybe a pedicab, and then the next: a swarm of zippy electric razor scooters.

This sudden arrival was by design: companies like Lime and Uber’s JUMP simply just began offering their services. There was no negotiation with the city, no opportunity even for residents to say whether or not the scooter pick-up stations could be located in front of their houses—just a sudden horde of scooters (for the record, this do-it-first and then ask permission approach was replicated in all major cities across the United States).

Was this illegal? Nope. There was nothing on the law books about the rental scooter technology so there was technically nothing wrong with the companies just assuming that they could do what they wanted. (Some scooterists have since come to think the same thing, committing crimes and breaking rules.)

Now, enough time has passed for cities to have the opportunity to fight back, as a new year of legislative sessions has begun. San Francisco is one such community, which determined that only permitted companies could operate within the city limits—and, surprise, many of the don’t-ask-permission companies were not given these permits.

Lime, blocked from operating, filed a suit against the city saying that they had been discriminated against based on their … rude … arrival.

A judge has since ruled that there was no bias in the city’s review of the permit applications that were later not awarded to Lime.

As the legislation and the lawsuits play out over the next year, it will be interesting to see if the scooter company’s attitudes toward the cities they operate in change.

If, as they have said all along, they desire to be the next major innovation in urban infrastructure, then they need to be prepared to work with and grow alongside the communities that they inhabit.

It would be a wise move, then, to partner with local governments to ensure that both organizations are working in the best interest of the populations that they serve. 

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One state could make it illegal to ask a job applicant’s age, graduation dates

(CAREER) A recent court ruling makes ageism against job applicants legal, but at least one state is taking action.

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In late 2018, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled 8-4 that Congress intended the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) to only cover current employees, not job applicants during late 2018 with the case Kleber v. CareFusion Inc.

The verdict seemed to confirm what many older applicants have experienced: while they may have the necessary qualifications for a position they are often overlooked for younger candidates. The confirmed legality of such dishonorable bias is disheartening.

One state is stepping up to rectify this practice: Connecticut. Democratic Reps. Derek Slap of West Hartford and Robyn Porter of New Haven have proposed legislation that would fight ageism in hiring processes by making it illegal for employer to ask applicants for their dates of birth or school graduation dates.

According to the Hartford Courant, when asked about the legislation’s intention, Rep. Slap replied that such questions, “allow employers to vet our seniors before they even go in to their job interview.”

Candidates who may be older and entering the job market should keep their wits about them. While they are creating and reviewing their resumes and cover letters, they should reach out to other people in their field and make sure that they aren’t using dated conventions.

If they are pressed to provide information that indicate their ages during in-person interviews. Even if the questions are technically legal, applicants can try to assuage fears of being out-of-touch wit current market trends or technology by coming prepared to the discussion ready to highlight recent projects or experiences that illustrate on-the-pulse market fluency.  (For more tips on how to deal with these kind of awkward situations, check out this article.)

The initiative that Connecticut has taken in addressing this problem is likely to inspire more lawmakers across the country to follow suit.

But we don’t have to wait for it to be illegal for people to understand that this practice is unfair. If you are not an older candidate but an existing employee (and therefore covered by laws that say age discrimination is illegal), keep an eye out for how you, your colleagues, and your company speak about more experienced workers.  Sometimes the quickest way to change harmful practices is by having a direct conversation about an uncomfortable topic. 

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