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Deceptive shopbot.com.au SCAM warning

Not-in-Stock - Wrong Prices - Top Clones - New Clones myshopping.com.au - Fix -  shopbot.com.au - Graph 


Deceptive Scam on shopbot.com.au

15-7-2014 update

 

Shopbot.com.au are usless.

Look at the below example, all 3 shops are run by the same people (just click their facebook page or lookup ECHO1) so why are shopbot.com.au STILL allowing this con?

July 2014 shopbot.com.au scam

What's all this about the deception?

If you visited several on-line shops via shopbot.com.au then you purchased goods from the cheapest shop wouldn't you feel deceived to later find out the same people we're running many of the shops you looked at?

Shops that are recommended to you by shopbot.com.au or any other "Shopbot" shopping price comparison service shouldn't include the same people Cloned X times allbeit with different and sometimes misleading names.

With URL and store names like tas/wa/vic/computers. You'd also think using a state as part of their internet address means they are located in that state; not Queensland, as most seem to be. 

It's a slow death as Google shows you how it's done. Many shopbots don't seem to care as much as Google does about data quality. "..I never once went to a correct item with their links.." (Shopbot on Facebook, more below) 

  • This Shopbot Facebook post sums it up in a nice way
    however 
    "eventually" in our exprience means never.

What is the point with all the incorrect data of shopbot?

We can't find user posts on the Australian shopbot.com.au Facebook page.

What is the point with all the incorrect data of shopbot?

We say a lot about Shopbot who are the worst but even the Giant Google Shopping is not immune to clones.

Google Shopping Clones

12/2/14 Two clones sneaking past Google who are normally on the ball.


3/4/14 Every time we look there are more clones!

shopbot.com.au clones in 2014< = Same ABN 71167027312

Google shopping would not put up with this. That's why shopbot's days are numbered.

ACCC; what are they doing about this?

Are many shopbot.com.au listings deceptive not?

pclaptopdeals.com.au = Megabuy = Tech4U.com.au = ItSpot.com.au = wacomputers.com.au   They are all Cloned sites, and from what it appears here on these whirlpool forums all as bad as each other.   It appears I have been scammed by pclaptopdeals.com.au to the tune of approx $500.   Two weeks from payment still no goods have arrived at my doorstep, despite numerous Emails and assurances.   NO TRACKING NUMBER EITHER despite the goods being insured.   This seems to be their standard mode of operation. Promise the world and deliver nothing.   I will be initiating a Chargeback on my Visa via the Commonwealth Bank..   Buyer Beware PCLAPTOPDEALS.COM.AU as well!!!!   Totally disgusted!!!!

18/10/13 Post on Whirlpool forums.

Shopbots that promote Clones, promote bad service when Clones take money for things they claim are in stock (5+) when often that's not accurate. Shopbot's clone supplied data can be $10,000.00++ out too!

shopbot.com.au

Four of the sites above seem to be the love children of Shopbot who as you can see from the prices above (should be in the $210 range) shopbot.com.au (unlike Google shopping who will put them out of their misery) don't have much in the way of accuracy checking.

Shopbot.com.au. itspot, tech4u, wacomputers and megabuy are all controlled by people in QLD. Google's organic search results seem to have less and less shopbot.com.au results. Google's shopping unlike shopbot has many processes to help ensure accuracy and they would not tolerate the "find the pea" approach to pricing that's encouraged by shopbot's lack of checking. We're referring to many organic shopbot prices being wrong because the advertisers (in particular megabuy and clones) change them randomly. 

To see why shopbot.com.au and some other shopping engines allowing clones don't seem to care about your shopping experience see whirlpool forums countless pages on megabuy and their clones.

Shopbot Clones and misleading Stock

"..I point out to them its suppose to be unavailable but showing 5+ in stock a week later.."

...

"..Placed order for a 3d tv showing 5+ in stock. Payment processed everything fine, 2 weeks no turn up. Called them and got told sorry we'r our of stock...WTF?

Went back to website while on the phone and showed the guy its still showing that its in stock.

Requested refund, its been 1 week and theres no refund still and i get an email response with a wink face( ;)) in it telling me to hold on as it might take more time.."

Read more: Whirlpool forums 

featured_on_shopbot.com.au 

Clone shops push competitors down the page.

Sometimes competitors pushed down the page have better deals, they may have real stock so you won't have to chase them for a refund.

Claiming 5+ in stock for everything on all clones seems misleading and deceptive, especially if they insist on taking your money first.

Clones can't all have the same number in stock.

Featured Clones on Shopbot.com.au

The Clone examples above and below are from a "featured shop" (Including 3 of the same owner's Clones) megabuy + wacomputers (based in QLD) / tech4u / itspot.

It appears some AU shopbots like shopbot-inc.com can't break the Clone habit while they're making money from this scam. Are shopbots worried there would appear to be less retailers using shopbot if the Clones were culled? Genuine advertisers may be relieved to know they're not being pushed down the listing by Clones.

shopbot 50% clones example

One excuse we've heard from Shopbot Australia (AU) for allowing the Clone PPC scam was along the lines "Clones are registered companies so shopbot MUST list them", this is rubbish, they can and do list whoever they want on their site.  

Why be associated with this? 

http://www.productreview.com.au/p/megabuy.html

Guess the titles say it all for me, definitely NOT Megabuy, sorry cant take the chance.

Eventually people will realise what this company is doing and wise up might take a few years but people learn using the internet who the "dodgy outfits" are pretty quickly (as I have just done).

Business Plan for Megabuy, call all your companys Megabuy, stop loading price comparison websites, stop treating your customers like wallets with no brains, be nice to them, be helpful, be honest, stop treating them like fraudsters !, accept criticism and accept responsibility for your companys failings and your own and rectify quickly, take over the planet !

Its not rocket science how to keep customers happy and coming back.

lorenthehaloboy writes...

I cannot say how frustrated I have been with them, and in all instances, have written letters asking to be contacted so I can lodge a complaint, or get some answers, still not a single email, returned phone call or letter.

|Whirlpool forums|

Even now we're finding more Clone examples; below has 4 from the same owner, on the one page, matching megabuy's 4 Clones above.

The Clone war is hotting up at the expense of shopbot's search results!(Top 10 Clones on shopbot.com.au)

It's not just shopbot.com.au even though we think they are the worst. Myshopping.com.au example

featured_on_shopbot.com.au 
"..If the overall impression left by an advertisement, promotion, quotation, statement or other representation made by a business creates a misleading impression in your mind—such as to the price, value or the quality of any goods and services—then the conduct is likely to breach the law.."
- ACCC; but it seems they only talk about it.

  • Below estore.com.au (genuine) pushed down the list by Clone prices.

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featured_on_shopbot.com.au
|Wrong prices on shopbot.com.au|

Can it get any worse?

You have to CLICK ON EVERY LINK just to find the actual price for stock most Clones don't even have.

  • Clones are infecting as many shopbots as they can. We've noticed myshopping.com.au is starting to be attacked also. This creates all the same problems for their clients.

    myshopping.com.au infected with clones

  • How to fix the Clone problem

Below Shopbot NZ with actual & accurate name of the Clone shop!

 Dodgy Bastards on Shopbot.co.nz

Shopbot.co.nz Clone Listing - Complete with Clones & Dodgy Bastards

We can't argue with the name, all Clone web shops are "Dodgy Bastards" but why feature them?


Killing Shopbot sites with Clones

It seems the less Clones you list the more traffic a shopping comparison web site gets. More sales & traffic means more PPC value for advertisers. The Clone masters may be thinking "shopbot is dead in the water anyway so let's put a hose in their mouth".

Google Click Credits you don't see on shopbot

We wonder how many clicks advertisers are paying for are fraudulent?  The image above is from Google who credit your account if they believe some clicks are not genuine. This is something shopbot does not do yet we'd bet many, many clicks are not genuine.

Some clicks are for example shops checking prices against competitors. 

“Shopbot traffic is up 11.5% over the same period last year and sales are projected to increase another 14% before Christmas,” advises Thomas.

Read more: powerretail.com.au

The death of online price comparison

"..Probably because they are all rubbish. I can’t remember the last time I used one and it gave me the lowest price for what I wanted – they will even get it wrong from the major stores like Play and Amazon, let alone the dozens of others. Much easier to just look yourself in the first place.." |review|

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Google Shopping and the death of comparison shopping engines

Read the review here, it seems to us some Shopbots (one in particular) are on their last legs so some don't seem to care how bad their search results become, thanks mainly to Clones. Talk about going out on a low rather than putting up a fight with better quality listings.

Google will have to keep a look out as Clones infect Google Shopping too!

Google Shopping getting the Clone treatment

We didn't think Google would fall for it too. Give them time they'll hate it and knowing Google fix it.


ACCC

ACCC vs. Google case may have implications for any misleading information provided by shopping engines to people seeking genuine competitive prices.

"..If the overall impression left by an advertisement, promotion, quotation, statement or other representation made by a business creates a misleading impression in your mind—such as to the price, value or the quality of any goods and services—then the conduct is likely to breach the law.." 

Price comparisons can also give you an indication of whether you are getting a good deal or a bargain..

"..A business risks breaching the law if it makes inaccurate or misleading price comparisons.."

"..represents that an advertised price is the total price that you will have to pay when in fact it is not.." 
-- ACCC

 shopbots review

There are common sense rules that make a good Shopbot. 
shopbots review

To do.

A shopbot should be "offering impartial services" not searching a "small number of preferred vendors".

What not to do.

Some shopbots do the opposite of what a good shoppbot should do, they have a number of preferred vendors that list Clones. Would Kogan, Billy Guyatts, Dick Smith, or The Iconic be impressed with the Clones? 

Shopping Square

Below Shopbot NZ (7/12) - Actual name!

Dodgy Bastards on Shopbot.co.nz 

It seems Clones have infected Shopbot Australia and now myshopping but Kiwis are getting the Clone treatment too via Shopbot New Zealand. Shopbot Canada gets a Cloning as well.

If shopbots have a hole in their selection process the Clones will exploit it.

myshopping.com.au Clone example..

megabuy_com_au_itspot_com_au_tech4u_com_au_myshopping_com_au

  [Top]

How the end user sees it.

Most of us click on the first few stores to compare.

If you can push the competitors down the list so that only your stores get the clicks, it seems it would be worth it as you virtually eliminate the competition from the mix.
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1037368


shopbots review

Slopbots search results are supplied by web shops (and Clones) via data feeds but they don't seem check for accuracy.

  • Active "Good" Shopbots don't take their word for it, they go and check the actual advertised prices.

Most of the incorrect prices come about because Clones and Drop Shippers don't really have that stock.

When the distributor changes prices all Drop Shipper sites (and their Clones) should change too. This process of feeds feeding more feeds can take a week.

The Slopbots are left out in the cold with wrong prices unless they updated their listings from the data feed at the same time. So long as people click and they charge for that click what's the problem? Clones also randomly change prices so the Slopbots just give up and knowingly list wrong prices. 

Slopbots also allow Clones to multiply misleading the public while pushing out genuine competitors.

Clones often keep their prices within a price range the adverts give you a false sense of "this is the going price"..

SECURE_GLOBAL_PTY_LTD

  • Is that not Price Collusion in the case of separate companies?

Sloppy Shopbot listings

ShopBOT

State of the art shopbot being led by Clones?
"..Swimming with Clones hurt we promise!.."

  • Disclosure we have our own warehouse that's how we buy in bulk. For less popular items we also Drop Ship direct from the distributor to you however we don't charge your card till we've double checked with the distributor and/or vendor. This is where most of the Clones cause problems they charge first. We also run several web sites (as do many businesses) our sites don't pretend to be competing by selling the same items on shopping engines. We don’t try to hide the fact we own them. 

To find correct prices you have to click on all adverts!
shopbot.com.au pea trick

Of the 3 price listings below, only one had a price and it was wrong!
featured_on_shopbot.com.au

The image above demonstrates that apart from the Clones another problem for all shopbots is accuracy or lack of it.

Clones make the shopbots job harder by changing prices all the time for no reason but this is of little comfort to the other advertisers who are paying for all the "click to see real price" charges and being pushed down the page by the Clones.

Users know often what you see is not what you get. Sort of defects the purpose of shopbots, they are being devalued by their own clients moving the real price pea under random Clone shells.

  • The definition "Shopbots search the Internet for goods or services" from Shopbots and Pricebots report goes to the heart of what's going wrong.

    Shopbot.com.au / shopbot.inc etc. rely upon often incorrect "

    Data Feeds" supplied to them from sometimes less than honest shops, rather than them collecting the advertising price data from current pages.
  • Garbage in, garbage out or "GIGO" so shopbots that list garbage data deserve to be called SLOPbots!

Solution for Shopbot Clone infections

 

  • Don't let sites sell the same items if they are controlled by the same people (1)

  • Don't list sites that randomly alter their prices (2)

  • Don't allow sites to list products without images (3)

(1) Allow the public to supply information on Clone ownership.
(2) One of the tactics used by Clones. It also causes shopbots to have accurate listings.
(3) Clones list many items they don't really have. They don't even know what it looks like. All listings should have images.



Genuine Competitors in listings only..

We're highlighting the problem of shopping comparison web sites "shopbots" misleading the public (knowingly or not) into thinking we're seeing more genuine competing prices than we are.


Advertisers are not suckers..

Must be upset to learn they are pushed down the shopbot result page by Clones.

Now the public are learning that shopbot advertised prices are often wrong (low and high) they've got to click on all advertising listings to find the truth, this is costing all shopbot advertisers money.


Price Collusion is a no-no..

Price Collusion would explain prices tracking each other so precisely when price comparison examples are supposedly listing "competing" retailers.

If they are not really competing, they are misleading and/or deceptive price listings.

Petrol companies would be held to account quick smart if they did this.

Inform the Public you have Clones..

Because some Clone sites try to hide the fact they are owned or controlled by the same people,(some owners even deny it).

Shopbots should at the very least have an indicator to let you know and a way to report them.

 

In a nut shell..

shopbot.com.au pea trick You need to check every advert to find the real prices..

Shopping Comparison Web Sites known in the trade as "shopbots" provide on-line comparative advertised prices.

Most people would assume the prices are from competing shops, not the same owners.

If you went shopping for say shoes in 3 "real" shops and purchased from the shop that was the cheapest, wouldn’t you feel ripped off to later learn the same people were running all three shops?

You really only got ONE price that's the problem.


"It's just too hard to fix"

Doesn't cut it, we're happy to provide all the information the shopbots need!


Top reasons to fix the Clone problem.No Clone Listings

 

CLONES ARE CONNING THE PUBLIC

Clone shops all have the same people controlling them..

Imagine you purchase thinking "I've seen 3 prices and they were the lowest" only to find out later they were all Clones controlled by the same people.

We've even seen on the forums where a person ordered from one Clone and was let down only to go and order from one of their other Clones!

Wouldn't you feel deceived if you went to a shopping comparison site expecting to get the best genuine competitive price?

CLONES ARE HURTING GENUINE ADVERTISERS


Advertisers get pushed down the list sometimes with a better deal or better service, or simply they REALLY
 had the item in stock!

If you check out the company that's been pushed down the list you may well come to the conclusion their site seems more "genuine" than the Clones.

Did you end up waiting because "in-stock" was not really? People that are let down would rather deal with a store that really had the item.

clone heaven for dodgy bastards on shopbot.co.nz

Advertisers want value

Not Shopbot Clones pushing them down the page...

or Clones with fake prices...

or Clones with no stock claiming to have everything.


IT'S AGAINST THE LAW!


Tell us we're wrong? Clones are deceptive & misleading and/or engage in price collusion.


ACCC in the news

ACCC vs. Google case may have implications for any misleading information provided by shopping engines to people seeking genuine competitive prices.

The ACCC is also investigating price collusion with petrol companies.

 No Clone Listings  Shopbot Wrong Prices & Scam Clones

Because you never know what the actual price is you need to click on every PPC advert on Shopbots.

This is costing advertisers money and making the user's experience frustrating.

shopbot.com.au pea trick

The price shifting Clones can be wrong in either direction that's why you have to click on every listing to see what the real price is. Advertisers must be paying for more clicks than would be necessary as shoppers wake up to the problem.


Below examples = newest first.   Actual price can be +/- the listed price.

Example(s)

Norton Software $55.39 is $221..

shopbot.com.au prices out by thousands

$5.41 listing is actually $1,205.85 on shopbot.com.au


More incorrect price examples from shopbots upon request.
  • The public are learning that shopbot prices are often wrong (low and high) so they've got to click on all listings to find out.

  • This is costing all shopbot advertisers money.

  • From the testing we do daily it takes around a week for many incorrect listing to be corrected.

  • Archive wrong price examples

"..You must ALWAYS check the actual website price, because neither ShopBot nor StaticICE, nor Google Product Search, nor any others are able to stay up to date with the website price changes. This is a problem with ALL price comparison websites because they only process the website price data once a day or even once every few days.."
-- Megabuy

  • Correct but no thanks to price shifting Clones that try to corrupt the whole industry. When you add Clones and random prices into the mix some shopbots are forced into sloppy mistakes.

  • If a web shop HOLDS REAL STOCK they can keep the same prices for at least 24 hours, so shopbots are listing the ACTUAL prices.

  • Drop-shippers* & Clones whinge at the shopbots "it's your fault, you should check our web Site(s) & Clones more often" but they keep randomly changing their prices and adding more Clone sites thus making it a waste of time.

  • The onus should be on the seller to honour the price they listed or NOT CHARGE YOUR CARD till they check with the real suppliers.

  • *Drop Shippers is a trade term for companies that sell stock from a distributor's warehouse often claiming THEY have it in stock when they don't.

The quality of listings is an international problem.

"Shopbot is Canada's Favorite Price Comparison Site!"

shopbot.ca prices incorrect

"..Shopbot-Inc ... you will benefit from our support and strength, ensuring you a first-class and profitable service.."

"..Shopbot.ca is Canada’s premier online bargain shopping engine. Launched in 2004 and specifically tailored to connect discerning Canadian consumers with competitive Canadian retailers, Shopbot utilizes its own award-winning product search technology to surface the most relevant results for customers and the lowest prices.."
For further details or to schedule an interview, please contact Ashley Bienvenu at Ashley(at)shopbot-inc(dot)com or on 612.424.3822.
[Top]

From shopbot.ca Facebook

Please fix or remove greytech from your results, I never once went to a correct item with their links.
GREYTECH! Computer Inc. 
www.greytech.com..
July 2 at 7:29am

Shopbot.co.nz let you know where you stand on Clones!

Dodgy Bastards on Shopbot.co.nz

clone heaven for dodgy bastards on shopbot.co.nz

If all the Clones advertising had names like shopbot.co.nz list i.e. Dodgy Bastards (dodgybastards.co.nz & klic.co.nz) we wouldn't need to write this review :)
Clone owners trick the shopbots by hiding the fact they control Cloned shops.

ACCC wins case over misleading Google links:

"..the ACCC revised its statement of claim to allege that the search-based sponsored links listed on the right side of the Google search results are misleading and deceptive, and in breach of the Trade Practices Act."

"This is an important outcome because it makes it clear that Google and other search engine providers which use similar technology to Google will be directly accountable for misleading or deceptive paid search results."  (Source 2)

   

 

The international precedent set by a ruling of the Australian Federal Court means that instead of just being the messenger, Google is responsible for the misleading ads generated by a search.

 

Aussie Shopbot.com.au

Shopbot checks data? 

As the slogan says "Where People Compare Prices" not "Where People Compare Prices From The Same Owners". 

We hope the Aussie Shopbot Management won't allow Shopbot.com.au advertising internet listings to be degraded by price shifting Clones.

We think once Shopbot cleans out the Clones (and their misleading prices) Shopbot will be even more a "must have" for companies serious about PPC advertising.

Neil Thomas

"..I am pleased to announce that, as the owner of this group, I have just switched us to an open discussion group. All future discussions will be fully visible, searchable, and shareable on the Web. All past discussions are now closed in a members-only archive. I look forward to our future discussions now joining the broader conversation of the wider Web.."

Neil Thomas (pictured above) is open to new ideas.

 Who owns shopbot.com.au (Shopbot Pty Ltd)

shopbot france
French Ownership

We could write a book on how deceptive some of the Clone owners are but it's already written on whirlpool forums all we need to do is quote their own words. What company would want to be associated with their deception?

Not an Australian Owned Company - shopbot pty ltd

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No shopping price engine or "shopbot" is perfect but getprice vets sites more thoroughly than the others from what we can see.

Shopbot.com.au as self proclaimed leaders in the industry sets the benchmark?

If so we're hopeful their management will soon be culling the Clones, this will greatly help the standard of their listings..

"..The fundamental idea at Shopbot-Inc is to continue to improve our sites in order to offer the highest quality services to our users and the greatest return on investments to our merchants.."

"..Shopbot is dedicated to price comparison for all of your product needs, no matter what you are shopping for.."

Neil Thomas  Neil Thomas  Neil Thomas 

Neil Thomas

Asia & Pacific Sales Director since 2008

Neil is an avid Internet industry enthusiast. Over the past ten years, he has founded Clickrate SEO, Dot Com Deals and CameraStores.

    

Charles-Henri de Valois

Head of Content since 2011  

After 5 years in the automotive industry managing logistics and IT projects, Charles-Henri specialized in the Internet industry founding Gifty-Gifty. His sensitivity to product database and affiliate marketing led him to join Shopbot-Inc.  

Pierre Gaudet Pierre Gaudet  Pierre Gaudet 

Pierre Gaudet

Global Manager of Shopbot-Inc since 2010

Pierre managed, with success, several Internet business companies. After 15 years in IBM ending up on an Internet assignment in New York in 98/99 , he joigned  Kelkoo as french MD and COO Europe  when bought by Yahoo in 2004. He ran Yahoo! Shopping Asia for one year. After this experience , he took the position of CEO at Metaboli , acquiring his US competitor, Gametap in 2008.

Nicolas Moussikian  Nicolas Moussikian  Nicolas Moussikian 

Nicolas Moussikian

CTO of Shopbot-Inc since 2010

For more than 10 years, Nicolas has driven technological projects as the Lead IT Architect at Bestofmedia Group, and at Photoways among others.

[Top]

Shopbot Australia team includes Peter HostakPeter was quality assurance manager at AT&T, possibly time for him to take the QA reigns in Australia?

If not, John Craige who's been signing 20 new clients per month! Imagine what he could do without bad reviews.

Clone cleaning may need a woman's touch? Sort of like men afraid to tackle the Spider and the lady comes to the rescue?

Bianca Bright Sales Consultant may be worth considering for a promotion.

Q. Why don't the infected Shopbots simply delete the clones?

A. That's the million dollar Shopbot review question.  They say it's all to hard but we've offerd to give them all the information they'd need. All that's left is greed.


Q. But won't the Shopbots lose business if they stop the Clones?

A. None that matter, they will gain more GENUINE clients.

shopbot.com.au is just one "shopbot" the term means site that collects prices so you can see the comparison, another for example is getprice.com.au.

 

shopbot_definition

Shopbots are the victims of the people who advertise on their sites and go to a lot of trouble to create Clone sites and bogus businesses, some (one in particular) mislead the public about their connections to their Clones "..I can tell you as the owner of.. we have nothing to do with.."

Clones infect and pollute shopbot.com.au and other shopbots's sites with random prices. 

  • All Shopbots need to take a stand against the sneaky & backhanded Clone advertising purveyors else they'll become irrelevant.

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 The ACCC’s Chairman, Rod Sims, said in a statement:

“The ACCC brought this appeal because it raises very important issues as to the role of search engine providers as publishers of paid content in the online age,” Sims said. “This is an important outcome because it makes it clear that Google and other search engine providers which use similar technology to Google will be directly accountable for misleading or deceptive paid search results”

Shopbot.com.au seem to agree & disagree with the ACCC?

"..Shopbot cannot be held responsible for the presentation of products and services offered by the Merchant, for the order or the use of products from Merchants listed on our site.." 

"..Thomas said that shopbot recognised that prices or other information being out of date or inaccurate can be a problem for users.."

"..Shopbot works hard to ensure that the price and product information it gets from merchants is as accurate and up to date as possible, he said.."
-- ecommercereport.com.au

 The prohibition on misleading conduct is set out in section 18(1) of the Australian Consumer Law:

"A person must not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive."

Price Collusion is where companies work together to keep the price of a product or service at an level to make profits or chase out competitors.

So long as there are Clones on Shopbots and their prices are often worng we'll keep updating this review. - AIM


Deception, Price Collusion or just smart business?

Shopping Comparison or "Shopbot" web sites that host Clones or price comparison listings that could be seen as:

"arrangements or understandings that cause or are designed to erode competition" 

..are doing the public a great disservice. 1

No Clone Listings   

Background Information

"..Australian law bans contracts, arrangements or understandings that cause or are designed to erode competition.." - ACCC

"..The Clone sites are not appearing on shopping engines to increase competition..."  -- AIM

"..Many comparison sites will bump certain items to the top of their lists and neglect to give a full picture of all the products on offer.. ..Comparison sites might seem like a quick and easy way to get the best deal, but they rarely show you the full picture.."
-- 
moneywise.co.uk

"..Comparison websites have been given a warning to act in a fair and transparent manner after the ACCC launched legal action against EnergyWatch.com.au.

"..it's no contest when you compare listings on getprice.com.au vs. shopbot.com.au (< examples, more soon..)

In our opinion getprice clobbers shopbot for quality listings. Look and feel it's also a hands down win to the more contemporary looking getprice site.

To us Shopbot.com.au looks more like the old style Clone sites it has in abundance in the price listings.

No shopping engine is perfect but you can see getprice vets sites more thoroughly.

It's no wonder News Corp purchased getprice.com.au.."
-- AIM

The ACCC is alleging misleading or deceptive conduct and making false representations in its advertising..  ..This marks a line in the sand that comparison sites of all types will surely be considering.."
-- choice.com.au

  • Clone listings by their almost sequential pricing nature (worse still if they were in fact genuine "competing" businesses) force out other competitors.
  • Clone prices above seem to us to be in breach of the specification    "arrangements or understandings that cause or are designed to erode competition"  as their purpose (it seems) is to push competitors down the list. If they are indeed separate companies (rather than Clones) more so, as how do they manage to  share this price data?

 Clone ownership was spotted long ago.. 

The Bart Simpson defence “I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, there's no way you can prove anything!”

A director of tech4u.com.au and megabuy.com.au (etc.) said in relation to his involvement with tech4u.com.au:

"..As I said previously, both use the same technology, but have different owners / directors / webstes / etc and are based in different states.." 

-- 3 errors in that statement.

 [Top]

When asked if tech4u.com.au was any good a director said:

"..Just make sure they have a phone number or some other way to contact them other than just email or website. Also good to check how quickly people respond to emails during business hours. That's usually what differentiates the good and the bad online retailers.."

More > Whirlpool Forums

Most Clones seem to list on shopbot.com.au because they see it as an easy target that does little cross checking and has a lot of traffic?

Even when sites habitually have listings that don't match landing pages like megabuy.com.au + Clones  they don't seem to be suspended.

"..We are an Australian price comparison website with over 60,000 visitors per day and are currently helping around 700 merchants Australia wide to gain more sales online.."

John Craige - Shopbot.com.au

Is it really 700 Merchants or Merchants & Clones?


Low quality price listings

shopbot.com.au may 11th 2012
May 11th 2012 shopbot price listing.

8 out of 10 listings were wrong in the above shopbot example.

Checking back on the above most were still incorrect on the 14/5 or 4 days later. On the 16/5 most listsing were correct, 5 days or more to fix incorrect listings seems a little long.

Shopbots weekday(s) update requirements are not being met?

"..Periodical updating of the data occurs according to the type of data; which varies according to merchants and their respect of the technical requirements of Shopbot, with a maximum of 24 hours.."
-- shopbot.com.au

Clone listing often have incorrect prices not so much because updates fall behind but because they choose to alter their prices randomly.

megabuy group on shopbot.com.au

In the below shopbot.com.au example of June 2012 it seems "Featured Shops" really get their moneys worth! What about the shops that are Clone free? How can they match this? That's why more and more are joining in, creating Clone sites.

featured_on_shopbot.com.au

Clones cost "Genuine" shopbot advertisers money because people soon learn the price you see on all the "shopbots" may not be the actual price. They'll click through on many just to see what's going on.

  • It seems shopbots are afraid to make major advertisers play fair. This looks like a case of the tail wagging the dog; it shows a lack of vision to allow this to continue when in the end Shopbot.inc, myshopping.com.au and others will be worse off.

 [Top]


Clones on show

Sometimes Clones make little mistakes that give the game away.

another clone on shopbot by megabuy group?

http://www.wacomputers.com.au/about-us.html 

Note the CRN Fast 50 Award text, same as below.

If CRN had an award for the fastest cloning of web shops on shopbots we guess they'd win that also.

Yep it's them! megabuy clones

  • Cloning is a growing industry on the shopbots.

  • digitalhardware.com.au / (hardwaresolution.com.au)

  • digiworld.com.au

  • secureglobal.com.au

All showed the same maintenance message at the same time from a shopbot.com.au same product listing (1/5/12).

While only 3 were in this listing (good thing) all 4 have the same errors on their pages. Nothing wrong with having 100 web sites unless you're pretending to compete on price (misleading the public) on shopping engines price listings.

"..This website is currently closed for maintenance.."


No Clone Listings     TOP 10  AU Shopbot Clones - August 2012  

   

URL Owner/Registrant/Comment Selling same items on shopbot.com.au
printersupermarket.com.au
tonersupermarket.com.au
ECHO-1
ECHO-1
YES Very Active
YES Very Active
okiprinters.net.au ECHO-1 YES
megabuy.com.au Nick Shelomanov YES Very Active
wacomputers.com.au Nick Shelomanov YES
tech4u.com.au Nick Shelomanov YES Very Active
itspot.com.au
 
Nick Shelomanov
 
YES Very Active
 
misystems.com.au

Same DB as eyo.com.au below 
Company contact email is de-registered.

sales@emartaustralia.com.au
Same street address as cworld.com.au not good

YES

eyo.com.au As above? Not registered for GST (Trust) YES
secureglobal.com.au Secure Global Pty Ltd YES
igenz.com.au
(As above, same DB suggests connections..) 
Shopbot.com.au may have stopped this Clone.
Keep up the good work!
YES

Other clones on shopbot com au - See also > Shopbot.co.nz examples

  1. tonermasters com.au / cartridge-centre com.au / cartridgespot com.au. 
  2. thecartridgewarehouse.com.au / tonerland.com.au
  3. digitalhardware.com.au / secureglobal.com.au / hardwaresolution.com.au / digiworld.com.au*
    *Only 2 of 4 were found on shopbot.com au on 12/7/2012

And they keep Cloning!

  • 66north.com.au 
  • wilsonbentleywaugh.com.au / WBW
  • buffalomemory.com.au
  • ausid memory

All above plus ausid memory (which directs to buffalowmemory.com.au) belong to BUFFALO TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS PTY LTD

More Clones Page 2 Hall of Fame


Legal Disclaimer:

This page contains statements of pure opinion and fair comments made in good faith in the interest of the public. To ascertain the facts please do your own research. There may also be quotes from and links to external sources please see their disclaimers.


 The Truth about [||||5+] "In-Stock"

In Stock 
Yes, we have that "In Stock"

People hate paying for something that was "In Stock" that's not, then waiting for it or fighting for a refund.

"..If they had 5+ in stock when I placed the order, why don't they have any now?.."

In the shopbot.com.au search below we know the distributor had just one toner available. When pressed some clone owners will admit they carry less than 1% of the products they advertise. So they'd be better off doing as we do and not actually charging the card till they've double checked with the real distributor if the item is not really in stock.

 

 

"..I will not buy again.

I ordered an item which was "in stock", over two weeks ago. They charged my card immediately, of course. Waited paitiently, checking the mailbox every day. Nothing, so I logged on to check the order status. When I checked yesterday, it was "pending shipping", and had been in this state for the past 12 days.

I tried the online chat, and when asked for the order number I said "hang on" — and within a few seconds found it. However, they simply left the chat unattended as soon as I said that.

They didn't return to the chat for AT LEAST a quarter hour. The online chat is a complete joke; replies take upwards of 10 minutes. Anyway, they checked out the order, and eventually I received an email which pretty much said "no stock, no ETA". No apology, either. So I cancelled. They seemed to be very obscure in their wording about the cancellation... stuff like "I will process this", and "I will soon start the cancellation".

I made it quite clear that the REFUND needed to be actually done, not status-changed to "processing cancellation" by their system!

I have no faith they will refund quickly; they certainly seemed to be reluctant to say "yes, we will refund today." And certainly, they didn't once proffer an apology for a) not contacting me to notify the item was out of stock and b) to explain that the item shipping was delayed.

My experience with this company has basically been poor, and I will not buy from them again. Rude, slow, unresponsive, and did not have the stock their system said they had.."

Whirlpool Forums

There are several "Clone sites" in the listing making the "In-Stock" problem even worse:-

They all can't have stock!

 [Top]

  • The stock listings above can't all be correct.

  • Note same stock counts also use same image etc. More about Clone Sites

This is why sites should not charge your card till they double check the true availability.

  • Shopping sites like shopbot.com.au can list data months out of date or simply wrong. 

Most e-stores update every few days or even every few hours, they hope in the time between updates your item has not been sold by another shop showing the exact same stock.

Some e-stores mislead you into thinking they have stock in their store when in the majority of listings they don't.

Often it's just a P.O. Box, especially for Clone sites there to grab extra spots in the "shopbots".

 [Top]

Whirlpool Forum  "In-Stock" dissapointment posts.

What some people don't realise is when most e-stores (as found on shopping bots) claim X number in stock that's divided between every similar e-shop in Australia. Bottom line is they often take your money then see if they can still get it. You're their finance company. We do it the other way around! (Get it then take your money!)

The down side of many e-stores

  • Many pretend that THEY have everything in stock at THEIR company by using misleading wording.

  • There are many Clone sites which makes the stock problem a lot worse.

  • You pay in advance of them having the stock, they use your money to buy the stock rather than keep it ready to dispatch which means you pay then they try and get it, if you're lucky it all works else you have a fight on your hands.

  • The Clone sites all try to have the lowest price even if many can't stay in business that way.

  • They often use several suppliers credit and clients payments in advance as business funding. Works till the distributors all want to be paid. The average debt per distributor seems to be several hundred thousands from looking at receivers statements.

The over selling problem

Negative stock means that we see every day with the distributors means they have sold more than they had. You may have known it would be on back order because all you've seen was Stock 5+ (or whatever) and assumed all would be OK.

How can you tell who really keeps stock?

  • Stock [||||] 5+ or stock xxxx-number often means they have no "real" stock.

  • "In stock" "In store" doesn't necessarily mean they have or can get it. Ask them before you pay. 

  • "No Pickups" normally means they do not keep stock.


How we safeguard you against paying for items that don't arrive.

You could be thinking you've pointed out all the problems how are you any different?

Below are some features we offer that we suggest you look for when making a purchase from any web site.

  • We hold stock of our best selling items, we buy in bulk. Learn more

  • Our warehouse cam can show your item. (We use distributors for items also)

  • We don't actually charge your card till we've checked stock, regardless what warehouse it's coming from.

  • BPAY accepted sorts out many of the fly-by-nighters. We accept BPAY.

  • How long have they been in business? We've been going since 1984.  Learn more

  • If after the above we still mess up we'll refund you right away.


      

Australian Interactive Multimedia (AIM)

Established in 1984, we specialise in digital imaging products such as Scanners, Home Cinema & Data Projectors, A3/A4 Colour Laser Printers, Scanners, Toner, Colour Calibration and much more.

AIM trades as AIM Digital Imaging with bulk buying power offering great deals & fast Australia Wide delivery.

Company Registration Date 22/10/1984 - A.C.N. 33 006 341760


 [Top]

More  Page 2 Hall of Fame New!


Related search terms -  shopbop staticice shopbot forum jb hifi harvey norman getprice officeworks myshopping

1. corporation shall not: (a) make a contract or arrangement, or arrive at an understanding, if: (i) the proposed contract, arrangement or understanding contains an exclusionary provision; or (ii) a provision of the proposed contract, arrangement or understanding has the purpose, or would have or be likely to have the effect, of substantially lessening competition; or (b) give effect to a provision of a contract, arrangement or understanding, whether the contract or arrangement was made, or the understanding was arrived at, before or after the commencement of this section, if that provision: (i) is an exclusionary provision; or (ii) has the purpose, or has or is likely to have the effect, of substantially lessening competition.

-- 45 Contracts, arrangements or understandings that restrict dealings or affect competition


  • If you or your companies have been mentioned here and believe that any information contained herein is incorrect please contact with the details so we can make the corrections. It is possible that some sites we refer to as clones are simply duplicates run honestly by independent people.
    Just in.. 
  • Shopbot secures partnership with Macy's, Bloomingdales
    "..Price comparison website Shopbot has secured an online partnership with US retailers Macy’s and Bloomingdales. This partnership will give consumers the opportunity to compare prices with over 100,000 products sold at Macy’s and Bloomingdales to products offered by other local and international retailers.."

Keywords: shopbot getprice myshopping PCC pay per click advertising on-line internet scam scheme incorrect wrong shopping price comparison clone clones misleading deceptive conduct collusion ACCC inc com com.au .nz google whirlpool forums grey market ponzi adwords adsense ads bloomingdales macys online-retail price comparison retail shopbot.

Legal Disclaimer:

This page contains statements of pure opinion and fair comments made in good faith in the interest of the public. To ascertain the facts please do your own research. There may also be quotes from and links to external sources please see their disclaimers.

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If you know the name of your desired product, you can quickly search for it using the box below:

 

 

  • Tip: Re-order products (without needing to find them again) via Your Account > Orders.

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Conditions.. Start date 8/2/14 .. While stocks last. Limit one per client per month. No warranty on Free items but they are new in boxes. If your order is not shipped from our warehouse then we'll give you a $5 credit towards your next order (simply quote your last order number in comments section and $5 discount within 6 months from first order).  If your order is shipped from our warehouse we will put the pressie in the box.

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