|Screenshot of the FansGoods.com website|
St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 15, 2017 – FansGoods.com, an online business that sells discount-priced NFL jerseys and other clothing, is the focus of several Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints from frustrated customers who say items they ordered turned out to be cheap fakes.
While the business appears to be operating out of China, it lists two addresses in the town of Wellsville, Mo., in Montgomery County. Neither address is legitimate.
One of the addresses, 610 West Hudson Street, is the site of the local Dairy Mart, a diner and ice cream shop. The second address, 686 West Hudson Street, does not exist.
“It’s been very, very frustrating,” said Brian Maskey, owner of the Dairy Mart, who says store employees have fielded at least 20 inquiries about FansGoods.com. “I tell people, ‘it’s not me,’ and they say, ‘oh, my gosh, what do I do?’”
Maskey, who is also a police officer in the community, said he emailed the company about the problem, and a representative of FansGoods.com replied with an apology. Maskey said the website was taken down for about a week, but then the business “put it right back up.”
In addition to complaints about phony merchandise, other customers of FansGoods.com say they never received their orders or received items weeks later than promised. Many complainants said they found it impossible to return or exchange merchandise and that communicating with company representatives was extremely difficult.
FansGoods.com has an “F” rating with BBB, the lowest possible, with more than 20 customer complaints from across the nation. The company has not responded to complaints.
Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said it appears that FansGoods.com is among the latest of several internet businesses out of Asia marketing that are marketing knockoff sports merchandise.
“This has been an ongoing problem for consumers,” Corey said. “People need to know that ordering clothing representing their favorite football, baseball, hockey or basketball teams from an unfamiliar website is risky business.
“Too often, these deeply discounted items turn out to be poorly made copies, and disappointed customers learn it is virtually impossible to get a refund.”
Several consumers said they believed they were ordering authentic merchandise from a U.S. location, based on website photos and the Missouri address. They said they became suspicious when the company charging their credit cards turned out to be Jinzhou Zhaoxin Ltd. of China. They ultimately discovered their merchandise was being shipped from that country.
“I looked at the website and everything looked good,” said a woman from Lake Hiawatha, N. J., who paid $121 for a Dallas Cowboys jersey for her son that turned out to be a cheaply made fake.
“Maybe I should have done a little more research,” she said.
“My son took one look at it and said: ‘Oh, mom!’” She said she intends to ask her credit card company for a refund.
A woman from Columbia, Tenn., said she had no idea she was ordering from a Chinese business when she paid $100 for what she thought was an authentic NFL jersey. She described the stitching as “so bad, we felt it would fall apart if we tried to wash it.” After weeks of trying to get a refund, the woman said the company finally refunded her $60.
A woman from Charlotte, N.C., said she paid $238 for two NFL jerseys, but only received one of them. She also says she intends to challenge the charge with her credit card company.
The business has not responded to BBB emails. A phone number listed for the company on its domain name registration does not work.
BBB advises that consumers be extremely cautious when ordering from unfamiliar websites. BBB has issued several alerts on bogus sites selling knockoff sports merchandise, designer clothing and accessories.
BBB offers the following advice for consumers looking to purchase officially licensed merchandise:
St. Louis Area Media Contacts: Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), email@example.com
Shellie Kreter, PR & Communications Manager, (314) 584-6723, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Smith, Investigator, (314) 584-6727, email@example.com
Columbia media contact: Sean Spence, Columbia Regional Director, (573) 886-8965, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cape Girardeau media contact: Joey Keys, Cape Girardeau Regional Director, (573) 803-3191, email@example.com
Quincy media contact: Mara Clingingsmith, BBB Quincy Regional Director, (217) 209-3972 or (217) 242-6272 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information.