UPDATE: Soho Store a Scam?

Last Friday, we wrote about the online “Soho Store” offering some obscene discounts on iPods (10 60gb video iPods for $2699!, an over $1000 discount off MSRP). We just thought it was too good a deal to be true.

After the jump, more evidence, along with a decaying lunch sack getting mad at us for questioning the integrity of a site whose address resolves to a self-storage facility in San Pedro, CA…

UPDATE: A reader went through and placed an order. You won’t believe what he was asked to do at checkout.

Add that to the fact that their address resolves to a self-storage facility in San Pedro, CA (thanks Eric and Jay), their “About Us” page is a rip from the California Computer Center’s info page (thanks Anthony), and the photos on the website are stolen from the official Apple Soho store website.

A reader appropriately named, “Chad,” wrote in to call our site “an emaressment [sic] for posting articles like this.” He says this is the standard wholesale rate for these units, especially merchants using “drop shipping,” which is when an online retailer only handles the transactions and an uplink distributor takes care of the shipping, stocking and all that nitty griity. We googled “wholesale iPods” and failed to find any legitimate looking site offering the purported deals. If any reader can find a good site, we’d be overjoyed to post it.

Fair enough, but why then when we emailed the site’s owner James did he respond, “The products on this sale are the stock of our charity partner and they were previously donated under their name. We are helping them to sell the stock out at this moment. All units are brand new, factory sealed.”

Why then don’t you just sell them on Ebay? We’re sure you could make a much heftier profit for your charity partner.

Our critic wrote further, “You had no proof. Don’t understand the industry. Can’t even pick up a phone and call the guy. Yet you can make claims he is a scam and dare the users to prove you otherwise. Slow news day?”

You’re right, we couldn’t pick up a phone because no phone number was provided on the site. We never claimed it was a scam, we just pointed out the possibility, Chadwick, and said how it tickled our “spidey sense,” our caveat emptor antenas. We “dared” people to prove us wrong because if this was actually a great deal on iPods, we’d love to let people know about it.

Scriptor emptor, let the writer beware of stupid readers.

UPDATE: Perhaps this is the kernel of the scam: stealing your bank account info. Daring reader Chuck writes, “I registered at the skeevy Soho Store as Derek Jeter and when I went to checkout I saw that the only acceptable form of payment for the transaction was “wire transfer.” I’ve been alive 30 years and never had to do a wire transfer to buy something and you can be damn sure I wouldn’t do it in this case either.”

Previously: Soho Store a scam?