How to spot a Scammer on Etsy?
I like to pride myself on being cautious with online purchases. Scammers come in all shapes and sizes and I often sigh with exasperation when I realise that one of my friends or colleagues has accidentally fallen for a scam.
If it looks to good to be true, then it probably is!
“It could never happen to me” Right?
I’m far too clever to be scammed!
Or am I?
What happens when you find some goods online at a reputable website like Etsy?
Over the last few years, I’ve ordered a dozen items off Etsy and always had a great experience. I’ve ended up with fantastic products created with an individual flair. Everything from a family insignia signet ring, to leather goods to a Urban Kilt (my latest humorous purchase for these hot Spanish afternoons), to make smile, keep me cool and terrify the natives with my huge white English tree trunk legs.
But I digress.
So, late night surfing, I found a really cool looking dog bed made from a whisky barrel.
Yes, it was late and night and I was outside drinking whisky. There is your first warning sign.
This started a conversation with the Seller (Kieran Canham) who initially said he only ships to England but then… agreed to ship to Spain for a fee.
He asked for funds to be wired direct to his account (rather than using the Etsy online payment system because it didn’t let him ship to Spain). There is my second warning sign.
I ordered it. Sent $$ and sat back to wait.
Then Kieran Canham asked for more money to cover shipping. There is my third warning sign!
I paid it and after he sent a great looking photo of a dog bed, I stupidly asked to add a barrel to the order.
Of course this meant even more $$.
The shipping date passes. Fourth blaring warning sign!
I still haven’t received anything and receive a message telling me “I had a fire and the barrels were destroyed“. Even my thick brain starts to hear warning bells.
Now a month later and he is asking for even more money. Red hot Klaxxon Danger Alarms
So, I’ve ended it with telling him I will be patient so let’s see if I was scammed or not.
UPDATE 1 month later - Scam confirmed. Still no sign of items and of course - every message to Kieran Canham gets replied the next day with a "sorry excuse, perhaps more money would help"
Here is our conversation so you can learn from my naivety and mistakes:
hi Nick, are you interested in the dog bed? thanksKieran Canham
Yes but I live in Spain. Would you ship to Spain and if so, how much?Me.
I will get a quote and let you know as soon as possible
(next day) It will be around £100 to deliver from the uk
Yikes – that puts it out of budget I’m afraid. thanks for looking!
How much would you be looking to spend on postage? I will keep looking if i have an idea of the budget. Parcelforce can do it for £65
OK. sounds like that will work for me.. I will just annoy myself for not ordering it if I say NO
Do you custom make each one or do they come from a stock of premade – I would prefer the interior to stay as wood colour rather than painted black… can do?
I custom make each one so that can be done no problem
Excellent. how big are they in circumference… this is a treat for my Springer Spaniel… he’s an old boy and weights around 50lb
That should be okay, we have a cocker spaniel here and its the perfect size for him, i do offer a larger size where the barrel is cut in half the opposite way instead and that one costs £120 as there’s a bit more work to do there
I prefer the stand up size.. he is just a big bigger than a cocker. so this should be perfect with a bedding in it. So how do I pay you?
Bank transfer is the best way as theres a lot of fees on here for some reason and they also put a hold on funds aswell which means i cannot purchase the materials or pay for the postage to get it out to you in the next week
Message:These are the details
Bank Name : starling bank
Name : Kieran Canham
Account number : 99319926
Sort Code : 60-83-71
what’s the total?
Overall including postage will be £145. And you want the interior to be the same colour as the exterior?
yes please – that varnished wood colour looks great.
I will arrange a transfer from my bank tomorrow…. do you have a paypal? I can send that right now!
No problem, are you able to send to my bank account via xoom on paypal? Just i cant withdraw from my paypal to my bank at the moment. Are you sending with xoom? To my bank account?
ahh ok. I see it .sorry had never used xoom before. I am doing it now. Doing bank xoom transfer… it asks for City and Phone for you?
Cambridgeshire and my phone number is 07503845986.
XOOM wont work for me because I have an American account (just moved from USA to Spain) so I’m doing a good old fashioned bank transfer to you… should land tomorrow…
finally got the swift/bic code figured out… now it just wants your address?
Foxfield, Station Road, Wilburton, Cambridgeshire, CB6 3PZ
Inside is all varnished up now so i will leave that to dry and as soon as the funds come through i will get that shipped over to you, have you got a screenshot of the transfer by any chance?
Payment sent, funds are on the way, but international transfers take soo long it shows that it will land on Monday 🙂
No problem, as soon as that arrives i will get it shipped over
Four days later
Hi Nick, just letting you know ive just received the payment.
I will go out to the shed tomorrow and get a second coat of varnish on and then i will arrange to have that shipped over to you.
I am doing a survey at the moment, im asking people who have placed orders whether there is any other whiskey barrel items they would buy if they were available? Thanks
Is this the stage where he thinks “Nick sent payment and shipping for the first item easily enough. I wonder if I can squeeze more out of him?”
I was just thinking about this “other products” question – I would love a barrel with doors in it so I can store glasses or somehow stores bottles of wine.
Hi Nick, i can do one of those at the moment if you wanted as i have a spare barrel and was wanting to make a cabinet, i could do it so the wine bottles are stored at the bottom and the glasses on a shelf above?
That would be awesome – can you set the wine bottles sideways like in a wine rack?
So instead of the bottles facing with the tops outwards you would want them sideways?
Also do you have a budget on it, obviously it will be more than the dog bed (waiting for the courier to pick that up)
no budget thought of, it literally was something that just came to mind when I read your message.
Shipping might be horrendous for a whole barrel right?
For a whole barrel i will check but it would be double the dog bed at least
Yep – I would expect that at least. One more thing – can you burn words on the barrel?
I would like “Casa Sobremesa” – our house name….
If I could get it for around 350 including shipping that feels pretty good for both of us?
Have a think about it and let me know.
350 including shipping would, and i can burn words yes
ok – lets wait for me to get the dog bed one so I can get a real picture of its size etc
Then I can splurge some more on barrels
The barrels are 90cm high by 60cm wide, might work out cheaper to have them delivered at the same time, as well as i only have one barrel spare atm I could send tjem on a pallet rather than seperate
Might work out cheaper on postage that way but i will look it up
So i have been looking at it and to send you a pallet would be about £150, so essentially you would be getting the cabinet for £285 including postage (as you have already paid £65 towards it) so essentially its free postage on the dog bed
OK. so what is outstanding to pay for shipping both this way?
So £85 left on the postage and £200 for the cabinet, and then i can get them both on a pallet and shipped over that way instead
OK Senor! Will do the bank transfer on Friday. Thanks again and I’m excited to see your work..
Perfect, im looking forward to doing it for sure! in regards to the cabinet are you wanting the wine glasses on a hanging rack? I can do that, obviously I will wait for payment before ordering any of the hinges, racks, etc Coming tomorrow
I am doing this alot cheaper than i should be, even a basic cabinet without racks normally goes for around £325
If you screenshot when you send that and then i will make order the materials which should arrive tomorrow
cash is on its way
Perfect, i did make a start today getting the barrel back to bare wood, should have the whole thing finished in less than a week
2 weeks pass – Naive Nick still isnt expecting any drama, just patiently waiting….
Hi Nick, struggling to order your delivery at the moment as the prices seem to have gone up, im going to say its the weight but I could be wrong.
As it stands delivery of the pallet is £250 not £150
Sorry – just back from weekend visiting my kids. Barrel looks fantastic!
OK. if it needs 100 more I will send it. 🙁
Frustrating… because I know I will be double taxed by Spanish inports when it gets here as well! But, totally appreciate all the work you’ve put into this. I will wire you the extra 100 later today – once I’ve processed my ten thousand unread emails from 4 days offline 😉
No problem, hopefully i will still be able to get a collection slot for the pallet on friday once i have done the last few bits and pieces on the cabinet A lot of work has gone into it because when you cut barrels open they never want to keep their shape If that arrives tomorrow i will attempt to book the delivery tomorrow for friday or next week
Money is on its way 🙂
Spot on, i just have the wine rack to work out at the bottom and then its finished
I can’t wait to see these 🙂
Can you burn the word “SobreMesa” on the Barrel? (that is our housename here “Casa Sobremesa” ) ps: its a Spanish word that means “the time you spend at a table drinking wine with friends after dinner”. Best word ever 🙂
Another week passes – Naive Nick just starting to get annoyed but still patiently waiting….
Hi Nick, sorry i havent been in touch, had a bit of an emergency here as there was a fire which has basically demolished everything
so working on fixing it all but moneys tight so will take some time
struggling to do food shopping let alone anything else
Sorry to hear that Kieran! No big sweats if it takes you a little longer than expected – keep me posted.
Yeah its not good here at the moment, the workshops okay luckily but the storage shed where the barrels are kept is gone, and part of the house
I feel your pain. Our neighbours house caught fire a few years ago – our house wasnt burnt but had total smoke damage and it burnt out all the electrics… the insurance was a nightmare and took forever… keep calm and carry on!
Yeah im still able to live in the house luckily but i havent got the money at the moment to replace the barrels its a complete nightmare
Hi Nick, Im currently reaching out to all my current/previous customers asking for donations to help get everything back on track here in the wake of the fire we had and would appreciate any donation you could help with whatsoever, im slowly getting there but there was a lot of damage to the stock aswell as the storage shed that i had before. Thanks, Kieran
Socialize that on facebook etc that will get you some donations 🙂
At this stage I now realise I’m possibly in the middle of a big scam. So, suggest going to gofundme rather than make a donation. But, I still want to give Kieran the benefit of the doubt.
Truly I havent got the the time frame to do that, ive got people waiting for orders and go fund me isnt an option at the moment
I know… Hopefully I’m at the top of that list. Would you prefer to refund, rather than continue this commission?
The problem ive got is money, I havent got the money to refund nor have i got the money at the moment to build another cabinet and a dog bed, for me to build both its a £200 job once i have paid for the barrels, varnish, bolts, hinges, brackets, etc The shipping is all paid for awaiting collection but just need to rebuild them
You are at the top of the list definitely as the other orders are small orders (planters, guitar holders, etc)
If i remake them i can have them to you in the next 2-3 weeks without a doubt I just dont have the funds to refund things at the present moment
Hi Nick, if you can let me know how you wish to proceed that would be great, thanks
I’m good to wait. No drama. 😁
Another 2 weeks goes by – no warning bells are going off even in my innocent brain
Hi Nick, I have managed to get the money from the postage back for now and my plan at present is to replace your 2 barrels using that if you would be able to repay the postage and then when i can i will refund it back to you?
Take your time… I can wait….
Time is not on my side as i said, i wont be able to do it once my full time job takes over as i will be travelling with work every week
Please process a refund.
Sad that it cant happen but I understand…
If you can redo the postage i can have the order to you by the end of next week
I dont have the funds to process a refund, thats why im looking at the cheapest possible way for the order to happen which is why i asked if you could redo the postage and then i will refund it back to you once i have got things sorted here
I’m OK with that… So lets wait for you to finish the items and show me how they look, I’m sure they will look good then I will resend the postage and you can refund that later. ok.
For me to have them to you by the end of next week i need to book the shipping by wednesday at the latest
For them to pick them up this friday
I guarantee you will have them by the end of next week
Let me know because my time is running out like i said
Finish them first… shipping can go week after. I’m patient I can wait.
another week goes by – and here is the final scam amount asking for the postage to be paid AGAIN
Hi Nick, just letting you know your items are finished, ive wrapped them so they dont get any damage on them while i wait on the courier fee
Hi nick, just wondering if you received my last message? Thanks
Great looking forward to seeing them.. can you post pictures of the finished items?
I have them wrapped for shipping now because we had some painting jobs come in so i didnt wanna get them with any overspray
I changed the cabinet slightly by making the doors taller meaning you have more space above the top shelf, and then it meant i have been able to put 2 shelfs/wine bottle holders below that for the wine itself
That’s great news – I cant wait to see pictures so I can plan where they will go…
What day are you shipping?
As soon as i receive the shipping fee we agreed on i will get them sent over
I’ve waited for you to get get things sorted over there. I’m glad you have other painting jobs now… I’ve paid in full plus all shipping costs in advance.. waited 2 months now… I’m patient.
We agreed that you were going to repay the shipping cost as that’s what I used to rebuild the items and then I was going to reimburse it, I’m leaving in about 3 weeks and wont be able to send them after that.
I’ve sent you $124 for the dog bed, then $360 for the barrel and then $185 shipping. That is $669 in total. Please send picture of the barrels you are waiting to ship.
As i stated before the barrels are wrapped in black pallet wrap awaiting shipping, you agreed to pay the shipping again which i would then refund back to you because i cannot afford to do it myself at the moment, the shipping money you sent before had to be used to rebuild the orders.
This is the dog bed, the cabinet behind a load of other stuff at the moment so cant get a photo
This was all agreed to by you, i have 3 weeks to ship them or it wont be possible until october
This smells very scammy. 🙁
Are you shipping it all one one pallet?
send me a picture of the shipping quote pls.
The prices have gone up so im going to try and find a cheaper way of doing it
So i can do it for £200 and that’s using my original quote on the dog bed for £60 and then the cabinet would be £142, thats doing them seperate, not on a pallet
At this stage I am 90% sure I am being scammed… but there are still no negative reviews on Kierans Account on ETSY so I reluctantly (some might say stupidly) send the $200 and sit back to see what will arrive next week
Hi Nick, they should be picking them up next week, i had to rearrange it as i had a family emergency come up so i wasnt going to be here for them to pick them up, as soon as they pick them up i will drop you a message
( one week later )
Hi Kieran — Do you have a shipment tracking code?
Hi Nick, still delayed but im working on it, thanks
( two weeks later )
Another weeks gone by and its still not shipped… I’ve sent all money and paid shipping plus paid extra shipping. When are you shipping?
…and still we wait.
I now see he has taken his shop offline on ETSY and it has 1 review from someone else that was duped by Kieran Canham The Scammer. Luckily for them, they ordered using ETSY so have buyer protection. I stupidly didn’t. I am screwed.
So here we are… wandering how long I can go before I finally admit that I’ve been scammed.
I’m clearly not nearly as smart with online purchases as I thought I was.
I’ve reported this situation to ETSY who have taken zero action.
Hopefully googling Kieran Canham from Station Road, Wilburton, Cambridgeshire will save some other poor soul from making the same mistakes I made.
More Fool Me!