Bag Brand Accused of Scamming Product Photographers
A “vintage” bag company is being accused of scamming would-be product photographers. Vintage Bags Global apparently offered one photographer $1,250 to take five photos of a bag and the only requirement was that he pay $14 in shipping, something he points to as a “red flag.”
Photographer snarko7 on Reddit published a lengthy warning on the subreddit to inform other possible marks that he says would end up being scammed.
“I got contacted by a page called ‘Vintage Bags Global’ and was offered a silly amount of money ($1,250) to take 5 photos of a free bag they’d send me,” they write. “The scam is that I’d have to pay shipping ($14) and I assume the bag would never arrive and I’m 100% sure I’d never get paid.”
Snarko7 says that they believe this is a common scam concept, but only the first time they had seen it in this form where they are specifically targeted as a photographer.
“I’m making this post to hopefully draw awareness and have something for people to find if they search the company name.”
While the actual loss to an individual photographer would be the small $14 cost to ship the bag, if this is indeed a scam, it may be based on volume over individual dollar value. Snarko7 points to the company’s webpage and Instagram as looking “pretty legit” and good enough to convince some that it is on the level.
One thing worth noting immediately is that none of the backpacks pictured on the company’s website match the design of any of the bags it lists. This is likely because the photos used are stock images from Pixabay. Additionally, a quick search of just one bag reveals it to be a design that can be found on another bag company’s website as well as on Aliexpress for a fraction of the asking price on Vintage Bags Global.
Aside from these notes, snarko7 lists several other “red flags” that he noted in his interaction with the company.
- “I was contacted via email and asked to reach out to their social media manager. Red Flag: Why didn’t they just do the business entirely on email?
- After reaching out on Instagram, they asked me to agree to these terms and conditions and they’d send me a discount code. Red Flag: There was no formal acceptance of the terms and conditions or actual contract for the work being done. A thumbs up in an Instagram DM doesn’t count as a contract.
- The discount code they provided wasn’t unique – I could post it here right now for y’all to get 100% off these bags that will probably never ship. Red Flag – a company would never have an unlimited use 100% discount code.
- They wanted me to pay shipping. Red Flag – never pay to work.
- When pressed on the shipping costs, they pushed back and said ‘Shipping you have to pay yourself and the company covers the product costs. In this way, the company can make sure that the influencer has a serious interest in the product and cooperation, because many influencers who demand everything for free, receive the product and eventually disappear and no longer respond to letters. This is a standard procedure and generally accepted practice in collaborations and social media promotions when both parties are involved in the deal.’ Red Flag – all this is solvable with a real business contract.”
While it is entirely possible that this situation is on the level, snarko7 says that the abundance of red flags he noted makes it not worth the effort for any photographer. Even if Vintage Bags Global is legitimate and did follow through, it’s interaction is not one a professional photographer would consider and it is too similar to other scam formats to be taken seriously.
Vintage Bags Global did not immediately respond to the request for comment.