E-books & Super Shilling

2 Mar

This seller takes ebooks and resells them in their shop and every single photo used in the shop is NOT of theirs!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ebook

Some titles available: (don’t rush all at once to buy these gems!)

105 Tempting Peanut Butter Recipes eBook PDF

Halloween 186 Coloring Pages Printable eBook PDF

DISNEY CHARACTERS 900 Pages CARTOON Coloring eBook PDF

Learn How To PLAY The HARMONICA eBook PDF- Learn A New Hobby

_______________________________________________________________________________________________
http://www.etsy.com/shop/gwendickinsonshop

A true WTF?! Watch this shop and you will see growing sales with nothing listed. Joined February 24, 2010 and on that day she even got her first feedback! WOW! The very next day, on February 25th, she got feedback from 4 different accounts (she must ship at the speed of light!!) … but the best is on March 1st she got feedback from 7 different account names. I think even top sellers don’t get that ratio of 25 feedback positives given in 5 days. What on earth is this chick up to?!

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105 Responses to “E-books & Super Shilling”

  1. Crazy Cat Lady March 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    wow – gwendickinson – all her feedback is from brand new buyers, and she hasn’t left any feedback for them. We all know how quick brand new-to-etsy buyers are to leave feedback!

    /sarcasm

  2. ohmeohmy March 2, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Wow, the ebooks. Especially her offer of your favorite author and all the books on one CD.

    I hope to hell she gets sued! I want to report her. Who to? FTC? BBB?

    I am a total bookworm and this grates my soul…

  3. Kate March 2, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    I purchased from GwenDickensonShop and she refuses to follow through on the sale.

    I thought it said she had registered on the 11th, and was like “Well, that’s enough time for people to get items.” D’OH!

  4. Life During Wartime March 2, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Along with resellers and other TOU abusers, Etsy is taking on a butt load of outright scammers and shop owners with what might be serious mental health issues.

    About reporting the ebook shop, I think the info should be sent to the publishers of the books in question. They are the ones who own the contents, I believe.

    Right now Etsy has about 6 months to clean up the site before this year’s Christmas/winter holiday shopping season. Even if they start on it tomorrow in earnest, time is not on their side because the problem is now so huge. Tick…tick…

  5. WTFISAPDF March 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    Bluemooning is one lucky buyer. Opens an account, buys a gourmet cake, and has it delivered all in one day.

    Here I sit and wait days for my purchases.

  6. uh-huh March 2, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    finedancer is also quite a lucky buyer, purchased a cake on Feb.25th (made on 20th/21st) and received it “fresh as expected” on Feb.25th, and appreciated “the shipping that she sent it in, came in beyond my expectations. ”
    Which is hellamazing considering that she ships for free. I can’t imagine how much instantaneous shipping of a cake would cost.

    Gosh, how would a buyer even find that tagged as it is?

  7. Life During Wartime March 2, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    uh-huh, I think Gwen is violating more than the Etsy TOU. She is violating the Temporal Prime Directive by using transporter technology in the early 21st Century.

  8. insaneinthebrain March 2, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    Gwen apparently suffers from schizophrenia…either that or she is the genie from the lamp.

  9. Thud March 2, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    on the yarn:
    “A standard bundle composing of teal, aqua blue, red and an assortment of greater commercial background colors. If you need actual dimensions message me!”

    WTH does that mean? Standard? ‘assortment of greater commercial background colors’??

    Nice.

  10. Thud March 2, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Really?!
    http://mereiana.com/

  11. ohmeohmy March 2, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    holy hell thud, how’d ya find that? Hilarious. she’s a CEO?

  12. Cat Power March 2, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Gee, ya think maybe somebody stole her name, huh? I can’t believe the brass ones on some people.

    She joins on 2/24 and gets feedback the same day and for the following 3 or 4, and nothing in the shop. Now why do I find that suspicious?

    What is wrong with the twits in Brooklyn? That one is a no-brainer!

  13. willowandme March 2, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    Holy crap! Please tell me this isn’t real. The Gwen one I mean – I haven’t even looked at the other one yet. What is with some people?

  14. willowandme March 2, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    And she made 12 of these in one weekend. Busy lady. I wish I could find them elsewhere because that photo just doesn’t look like she could have made a dozen, photographed one that well and listed it. Holy crap I wish I had the time she apparently has.

    http://www.etsy.com/view_transaction.php?transaction_id=26028411

    Is there any way to report a whole shop/seller rather than just individual items? I’m guessing not, short of writing directly to admin. Not that it would make any difference.

  15. imwithya March 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    willowandme- I usually just report one item and add a message to admin in the note section to look at the seller’s whole shop (not they they actually look at flags anymore).

  16. Hmmm! March 2, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    I would almost bet that Gwen’s portrait is a stock photo…

  17. Etsy person March 2, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    As thud noted, there is another website with this womans face. i think someone in the peoples republic of santa monica (as we californians call it) is having a great deal of fun at etsy and that womans expense. its not real, its bs. but what the motive is who knows.
    also the chinese bridal dress people are back under a different name.

  18. Thud March 2, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    I think that while the website may be real, the Etsy shop just ripped off this woman~ the link is in the profile.

  19. Sherri March 2, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    uh-huh Says: “Gosh, how would a buyer even find that tagged as it is?”

    What, you’ve never had ‘mouse’ cake?

  20. Laura March 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    LOL. I think their motive is to see if anyone notices since Etsy doesn’t care. I think Gwen’s feedback and shop is hysterical.

  21. Kate March 2, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    For those that think they’re not attached to the Mereiana site, their PP email is a @mereiana address.

    Besides, look at all the typos & grammatical errors on the mereiana site.

  22. PussDaddy March 2, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    I bought an E-book of cat food recipes on Ebay a long time ago and with it came the right to republish it if I want to.
    I never have- who knows where the damn thing originated from to begin with? The book had a misprint or two in it. But most people would probably republish it, and many people did.

  23. PussDaddy March 2, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Actually this is the book I bought on Ebay.

    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=40266293

  24. itstinks March 2, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    This is just all so weird.
    How are the ebook people even making any money? Some of their listings are for $0.20 and others $1.50. I don’t understand why that would even be worth someone’s time.

  25. Em March 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    Wow, she must be good. Made four more sales, complete with feedback, just like that! Wish my items would sell out faster than I could stock them. Not to mention the person who bought three of the same needle felting kits.

  26. Not Surprised March 2, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    About Gwen, I just don’t get it. What does she get by this shilling without having anything to sell?

  27. BundtPan March 2, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    On Mereiana.com, Gwenn Dickinson is spelled with two N’s. On the Etsy shop gwendickinsonshop, Gwen Dickinson is spelled with one N. Significant? Someone ripping someone else off? The same person engaging in sloppy scamming / shilling?

  28. alchemy reseller March 2, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    Looking for stores w/ cheap items to resell for a non profit group.
    http://www.etsy.com/alchemy/request.php?id=188221

  29. WoodenBoard March 2, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    My comments are awaiting moderation.. Found links to her “handmade” items..

  30. Sarah March 2, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    Check out this one! HA Gucci probably fake handbag!

    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=41873974&ref=cat2_gallery_13

  31. WoodenBoard March 2, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    try again..

    http://www.copperreflections.com

    http://www.etsy.com/view_transaction.php?transaction_id=25985801
    (btw if you make earrings you should know how to spell them)

  32. Cat Power March 2, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    I have finally figured it out. There was a method to Etsy’s madness, when they didn’t add Reseller to the list of reasons for flagging.

    That would take too long to read.

    Other is just shorter and easier to spot, so they can easily delete them.

    Mystery solved as to why none of them get booted off the site.
    No one reads those flags!!!

    I can now sleep easier tonight, and never have to flag again, since we know they are never seen.

    Actually I think I will keep sending them, but I will be very direct in my language and accusations…no more holding back what I really think….after all, no one will see them, right?

  33. Kirsi March 3, 2010 at 12:56 am #

    The Mereiana site looks bogus to me too – I couldn’t find any of the reviews shown on the front page (Wired.com, PC Magazine, Epinions). And who puts the CEO’s picture on the banner?

  34. LilianEveDesigns March 3, 2010 at 2:28 am #

    I guess I am getting scammed? I was contacted about Gwenn buying something from my shop a few days ago…later got another convo that I never got back to her and that the Etsy convo server is having issues so she wanted me to send my email and since has not returned my message? I am falling victim? Can someone do something with my email address? I too checked out her Mereiana.com page and her Etsy page and what’s going on??? Help?

  35. Kirsi March 3, 2010 at 2:34 am #

    Lilian, I think it would be a good idea to contact abuse@etsy. If you get any unexpected payments on your Paypal, refund them. Even if she bought something through Etsy check out, I would just cancel and refund, and ask them to not come back. I don’t know what kind of evil deeds one can do with other people’s email addresses.

  36. Life During Wartime March 3, 2010 at 4:06 am #

    The mereiana dot com was purchased on the same day the Etsy user registered. Yeah, the shop is run by some hotshot CEO of a nationally known company….who also happens to teach at UCLA. I bet every one of those sock puppet buyers is someone famous in Hollywood, too. I swear it’s true!

    Seriously, I dunno whether the person behind this is yanking Etsy’s chain or ECO’s?

  37. Marky Green March 3, 2010 at 4:15 am #

    Every time I look at mereiana.com, the “Who’s online” section has the same numbers: “We have 1835 guests and 145 members online”.

    But what’s really strange is that the domain name was only registered on 23 February 2010, the day before “Gwen” joined Etsy.

    (Though her profile says “I enjoy making a diverse assortment of items in my free time, which I have had much of lately”. )

  38. Crazy Cat Lady March 3, 2010 at 6:00 am #

    The website looks like it was a screen shot of another website or something. If you look at the “buyers guide” you can tell that one of the choices has been cut off. And some of the descriptions (I clicked on the Outback gift card) just stop mid-word!

    Bizarre.

  39. Kirsi March 3, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    I thought the reviewer’s pictures looked like stock pictures, and at least two of them are (both guys). Not that we really needed more evidence, did we? 😀

  40. Kirsi March 3, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    “Looking for stores w/ cheap items to resell for a non profit group.
    http://www.etsy.com/alchemy/request.php?id=188221

    She states that they are to be sold at events. Still surprised by the 21 bids!?

  41. peaceloveandprofits March 3, 2010 at 6:42 am #

    Do you suppose etsy isn’t going to do anything about this because they’re getting the 3.5% of all of these bogus sales? It really does seem like some kind of scam, or maybe it’s some sort of “socio-economic experiment”, which would piss me off even more!

  42. Max March 3, 2010 at 6:58 am #

    Etsy is probably getting 3.5% of a bunch of 20 cent listings. I bet if they looked at the timestamps they are listed and sold within minutes, and then feedback a few minutes later. You probably have to be watching the RSS feed to actually catch any listings for sale.

    Re the Alchemy request, this has got to be someone who just wants cheap stuff, because you don’t start purchasing for a non-profit organization when you’re still just wanting to start it. It’s not a simple process to start a legitimate non-profit.

    Etsy has spiraled so far out of control. These kids have no idea how to manage the integrity of their site. It’s scam central now.

  43. Ya betcha March 3, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    Those cakes are chocolate sculptures, not cake. I saw some just like that at a chocolate shop around Velentine’s Day.

  44. itstinks March 3, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    Maybe the gwendickinson shop is a “socio-economic” experiment. Sounds like something that about.com girl would do just to rile people up.

  45. JajieBo March 3, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    I’m betting this Gwen character is just trying to build a pile of good feedback so it looks like she’s a reputable seller when she starts convo-ing people to scam them with requests for samples or trades or something.

    Truly bizarre woman. Maybe she’s related to Valerie Hawk Hoffman?

  46. Cinnamon March 3, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    And here’s the stock photo of Gwen…
    http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?stak=86623278&assetType=image

  47. Crazy Cat Lady March 3, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    Fun calling out thread on etsy…if’n your so inclined… 😉

    http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6454020&page=10

  48. detroit March 3, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    Ooh Cinnamon! Good sleuthing. In addition to being a university professor, owning an international website that sells a dizzying array of goods, starting up an Etsy site and whipping up a bunch of super elaborate ‘cakes’ in one day…Gwennn is also a photography model! lol.

    Busy lady, this Gwen Dickinson!

  49. notvintage March 3, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    Getcher handmade vintage style shoes here!!!!
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/daixiaole?section_id=6833637

  50. PussDaddy March 3, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    It’s becoming a big risk just to even buy anything on the internet anymore. Fake websites? Stock photos? Screen shots?

    Also I have talked to OrientalTrading before and they do allow you to resell what you buy from them, and they do allow you to sell things you make with their supples, even those things that they have patterns for, like they will show a bracelet then name all the “ingredients” it took to make it so you can buy them and make it yourself and they do allow you to sell that, but they said they do not allow you to use their photo’s.

    PussDaddy

  51. Grace March 3, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    LilianEveDesigns says:

    I guess I am getting scammed? I was contacted about Gwenn buying something from my shop a few days ago…later got another convo that I never got back to her and that the Etsy convo server is having issues so she wanted me to send my email and since has not returned my message? I am falling victim? Can someone do something with my email address? I too checked out her Mereiana.com page and her Etsy page and what’s going on??? Help?

    *******************************
    Lilian, I got the same email from her after she inquired about purchasing one of my items for a discount. Strange, strange duck.

  52. H March 3, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    I reported the ebook seller. That’s copyright infringement and piracy.

  53. Steff Metal March 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    I flagged that ebook seller months ago, said I wasn’t sure if she was selling PLR material or not, but should probably find out.

    It’s POSSIBLE the ebook seller is using ebooks with PLR rights: some authors write ebooks or pages of “information” and grant the person who buys this information the right to “rewrite and republish” it without crediting them. It’s an easy way out if you want to write an ebook but don’t want to spend the time doing the research. Sometimes, you can actually get PLR material for free, but it’s usually quite cheap – 100 000s of words for $1. It’s also legal, and – judging by the Etsy policy of “adding a pendant to a store-brought chain counts as handmade” – Etsy Legal.

    In which case, if the ebook seller brought the PLR material for each ebook for, say 50c (which she very well could have) and then resold it for $2, she’s still making profit, for very little effort.

    I’m not sure about the 25 000 books listing, though. That scares me. My debut novel is coming out in 2011. I don’t want it to end up there, either!

  54. etsycallout March 3, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Even if she has the rights, Etsy is not the stuff to sell it.

  55. 'elle March 3, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    Gwen/Gwenn’s shop is terrifying. You know that she’s up to something big if she’s putting in all this effort. Really glad to see it here so we can track her. Haha.

    All her feedbacks are written in the same style, too. Creepy.

  56. Life During Wartime March 3, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    I’ve looked at her shop a few times today — hey, I am fascinated by a train wreck — and I just missed her buying her own item. Even though no items were visible in the shop, the right side bar said one item was there. This person seems to have dozens of sock puppet accounts for the fake buys, and all of them leave feedback the day of the purchase. No feedback is left for the ‘buyers’.

    This is either a wicked dark humor mockery of Etsy or a headcase playing with themselves (plural) in public. Either way, this is the best call out for sheer weirdness EVER!

  57. box o' cookies March 4, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    we can probably stop referring to ‘her’ as ‘Gwen’ at this point, considering her pic is a stock photo.. it could be anyone

    the whole shop could just be a front in order to appear active on etsy..especially if an etsy seller was contacted and was asked for her email address. sounds like a total scam with a shopfront as a front.

  58. Amy March 4, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    Check this out from HeyMichelle: http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6455116

    Lets bombard her!

  59. Life During Wartime March 4, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    So what happened to all the flags sent to them for the last 6 months?

    Etsy is still relying on the community to ID resellers for them? HeyMichelle isn’t going to get of few of the other staffers to come in this weekend and banter (heh!) out ways to ID possible resellers? I call BS. Etsy has to learn how to find resellers themselves for this to work, with the flag system as just a heads-up on the few that slip by the people who are being paid to monitor the site.

    I mean, so many people posted in the forums they sent info and proof links in their flags. WTF?

    They are doing this to quiet down the forums because the cupcakes are miffed at all the ‘negativity’ about resellers.

    Did someone email her a link to this blog?
    How about Garagetsy?

  60. bombastitch March 4, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    LilianEveDesigns – The exact same thing happened to me and I felt horrible that my convos were not going through, so I tried to locate her via google. Good thing I found this thread!

  61. frabjousflamingo March 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    The same thing happened to me- I got a message asking for my email address. Being the trusting idiot that I am, I gave it to her, thinking that she was interested in buying the Unicorn cards that she was complimenting. Instead I got a strangely chatty email asking what kinds of things I like to cook and bake. (?!)

    Finally I took a look at her shop, realized that all of those accounts were freaking sock puppets, and I checked out her site. I even gave her the benefit of the doubt and registered with an email that I don’t use, thinking that maybe the site was a lot more inclusive and you just had to sign up. The whole thing is very fishy. I sent ‘Gwen’ an email back telling her not to contact me anymore.

  62. frabjousflamingo March 5, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    I also did a search at Wired, PC Magazine, and Epinions. Of course, nothing came up.

  63. Grace March 5, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Received another message from Gwen today talking about the weather and asking if I was planning to see Alice in Wonderland. WTF??

  64. frabjousflamingo March 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    I just emailed her back and told her that I had done some research into her ‘website’, and asked her not to contact me again.

  65. kissingkumquats March 5, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    Holy crap! “Gwen” contacted me as well, with the same story about not receiving convos, asking for my email address. Stupid me, I gave it to her and received a bizarre email back from “her”. It was the “CEO” part that prompted me to Google her. Does this mean I’m going to get a ton of spam? This is creepy….

  66. bombastitch March 5, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    ugh I just got an email talking about owls and that ‘her’ mom passed away in 2007. why oh why did I fall for this?! should never have given her my email address! 😦

  67. bonniejonesphoto March 5, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    “Gwen” got to me too. Stupidly gave her my email address, thinking she was just a chatty old lady being overly friendly. Ha!
    Just received the “are you going to see Alice and Wonderland?” email I’m now thinking scary identity theft type thoughts. I sent a message to HeyMichelle and abuse@etsy.com. I urge everyone else to do the same – who knows what someone is up to here.

  68. BundtPan March 5, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    OK, now I am really getting creeped out.

  69. ohmeohmy March 6, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    Gwendickinson sounds like the etsy seller who is on facebook and all over the internet apparently. The crazy seller BellasBeautyandmore who is claiming she stole all photos, and is ripping people off by not sending any items. She said she drained her paypal account already, so people who have placed orders and paid, are fucked.

    http://BellasBeautyandmore.etsy.com and her artfite site that someone just sent me: http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=Shop&op=listing&product_id=1080131

    She might also be the sock puppet the other night on the forums.

  70. Tafurious March 6, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

    Got the same sob story from this seller- I gave out my e-mail and other than probably getting spammed, I cannot figure out the motivation. All she wants to do is chat. I just sent her the link to the getty image shot of “gwens” profile pic and asked her who she was.

    I also sent a complaing to abuse@etsy.com and to michelle at etsy. I felt odd with the request for my e-mail. Should know by now my gut is usually correct.

  71. Marky Green March 8, 2010 at 2:17 am #

    Gwen’s gone.

  72. lulo March 8, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    I did a little more digging around on ebooks.etsy.com and have discovered they are in fact a reseller, they have stolen images from the web, and even their descriptions are stolen. I have found this item on ebay under many different users for sale as well.
    Here is the link to their shop item:
    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vl_other_1&listing_id=41178341

    Here are a couple of links to the item on ebay by different sellers:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Herbal-Tea-Remedies-Recipes-Health-Homeopathic-eBook-CD_W0QQitemZ400107805663QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item5d28489bdf

    http://cgi.ebay.com/88-HERBAL-TEA-Remedies-RECIPES-eBOOK-CD-Natural-Healing_W0QQitemZ320301906791QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item4a937b3b67

    http://cgi.ebay.com/The-Ultimate-Collection-Of-Herbal-Tea-Remedies-CD_W0QQitemZ110493079684QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_2?hash=item19b9e69884

    Why does etsy still allow this reseller on their site?! This is clearly an easy issue to resolve, but yet they’re so lazy to do anything about it only because they’re making a profit off of these kinds of shops too.
    I have flagged this and many of their other items, and they still do nothing!!

  73. Tafurious March 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    On March 6th I sent a complaint- on March 7th Etsy said “We’ll look into this seller right away.” By March 8th, she was gone.

    She never replied to my e-mail asking her who she was either.

  74. oops March 8, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    bombastitch Says:
    March 5, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    ugh I just got an email talking about owls and that ‘her’ mom passed away in 2007. why oh why did I fall for this?! should never have given her my email address! 😦

    =================

    Lol. Same here. Makes me SO THANKFUL that I’m paranoid about being anonymous on the web. Only use my first name, never my last name. Now I know to google first.

  75. oops March 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    Tafurious Says:
    March 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    On March 6th I sent a complaint- on March 7th Etsy said “We’ll look into this seller right away.” By March 8th, she was gone.

    She never replied to my e-mail asking her who she was either.

    =============

    Her shop is gone, but her account is still there.

    I asked her what she made, and she never answered. Which is strange for a self-professed “artist”.

  76. Kristy March 11, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    I received the same request from her for my e-mail address. She claimed to not be receiving convos. I’m glad I found these comments. I find it interesting that all of the feedback she received, almost all of those users, like her, no longer have active esty accounts.

  77. Danni March 11, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    Hey, I’m STILL getting emails from this Gwen character! I can’t figure out what the heck is up. She told me that she decided to shut down her site and re-vamp it as something else.

    I can’t figure anything out. She’s still talking. Not asking me for any personal information. I haven’t seen any increase in SPAM. Actually, it’s crazy – but she gave me sound business advice.

    I’m so freaking confused it’s unbelievable.

    Part of me wants to run and hide, but another part of me just wants to talk to the poor little old lady. She hasn’t asked for any trade secrets or anything.

    She offers compliments. Offers constructive ideas.

    And then, some other times, it’s like I’m talking to someone else entirely.

    Anyone care to share what email address she’s using with them? I noticed that there was another initial after her name…

    Thanks,
    Danni

  78. Tafurious March 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    I got e-mail from gwen.dickinson.h@mereiana.com

    My best guess (and this is JUST a guess), is that “gwen” is actually more than one person. Her mereiana.com site is possible a rip off of another site. I am guessing it’s a resellers operation. All trying to look like artisan wares. The more they ask about your business and craft, the better they can pretend to be you when they try to sell your goods. Keep in mind this is only a guess.

  79. Danni March 11, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    Mine had a gwen.dickinson.c@mereiana.com.

    This is incredibly weird.

    I’m going to keep responding without really saying anything.

    Keep me posted.

    I feel like I walked into the Twilight Zone after reading this. How many times to people pretend to be old ladies for fun?

    Why not someone sexy and young?

    Creepy

    Danni

  80. oops March 12, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    My belief is that http://www.mereiana.com is just a huge scam site …. I believe that none of those products actually exist.

    Maybe the emails are just a way of marketing the mereiana site, to get you feeling comfortable enough with her to purchase from there?

    Certainly, none of those pple leaving reviews on mereiana exist. And those part of the right where it lists number of pple currently visiting the site? That’s just a made-up number that never changes.

  81. Bronwyn March 12, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    Hey, don’t know if that’s it either, Oops…

    I just tried to buy something from the site, and you can’t even add stuff to your cart.

    This gets more peculiar by the moment…

    WTF motivation can this person(people) have?

  82. oops March 12, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    Another thing, she’s likely communicating with 100-200 people. She’s got quite a few email addresses she uses, and she uses each email address to communicate with about 9-10 people.

    She probably organizes it like that so she can organize her ‘prey’ into different groups, and each group gets a slightly different form email.

    Unfortunately some naive people won’t realize she’s a scammer and get sucked in.

  83. oops March 12, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    Bronwyn Says:
    March 12, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Hey, don’t know if that’s it either, Oops…

    I just tried to buy something from the site, and you can’t even add stuff to your cart.

    This gets more peculiar by the moment…

    WTF motivation can this person(people) have?

    ========================

    Lol, interesting!

  84. oops March 12, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    The whole thing is very clumsy, her Etsy site shilling was very clumsily done, the mereina site is very clumsily done.

    Maybe they’re an incompetent scammer?

    Or maybe the scam is still to come, and they’re letting themselves appear incompetent so it’ll be easier to suck us in?

    Or maybe it’s a social experiment!

  85. Tafurious March 12, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    I cannot figure it out- but it’s fascinating. By the way, if you call her out and ask her what her deal is, she stops e-mailing you.

  86. oops March 12, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    Tafurious Says:
    March 12, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I cannot figure it out- but it’s fascinating. By the way, if you call her out and ask her what her deal is, she stops e-mailing you.

    ======================

    For me, that reinforces the fact that she’s a scammer. Once you’re on to her, she has no use for you anymore.

  87. Grace March 12, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    She emailed me from gwen.dickinson.a@mereiana.com. I never responded to her email and haven’t heard from her since.

  88. JajieBo March 13, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    This has to be one of the most bizarre “scams” ever… if she ever gets around to actually scamming people, that is. So, so weird.

  89. Etsy person March 13, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

    I don’t know how but I think Miss Gwen will be using the emails addresses she has collected to build more “feedback” for her non existant products or something along that line. Whatever it is, its not good.

  90. bombastitch March 15, 2010 at 8:16 am #

    The three emails I have received are from: gwen.dickinson.b@mereiana.com. I have not responded to any of her emails.

    It is interesting that the email above has a “.b” and Grace posted the same address except for an “.a” and Danni has a “.c” and Tafurious has a “.h”
    This does not bode well for “gwen”.

  91. Kristy March 17, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    I just received another e-mail from her from a different e-mail than the first one I believe. Not sure as I deleted her other one.

    ————————
    This is what it says:
    Hello! I’m taking the time out to remind you that it’s been a long time since you emailed me. What’s the news with you?
    Send me the goodest latest, will you?
    Gwen Dickinson

    Artist, Business Owner, Volunteer
    —————–
    I noticed she removed the CEO and Merieana from her signature line.

    This e-mail came from: gwen.dickinson.rb@mereiana.com

    Very strange.

  92. BundtPan April 2, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    When I went to show the http://www.mereiana.com/ website to DH today, I found it no longer shows anything but a bare-bones log-in page for “members.”

    Anyone feeling brave?

  93. Jennifer April 8, 2010 at 6:06 am #

    Hello everyone from a former “Gwen Dickinson”.

    My name is Jennifer and I was hired by a bogus company to fill in for an apparently bogus person and “maintain contact” with her contact list while she was in the hospital being treated for her lupus (which they later referred to as “a type of cancer” not the autoimmune disease that it is).

    I was given a list of contacts here on Etsy and told to just talk with them, chit-chat, talk about the weather, ask questions, etc.

    While it might seem like a strange request to you guys, I’m a ghostwriter, and “pretending” to be other people is kind of what I do.

    I was given only the most rudimentary background on Gwen, so when you guys started asking me about what I was working on next, and other details, I emailed both the company and their “fake” Gwen at another fake email address. They never responded, so I decided to do a Google search and stumbled upon this thread.

    While I get into detail about how I handled this in my blog (http://shoestringsolutions.blogspot.com/2010/04/why-you-absolutely-must-google.html), now that I’ve ended my association with the company I wanted to personally apologize to all of you on the behalf of anyone who got rooked into contacting you guys and maintaining this charade.

    As far as a I know, Gwen Dickinson has been retired. Her new identity is Gwendale Richards and her new website is http://www.mereinay.com.

    If you here from anyone in this capacity, call them out and run!

    As far as I know, they haven’t actually done anything illegal (yet, anyhow), but whatever they’re up to, it’s highly unethical and you should guard yourself against it.

    For those of you pretending to be Gwen, understand that you’ll never get paid for your efforts. If you get contacted by a John Mitchel or a Rebecca Jameson from ASIB.org, you’ll wish it had never happened!

    I wrote under the handle “gwen.dickinson.g@mereiana.com”. If I messaged you, I’m sorry, but I did really enjoy talking with all of you, and Stumbled your items so that you could hopefully get some sales and exposure. I tried to give good advice and inspiration.

    If any of you want to continue talking with the real me, the one that LOVES Etsy and it’s artists, follow my blog or send me a message…

    Warmest Wishes,

    Jennifer Gibbs

  94. Teresa Springer April 8, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    I am really getting concerned about whomever this crazy person or people maybe. Now I am getting a convo from a woman telling me that she is one of the people hired to be “Gwen” and that she did not feel it was ethical. WTF? I am so gunshy, now I wonder if my products are or were being ripped off, (which I did notice was happening) or if this is some surreal scam or joke or what????

    Has anyone else been contacted by this new twist in our ongoing Gwen saga?

    One last thing, this woman that contacted me, she also started her Etsy ID the same day she contacted me via convo. I also started a forum thread about this all, it was immediately closed by admin for “calling out” an Etsy member. REALLY???

  95. Jennifer April 8, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    Dear Teresa,

    Sorry for that, but I didn’t have access to the email address that I used to contact you when I was acting as “Gwen”, so I had to contact you the only way I knew how – through your Etsy convo account.

    I started the account today so that I could personally notify the people I had contacted since they were all on Etsy only.

    Sorry if this freaked you out. I just wanted you to know what was up…

    Thanks,

    Jennifer Gibbs

  96. Jennifer April 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    As far as I know, no one was “ripped off”. The company in question merely appears to be building quite specific databases. In this case, it was Etsy sellers.

    In the next phase, they graduate you to cold emailing a list of fifty businesses that are independently owned.

    I was pulled off of the Etsy group too fast to find out what was going on. One day, I just couldn’t log in anymore.

    I didn’t stick it out long enough to discover the madness with the other fifty contacts. I only contacted a handful of them, and those folks only once. When I figured out that they were just repackaging Gwen Dickinson as Gwendale Richards, I knew it was absolutely hoaky, if not illegal to boot.

    I have no other answers for you guys, but I just thought everyone deserved to know what was going on…

    Thanks,

    Jenn

  97. JohnCocktoasten April 8, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Looney tunes all the way. Sorry Jenn. The whole thing makes no sense.

  98. Tafurious April 8, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    John, it was all just a big unethical data mining scheme. Collecting as much info as possible on specific markets. The goal with etsy conversations, is probably to sell our e-mail addresses to companies who want to market to artists and crafters.

    Jenn I’m curious, did they ever ask you to note or log any info that came from chit-chatting? That’s the aspect that seems odd to me. Why continue to talk if they have the e-mail addy unless they are mining for more specific info.

  99. Jennifer April 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Tafurious,

    All email communications were sent via their Blue Host email server. So, they had all of the records of what was said and discussed between all of the Gwens and all of the Gwen contacts.

    We were never told to talk about anything specific, but instead to just chit-chat, discover interests, talk about the news, the weather, whatever.

    I was never specifically told that I would be building a database. I was just supposed to be “filling in” for a regular employee. Maybe they change names every month when they recruit the new batch of suckers to pretend to be Gwen?

    Note to everyone: I was specifically told NOT to talk about direct, person-to-person business, but business as a general topic was okay. I couldn’t attempt to get anyone to sell me anything or to buy or sign up for anything from me.

    However, when it came time for payment and evaluation, 75% of your grading and payment score was based on whether after our interaction, the people I spoke with would be willing to do business with me.

    So, I have no idea.

    Maybe they really are trying to launch a professional business organization and this is how they recruit. Either way, legal or illegal, ethical or not, what they were doing was shady and dishonest and I just didn’t want to be a part of it in any way, shape or form any longer. At first I thought there really was a Gwen, but now I know that there’s not.

    I feel kinda dirty, lol.

    Needless to say, if they had even just pretended to be Gwen for real and spoken out to defend their position here, there would have been no need to create Gwendale Richards to replace Gwen Dickinson who is a replacement for God knows who…

    They could have just run with their lie and said that they were filling Gwen’s position because she was in the hospital and there was some confusion on her substitutes end or something.

    The minute they chose not to meet their problem head on and honestly, I decided money or no money, I’m outta here.

    I actually don’t mind leaving empty handed.

    I’m thinking about making a blog especially for Etsy sellers now. And another highlighting best buys on Etsy for $20 or less. I love Etsy. You guys are so authentic, and you can’t be fooled.

    Thanks to this weirdo fiasco, I did get to meet some amazing artists and learned a lot about what goes into creating original pieces. I was constantly inspired to transmute the enthusiasm you guys have for your art into my own writing, marketing and PR.

    I really fell in love with a lot of your stuff.

    I created an Etsy account. By God, I’m going to start shopping here and maybe even trying to make those wind chimes I talked about. I’ve done it before , I can do it again.

    Thanks to you guys, I found StumbleUpon and so many other things that I’ve adapted to my own business.

    Thank you all so much.

  100. oops April 15, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Sorry but sounds like more bullshit to me.

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  102. Jennifer April 18, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    Hey there…

    Just checked into the other site and they’ve gone the way of the first one, just a member log-in page…

    We’ll see what variation of Gwen’s name and mere whatever they use next…

    Toodles,

    Jenn

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