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Don’t Fall for Ripoffs Like This!

These are full out scams, but they seem so legit when they come in the mail. This warning is so good, you need to check it out. Falling for one of these would be such a huge waste of money and totally blow your budget, especially the electronics ones. #scam

Yesterday I got this postcard in the mail:


Out of curiosity, I scratched off the square on the back to see how much I was “pre-approved” to borrow. $4800. Like I have the ability to pay back $4800!

I checked out the site to see what kind of scam they’re pulling. Apparently Emporium is kind of like Rent-a-Center for people who want gadgets they can’t afford. A few of the “deals” they feature:

An iPad 2 16GB with Wifi. Only 24 weekly payments of $41!

Those payments add up to $984. For a product you can buy directly from Apple for $499.




A Panasonic Lumix 14.1 megapixel camera in Pink! Just 8 weekly payments of $32!

So $256 for a camera that costs $137 on Amazon.




How about this lovely 11-piece Paramount Asbury Park queen comforter set for 12 weekly payments of $28?

That’s $336 for a comforter set you can buy for $182 online.



I noticed a few interesting tidbits while browsing the site.

  • The site boasts of a 30% early payoff reward. You don’t get this money taken off the total you owe. That would be too easy. Instead, you get 30% off a future purchase.
  • Your payments must be auto-deducted from a checking account or credit card.
  • The return policy: You can return within 14 days minus a 15% restocking fee and shipping/handling. Unless it’s furniture, TVs over 26 inches, and multiple other excluded items. Oh, and you won’t get the refund for 6-8 weeks.

The real kicker is the tiny little disclaimer hidden among the FAQs:

The purchaser is granting Emporium a security interest in the merchandise purchased. In the event of noncompliance with the multipay terms or fraudulent use of funds, Emporium reserves the right to appear at the purchaser’s premises without prior consent or notice in order to take possession of said merchandise.

That’s right – if there is no money in your account when your auto payment is scheduled, Emporium will show up at your house and demand their stuff back.
So why in the world would anyone fall for this?

Emporium is the type of website that preys on the financially clueless. By showing the “low weekly payments” people can make, they are hoping no one will take the time to figure out how much they’re actually paying. And to be honest, ten years ago I probably would have ordered all kinds of stuff because I was so flattered to get the offer in the mail. How is that possible, you ask?

Because the card (and the site) are plastered with all the catchphrases that broke people love:

  • Low payments!
  • No interest or fees!
  • Designed for less than perfect credit!
  • Get the brands you want today!
  • Shop now, pay later!
  • An easy way to get the things you want and deserve!

Just picture it: You desperately want a flat screen TV, but you don’t have the money to buy one. Along comes this postcard, telling you that your credit doesn’t matter and you can get a TV now for this low payment and no interest! You deserve it! Hopefully my readers are smarter than that, but a lot of people aren’t. Sometimes wanting prevents us from taking the time to look over the fine print or bust out a calculator to see how much we’re really paying.

Not all companies are a snake in the grass. While I certainly advocate for saving and then buying outright, I do recognize that everyone has different needs and finds themselves in different financial situations. For these people I would recommend FlexShopper below. Obviously those with bad credit still need options, and they at least have a LARGE selection of items to choose from. Just because you can’t visit your local electronic store and buy on credit doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have similar options and competitive prices to boot.

No Cash? Bad Credit? No Problem! Shop FlexShopper now!


Now I understand the reluctance of many people to use companies that haven’t previously heard of before, so let’s not forget about The Home Shopping Network. HSN has long been a household staple of purchasing consumer items. Fortunately, they offer flex pay options along with routine deals and discounts on just about any item you can think of. Check out their options below.


About Andrea Whitmer

Andrea is a freelance web developer and mom trying to maintain a sense of humor in an otherwise chaotic world. She blogs in hopes of helping others avoid the same mistakes she made in the past. Join in the discussion here on So Over This, or connect on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Plus. You can also subscribe to new posts via RSS so you never miss out!


  1. If you have the money in your account which you should if you have a job and understand the financial obligation you signed up for, then there should be no problem using their site.

    Like any other buy now pay later company, and any company in the world… they are in existence to make money! Yes this place will charge you much more than you’d have to pay if you purchased outright BUT if you need affordable payment plans to pay for an item then they give you an option to do so.

    If I lent you something and you didn’t pay me I’d be at your house too. If you are on a quest to find a similar company without the interest rates, wake up. That’s what they do. Hell that same item you claim you can just just go buy for $150 is still marked up for retail. It was probably worth $50 wholesale anyway. We are consumers and they are ALL out to get our money. That’s their mission.

    • The only reason the stuff is priced so high is for insurance purposes. Like any company they have the right to repo their property if not payed for. That property is not yours till its payes off that’s why they say do not sell trade or pawn. Would be considered steqling. Me my mom and my dad an few friends have been going through aarons for years ya the payments add up a lot but did yoh know if you pay the item off before your end lease date for that item you only pay what the product is worth. I know cuz I’ve done if. You make payments to get you started while saving money up an when you have enough saved up even if its half way or less through your lease then pay it off an get more.

      • I’m with Kelsey. If you cannot afford something out right but can make larger monthly payments then what they ask for then why not go for it? I don’t have great credit so I can’t purchase an iPad outright or get credit through Apple’s website so a site like this would allow me to purchase one, make the same kind of payments I would at Apple and have this thing paid off in no time not owning more than it’s worth.

        • Lisa Cober says:

          They don’t give you the option to pay more per month. They take the minimum out of a checking or credit card.

      • Steven Barnes says:

        so $400 shipping costs on an envelope sized item, thats reasonable cost for insurance, or $421 shipping on a video game? Then $2,400 to ship a set of bed sheets for a C. Queen bed? All of which on items they already charge a markup between 50% to 20000% (I kid you not, had this on a set of bluetooth speakers the tried to charge 3k for a $16 speaker).

        I just figured that since they qualify it as a “shipping cost” they get to submit it cheaper on their tax reports that way. I mean, $2,400, that’s literally the cost to ship a FedEx Freight from Saginaw Michigan to Denver, CO. Something I know from personal experience.

        Go on, add this to your cart Emporium!!!
        Or try shopping for some $500 a plate flatware!!

    • I agree 100%. It”s like taking out a loan to purchase a home..duh?! This blogpost to way too biased and is too one sided.

  2. how long does it typically take for merchandise to be delivered

  3. Suzanne says:

    Does anyone have a phone number that actually works

    • Please let me know if u find one that works

    • Christina Long says:

      In an email I received the phone # is 855 245-3510.

      You do get 10% off on your first order so check your email before ordering. Also if you don’t get approved it’s because you have to gross 1,500 a month and have a checking account. Just a response to another comment. ⤵

  4. I tried to apply and they denied me. When they say no credit needed. All credit accepted. I saw there website and to my belief they overcharge on their merchandise.

  5. Juan sanchez says:

    Is this paid weekly or monthly like for a playstation 4 for example

  6. If you buy something with a credit card, you pay interest. Maybe its just me but that is basically the same thing. Unless you have cash to pay outright you are paying the same as if using a credit card. And, its paid for in a year or sooner, if, again, you pay cash. I dont this place a rip off at all. Actually, they are much lower than a rent a center or aarons.

  7. so based on my experience with the company, besides the fact that the repayment method is ridiculous; two weeks after the first payment has been taken out of my account, i still don’t have any merchandise, no tracking number, and nothing that is saying that the merchandise has even been sent.. as a matter of fact, many representatives has said that they are not going to send it.. i definitely would not recommend using them in any circumstance..

  8. Thankfully says:

    I bought my girlfriend a diamond ring from there. I was approved and they took the first payment and the second payment before I got the ring and I didn’t even think they were going to send it. Because when I looked at my order history it never showed up. But we did get it. And it was beautiful.

  9. I agree with the blogger on this. The store may not be a genuine “scam” since they apparently do send the merchandise. But they are preying on the financial naivety of some consumers. They’re selling luxury items. If you want a $140 camera, and can afford to pay $28/week, you can have it outright by waiting 5 weeks and paying cash. At $41/week, that $500 ipad is yours outright in 3 months if you save on your own. As for getting a credit card, there are ways for people with poor credit scores to do that too. Open a savings account at a credit union. It doesn’t have to be huge, a couple hundred dollars will do. Then get a low limit credit card (e.g. $250 limit) from that bank. You won’t have a ton of credit to play with, but making small purchases and paying on time will improve your credit. Rent-to-own and buy-now-pay-later has a place in our economy. But people with limited income and poor credit often do more damage to themselves with these options.

  10. I placed my order on August 25th, I made a down payment of 27.93 on all my stuff. Here it Sept 7th and my account still says pending. I have called 4 different times in the past two weeks and get a different story every time. The first time I called they stated they were waiting on me to fill out a docusign to approve my checking account to have automatic withdrawals from it. I was transferred to there so called credit department where they told me that I would get an email in 24 to 48 hours with the form and to fill it out and send it back.. I got nothing in those days so I called three days later and was told that I don’t have to do the form that when I filled out my information initially and that my deposit was taken from my account already I was all set. I called again two hours later because of the wrong information I was given in the past and asked if that was true and they said it was true and that I should get my stuff in 7 to 10 business days…(That Was Yesterday) Today I received an email with the docusign for ACH withdrawal that I had to fill out. SO i did and then called the company back and they said the same thing that I should get my stuff in 7 to 10 business days from yesterday and she transferred me to the shipping department which led me to a voicemail and then I couldn’t leave one. SO I got on and clicked on live chat and asked them for the shipping number and the person who responded could not spell anything right and made me feel sketchy about there business. She told me that they don’t have access to that information and were unable to provide that to me. I will keep everyone posted on whether or not I get my stuff.

  11. is the same company as they screwed me big time and then out of business. I can’t believe they are using another name trying to sell me their shit again!! crooks.

  12. This company is a scam, I cancelled a day after placing a order and they still keep trying to take money out my account every week or so. I keep getting the runaround from customer service. The number they keep giving me for billing is a non-working number. Buyers beware, not worth the hassle later.Save to buy what you need.

  13. i payed the down payment and never got the stuff…..and no one can tell me when it will come out can i stop payment on the ach at the bank

  14. I ordered stuff from them on the 17th of this month! They told me something about my bank and the ACH and its been already 7 days….. Then sent me an email saying Your current EMPORIUM account is now available to view online at
    Anyone can reply??? Saying they received there items.

  15. David Bailey says:

    Well emporium gave me a thousand dollars credit and I ordered the first account didn’t verify th as t is what they said. I used my second account fill out an ahc giving them permission to auto withdraw and now they have taken there down payment and first payment and late fee and still have shipped my order yet….. THANKS DAVID

  16. shaquasia hines says:

    I ordered a apple iphone on June 25, 2016 i never received the order they have been taken money out of my account the last few months i called maybe over 100 times to have this cancel they told me it takes a week for the account to be cancel and a refund will be refunded in 2 weeks by check why should i wait to weeks for a check i didn’t send them no check my money should be refunded to my account this is the worst company ever i spoke with different reps who lied to me this transfer me over to a non working number they told me no supervisors are available i just wanna cancel and get my refund than on top of that they sent me a text saying my account is pass due…

  17. TJ Johnson says:

    I agree that this type of credit arrangement has the potential to cause more harm than good. With that said, I wouldn’t put them in the same category as rent a center. You will often pay as much as 3 times the merchandise value with them. That doesn’t seem to be the case with these folks. I also noticed that they offer 90 day to 12 months same as cash. One last thing, please don’t use HSN as an alternative. Yes they offer discounts but their cash price is usually 2 to 3 times that of any other decent online retailer…that’s crazy even with flex pay.

  18. TJ Johnson says:

    Oh yes, you lose credibility when on the one hand you demonize (even though they deserve it) a company for their predatory lending practices while at the same time recommending a company with an almost identical business model. You recommended flexshopper as an alternative to In doing this it’s reasonable to think that they offer a similar service for the credit challenged but at more favorable terms. Out of curiosity I checked out their site only to find that rather than offering 6-8 week leases like emporium, customers are locked into a 52 week lease. Flexshopper is also a lease, so just like Emporium consumers don’t own the merchandise until the lease ends or the borrower takes advantage of the early buyout. As a blogger I’m sure you’re paid when people click on a vendor’s site and make a purchase. Writing an article shaming the predatory lending practices of one company while advertising for a company with the same practices IN THE ARTICLE is shady at best; hypocritical at worst. I have been receiving emails from emporium and decided to check them out. Thankfully I’m not credit challenged but that doesn’t mean I like the idea of others who are being taken advantage of. I was in total agreement with your article until I checked the company you recommend as an alternative and thought it would be prudent to let others know that flexshopper is no better than emporium.

  19. i cancelled my order and did get the run around for a few days on the cancellation but low and behold they sent me a check for my refund about a week later. . whether it clears or not is another story. lol stay tuned.

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