All they wanted was cheaper milk powder and diapers.
Instead, a group of mothers who bought baby items online have ended up with more distress than they had bargained for.
At least 31 users of mother and baby Facebook forums, such as Preloved Baby Goods and Lovey, have complained about one "Gan Sy", who also goes by the name Gan Siyee, who sells baby products.
They said she failed to deliver the goods in most cases, and was slow in giving refunds.
At least 23 mothers got their money back, but told The Straits Times they wanted nevertheless to warn people against such sales practices. At least six police reports have been lodged against Gan Sy and police are looking into the matter, The Straits Times understands.
Gan Sy, who claims to be a mother, previously operated on Facebook forums such as BEC, said housewife Jasmine Ling, 32.
Gan Sy would offer milk powder and diapers at attractive discounts, throwing in free gifts to sweeten the deal, said mothers interviewed. And after the money was received, deliveries would be delayed for weeks.
Said Ms Teresa Ng, 29, a beauty adviser: "She gives lots of excuses. She says her kid is sick, or milk powder tins would rust if she delivers them on a rainy day."
She waited three weeks before getting her $240 refund last September, and only after she threatened to go to the police.
"She said she would deliver to me, but all along she didn't ask for my address," Ms Ng said.
"When I offered to collect my goods, she ignored me," said the mother, echoing the experience of at least four others.
Negative comments posted by mothers on Gan Sy's Facebook page earlier this year were deleted. Last Wednesday, Gan Sy apologised and asked for time to give refunds. She did not respond to The Straits Times' queries.
Mothers suspect that she uses other names on other online sales sites.
When contacted, the Consumers Association of Singapore advised consumers to verify the identity of online sellers and get their working addresses.
Mother-of-two Suriana Rabu, 29, who had to bug Gan Sy for a $1,600 refund, is now more cautious.
"I pay only when I get my goods."
This article was first published on May 26, 2014.
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