At Cote Media, we spend a lot of time on Facebook. No, really, A LOT, as in 40 hours a week!  We see all your cat videos, all the trending topics (some more newsworthy than others), and all the ads on the side module.  Some of said ads can be very enticing for the season, especially when they are inexpensive hoodies! It was such a love-at-first-“site” that began this catfish-like experience.

A couple days ago, our senior content writer, Jes, clicked on a Facebook ad for Rose Gal. The site makes a big deal about free international shipping, and the deals are everywhere! With the cold season hitting harder every day, she browsed and browsed until she found a couple hoodies for $25, (  At checkout, the shipping details explain that free shipping means waiting anywhere from 10 – 35 days for the products.  It’ll make a nice holiday present to herself! (35 days to Christmas!)

Today, there’s an ad on her Facebook for stylish, inexpensive winter coats from Dress Lily.  Being social media savvy, it’s no surprise that Facebook put the ad on her page since the styles are similar to that of Rose Gal… hold on, the merchandise is exactly the same! (

It’s like when you start chatting with someone online because you like their pictures, you enjoy your online chats, but then you see their profile picture under another name! Now suspicions were high so we did a Google search. Turns out, a lot of strictly-online merchandisers get their products from the same warehouse. Does same merch, mean same services?  Is one better than the other in means of showing up on time or complimenting you in all the right ways?

From what we read in each review, they’re all the same.  Our online-dating life story!  There were a decent amount of positive reviews, but are they real? The retailers defended themselves, and offered to resolve all negative experiences! ( Just like when our girlfriends warn us of our crush’s shady past, we weren’t yet sold (even though Jes had already paid)!

Nev and Max have taught us that video chats are way more reliable than text so our next stop: YouTube!  We watched multiple reviews; some sponsored by the retailers, but the reviewers were very honest.  The common result, when the retailer delivers, it doesn’t usually meet shoppers’ expectations; how many Catfish meet ups do?  (Watch a recent, honest review here > We’d read so many reviews about the long wait (sometimes month with no word), so the excitement was in the fact that the orders arrived!

Jes put in her order last Thursday and, within 24 hours, was notified that the order is on its way!  We’re keeping our expectations low, hoping to be pleasantly surprised. Will her order arrive by the time the New Year ball drops?  Will it be everything she expected?  Or will she be left out in the cold?

Tell us about your most successful and most bizarre online shopping encounters!