Protect Yourself when Shopping for a Traveler’s Notebook Cover

I belong to twelve different Traveler Notebook related Facebook groups and run an additional one.  Recently there has been a rash of consumers of fauxdori covers being scammed and taken advantage of.  Many of these victims were new users of the traveler notebook. There are probably hundreds of fauxdori vendors on Etsy, and the internet in general, selling20150226_115218 their wares.  There is a much smaller number of craftsmen and craftswomen who create ‘artisanal’ covers – reputable dealers who provide prompt communication, clear ordering instructions, and have a proven track record of sales and satisfied customers.

So what do you do if you are new to the world of TN’s and are overwhelmed by the choices of vendors?  There are a few things you can do ahead of time to lessen the chance that you will be disappointed in the end.

1.  Join Facebook groups related to the TN world.  Often consumers first become aware of an active scam on there when someone posts their negative experience…and others then validate they had the same experience.  The largest groups are: Traveler’s Notebook Forum, Lady Falcon’s Traveler’s Notebooks, Midori Traveler’s Notebook Resources, and the newest addition – Planner Swap Feedback – specifically created to provide a space for buyers to provide feedback on various vendors.   My group is Inserts, Inserts, Inserts – however it doesn’t specifically provide scam info regarding vendors of covers.  Note that all these groups are closed groups so you must join in order to see posts and information.

2.  If you are going to buy a cover off Etsy check these things:  How new is the shop?  Is there information about the shop owner?  How many buyer reviews are there and are they positive?  How new are the buyer reviews?  Have you asked on the various Facebook groups if anyone has dealt with the vendor you are interested in?  When planning your cover, is the shop owner responsive and communicative?  What is the refund policy?  (Custom covers are not normally refunded if you are dissatisfied – especially if you pre-approved the design).

3.  Always pay through PayPal or a credit card as there are dispute processes if you feel something shady is going on or you are being scammed.  Your purchase is protected with these payment methods.

Covers cost anywhere between $20 and up….the upper end being well over $100.  Covers are an investment that those of us in the TN world hope will be well made and stand up to years of service.  TN fans become emotionally attached to their covers.  It pays to take the time to do your research, study and understand what you want, what you are going to use it for, what kind of wear and tear it will get, what material you want it made of, and what size it will be.  The more front end research you do before investing, the happier you will be when that new cover is finally in your hands.

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