Thomas Petrou, who manages the influencers who are a part of the TikTok creator collective known as the Hype House, has been advertising a chain that fans can get for free.
The catch? The shipping fee on the necklace is nearly $20.
The chains are for sale on the Hype House merchandise website, which says they are worth $100, so the fact they are being offered for free means you would “save 100%.”
“Only 1 free chain per order,” the website reads. “If you want multiple free chains, make multiple orders.”
The surprising cost of shipping has fans upset. Critics consider it to be a scam because they are tempting young fans with the promise of a “free” item only to find that they have to shell out $20.
“This is the Free + shipping scheme where the product costs wholesale @ $1.50 and they charge for it in the shipping SO IT NOT FREE,” YouTuber Vice Versa tweeted. “Oldest [e-commerce] game in the book.”
“Ah yes the old ‘crossed out $100’ value necklace that’s only like $5 quality for ‘free’ but $20 shipping,” another Twitter user wrote. “That’s like the oldest trick in the book, they should feel ashamed, especially cause their fans are really young naive kids who don’t know better then to fall for this crap.”
Controversial YouTuber Jake Paul found himself in a similar situation last September when he said he was giving away free necklaces, then charged $14 for shipping.
He also said that each person who bought the chain would have the chance to meet him, but according to Insider, the vlog was deleted without explanation and never mentioned again.
What the influencers choose to charge for their merchandise is, of course, subjective. Hype House members are welcome to sell necklaces for $20, $100 or $500, and fans have the option to avoid items they believe are overpriced.
The trouble is that many of their millions of fans are young and not yet aware of what makes an offer too good to be true. Hopefully both sides of any transaction will learn a lesson from this.
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