Purse.io is now closed

Years ago I wrote enthusiastic reviews about Purse.io, but then I did not continue anymore. Why? The reason is probably the same about why right now it’s going out of business.

I did my first order with them in november 2014, and it was almost perfect, but then I stopped using them, because the fill rate was low: not too many buyers willing to lose 15-20% of value to get bitcoins. I then tried again years later, in 2016.

I immediately felt that something was wrong. If in 2014 I had to choose a low discount in order to have my order filled, in 2016 buyers were accepting ANY discount. Just for fun, I setup an order for a vacuum cleaner with 40% discount, thinking “anyway nobody is going to buy it”, but it was filled immediately. Somebody was happy to pay $200 to get $120 in bitcoins. Weird, right?

In the next days, another order with a cheap book was filled, with steep discount.

Watching the receipts in the packages, I noticed that something was off. The buyer was the same, but the Amazon account was different. One was sent from Amazon France, as a gift from a guy with a French name, another one was sent from Amazon Italy, as a gift from a guy with an Italian name. Both shipped with overnight shipping!

This immediately rang an alarm in my head! I contacted Purse support:

But nothing was wrong to them. The buyer replied with an excuse like “I got an amazon.fr gift card so I setup an account there to use it”, and got away with that.

So, in september 2016 I stopped using them again. Later, in beginning of 2017, they send me an email, stating that now the security is much more improved, and they not only rely on Amazon security checks, but also they check their buyers.

Now, if you think about Amazon security… if you buy something with Prime overnight shipping at, for example, 6 pm, it will get delivered the next day, in the morning. There’s simply no time for them to cancel the order if the card owner or account owner disputes the charge! And when you add a new card? I don’t know about Amazon.com, but on my local Amazon they just ask the front digits, expiration, and that’s it! No CVV2, no charge code confirmation, no OTP code.

If a scammer got hold of some Amazon credentials, he could login, add a new address, send something there, and the original account owner will notice something wrong several days after delivery!

For some reason I believed their new security, as they stated to have acquired a leading fraud prevention technology, so in march 2017 I ordered a movie in DVD.

Everything looked fine.

Then, a few months later, the Vacuum cleaner I bought the year before, it broke. I contacted Amazon support for replace it, but I couldn’t! Because they got a chargeback for that, the account was frozen.

I couldn’t trust Purse.io anymore, and I stopped using it. Maybe on Amazon.com it was safer to use, because there are many people that get paid with Amazon.com coupons after doing Mechanical Turk tasks. So I thought that this was over. It wasn’t. June 2017. Local police come to my address investigating my latest Purse.io order.

I showed them all my Purse.io emails, how they let me believe that it was 100% legitimate and that I did the purchase in good faith. I had to go to the Carabinieri office to release an official statement, I was questioned for around an hour.

Some months later, Purse.io announced that only Amazon.com order would be accepted, removing support for other regional sites.