From 2019 to 2021, American homeowners spent an estimated $624 billion on do-it-yourself home improvement projects, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey.
Many DIY projects require big purchases, such as expensive power tools.
VERIFY viewer Nate recently sent us Facebook posts that advertise huge sales for power tools that typically cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. He asked if they were legit sales.
One post advertises a 32-piece DEWALT set for $29.99; another advertises a 24-piece set for $39.99. Other Facebook posts show entire Milwaukee Tool pallets on sale for more than 90% off retail, including shipping.
Are power tool liquidation sale posts on Facebook legit?
No, power tool liquidation sale posts on Facebook aren’t legit. They’re scams.
WHAT WE FOUND
Both DEWALT and Milwaukee Tool have issued statements on their websites warning shoppers to watch out for these scams.
“We have recently become aware of scam websites posing as the official DEWALT account or as legitimate sales platform for DEWALT products. These websites have also been advertising on a number of social media networks, such as Facebook, offering DEWALT products at prices that are too good to be true,” the DEWALT website says.
The scam websites are trying to get your credit card information or trick consumers into a non-refundable payment, DEWALT says.
Milwaukee Tool and DEWALT both sell their products through authorized retailers, whether they are smaller mom-and-pop stores or big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement.
According to Home Depot’s website, as of March 2, a 10-piece DEWALT combo tool set cost $649.00. A 7-piece set featuring a different set of tools at Lowe’s Home Improvement is also $649.00. It’s roughly the same price for Milwaukee Tool combo sets at Home Depot. VERIFY found no bulk tool sets for sale from authorized sellers for the prices similar to the scam posts.
You can find a list of DEWALT authorized dealers here and Milwaukee Tool authorized dealers here.
The Better Business Bureau says Facebook scams in local buy-and-sell groups are on the rise. The BBB recommends some tips before buying into sales you spot on Facebook, including:
- Look at the post, profile and website closely
- Do a reverse image search
The VERIFY team used these BBB tips to independently investigate these posts. Here is what we found.
We looked at the post, profile and website advertising a DEWALT tool sale
This Facebook post from Bulletevent.shop advertised a 24-set DEWALT combo set for $39.99. When VERIFY looked more closely at the Facebook post, the word CLEARANCE is spelled incorrectly. First red flag.
When we looked at the Facebook page for Bulletevent.shop, it appears to be a clothing brand with only 10 followers. Second red flag.
Then, we went to the website shared from the Facebook post. That led us to a poorly crafted website that wasn’t complete. The homepage of the website still featured template text like “insert caption here.” Third red flag.
More from VERIFY: 3 ways to avoid clicking on malicious links
We did a reverse image search of posts claiming to show tool sales
VERIFY conducted a reverse image search of this Facebook post advertising a sale on full pallets of Milwaukee Tools and this post offering a DEWALT combo set. Both results led to websites that are not authorized retailers of the tools. For example, some results led to Russian sites and others led to what appears to be a Chinese-owned retail site.
Many of the same tools seen on the Home Depot and Lowe’s websites are seen in the images shared in the scam Facebook posts advertising the cheap tools.
This is further proof the images seen in the Facebook posts are likely lifted from official retailers with the goal of scamming the consumer.
The reverse image searches also revealed the same image being used by different “sellers.” This is another example of a scam tactic.
You can report a fraudulent seller to Milwaukee Tool and DEWALT by filling out a form on their websites, and the distributors will investigate further. The companies also encourage consumers to inform their financial institution as soon as possible if a purchase from a fraudulent site was made.