Given that there have been a significant number of scam ecommerce sites with extremely polished and realistic schemes I feel that it is important to help those who are shopping for mining hardware to understand the clues that allow you to differentiate between a scam and a legitimate business.
TECHNOLOGY SO GOOD YOU WANT TO BELIEVE IT'S REAL
One notable scam I've seen in recent memory offered highly implausible machines that claimed to exceed the speeds of current generation hardware in addition to being able to mine multiple algorithms. These companies used press release services to "publish" their "news" so that it would appear on other websites and seem editorialized as well as videos with real people reading scripts describing their technology. This is literally "fake news." If the technology sounds too good to be true then you are falling for a scam targeted at noobs.
ANONYMOUS DOMAIN REGISTRAR 1337 LLC IN NEVIS
Another tell-tale sign is looking up the "whois" for a domain. Many of these websites use a company called Njalla that provides anonymous domain registration services out of Nevis. The fact that this entity is called 1337 LLC should immediately concern you if you're familiar with hacker lingo. The fact that the founder of Pirate Bay created this company should make you wonder why any legitimate business would choose this registrar unless they were extremely concerned about concealing their identity. Let's just say if you give any business money registering its domain with 1337 LLC it is gone forever.
SUBTLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A REAL AND A FAKE COMPANY
Another thing you can learn from the "whois" is when a domain was registered. If it hasn't been registered for very long and looks extremely polished then you could be dealing with sophisticated scammers who have done this before. If it's been up for a while then at least you know someone is paying the bill and you should be able to search for forum complaints by others.
A real company usually registers their "DBA" (at least in America). This allows you to identify the parent entity and how the business is organized. While you can't be 100% sure that a business is legitimate (or even local) this way, it is a clue that the owners are concerned enough about liability to setup a real business entity registered with the state they are operating in.
THE BEST PRICES AND 'CRYPTO ONLY' PAYMENT
A pretty telltale sign of scam sites I've seen recently has been incredible pricing and incredible availability. When everyone else is sold out and selling at a premium this site is advertising deals and in-stock availability. Naturally, if you don't have anything to sell you can charge the best prices. If a business is trying to make money then it needs to charge enough to make a profit and make it worth the risk of a loss. If you pay with crypto and don't use escrow you have no way of getting your coins back if the seller fails to fulfill the order. If they accept credit card then there is more equal exposure to risk. Only use crypto payments if you are dealing with a seller who has an established reputation that has been verified by someone you know or trust isn't another scammer. Frequently, scam websites place people on forums to vouch for them. Notably these people only have a few posts to their name and it should be obvious they are perpetuating a sophisticated scam.
HOW WE COMPARE
We only sell Bitmain ASIC miners (and perhaps soon GPU mining gear). No one else has yet to prove themselves reliable or technologically superior. If you're not sure why something is more expensive than something else please ask us questions. Our prices allow us to spend some time to provide helpful advice. The last thing you should do with mining is try to find the best price on something you don't understand.
Our domain registrar is GoDaddy, and while our registration is anonymous for spam prevention purposes, we are readily found on the Utah DBA lookup website under Avalanche Effect LLC DBA Bitcurious. Our website is hosted by uKit, which is a Russian company with servers in Russia. I can see how this comes across as a red flag, but this wasn't something we thought about when we chose our site vendor, and if you search around you will realize that uKit offers website services to people all across the world.
Our business Bitcurious is new, but we have been operating businesses in Utah for 8 years and have an established reputation as business owners. Our goal is to continue offering great service to our customers in this new venture.
While we accept crypto payments, we also accept credit card and local payment/delivery. So if you prefer to send money to someone in the Salt Lake City area via Western Union and have us deliver the product to them for shipment we can coordinate that. We would never ask someone who is new to cryptocurrencies to try and figure out how to buy crypto just to purchase a product.
If you have any other questions you can contact us by phone, chat, or email. We also try to keep our hours open and flexible so those in different parts of the world can reach us during their normal hours.