I feel pretty foolish for allowing this scam to happen to me but my only hope in sharing my story is that others aren't conned into doing business with the likes of Distribustore, LLC, Lane Boland or Will Robbins. I'm told they go by other business namessuch as http://checkstandprogram.com/ and http://distribustore.com
Basically, I received a really smooth and friendly sounding email out of the blue from a lady (I won't mention her name because I don't even know if she really exists or is a pseudonym for one of Lane Boland's boiler room crew). The email consisted of only a couple of short paragraphs and eluded that her company, www.distribustore.com, could have my product placed on the shelves of Walgreens as well as 2,000 convenience stores nationwide.
I reluctantly replied to the 1st email and was initially comforted by the reply I received in return that detailed how Distribustore's "program" worked. It stated that I would basically need to pay a $10.00 fee in order to have my skin care product placed in 300-500 convenience store locations as part of a test before performing a national rollout.
The email went on to request that I reply to schedule a call with the sender. I foolishly complied. I was then directed to call in to a conference call line on a predetermined date and time.
However, when I called, I was met by a man claiming to be from England who proceeded to prescreen me to see if I qualified for the Distribustore program.
Silly me, I felt so relieved when I was accepted into the program. Apparently, anyone who is willing to write a check is accepted into their program.
Then there was the 3rd call that was scheduled to take place with an apparent sales manager named Chris Simeral. That guy came across as a total clod and sounded like he might have even been drinking prior to our call.
Chris Simeral further screened me for my ability to pay and then once again congradulated me for making it into their program.
Then came the call with Lane Boland. This guy was polished and came across as a slick salesman. He seemed to have an answer to all of my questions. Come to find out, the answers he provided to me were not factual.
For example, Mr. Boland stated that I would be the only product that Distribustore would represent within my product category. During our nearly one hour phone call, Lane Boland assured me of complete representation for my product and that his sales team had personal relationships with district managers within the Walgreens corporate realm.
After gaining my confidence, lane boland mentioned his partner's name, Will Robbins, multiple times during our conversation. He stated that Will Robbins had a personal relationship with a huge national distributor.
I was then directed to send approximately $10,000 of my product as well as a hefty check to cover a set up charge to them in order to initiate the placement of my products in the stores of my choice.
Unbeknownst to me, they had already secured a similar arrangement with a product owner trying to sell a product very near to mine. I was told that my product didn't sell enough during their test period and that I would need to pay more money if I wanted to run further testing.
All of this happened in a calculated manner with many promises being made along the way. Unfortunately, as a result of working with Lane Boland and Distribustore, LLC I have lost not only nearly $10,000 worth of my product that I had to take out a loan to deliver but also the additional monies that I paid to be a part of the Distribustore "program".
Any product owners reading this, please be VERY CAREFUL if you are considering working with the likes of Lane Boland, Will Robbins, Distribustore, or any of their aliases.
And please consider sharing this information with your facebook friends, professional organizations or anyone else that may benefit from my unfortunate experience.
I also hired a online background research company to look into Distribustore's dealings. Contrary to what I was told by lane Boland, their sales team apparently has no established relationship with store owners or managers. The documentation revealed many discrepancies in their described program while one document in particular contained profane language outlining their entire sales program.
I also discovered that distribustore.com was only created on 12/15/2012 as reflected below by doing a whois.com domain search.
Registration Service Provided By: LAUNCHPAD.COM, INC.
Domain Name: DISTRIBUSTORE.COM
Registration Date: 15-Dec-2012
Expiration Date: 15-Dec-2013
Review about: Company Policy.