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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

BLUE MARBLE PRODUCTS, LLC ROLLS ON Part 2 Of An Exclusive Investigation

Shortly after Part 1 (Blue Marble Products Rolls Downhill...And Ends Up In Federal Court) was published yesterday, the previously-scheduled January 22 Pryze.com cryptocurrency token sale was put on hold and pushed back another week. (The domain name, pryze.com, was registered in Panama, and the PRYZ token sale documents reveal the upcoming sale was registered offshore in Gibraltar as “Pryz Limited”.)

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and notorious tax haven on Spain's south coast.

According to official State of California business records, Pryze CEO/founder Peter Franklin (left) is the CEO/President of Blue Marble Products, LLC.

But, unlike Pryze, Blue Marble has no social media footprint (for example, Insta, Twitter, Facebook) and neither do any of the 90 sites I've directly linked to Blue Marble.

Kind of odd, don't you think?


If you’d read the gushing press about Pryze.com’s CEO Peter Franklin, you’d be forgiven for thinking Franklin was Silicon Valley’s answer to Flavor Flav—the greatest hype man in the (tech) business. 

But after yesterday’s abrupt cancellation of Pryze.com’s “PRYZ Token Sale”, rescheduled from January 22 to January 29 at 6:00pm EST, it’s time to take a closer look at Franklin and heed the words of Flav’s song for hip hop’s Public Enemy: don’t believe the hype.

As revealed in Part 1 of this exclusive series, San Francisco-based Blue Marble Products, LLC currently operates at least 90 ecommerce sites that 'scrape' data (product pictures, listing information, etc.) primarily from Amazon, Amazon Handmade, Etsy and AliExpress, lifting that data from those sellers without any permission. 

Those items are then illegally listed on the company's various websites, frequently with grossly inflated prices and often with the original watermarked photos. 

For example, check out this action figure listed for sale on Blue Marble's hobbychimp.com for $410.00:

Now look (closely) at the exact item listed for less than half the price on Amazon:

Back in March 2017, one wag noticed that Hobby Chimp's site lacked the rudimentary e-commerce functionality required to determine inventory or quantity of an item, stating in a Facebook post regarding a potential purchase of 90 overpriced toy trucks: 

“Almost ready to check out. Anyone got a credit card I can borrow?”

And check out another Blue Marble site, "homesafetycare.com". 

Its benign, almost bland, logo portrays a beneficent and neighborly aura.

And that brand image is reinforced on the site's 'About Us' page:

“Home Safety Care is dedicated to providing our customers with the best price in household supplies and health products. 

As an industry leader we are able to get the best wholesale prices and pass those savings onto our customers. 

We believe visiting your health corner store should be as easy as shopping online, which is why we work diligently to select the best brands and products for your child. We have everything you need from prescription contact lenses to household supplies.” 

Does everything you need for your child really include (ahem!) oral sex mints?

On a site that purports to sell the “best brands and products”?

And yet, here they are: a selection of the 17 listings that appear after a product search on Home Safety Care

And the craziest thing is that Blue Marble leaves the original listing (faked to make it appear the product is sold out) from Pipedream Products, the producer of Comfortably Numb (I don't name them, I just report them) right next to its own Home Safety Care listing, and with a price that's 350 percent higher than Pipedream's!
Talk about price engorging--I mean, price gouging.

And here's another Blue Marble-run site that offers oral sex mints: Fresh Bites Basket. Sometimes this stuff just writes itself.

(NOTE: Amazon, through its Media Relations office, declined to comment for this story, and Michelle Dunn, a San Jose attorney currently representing Blue Marble Products, LLC, Casey Donahue and Ian Donahue in a patent infringement suit filed by International Fruit Genetics, LLC on May 19, 2017, did not respond to my request for comment and clarification.)

More coming Friday.

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