It seemed such an obvious thing to do. I get the occasional request for tea samples, so to speed things up I created a form to capture details of the request and to save having to go back to the person to get their address details.
One of the risks of offering free samples is that it attracts those who are not particulary interested in tea, but in having something for free.
There is a cost to sending samples, in both time and postage, which is why I stipulated that I would only send to UK addresses.
All was well until last week, when I got a request from Russia. I was going to send a polite refusal, but then came another, then another, then another. Then from Ukraine too. Clearly those making the request assumed an idiot would be reading their emails and that by giving a Russian street name, with London as the city, but with a non-London postcode, I would be fooled into thinking they really are a UK resident.
Perhaps I'm being unfair to a whole new legion of Slavic tea fans? Perhaps, but when requesting a tea, it would be better to have given the actual tea on my site, not a category name and not to have requested to be sent tea bags of teas that I only sell loose.
I'll be naming and shaming some of my spammers shortly, if only to warn other online traders of those who seek to waste their time.