One TikToker discovered the hard way that what’s on the box doesn’t necessarily match up with what’s inside.
TikToker Sophia Inza (@sophia.inza) was looking to spread a little Christmas cheer with her inflatable lawn decoration, newly purchased from Home Depot. But when she opened her box she was in for a Grinch-y holiday surprise.
Inza talked about her experience in a video posted to her TikTok account on Thursday. In the video, which has 500,500 views and counting, Inza shows how her inflatable snowman was replaced by an array of other items in a likely occurrence of return fraud.
The video, captioned “Shameful, honestly,” shows Inza’s car in the parking lot of Home Depot. The screen text reads, “I spent $100 on a Christmas inflatable and I didn’t take an inflatable home.”
“You’re not going to believe what I found inside,” Inza says as she pans her camera toward the giant-sized inflatable snowman container.
“Somebody has taken out the inflatable and replaced it with this bottle,” she says, displaying a large bottle of Mobil 1 motor oil. The box also contained an unidentified metal part “and a string of Christmas lights.”
Thankfully, Home Depot allowed her to return the box and its dubious contents for a replacement decoration which she proudly displayed in a follow-up video.
Inza says they performed the return “No questions asked. They said it’s so common. It’s crazy to me!”
shameful, honestly.♬ original sound – sophia inza
According to Home Depot’s return policy, “Returns made without a valid sales receipt may be refunded as a Store Credit at the lowest advertised price.” This means the chain is often the target of return fraud with scam artists returning boxes filled with items other than what is displayed on the box.
One man perpetrated a return scam using expensive doors that bilked the company out of “nearly $300,000 in fraudulent Home Depot credit” before he was caught in 2022, as reported by the Portland Press Herald.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Home Depot via email for a statement.
In response to the video, many viewers recalled similar experiences. Raydean Chadwell (@raydizzle19) confessed, “This happened to us at Home Depot with flooring! Someone returned a box of all cut flooring pieces.”
Another viewer wrote, “It happens everywhere! Once received an old car stereo in a drill box, bricks in a box for multi power tools set. Happens so often.”
A former Home Depot worker also recalled an experience with bricks being subbed for a product. “I used to work at Home Depot and one time someone returned a push mower and the box was just full of bricks,” they wrote.
“This happens often there … always check your boxes in the car … especially when you buy tools with batteries,” another viewer warned.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Inza via email for further comment.