I first learned about Galton Voysey from a recent Consumerist article claiming they are simply producing premium or luxury products primarily for use on DealDash.com.
The article goes on to describe a lawsuit accusing DealDash.com of the following:
- The lawsuit claims that expensive, supposedly high-end products, produced by Galton Voysey, auctioned off on DealDash are not what they seem.
- Several of these brands, such as Bolvaint, Kamikoto, Aava, appear to only be available on DealDash, the brand’s website or on Amazon directly from the brand.
- Most of the brands’ websites are registered in the same way to hide their actual ownership.
- Trademark applications for these brands lists DealDash founder William Wolfram as the chairman of Galton Voysey, the company registering the marks.
- The plaintiff alleges this is all a ruse to sell auction bids for overpriced products supplied by DealDash’s founder
Galton Voysey Background
According to their website:
Galton Voysey is a platform for building, buying and developing consumer product brands. We are home to 28 iconic brands that we have developed or acquired, and extend our professional expertise to a portfolio of global brands. We believe it makes more sense to test early to validate ideas that work and ones that don’t. This gives our operation and design teams a way to experiment with something tangible, gain experience in the process and reapply their learnings in the next iteration. With a proven network of over 140 factories, Galton Voysey builds brands across a broad range of consumer, lifestyle and home goods segments across Europe, US and the world.
Sounds like a normal private company developing and selling private label goods online leveraging manufacturing resources in the Asia-Pacific region with a startup mentality.
However, what is interesting is the background and the involvement of William Wolfram, the owner of DealDash.com and principle investor of Galton Voysey according to InsideRetail Hong Kong:
As it marks its third anniversary, Hong Kong-headquartered online luxury goods retailer Galton Voysey is recruiting more staff and expanding its presence in Mainland China.
Galton Voysey was founded by 28-year-old French woman Marine Aubrée Antikainen and its biggest investor is William Wolfram, 24, who believed the biggest brands of the next 50 years have not yet been built…
…Galton Voysey believes it is disrupting the global luxury goods market with new and fresh thinking, in many cases helping brands go direct from factory to consumer through their own brand websites.
According to LinkedIn, Marine Antikainen is listed as a co-founder while William Wolfram is both chairman and investor of Galton Voysey. Oddly enough, William Wolfram is not listed on the website and the majority of Galton’s partners are mostly law firms. These are the other companies listed as partners
- The Loft Studio, – The Loft Studio does not cite Galton Voysey or its brands as clients. However, it is likely this company produced the photos seen on the company website and for its brands under NDAs.
- Vistra – Vistra is a company providing “tailored trust, fiduciary, fund and corporate services”. It is likely they are supporting Galton with various offshore financing and related services.
- A private investigation company with a magnifying glass and letters “AI” as its brand logo.
The rest of the website is somewhat vague on their actual work aside from a sizzle reel about the office culture and a press release announcing the company’s third year of existence.
Galton Voysey Brands & DealDash.com
According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Galton Voysey filed trademarks for its brands: Schultz, Wilson & Miller, Verdict, New Haven, The Barrel Shack, Kamikoto in 2016. However, Galton brands such as Bolvaint was trademarked by IPIF Limited, which was formed last July, while brands such as Ashlynn Avenue, Aava, Cate & Chloe, Bardenshire do not appear to have any trademarks.
According to TINA.org:
DealDash.com positively describes and endorses products that are auctioned on its
website. Some of these products are sold by companies that DealDash founder William Wolfram is the Chairman of, a fact that is not disclosed to consumers in any DealDash marketing materials. For example, during any 24-hour period, at least 40% of DealDash auctions are for products made and sold by:
There is a clear conflict of interest when a major investor and chairman of Galton Voysey is also selling the company’s brands on DealDash.com, which is also owned by the same person. It is even more questionable when this strong connection is not disclosed to the public.
The Brands Examined
While the brands appear to have quality products when examined at face value, things are not what they seem. Galton Voysey’s marketing team and growth hackers have done a great job promoting these brands with a combination of paid Facebook likes, reviews by vloggers and blogs that are either paid or provided based on free products, compelling brand videos, and standard SEO.
Although these brands appear to be private label brands one would expect to find online or at a premium retailer such as Macy’s, the pricing strategy for the various products suggests they should be treated as premium or luxury items, despite the relatively new brand development and limited brand history. What is even more interesting is that these brand have products that have pages of positive reviews without really describing much about the products.
I’ve had three major Galton Voysey brands, Kamikoto, Bolvaint, and The Barrel Shack, submitted to FakeSpot.com, which scans for unreliable or fake product reviews. Below are the general results:
Fakespot has analyzed 6 products and 267 reviews for Kamikoto products.The Fakespot algorithm considers 60.0% of those reviews to be unreliable.
The Fakespot grade is based on reviews of products listed on Amazon with Kamikoto as the company name.
Fakespot has analyzed 5 products and 21 reviews forBolvaint products.The Fakespot algorithm considers 20.0% of those reviews to be unreliable.
The Fakespot grade is based on reviews of products listed on Amazon with Bolvaint as the company name.
Fakespot has analyzed 8 products and 148 reviews forThe Barrel Shack products.The Fakespot algorithm considers 60.0%of those reviews to be unreliable.
The Fakespot grade is based on reviews of products listed on Amazon with The Barrel Shack as the company name.
When reviewing the websites, it appears nearly all the Galton Voysey brands have the same website layout from Shopify and relatively limited contact information. The Bolvaint website claims to have an office that is occupied by Patek Phillipe, while the Kamikoto brand doesn’t have a Japanese website, its return address is in a residential area, the brand site is hosted in the USA, and apparently the knives are made in China (which is unheard of for artisanal Japanese knives). The lack of real information behind the brands and brand history is a recurring pattern among the Galton Voysey brands.
While Galton Voysey initially appears to be a private company developing and selling private label brands, it is merely a tool for DealDash.com to promote overpriced products to unsuspecting customers. The fact that William Wolfram is involved in both companies without full disclosure, the limited information available for Galton Voysey, the strange trademarking process for the Galton brands, and irregular product reviews make the entire arrangement extremely questionable if not an outright scam.
Despite some glowing reviews by unsuspecting vloggers and blogs, none of the brands promoted by Galton Voysey can actually justify their prices due to their lack of history, actual reputation, or product quality in certain cases. I would have no issues with their brands if they were actually being produced and sold as private label brands to leading retailers as implied in their mission statement and official interviews. However, the reality is that they are primarily pushed through DealDash.com at inflated prices and placed on Amazon.com and their own brand websites to create the perception they are actual products.
For more details on the lawsuit – see https://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/dealdash.pdf
For latest updates from TruthinAdvertising.org – see https://www.truthinadvertising.org/dealdash-status-updates/
22 responses to “Galton Voysey & DealDash.com – A Conflict of Interest”
Comprehensive writeup. Thanks
To add, all the GV press releases conveniently were released mere days after the class action lawsuit was filed in April of this year.
Google GV’s CEO “Marine Aubrée Antikainen” and there is an endorsement of a 3rd party she left as ” Head of People Operation in Europe for Dealdash” under her maiden name Aubrée.
This history has been removed from her CV, probably to further distance her from Deal Dash
which according to their lawyers( Foley & Lardner ) in their response to truth-in-advertising,
“Galton Voysey, which is a completely separate business with a completely separate corporate structure”
William himself according to his Facebook profile moved to Hong Kong where GV is headquartered roughly a year ago.
The three Wolfram siblings are all overachievers, coincidentally his older sister Jenny runs Brandbastion, “a company that protects companies’ social media reputation.” This may explain why any negative feedback about GV or its brands is non-existent on the social media properties the company controls. They are automatically scrubbed using the software. I suppose it’s their prerogative to do so , but not exactly the actions of an honest company
That is interesting and is the Wolfram family prominent in Finland?
95% of the items on TotalTrivia.com are from these companies. I assume Wolfram owns TotalTrivia.
Yes. Check the addresses from Total Trivia and DealDash. They are one in the same.
Seems their dad is based in Hong Kong too. From this article (translated from Finnish) in reference to Jenny
“Wolfram is an entrepreneurial family, her father, Ben Wolfram, currently runs the BidWater investment company’s Asian operations. Previously, Dad worked for example at FIM and was among the founders of Interbank. Brother William Wolfram is the founder of DealDash’s e-commerce site.”
Its very sad that once someone gains sufficient credibility /recognition , in this case, William winning “World Entrepreneur Of The Year” , people refuse to look deeper into what is nothing more than a scheme to separate unsuspecting rubes from their money. It may not be technically illegal, but certainly not an “achievement’ to celebrate. caveat emptor.
Thanks and it appears Galton Voysey has appointed Marty Wikstrom to its Advisory Board – https://lifeinmotion.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/galton-voysey-appoints-marty-wikstrom-of-atelier-fund-to-its-advisory-board/
Is this true?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on meta_keyword. Regards|
Thanks for your feedback. I have added an FAQ post to clarify this post – https://lifeinmotion.wordpress.com/2017/09/13/galton-voysey-frequently-asked-questions-faq/
[…] response to the growing interest in the previous post about Galton Voysey and DealDash, I felt it would be a good follow-up to help readers learn more about the company given the limited […]
Product owned by Galton Voysay, the overseers of Deal Dash and Total Trivia:
Product sold wholesale off Alibaba:
That’s true innovation: buying inferior goods from Alibaba with some minor adjustments and then reselling them as if they’re luxury items! This is true innovation!
Im a film maker and I think there is a great story here. I would love to collaborate if you have more deeper info-bill
If you’re still looking for a contact, I have the info. Kaenrose808@gmail.com
Post all the details
I want money too but it does not seem very likely in this case. My friend is married to a Swedish lawyer and I asked her if she could ask her husband to do some back ground checks. According to him their family has an impeccable reputation in Scandinavia and she also told me that the law case is allready over and the plaintiff could not show any unleagal activity in any of the companies. I guess you can’t win all the time…and it is hard to beat those established companies which can afford millions in legal fees! Life is not fair!
Fascinating. Thank you for the extensive inquiry into this company. I nearly applied to one of their recent job postings but you saved me from working for an unscrupulous employer. Thank you!
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[…] but you’ve definitely seen their products while browsing through DealDash.com. You can find a complete takedown of the company and its relationship to Dealdash. In summary, The founder of DealDash is also the […]
Thanks I have resposted on this site and linked back to you as the original writer
[…] you’ve definitely seen their products while browsing through DealDash.com. You can find a complete takedown of the company and its relationship to Dealdash. In summary, The founder of DealDash is also […]
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