Tiny Details – Enormous Headache

I know you think this is a post about how it’s the little things that matter – but it’s not! It’s about a company called Tiny Details! Here’s who they are:

Tiny Details is a home assembly company that creates beautiful and realistic dollhouse miniature accessories. All of our products are assembled in the U. S. A. by people like you who work in their homes at their leisure. Our products are carried by the finest dollhouse miniature retailers.

In a nutshell here’s their pitch (notice the wording – their pitch, their spiel, their line):

You give them a $55 deposit to have them send you a kit of your choice. You assemble the products in the kit and ship them back. They send you the price for the completed products PLUS the $55 deposit PLUS a reimbursement (up to $4) for the shipping charges you incurred. You have 60 days from the postmark date to turn in your work.

Sounds extremely reasonable, right? The site (tinydetails) looks reasonable – simply made without a lot of the typical scam warning whistles. Even the testimonials, sprinkled throughout the site pages, weren’t offendingly intrusive.

Let’s say you’re impressed and you love to do crafts and you just happen to have 55 bucks burning a hole in your worn out jeans pocket. Instead of sending them any money – check ’em out first. It took me all of five minutes to learn the following about this companies reputation…

I went to Google, typed tiny details into the search box and hit an easy jackpot of info.

The WAHM message board has an entire topic devoted to “Trouble with Tiny Details Returns” where everyone has experienced similar troubles with the company as well as another company called Christian Miniatures.

The Friends in Business message board, Scams 101, also has a thread about Tiny Details (spawned by someone who was considering the endeavor, took the leap and then regrets it). Maw Maw and her brownies have been on the Internet since – oh – not long after I started looking for work back in ’97 or ’98. She’s got one of the best boards around. Looking for ideas – hang out at the current Friends in Business (Scams 101) Message Board.

Then there was a personal journal chronicling the “$55 worth of valuable education” from Stephen Ward. He must have Googled too, because the same WAHM comments and FIB threads were listed in his post as well. Plus, he included a link to what he found at the Better Business Bureau’s listing for Tiny Details.

From the BBB Reliability Report:

Our file contains a pattern of complaints from consumers who report problems obtaining refunds. Customers report that they paid a $55 deposit and were sent a kit with materials to assemble dollhouse miniatures. In order to be paid consumers must complete the kit in a 60 day time period and have it accepted by the company.

Consumers report that the company would not pay for their completed work, claiming it was unsatisfactory or did not meet their time deadline.

The company responds to complaints by offering an adjustment or explanation of their position.

Oh, and guess what – it also says that this business operates under the names “Christian Miniatures” and “Tiny Details, LLC”… hmmmm. Interesting.

The best paragraph I may have ever read with regard to working at home came under “Educational/General Comments” near the bottom of the Upstate New York’s Better Business Bureau’s Reliability Report. It says:

Those who succeed by working at home have several things in common: They have training or experience in what they are doing, they work hard and efficiently, they work for a salary, or they spend time and money developing the market for their work. They have not stumbled onto a magic formula for getting rich quick. Even in this new world of telecommunications, the same old rule
applies: to be successful, you must work hard and work smart.

TRUE DAT!

39 comments

  1. Excellent and prudent research, Lisa. Thanks so much for contributing to the literature about Tiny Details. If we manage to educate enough people about their business practices, maybe they’ll consider becoming a legitimate business. Or maybe they’ll just go out of business. Either is fine by me. 😉

  2. Fine by me, too, Stephen. If folks would put half as much energy into legitimate business practices as they do into scamming folks it would be a much better world.

  3. I contacted Christian miniatures in 2003 re: ordering their kit. I did order it, by credit card, and then for some reason I decided I needed to check things out a little further. I asked the man at their 800 number where they sold the miniatures to. He told me they sold them to “Cracker Barrel” restaurant chain. I called Cracker Barrel corporate offices and they told me that they have never done business with the company, nor do they stock such items. I called back Christian miniatures and told them I called Cracker Barrel. I could hear the guy on the other line turn to someone else in the office and exclaim in a surprised voice “She called Cracker Barrel!” I proceeded to demand a full refund (I had not received the kit yet–just ordered it, and they complied, no doubt afraid of the report I would make. I noticed after that when I went to their site, that the site had disappeared. I happened to think of this incident yesterday, googled their name, and saw they were back again. Their people are con artists, stay away from them.

  4. If you want to get any type of reply from Tiny Details you will have better luck emailing them at Kris@tinydetails.com. I, unfortunately, ordered 4 kits ($220.00) from them back in April. This was the biggest mistake I could ever make. I don’t want to bore everyone with my sob story, but the only way I could get anywhere with this company was to send Kris (a manager) a very, very nasty email threatening to sue them and show up on their doorstep with an attorney AND the police. He actually called me the next day with a lot of apologies and excuses. To make a long story short, here it is 3 months later and I am still waiting for money and kits and I keep getting excuses from “Kris”. Who knows if I’ll ever get anything back from them. Please, Please don’t fall for this scam of a company like I did. I found the email for Kris through another blog of complaints against this company . Anyway, if you’ve dealt with them and can’t get anywhere on the phone (since they never actually answer the phone), then email him. I am going to file a complaint with the BBB in a few weeks since right now Kris is still supposedly trying to get my money to me. Please don’t fall for this company and their false claims!

  5. Joyce – Thank you SO much for confirming that this deal isn’t as good as it’s cracked up to be. It’s little consolation perhaps, but you may have just saved someone else the same headache!

  6. Thank you so much. I was about to try this ‘wonderful opportunity’ when I came across this journal and responses. Thanks to everyone.

  7. Wow! After my conversations (arguments) with Kris, Crystal, Dixie and Mary…to no avail, I get no money back! I’m out $55.00 + $50.00 for my MANY hours of work, which was rejected, of course. I wish I had checked them out first! But, I was afraid what they might do to me since Kris actually called me the “C” word!!! Dixie told me: “bite me Bit**” when I threatened to expose them. I would have to get in line to be stalked down, with all the complaints, so I can rest easier tonight. They actually sent the POLICE to my home for “harassing them,” after they learned I started calling other businesses on their street to tell them what bad biz practices they have. I called their PD, and a Chamber of sorts and the Board of Directors for their local association. This person was familiar with Kris (who I thought all along was a female, but in male)and knows how nasty he is! I won’t get my $110.00 PLUS S&H 🙂 but I feel better about contacting others and had a little fun doing it. My cell phone minutes expired otherwise I would have called more!
    PLEASE warn anyone about this company. Oh, I also heard about “Christian Miniatures”!!! Shame on them! There were NO Christians there when I called!

  8. Wow, Debby. What an ordeal you went through. Thank you SO much for sharing your personal experience here in hopes that it helps others avoid the same waste of time and money.

  9. I wish I had checked out this company before I ordered a kit from them. I ordered it back in May of 2008. A month passed and I still had not recieved the kit. No one ever answered the phone or returned my messages. I had to complain to the better business bureau. I finally recieved my kit the next week. I completed it in 4 days and sent in the required sample, which passed inspection, and the kit. I had them tracked by the post office and know that they reached the company within 5 days. It then took the company another month to send the kit back saying it was unsatisfactory. I fixed the work and sent it back within 2 days. It has been another 2 months and I have received no money for my work. When I called today 09/05/2008 they told me it was being sent back to me again because of problems. I know after reading these accounts that I will never see my money. I just wish law enforcement would step in and do something about these people. They are obviously scam artists, NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH THEM!

  10. thank you for all the info, i was almost ready to order from tiny minatures. i saw this playing around for other work at home ideas. thank you , thank you,, beth

  11. Thanks so much for the information. I was seriously considering placing a work-at-home order for a kit or two. So glad I found out the truth about the company and their fraudulent practices!

  12. Well it seems I fell into the same trap as so many others. I did send away for two kits to assemble from these people with a credit card transaction and my wife and I were feeling pretty good about the possibilities of the extra income we would receive. About an hour hour later I began to think that this might be to good tOo be true so I went back online to see if there were any negative statements others might have about this company and was shocked to see how many people were so blatantly deceived. Fortunately I was able to call my credit company and cancel my card before this transaction was enabled by this company. Stupid ME! Well I thank everyone out there that have made these postings and I am so sorry for the ones that have been taken by this company.
    Sincerely, Gary

  13. Hey Gary – If you or your wife likes crafting, you might think of something you could make and then sell on an etsy store. You list the item for a fee, then shoppers find your item and pay you directly (kind of like eBay).
    I’ve never tried it personally, but a lot of artists and crafters I know have etsy stores these days. You can learn more about it here: http://www.etsy.com/how_selling_works.php.
    Good Luck! Stop by and let us know how it’s going every now and then. And if you end up finding a craft to create and sell on Etsy, definitely let me know!!
    ~Lisa

  14. Thank you Lisa, for the crafting website and all the information about Tiny Details. I am one of those you saved.

  15. I had emailed Christian miniatures a couple of times with questions and they responded, Tiny Details never responded to any emails. Christian miniatures response to emails was very fast and professional, so I though hey, I will go with them. So I sent my $ over the net with my check card on Dec.1st, the amount didn’t clear till the 8th. First off, the amount was suppose to be for $60, they charged my account $65, when I emailed them about this problem, guess what, no response. Then after the amount cleared my bank I waited 2 more weeks with a few more emails. Guess what? No response. I just got off the phone with my bank to get my money back. I have never done a work a home like this, and I already got bit. I probably never will again.

  16. @Mary: I’ve never heard of a solid online lead for an assembly job that was easy enough to do on your own, didn’t involve strange glitches, yet paid well enough to make it worth the effort.

    I’d suggest looking at one of two routes for finding a legitimate assembly-type job:

    1. Find a few simple craft ideas and look to create your own offerings via an Etsy store or similar.

    2. Look to local businesses who may need help. I have a cousin up north who did some assembly work for a local factory at home (she picked up and delivered the work once a week). And I’ve known of a few folks around here who fold pantyhose for a local company, with the same conditions that they pick up and return the work on a regular basis. I don’t know that these types of jobs pay very well, but it never hurts to look to your local businesses for ideas.

    I wish you all the best, Mary!

  17. I guess I am the latest “victim” of tinydetails.com. On January 20, 2009, I ordered my first kit, priority mail. It cost me $60.00. On January 27, I emailed them asking where my kit was. No response. I waited a few days, emailed them again on February 2, 2009, asking them to please tell me what was going on. Nothing. Today, February 3, 2009, I just got off the phone with a male person. I tried to explain to him why I was calling. He got defensive right away, called me a B****, then hung up. My daughter tried to call him back and he also called her a B****. I am over 60 years old and I have never been called a B*****. I am sure they are good companies out there, we just have to keep looking.

  18. @sharon: Sure – there are real work at home solutions and opportunities out there. The trouble is sifting through the scams to find your way into something that’s appropriate for you. That’s what I try to write about here.

  19. I guess I have joined the club. I am on SSI and could use a little extra money coming in because I have a child to care for so I ordered a kit with my stimulas check. I thought it was a good idea. I even got a response from my email to kris ( I also thought kris was a girl) concerning which kit I was getting. I sent in my sample which passed in flying colors. they couldn’t wait until I sent in my kit because I did a great job. I sent all of the kit to the address listed in their information. I waited several weeks. At last I receive a response. They could see black lines in all samples that was in kit, I had 1week to fix them and return them before I would get paid. I even had to send away for more bags because I did not have enough and they charge you for extra materials you need (they charge for postage and handling) I did all samples the same way if they approve on the sample you send in they should approve on all that is sent. Thanks a bunch all.

  20. I just find it strange that the feedback is 100% negative and they’re still in business.

  21. TINY DETAILS TOTAL SCAM. For anyone researching on whether or not they should trust tiny details let me tell you that they are a total scam. I ordered a kit back in July and returned it after one week thinking it was impossible to complete. It is now end of October and I have yet to receive my partial refund. As far as I can tell I talked with two different people multiple times and at first they stated they misplaced my paperwork for the credit. I called again and now they are stating the the owner is only in the office 3 hours per week and he needs to sign off on the papers. When I questioned whether or not this business was a scam, I was met by sarcasm and rudeness and was hung up. Needless to say I don’t know how tiny details is running a business scamming people. Take my word and do not give your money to these people. They make all their money by giving people impossible kits to perform and end up keeping the money. TOTAL SCAM OF A BUSINESS THAT NEEDS TO BE REPORTED!!!

  22. I am on social security and was also looking for some way to supplement my
    income. I love working with my hands and doing crafty things so Tiny Details
    sounded right for me. I am glad I read the comments of others first.
    What I do not understand, is why there has not been a “class action” lawsuit
    against them yet? It may benefit those, who have tried them and been cheated,
    to find out how to get a “class action” lawsuit started.

  23. Just so you all know I had just received our local Flyer magazine The Flyer.com
    and spotted this ad about Tiny Details.com you just have to be very careful about stuff like this. BTW be aware of another outfit The National Collectors Mint about the New World Trade Center Coin. DON’T GET THE COIN it’s FAKE. I am the son of a September 11 family member and they are under a Huge Lawsuit.

  24. It seems funny that this site only gives the negative feedback of Tiny Details but does not mention any of the positives!! Again as usual a bunch of hot headed now it alls that don’t mention some key points about this business. First and foremost yes tiny Details does give an assembler 60 days to complete a kit and return it to the company there should be no complaint about that seeing on average it takes 6 to 12 hours to complete any of there kits! If you cant accomplish that in 60 days you do not belong in miniatures assembly. I have worked for this company for more then two years now and they have been more then fair! As for the statements from assemblers claiming they do not get paid is only half of the fact. I when i first started sent in books i made that were substandard and received the kit back with a polite letter from the company stating that I needed to make corrections and send the miniature books back in for payment, they even gave me a 30 day extension to correct the flaws in the book with no financial penalty to me! I returned the books and was sent a check in the mail within two weeks of delivery of my kit to there address! 🙂 I believe most of these complaints are coming from assemblers that don’t want to bother to take the correct time and attention to make miniatures correctly and expect to be paid for substandard and unacceptable work! I continue to work for this company and make a monthly profit to help my income with no issues! I doubt this positive remark will be posted on this site seeing all your looking to do here is bash on honest hard working company who is trying to employ people in America instead of sending there work over seas!

  25. @Edward: Thank you for your first-hand point of view. We’re glad TinyDetails is working out for you! It’s definitely encouraging to hear a positive amongst the negatives. If anyone else is seriously having success with TinyDetails, let us know here in the comments so folks can make an informed decision when looking for legitimate work they can do from home!

  26. Edward, thank you so much for posting. I’m always really suspicious when a bunch of people start bad mouthing a company. And not suspicious about the company, but suspicious about the people. There’s always more to a story. I’m so glad to hear yours. I have a really good feeling about Tiny Details and I look forward to doing some work for them.

  27. @V: Back when we researched this article, the preponderance of opinion and the BBB notes sent up several red flags suggesting this company ended up offering more trouble than actual earnings. Since Edward’s comment a while ago, we’ve ordered a kit and tested the company for ourselves. We’ll be doing a full-blown update review soon, but for now we’ll tell you that the work is beyond tiny, it’s itty-bitty. So anyone new to miniature work might want to start with an “easy” kit. And don’t get zealous and order more than one kit that first go-round. If you don’t like the work, it’s beyond tedious. If you do, you can always order more. And make sure you follow all of their directions precisely. Then come back and let us know how you like the work and whether you feel it’s a viable work-at-home opportunity!

  28. There are two sides to this issue.

    I am one of the retailers who does business with Kris of Tiny Details. I have no other connection to them. My customers, who buy these dollhouse miniatures, are extremely picky as to the quality and workmanship of the product. Sloppy work, such as glue showing, uneven matched seams, and other issues too numerous to mention here, create returns to my business of the products. Sometimes, they will be upset over something that is hard to see with the naked eye. I would not purchase from Tiny Details if they sold sub-standard products and I would not want them to pay a worker who supplied such a finished product.

    Tiny Details is just one of many miniature companies that work through a “cottage industry” approach. ALL of these companies have high standards. The problem is not Tiny Details, it is more people who think they have the skills to do assembly of miniatures but they cannot produce a good product. It is also due in part to people expecting easy money for their labors and rush through a job.

    I can not imagine any of these companies refusing to pay for a work project that was completed in time, and done properly. In fact, they would want to retain those whose work is good in order to keep their businesses running.

    I am sure many of those unhappy with Tiny Details are unhappy that their sloppy work was not paid for, and have no idea what expectations the buyers of these products expect. These are not “toys”, they are adult collectibles, and as any owner of a dollhouse knows, miniatures are an expensive hobby.

    If you truly know what you are doing, are confident in your ability to do detailed and good work, you will have no problems getting paid by Tiny Details.

  29. Hey everyone,
    My name is andy and I have been working for tiny details for quite a few months now. I ordered one kit my very first time. I was too skeptical about it. I ended up getting my kit quite fast if ya ask me. Sent in the sample of the large spiral notebook and they sent it back to me with a very politte letter saying my work was very good and they hope to keep doing business with me. I sent in the whole kit and recieved a check in 8 days. I then ordered 2 kits the next time around and continued to up the number of kits each and every time. I do this work for them full time now and was able to quit my full time job. Tiny Details definatly works and I thank tiny details everyday for the great service and giving me the chance to stay Home with my wife, son and daughter and start living our life the way we want. Not corporate americas way. And yes it is very small work and it takes time and patients. Good luck to everyone that tries it out despite what everone else says about them. THANK YOU TINY DETAILS!!!!

  30. @Andy and Albert, I’m sorry, but they have $685.00 of my money if you include all the deposits and payments for kits I haven’t been sent. I was supposed to be paid Nov 15th, 2014 for a half refund on one kit. (I received this info when I called in.) I had already bought 4 more kits which I sent in, once finished. They were approved and 4 more kits were sent to me and I was supposed to get paid on the other two units. I then finished the next 4 units, sent them in and they were approved. (I found this out by calling in to check on my original money that had never been sent.) I was praised for my work and told there were several “white boxes” ready to mail out to me. It is Jan 11, 2015 and still no payments at all. Each time I have called I was told my work was beautiful and that my check was “ready to mail out”.

    I am a medically retired police officer who was looking for a subsidy to my “retirement” and I would definitely have to tell people to keep their money. I was good at the work and was really hoping this would make up the difference in my income that I needed, but it is not.

  31. My experience is very recent. Ordered my kit Deb. 31, rec’d Jan 16. I sent sample, was asked to adjust, which I did. The kit I got was for mini books, $100 for 100. The ones I made took forever to make due to crooked printing of pages, wrong size covers for inside dust jackets. Sent them with days to spare well within the deadline. My delivery confirmation said they rec’d them the 10th, they said the 12th. I waited till Mar. 24th, still having heard or rec’d nothing. The person answering the phone gave me no answer as to when to expect pmt. So I waited another week and called. He said he’d check on it. Left on hold for half hour, I hung up, called back was still told he didn’t know. So why was I on hold for that long. I asked to speak to the owner, he said she wasn’t available. He asked if I wanted to speak to a manager, I said yes. Got transferred, on hold another 30 minutes. He came back on, asked if I had been on hold all that time, I said yes. I asked how long it was going to be before I would get paid… he said basically no idea. Then again, why was I on hold all that time. Not gonna give up on this. I spent way beyond what they said time wise on their product to make them awesome. I deserve to be paid. Glad for the folks who’ve had successes with this company following through. Happy for you. It’s ridiculous that it’s been weeks, and I still have not been paid. For those thinking about doing this… highly recommend doing it on your own. Like the person who said sell on Etsy or ebay… good advice.

  32. I worked for Tiny Details for 4 years along side the “owner”. I am laughing so hard I have tears in my eyes. Please be very careful. Call the Town Hall & other places in Groton NY and complain. No one in the community believed me when I tried to warn them about this “business”. Sorry people but you have been sc*****!

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