Maxxwp.com and gplcrafter.com are currently trying to get honest 1-star reviews taken from trustpilot. A plethora of strange-sounding 5-star reviews recently showed up.
A quick warning about a fraudulent "GPL" seller with ever-changing domain names. Currently known names that run the same scheme:
However, there are potentially many other names and sites. It appears the scammer changes their domain whenever too many similar complaints get posted.
It's easy to move your business if you just provide stolen goods, anyway.
How does maxxwp / pressdiscounter / gplcrafter scam you?
They claim they own licenses to the plugins and themes they sell with GPL license. In reality they download plugins from potential dangerous sites and sell them as their own.
The problem with that
- It's dangerous. The software might harm your website or even ruin your online business if you get de-indexed by Google for spreading viruses. A simple redirect to a site with harmful content could get your site removed from Google.
- It's dishonest. If you explicitly state that you own licenses and you don't, you're a fraud. Don't do business with known frauds.
- You won't get updates. The scammer has to wait for other GPL sites to publish updates before they themselves can deliver them to you. Many complaints on the internet state they became aware maxxwp / pressdiscounter / gplcrafter is a scammer after they asked them for updates which they couldn't deliver.
- You're paying a scammer. If we want to use potentially dangerous resources, we don't have to pay for them. We could just steal them from the same places gplcrafter / maxxwp / pressdiscounter does.
I have proof of this, but you will also find complaints all over the internet, some with proof.
How to recognize sites of the scammer
They might change their behavior, but currently the sites have this in common:
- 2-years free updates offer
- scammer calls everyone who complains a spammer
- unconditional money-back-guarantee
- less common plugins are one or more versions behind
- inexpensive. Licenses cost money. If plugins or memberships are too cheap, it might show the site doesn't buy licenses.
How you can protect yourself
Buy from legit sources. I use gplvault.com for many, many years. They might not have every plugin under the sun, but they do own licenses for items they offer and update their plugins regularly.
Generally, (with a few exceptions) sites that offer a vast amount of plugins and themes are suspicious. You could check how much traffic they have. It's unlikely a legit site with 100 daily visitors could afford licenses for hundreds of plugins.
A list with a few more options: