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A scam for all seasons

Internet advertisers for furniture restoration have always exaggerated to make sales, but some just outright lie to the unsuspecting.

I’ve talked before about furniture polish products, and while they exaggerate claims with a lot of marketing speech, they do honestly accomplish their stated task: They polish furniture, and they don’t cost a fortune. But a new pop-up ad I keep getting falsely claims to literally repair furniture.

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The stuff is called RestoFinisher, but unlike the similarly named Restor-A-Finish (a legitimate furniture polish), some incredible claims had me dubious from the start. Things like “completely restores wood,” “major retailers lobbied to keep it off shelves,” and “revitalizes wood at the molecular level.”

The main web page is made to look like a home improvement blog, written as though the author just couldn’t find the right product at a big box store for his furniture until a man pulled him aside and told him about the “best kept secret.”

The page is full of before-and-after photos and even a video applying this wonder stuff to a coffee table that transforms from dull to brilliantly popping wood grain. Of course, the table has been sanded to raw wood, so the application of even a cat hairball would make the grain pop. Best of all, a single formula gives the sheen you want: Apply two coats for satin, and a third coat for high gloss. Amazing.

It’s even endorsed by the star of the writer’s favorite TV show, Jack Russo (nonexistent), host of the famous “Antique Flippers,” (ditto). The bottom of the article has testimonials from ecstatic users, half of which linked to fake Facebook accounts, while the other half went to dead pages. I checked. The best part is that this magic elixir is a $60 value, but for a limited time you can buy a small bottle for only $30.

Oh, you’re probably wondering about those other three things in the photo above. While researching RestoFinisher, I stumbled on three nearly identical products. A headlight restorer, a leather restorer, and a car finish restorer. The claims and outrageous before/after photos are incredible. The LeatherRite restorer can apparently make cracks and tears go away, while the NanoSparkle not only removes deep key scratches from cars, but according to the before/after photos even manages to fix dents. Oh, all these other product pages had the same format, same writing theme, same gimmick of a person pulling them aside to tell them about the “best kept secret,” the same $30 prices, and even the same fake testimonials… from the same people!

It was a woodworking product that got me looking into this, but clearly scammers will wring money out of anyone looking for a product to help them restore and renew their belongings no matter what industry it is. As woodworkers, we should warn our friends, families and customers about this garbage floating around. Hopefully, leatherworkers, upholsterers and car refinishers will do the same.

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