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Woman orders a $275 ashtray, receives a can of tuna instead

“This is the most f---ing expensive can of tuna I’ve ever bought.”
Can of tuna
Something’s smells fishy here.Walmart

Bailey Cormier just wanted to splurge on a little online luxury, but what she was sent was more than a little fishy.

In a now-viral TikTok video, Cormier, a Nashville-area resident, recounted her experience ordering a Dolce & Gabbana ashtray from luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue and receiving something that caught her by surprise — a can of tuna.

“Hello, everyone, I made a TikTok account just so that I could share what just happened to me, because I’m the most perplexed and confused I’ve ever been in my entire life,” Cormier says.

Cormier says she received an emailed coupon from Saks for a percentage off one item online and decided to purchase a Dolce & Gabbana Blue Mediterranean Ashtray, which retails on the Saks website for $275.

“I don’t need to hear the judgment. That’s what I wanted. So that’s what I picked. It’s very pretty. It should have been very pretty,” she says.

After Cormier’s order was delivered, she says she opened her Saks-branded package, pulled out a black D&G box and removed the cellophane wrapping.

“When I opened it … this is what I found: a can of albacore tuna,” Cormier says. “I don’t know if someone from the warehouse took it and replaced it and did some cellophane with a hairdryer. I don’t know, but this is the most f---ing expensive can of tuna I’ve ever bought.”

Ashtray
The Dolce & Gabbana Blue Mediterranean Ashtray Cormier ordered.Saks Fifth Avenue

Cormier’s video has garnered more than 1.3 million views, and commenters empathized with her plight, sharing their own experiences with online retail return scams.

“Saks sent me used perfume. Paid $450. They don’t accept used perfume for returns supposedly,” wrote one TikTok user.

“My daughter bought a $500 bag,” commented another. “When she (received), the box was carefully sliced in a different spot & bag removed. Saks mail is a target for high end theft.”

Other commenters used the fishy situation as an opportunity to fine-tune their comedy stylings.

“Albacore IS the dolce & gabbana of the tuna world 🤷🏻,” wrote one TikTok user.

“Crack that can open, empty it out, girl you got yourself an ashtray! 🤣😂🤣😂😭,” commented another.

For its part, Saks Fifth Avenue says that after an investigation into Cormier’s order, its team identified that the tuna can sent her was a fraudulent return.

“We take our customer experience very seriously. Across the retail industry, there has been an increase in online fraud, particularly related to returns,” a Saks representative tells TODAY.com. “Luxury continues to be a target given its high price points, and as such, we have implemented more rigorous steps in our return process, including additional reviews and stronger authentication. Our highly automated fulfillment centers manage millions of shipments every year, but it is not acceptable for even a small number of our customers to have this experience.”

The representative also says the Saks team worked with Cormier to get a replacement order sent. “We apologize for any inconvenience as this is not reflective of the luxury shopping experience for which Saks is known,” the rep adds. 

“At first, when I was looking to buy something silly, I noticed that they do sell caviar and so I was like, ‘Maybe it got mixed up,’ but this isn’t caviar — this is canned tuna,” Cormier tells TODAY.com, adding that she thought it may have been an innocent mistake before a friend clued her in. “It didn’t even occur to me that it could have been a customer doing it until one of my friends said, ‘I’ve heard of people doing this with bags. They’ll order real bags, keep the real one, replace it with a fake one and then get a refund.’”

And her friend was correct: Fraud — specifically related to returns — is on the rise. According to a survey by Appriss Retail and the National Retail Federation, retailers estimated that 13.7% of returns were fraudulent in 2023. That’s about $101 billion in tuna cans, counterfeit products and other items showing up in consumers’ packages. During the holiday season, that number rose to 16.5% ($24.5 billion).

“I called and the guy was actually really nice, his name is Roger. I didn’t tell him on the phone because I was scared he would hang up on me, so I just said I received the wrong package,” Cormier explains, adding that Roger asked her to send pictures of the wrong item. “He was like, ‘OK, I just got your email,’ and then it goes quiet and he just goes, ‘This is odd.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I know, Roger.’”

Cormier says she had to place a separate order while her tuna can debacle was being sorted out, but she did eventually get her ashtray, which she showed viewers in a follow-up TikTok, along with a $100 gift card from Saks.

After this uncanny saga, you’d think the ashtray would be the centerpiece of Cormier’s home, a story to tell when sharing a smoke with guests — but you’d be wrong.

“I’m not even using it to ash cigarettes. It’s a jewelry dish,” she says. “I have my jewelry and stuff in it on my nightstand.”