Today morning, one of the authors of Tomatoheart asked me that she wanted to cover a story about a girl who sold her pair of used underwear for $5000. I was like-
Is it possible ? It was too odd and weird for me to believe and hence I confirmed about the news source and she said – Cosmopolitan !
Okay! I had to believe then and of course, I allowed her to write this story. The story is weird but saucy and I think our readers deserve to know the wackiness of the current world.
But then, being an entrepreneur, the whole idea of coming up with something as weird as this really interested me and hence the hunt to know more about the website called “Sofiagray.com” began.
What is Sofia Gray?
Sofia Gray is a self-proclaimed largest and safest online marketplace to buy and sell used underwear. I used the word ‘self-proclaimed’ because there is no valid source or studied survey which proves that it’s the largest used underwear marketplace and as far being “Safest” is concerned, I will prove it later that why it’s the least safe website for selling something like this which needs high degree of anonymity, privacy, and data protection.
This website went viral after this news of selling a pair of used underwear for the price of $5000 came on the internet.
According to the ‘About us’ section of this website, Sofia Gray was founded in 2015, with the simple aim to give users a place to buy and sell used underwear.
This website went viral after this news of selling a pair of used underwear for the price of $5000 came on the internet. This website currently sells undies under these categories: Bikini, Boy shorts, Briefs, G-Strings and Thongs.
A website Xojane published a story on 31st August 2016, showing the snapshot of an email sent by Alex Matthews from Sofiagray.com where he wrote about how one user of his website managed to sell her pair of used underwear for $5000
The domain Sofiagray.com was registered on September 14, 2015, and it’s yet to be renewed for the next year. I mean it will get expired in less than two weeks from now if not renewed again. I tried hard but couldn’t find any more info about Alex Matthews, the guy who sent this email.
I also looked for any investment or funding information about Sofia Gray on Crunchbase, Tracxn and other startup tracking websites, but I couldn’t find any base to proof as if it’s a legit and authentic startup.
Digging Deep about Sofia Gray.
At the time of writing this post, I am unable to access this website for most of the time and when I tried to visit the homepage it gives following error on the home page.
And it’s not just me, who is facing this error. The well-known American blogger and social media strategist Kelly Helene Clay has described very well about her struggle in trying to visit this website in her medium post.
Though first thing I noticed is that even after being such an extremely privacy and data safety concerned website, Sofia Gray does not carry the SSL certificate, which should be must for any e-commerce or user information collecting website. Just look at the arrow pointer in the above-shown image and you will notice that It doesn’t display the Green Lock icon with HTTPS.
The SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certified website ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers will remain private and integral
Though you may notice that even our own website Tomatoheart.com carries that green lock logo because it is certified with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology. Though we don’t collect users information but it helps in boosting search engine ranking and hence we use it 🙂
I wanted to know more about this website like how this website is built and how did it look when the server was not down. So , I made a quick search on archive.org which showed the archived snapshots of this website from the past.
Here are few snaps that I have taken from Archive.org for the website Sofiagray.com
The ‘How it works” section
The “Featured Sellers” Section
The “Featured Product” Section
The “Product showcase” page
The Technology behind this website & why it’s not secure!
With my utmost surprise, this website which is so critical for sellers and users to have their identities protected for safety, this non-SSL certified website is created using a simple WordPress theme called “Makery” , a marketplace theme sold by WordPress developer team named “Themex” on Themeforest for $59.
The other few WordPress plugins used by this website are “Contact Form 7” and “All in One SEO Pack”. I couldn’t find any security plugins installed on this website. Even the login page of this website has “WordPress” logo on it. You may visit by yourself here: http://sofiagray.com/wp-admin
The current global Alexa Rank of this website is very poor ( It’s 1,805,922 ) and it shows that it has only gained few popularities after this “$5000 for used underwear” news went viral online.
I have already written that this website doesn’t possess even the simplest version of SSL certificates which is the minimum requirement for any privacy concerned website. In the era when your data is not safe even under the Apple’s servers, it’s extremely dangerous to post your private pics along with your personal information on sites like these.
Just to give you a simple example about the easiness of data theft from websites like Sofia Gray. Let’s look at one of the insider links of this website:
Even when this website is giving “database error” on the homepage, you can still visit 1000s of private pictures listed by users on this website just by manually changing the numbers in the link I have shared above and all these pictures can be easily extracted from this website with a very simple algorithm. I don’t understand how users overlook these security concerns before posting their critical pics and information on such websites.
Poor Social Presence:
Look at the official social networking sites of Sofia Gray, that is listed on their website.
This is the Facebook official page of Sofia Gray. As of now, It has only 20 likes and it was created just two days back. There is no post and not many pieces of information. The only way that I am saying it’s an official website because it is listed on Sofiagray.com
This is the official Twitter Page for Sofiagray.com. It was created in December 2015 and has 6 followers as of now. It displays the location of this startup at London, England.
The Instagram page is blank too. Not a single post and has only 6 followers till now.
To those who are excited to sell their own used undies to make quick money after knowing about such a great looking deals on Sofia Gray, do remember how devastating the Ashley Madison breach was on affected people and their family members.
What’s your view on this, do write in the comment section and beware, privacy is not just a choice, it’s a need in most of the cases.
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