Buying an iMac from eBay... for real??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by cawiddis, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. cawiddis macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've been looking for an iMac G5 on ebay, and recently bidded on at item that was passed in - reserve not met - at $1925. A day later I received this email:

    Hello! !!! Do not reply this message contact me at !!! Dear Ebay member sorry for disturbing but I have the same product for sale APPLE iMAC G5 1.8 Ghz/1 GIG RAM/250 HD/20" SOFTWARE Item number: 5142260219. I will take care to make this deal by a secure transaction so any customer can receive them products in safe.The price is 1200 $ US. Please send me reply soon if you are interested,and maybe we can make a deal. Shipping will take usually - 24/48 hours. Shipping is absolutely FREE. If you are interested please contact me at this!!! Best Regards!!!

    Interested, I replied asking about overseas shipment. This was the response:

    Yes no problem.
    Here is how I want to go about delivery and payment for the unit which will be through TNT and will also give you the chance to inspect the unit before I receive the payment for it. I will explain to you step by step how this will work.
    A. First you have to send me your shipping information (your name and address).
    1. After I receive your shipping info, I'll go to a TNT Location and leave the unit onto your name and with your address as the intended receiver.
    2. TNT will check the unit, also the legal papers to see that everything is OK with it.​
    B. You will receive a notification from TNT as a confirmation that the unit is in their custody and also, that the unit has been tested.
    1. After that, you will have to make a money transfer via Western Union on my name, as a guarantee, and send the payment information to TNT.
    2. TNT will verify the Money Transfer, and if everything is in order, they will deliver the unit to your door step.
    3. After you will receive the unit and you will be completely satisfied with it, you will instruct TNT to release the payment information to me, so I can collect my money. ​
    C. If by any reason, you will not be satisfied with the unit, you will return the unit to TNT with no expense. I will pay for shipping and you for the amount transfer.
    Let me know if we can do this

    It sounds too good to be true (which leads me to think it isnt!). Checking the sellers history, almost all previous items have been books & novels. Sounds like the iMac might have been a lure...

    What puzzles me is the inclusion of TNT (a reputitble shipping company). Is this even possible with TNT? Is this a known scam?

    Is there anyway with Apple to check if an item (eg via serial number) is reported stolen; warrenty expired; returned defective; invalid serial etc?

    Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks...

    I'm not laughing at you - thats my name!
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    You'll do better to invest your money in beer...


    At least with beer you'll end up with empties that can be turned into more cash than the equipment you'd never get from this deal.

    If it's "for real" it fell off the truck or is stolen, and you can probably be charged with receiving stolen merchandise with this deal. [​IMG]
  3. dylomel macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2004
    I doubt it!

    Those money transfer methods have no protection towards your money at all, once you sent it, and that's it, you don't even know whether you are going to get a computer at all or not !! Hope you won't fall into a scam.... and you should actually report it to eBay if you have doubt. :rolleyes:

    check out this prank story if interested in scams : :D

    I have received numerous scam emails like that, and I mean who will want to sell the Macs in such a low price, even below cost some how. Also, eBay has suggested some safety trading tips , and here it is

    The first, and most important, rule of thumb is to learn about the seller before you make a purchase. The best way to do this is to check their feedback. Look for how high their feedback score is and what percentage of their score is positive. You should also read the comments left by the seller's previous trading partners to see what they had to say about their transaction.

    Secondly, if you have questions about a particular item, click on the "Ask Seller a Question" link to send an email to the seller with your question. Remember, most sellers want you to be comfortable with your purchase decision, and are happy to answer your questions. You should not bid on the item until you are satisfied with the answer you have received from the seller.

    After you have won the item, make sure that you are paying with confidence. On eBay, PayPal is the safest, fastest, and easiest way to pay. PayPal allows you to pay securely with a credit card, and offers significant payment protection.

    Use caution when considering escrow. To avoid being deceived by fraudulent escrow services, use, eBay's approved escrow service. Escrow is available for any purchase, but typically is used for purchases of $500 or more.

    We strongly discourage our members from using instant cash transfer services such as MoneyGram or Western Union.
    Bidders should be especially cautious if one or both of these are the only payment methods accepted by the seller. Never bid on listings where the seller only accepts cash.

    Following these simple steps can help to ensure that your eBay experience is a safe one.

    but remember , paypal only covers $500 maximum.....
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    re: Escrow services

    An escrow service "holds" the buyers funds until the buyer affirms that the goods have been received, then releases the funds to the seller. They charge a % commission for doing this.

    Only use an escrow service that YOU choose (after investigating them), never use one that the seller recommends. Scammers set up their own phony escrow sites to look like a legit service.

    Theoretical example: if is a legit service, the scammer will set up or or some soundalike site.

  5. davegoody macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2003
    Reading, Berkshire, England
    Don't do it !

    DEFINITE SCAM - Western Union is a Real No-No - basically if it looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is. These people are confidence tricksters.
  6. cawiddis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thank you all for your advice... I'll steer well clear of this one!

    I'm not laughing at you - thats my name!

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