It was too good to be true... :-(

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by diavolo, Apr 5, 2004.

  1. diavolo macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Canton, Ohio
    I ran across a deal on eBay for a 17" PB G4, 23" Cinema Display and 20 GB iPod for 3,000 TOTAL including shipping. Naturally, I had to regain composure and shoot an e-mail to the seller. He responded with this message...

    "Hello there,
    Before any bidding takes place you must know that I am currently with
    business in Europe. This unit were supposed to be used for presentation and display purposes for the forthcoming launch in Poland. I acquired this and now I am willing to sell it on eBay. Thats why am able to give you a very attractive Buy It Now price: 3000 USD ( with all the shipping/handling and insurance charges included). The units are brand new still in their original package factory sealed. They ship with all the accessories provided by the manufacturer and have 1 year of warranty fully covered international by every authorized service center. All the manuals and the original documentation are in English. You will receive your package in 2 working days through UPS. I send all my packages having written on them "display unit, no comercial value" or as a gift so you dont have to pay any additional
    taxes. (VAT included) For the moment I accept payment only in cash either through wire transfer or direct pick-up because as I allready told you I am
    currently in Poland with business. Please let me know ASAP if you are interested and I will allow you to bid or we can arrange a private deal to save time and money. I have preffered this special type of auction because of the multiple problems Ive had in the past with non paying bidders."

    I tried to pull the auction back up on eBay and I got the "The item you requested is no longer in our database". I should have been tipped off when I saw that there was only 15 hours left and it was still there.

    I'm going to contact the seller again to see if I can come up with anything else, but I highly doubt this is legit... Ho hum...
  2. Nybombers142 macrumors member

    Mar 25, 2004
    watch yourself

    Dont ever send cash to an international seller, EVER! Never pay through wire transfer or western credit union. These are are all signs of SCAM.
  3. diavolo thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Canton, Ohio
    The only way that I would ever pay would be through an escrow service that would hold the money until I got the stuff. Sending cash for anything is just plain dumb. We'll see what happens though...
  4. krisjon macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    I hear there's a bridge in Brooklyn you can buy for the same price. Seriously though, that auction had every red flag for a scam you could want:

    Too good to be true price.
    A foreign seller.
    A foreign seller who's also 'away on business'
    Only accepts payment via wire transfer.

    Read up on the ebay and western union/auction payment warnings, then do a search here - this has been covered. Hold on to your money - or if you're going to give it away like that, send it to me. :D
  5. tsk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2004
    Be careful because there are plenty of fake escrow services out there. If the seller suggests an escrow service, be wary.
  6. adamjay macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2004
    and anytime you hear a seller suggest doing the transaction outside of eBay... you can pretty much write them off. what a trap.
  7. diavolo thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Canton, Ohio
    Well, at least I didn't waste too much of my time on a whole load of BS. Here's the response that I got.

    "Using an escrow takes just too long for me to collect my money, which at this excelent price is not acceptable. My bussines is rather small and i just cannot accepthaving my money/merchandise stuck to third parties around 7 business day. I understand your concerns to send money overseas but I can tell you only that I'll not risk my freedom and reputation signing up for the money and keeping them without sending the item to you. I never fooled someone in any way. Time is an important issue for me, but obviously security is of greater importance. That's why I think if we will conclude a deal it is better to send you a pro-forma invoice filled with your details until to make any payment. My return policy allows you to send me back in 7 business days the product if you'll be not satisfaied and I'll also send you back the funds or a new item. The package will be insured at thedelivery service for the amount of 3000$. If somethig happens on the road , you will receive the insurance from the delivery service. For the moment I accept payment only in cash either through wire transfer or direct pick-up because as I allready told you I am currently in Poland with business."

    That's the clincher, all coated with BS and scamming.

    I won't post this guy's name, but if anyone else is suspecting crap like this, I'll coroborate the name and/or e-mail address.
  8. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2003
    Wakayama, Japan
    report him to eBay, suggesting to sell of site (i.e. using it as a way to get buyers) is a no no, plus he sounds like a shady character anyway. Even if he hasn't done anything a report will make it more likely they can keep him from causing trouble later down the road.

  9. Calvinatir macrumors 6502


    Nov 8, 2003
    a family friend of mine (wealthy) wanted courtside tickets for a LA Lakers game once...he wired money to Spain..never got the tickets. It was a little more than that $3000 as well... Dont wire money.
  10. krisjon macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    Suspecting? Welcome to the real world, man. This guy is one of hundreds everyday that tries to pull this stuff on eBay and other places. :rolleyes:
  11. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

    Aug 9, 2000
    That guy is not a very clever con artist... and those who bite, are not very clever consumers.
  12. Bhennies macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2004
    NYC & Baltimore
    #12 Poland on business? Unbelievable.
  13. BrandonRP0123 macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2003
    San Francisco, CA


    When I was shopping for my PowerBook - I saw a 17" Powerbook for a steal like that on eBay. I inquired and I got ``I live and work in the UK...etc.''. E-mail address?, so I write back ``How can you live and work in the UK with a spanish yahoo e-mail address? Did you ever live in Spain?'' I get back ``my wife is spanish, but I certainly am not! I have never been there, she hasn't been there in 20 years....etc''. At that point I said NFW.

    Same thing - international wire transfer - etc. Another tip off is that the picture in these auctions is never his/her actual product - always the stock Apple photo and ALWAYS a private auction.
  14. AppleMatt macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2003
    Bad English is another clue, it's actually hard work to read those emails.

  15. 0s and 1s macrumors 6502a

    0s and 1s

    Mar 7, 2004
    OK, USA
    I feel for yah. I'm usually not this generous, but I'm willing to sell you my unreleased 17" PB G5 for $1500. PM me for the details. :cool:
  16. diavolo thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Canton, Ohio
    Unfortunately, it is all too true. What I meant was if anyone suspected they were dealing with the same person.

    Here was my last response to this guy...

    "Mr [ scammer ],
    Unfortunately, I cannot proceed with a transaction in such a hurried manner. I do business eveyday, and one way I don't do business is with a handshake and a promise. If you wish to pursue selling these products in such a manner, you will have to find another buyer."

    I tried to keep it as polite as possible without saying "look [ expletive ], this is crap, what you're selling most likely doesn't exist, and I am more [ expletetive ] off that you would try and run a scam like this. And further more, you successfuly made me feel like an [ expletive ] for almost buying in to your [ expletive ]. [ expletive ] off!"

    You can replace the [ expletive ]'s with your literary genius, but I think you get the point.
  17. krisjon macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    Actually, it's better to just call a spade and spade and let them know that you're on to their little games. If anything, it might make them look for a smaller venue than eBay to run their scams. A smaller venue = less people being taken advantage of.
  18. SoulBlighter macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2004
    I certainly agree. Severals years ago, my brother nearly got ripped off on a similar scam with his 800Ti Powerbook. This one was local, in the US, however.

    All of the telltale signs were visible- though, this was while he was new to ebay and not yet wise in its ways.

    - Unbelievable price for package
    - Western Union was the ONLY method of payment (cannot trace money transfer)
    - Peculiar wordings in product descriptions (and stock pictures) and in the contact eMails he sent to the 'owner'
    - Conveyed sense of urgency- with an unusual justification [like on business...] (this all serves to make you rush in a hastey decision)

    Thank goodness he had enough sense and luckily, a crazy 'gut' feeling at the time to hold and find a different vendor. He still tracked the item and it later came to his attention that eBay had taken action in this "vendor's" scam but the few who had all ready had purchased this 'to good to be true' product was indeed cheated and there was no way to refund the money.

    Now, ebay is a great place; he and I have been happy with many purchases before and will continue so. Paypal is, in our opinion, the best and our prefered method of ANY money trasaction.
  19. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Jun 23, 2003
    St Augustine, FL
    If the only payment accepted is cash, it's a big tip off.

    If they are out of the country on business then it's a big tip off.

    If they try to convince you to continue business "outside of eBay" then run the [blank] away and don't look back.

    Anyone worth any ounce of credibility will accept Paypal, credit, etc. when dealing with eBay, if they are that rushed and on some business meeting in Poland then they have no business trying to rush a transaction to you if they can wait a few days and do it when they are "in the country", and the number one thing eBay warns all users about is *not* accepting a deal outside of eBay since there is no legitimate reason for an eBay merchant to do so.
  20. Michael Vance macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2004
    If it had of been me I would have played him back, have him prepare the papers, then tell him I sent the cash, and then we he didn't get it claim that he was scamming me and then tell him I was going to call the police. I'd play it just loose enough to leave him wondering if I really did send the cash or not, and wondering what the hell happened to it. :cool:
  21. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004
    Michael - if everyone did that, the place would fall apart ;)

    Personally, I use Escrow. It's one of the safest ways to deal, providing you use a real one.

    Anyways, on to the point - stock pictures! I really dislike stock pictures. If they're going to post a picture - which they should, if they realistically want trade - then they should make it a descriptive picture of their own product. It's not rocket science - most everyone has a digital camera these days (especially if they selling PC's, Macs, etc.) and if they don't - it's a good excuse to buy a cheap one, since they're practically giving them away now.

    I know that I myself would NOT buy from a seller who doesn't include a picture of the item he is selling - his own picture, not from a website or whatever.

    Just my take.

  22. diavolo thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Canton, Ohio
    True, I know a few people that learned this lesson the hard way. I always provide a minimum of 4 to 5 pictures for all my auctions, regardless of what it is. It's simply not possible to take a seller seriously if they don't have actual pictures of what they are selling.

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