Sad story about trying to buy a powerbook. Anyone have paypal experience?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Megatron, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. Megatron macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2005
    So i've been quite excited because thanksgiving night, I contacted an individual that was selling a powerbook on craigslist. (15", 1.33GHz, etc.) Great condition, 2 years applecare left, for a very fair price. Had all the original boxes, etc, so I figured this was the one to get.

    We agreed paypal was the best payment method, so I transfered the sum to his account with the agreement that he would ship sometime in the next 2 days. (the Friday or Sat. after thanksgiving). Following that, I haven't heard anything from him, i've called numerous times, left numerous voicemails, numerous emails, etc. The only response I got was a brief "i'll call you sometime today" on monday, which never happened. Nothing about actually shipping though.

    Here's where it gets fishy. He deleted the craigslist post on tuesday, which means he has computer access. Why couldn't he just send me an email updating me on the status?

    Since I haven't gotten any word AT ALL, I left more messages yesterday saying I would file a complaint with paypal if he didn't respond by the end of the day. No response, so I filed.

    Now I guess it is in the hands of paypal - they said that if he doesn't respond within 10 days the claim is decided in my favor - does that mean I get my money back? What if he doesn't have it in that bank account anymore? Has anyone had any experiences with this?

    I'm really bummed b/c I was really excited to get this powerbook, and I figured paypal was a fairly safe way to buy it. Note, this was not ebay, it was a response to a craigslist post. (And talking to the guy and reading the post it seemed like he was a normal guy, i.e. it wasn't fishy).

    Thoughts? Do you think i'll recover my money?
  2. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    I think you'll get your money back... even if he transferred it out on his end, PayPal will credit you and then they'll go after his sorry ass. Thank goodness you used PayPal and not a money order or Western Union... if you'd done THAT, you'd be S.O.L.

    Personally, I wouldn't buy or sell anything more valuable than about $50 (and ESPECIALLY not a big-ticket item like a laptop) without either meeting the person or having someone else (or a forum like MR) vouch for their credibility.
  3. Megatron thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2005
    Yes, I was hesitent about buying on craigslist, but the description was very thorough, (i.e. he got into details about having no dead pixels, etc. so I assumed he was a mac person and knew what he was talking about). On the phone he sounded like a normal guy...I know that you can't just base a judgement on that, but it felt ok to me.

    Yes, thankfully I did use paypal as I told him I didn't want to just sent a check or something sight unseen.

    The thing that makes this more frustrating is that I am a graduate student in a fairly intense program with finals coming up, and I really don't have time to be dealing with these shennigans.

    Clay I hope you're right and I can recover those funds. :(
  4. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    have you checked the original craigslist listing number? go to craigslist and type the listing number (it's the same as the number in the blablabla@craigslist_122377845 mail adress they have there). the item should come up again or at least a reason why it's removed (because it's a scam for e.g.). that might speed up yopur paypal issues.
  5. Megatron thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2005

    Yes, it says "this posting has been deleted by its author." I included that fact along with the web URL in my paypal complaint.
  6. AlBDamned macrumors 68030


    Mar 14, 2005
    That's poor. Maybe post his address or area then someone from here can go round and find out what the deal is. It's been done before in a similar way: pppowerbook.
  7. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    i found on bostons craigslist a number of powermac postings that were copies of ebay listings. the lazy scammers just copy the ebay offers so they don't even have to make something up . check if "your" powerbook is also listed on ebay.

    i hope it all works out for you.
  8. mac-er macrumors 65816

    Apr 9, 2003
    Don't want to make light, but I love this word...made me laugh.

    Hope you get your money back.
  9. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    Not to scare you, but last year the SAME thing happened to me. Powerbook, craigslist at Thanksgiving.

    I think it is a well thought out scam. Involve the holiday to buy some time to cover the tracks and take off.

    I used paypal and paid via credit card rather than checking account debit. Paypal said the seller had no funds and DID NOT ISSUE A CREDIT. Because it was NOT Ebay and it was not a certified auction and a private party transaction, they would not honor their protection plan. Fortunately, AMEX did honor it, but Paypal closed my account because of it.

    Good luck. Hopefully it will work out. I know PayPal got in trouble for some of their practices, so they could have gotten better.
  10. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Paypal's money-back guarantee doesn't always work out. I've read a few horror stories about an empty envelope showing up so there's shipping confirmation for the seller and the buyer gets nothing. There are so many Paypal email scams that accounts can be hijacked fairly easily too. The scammer takes the cash out and leaves the real account holder with a negative balance and not much they can do about it.

    But let's look on the optimistic side and hope this is just a misunderstanding. Good luck!
  11. Megatron thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2005
    Should I file a police report?

    If so, what are the procedures for what state it is filed in? His state? My state?

    I'm trying to think of every legal course I should be persuing right now.
  12. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001
    If there is no money in the guy's bank account Pay Pal won't do anything. And is obvious, Pay Pal would dissapear just by returning all the money from all the scams.

    I had an experience like that. I got a iPod but it was in terrible condition, I made a complain and Pay Pal told me to return it WITH A TRACKING NUMBER witch I didn't. They guy got the iPod back and place it on ebay for sale again. He told me he never got it back until I saw the iPod on ebay. I told Pay Pal but without tracking number they didn't want to do anyting.

    So, I went to the guys house who was in Miami, talked to his uncle and I got my money back next day. Afortunatly he was in the same city.

    That is about it.
  13. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    you should have broken both of his legs.......(not really of course but these scams really piss me off. the make a wonderful tool to sell or buy stuff useless to us all)
  14. rickvanr macrumors 68040


    Apr 10, 2002
    I got scammed on here once last year. It was only around $100 bucks, but still I filed a complaint with paypal and long story short. They gave me however much was left in the offenders paypal account, ~$40, and then paypal reimbursed me for the rest. I was very pleased. I think after exchange rates I actually made a slim profit.
  15. Megatron thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2005
    Well that is actually reassuring. Hopefully paypal will fix the problem.

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