Am I scammed by ebay buyer

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Daud, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. Daud macrumors regular

    Daud

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    #1
    I sold my pampered Macbook AIR 2015 in the last month of the 1-y warranty. To my knowledge it never was in contact with water. After a month went by and a positive review for me, just got a return request for not working! Buyer opened himself the Macbook instead taking to Apple and sent photos. Do they look like a water spill or, rather to me, some caustic electrolyte with all the blooming? Is there a a potential source of such chemical spill in that corner ? How can show the pics to an expert at Apple? jpg1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg
     
  2. jeremysteele, Aug 28, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017

    jeremysteele macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    #2
    So they've had it a month, left a good review, and are now claiming it is busted? I would absolutely challenge it. I'm presuming it was done via paypal?

    if so, for the most part paypal sides with buyers - but given these facts (time and review) the buyer would have a hard time proving that much damage was there from the time of purchase. With that extent of damage there's no way that thing was working one day and then suddenly "stopped working".

    They definitely spilled something.. it looks sticky.. Usually plain ol' water doesn't cause like much buildup (although anything is possible). Could be soda, coffee, tomato soup, who knows.

    Doesn't look like the battery leaked, since that is on the other side of the board and the gunk is fairly localized. That is the only thing I can think of in the macbook that could leak that much juice. Even a busted capacitor doesn't cause that much of a mess.

    The paintbrushes in the top picture are scaring the crap out of me as well - even without the spill, one touch of those static generators on the board would fry it in no time.
     
  3. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #3
    You can certainly challenge it. But in the case of the buyer, ebay likely side with them. Especially if they are within the claim period. It's hard to say exactly what happened here, if it was water damage or some other type of corrosion that caused this. I would be interested in knowing Apple's opinion on this and if They buyer has intentions of even allowing Them verify what the cause was.
     
  4. mw360 macrumors 65832

    mw360

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #4
    I once saw an electrical device with water damage on the inside like this. It was used in humid conditions and condensation was forming on the power cord, trickling down the cord and gradually seeping into the device. That was happening over a period of weeks or months up to its eventual failure. At the time of failure it was quite dry.
     
  5. 960design macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #5
    Yep... you were just scammed.
    Buyer damaged computer, then opened it to clean up mess. I would certainly challenge it. They could have spilled paint water onto the keyboard.
     
  6. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #6
    The first picture, showing the inside of the bottom cover, and the corner of the unit looks like it's showing damage on the bottom cover, but compare the damage to the board in that photo with the photos showing the board damage.

    It's like the 'damage' has been magnified in the board shots, and is largely missing on the bottom case shot.

    Either way, I smell a scam.
     
  7. 960design macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
  8. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #8
    I'm amazed at the creativity and douchiness of ebay buyers and sellers. I've largely given it up, and just junk stuff now because of all the drama. I've been burned repeatedly by crappy sellers delivering items that no way meet the description on ebay.

    One threatened legal action because 'you don't know who I am', and 'I can reach out and squash you'. All of which went to PayPal and ebay, and I'm sure made them have warm and fuzzy feelings for that seller. But my issues have been as a buyer. So far (knock on wood) I haven't had a big deal with the few things that I've sold there. Still, as times get desperate, people start pulling all kinds of crap. It's sad...
    --- Post Merged, Aug 29, 2017 ---
    Yeah, that would pretty much end it for me too. It must have worked because they gave a positive response. It must have worked because no complaints. Now, it broke, so sad, no lifetime seller warranty. You bought, you gave positive review, you break, you own, you sad, they need to grow the duck up...
     
  9. weez999, Aug 29, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017

    weez999 macrumors member

    weez999

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Location:
    GA
    #9
    The fact he has the proper tools and some paint brushes (good for brushing away dirt) I'd say this is not the first time he/she's opened a laptop. The water marks don't quite match in my opinion. I also think that once the water damages the computer and dries, it largely will continue to work once dried out. I think you are being scammed. IF you lose the case, I would demand you get a letter from Apple after requesting him to take it to them, and have Apple certify that the serial number matches the one you sold him. I'm sure your auction stated no refund and the fact you got positive feedback and now a month later, the user wanting a refund is HIGHLY suspicious. Contest that big time!

    Oh yeah then there's that black cord that appears to lead to a soldering iron based on the shadow of it in the one picture with the screwdriver in it..... (I think this person is experienced)

    I sold an original PS3 with the backwards compatibility back in the day and 3 months later, the buyer said it didn't work. Positive feedback was received etc and eBay ruled in my favor for one single reason, no refunds and a declaration of working condition was stated on the auction. I'm sure because he waiting longer than a few short weeks (perhaps 2) to say it didn't work anymore, helped my case. Definitely contest it.

    If you lose the case then close your eBay account, close Paypal, change checking account numbers and run away so you don't get a chargeback. eBay/Paypal never send those costs to collections... ;-)

    No I'M not a scammer but rather someone who fought with his best friend saying how WRONG it was of him to do that, even though he lost his case on a bogus and clear evidence of a fraudulent claim.
     
  10. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    I have actually won cases as a seller on ebay/paypal. While I understand that is the exception, it is possible with clean, easy, documentation. It sounds like you have what it takes to win.

    If a case is opened against you, I suggest doing the following:
    - Write a formal but short letter explaining the situation. PDF it and upload it to the case file. The letter short be very pithy, straight to the points:
    (1) damage was not present when you sent it;
    (2) buyer was initially happy with the purchase;
    (3) a lot of time has elapsed;
    (4) buyer opened the computer, breaking the tamper-evidence and thus voiding any manufacturer warranty;
    (5) buyers photos show evidence of buyer causing damage (unclean desk, paint brushes, etc.).
    - Upload all supporting documents as PDF - name the files by what points they relate to.
    (1) photo of computer from your ebay listing - circle the power plug in red to show no damage.
    (2) screenshot of positive review by buyer - circle it in red.
    (3) screenshot of delivery tracking - circle in red the date it was shipped and date it was received.
    (4) first photo, the cover is obscuring the tamper-evident snap, but I would draw a red arrow saying it is there. It is right in the middle, between the two inner battery cells. Or second photo, the tamper-evident snap is right where the white glare is, you can draw an arrow there.
    (5) first photo, circle in red the big paint brush, the little paint brush, and the screw driver.

    The goal is to make it as easy as possible for the claim reviewer on ebay/paypal to rule in your favor. They probably spend a few minutes per claim at most - so get ahead of it right away with impressive documentation and a professional, pithy, short, and straight-forward written response.
     
  11. flowrider macrumors 603

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #11
    I have been scammed on eBay. I bought a set of spark plugs from a seller in China, well-job. The plugs turned out to be counterfeit. They looked real when I got them, but months latter when I checked them out in a comparison with genuine Denso plugs at an auto store, it was obvious they were fakes.

    I contacted the seller, and of course - no response. I contacted eBay and PayPal, and they both said I took to long to file a claim. eBay even admitted they were aware of the issue with this seller and they said they rescinded his ability to sell spark plugs, but in recent checks, I see he's selling plugs again.

    I will never buy or sell on eBay again and I have shredded my PayPal credit card.

    Lou
     
  12. madrich, Aug 29, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017

    madrich macrumors 6502

    madrich

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Location:
    World Class City of Chicago
    #12
    Paypal will probably be on your side if you have a excellent history with eBay selling and buying from them. Did you also advertise the MBA as is with no returns accepted? Do you know if the buyer renewed the Apple Care before the last month expired? If not, did they charge the purchase on their credit card that extends the initial warranty? Does the buyer have favorable history on eBay?

    You probably have to wait until PayPal responds to the buyer complaint, to react beforehand may compromise your position. Paypal will probably initially contact you with only the buyer's stated complaint without any comment by Paypal. PayPal will react after the buyer indicates that the buyer does not accept your resolution or your refusal to resolve the situation. I would also search the eBay forums to read about any similar situations and their outcomes. The seller and buyer are required to accept Paypal's resolution of the situation.


    I have bought my last three used computers from eBay sellers without any problems. My last purchase was a MBA early 2015 with few months left on the original Apple Care warranty and it had only 8 battery cycles on it (hardly used.) The seller did not know how to check the battery cycle count. I gave him the instructions and he sent me a photo of it.
     
  13. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #13
    Agreed. Unless the Buyer did something between pictures, such as trying to clean the board (which would make zero logical sense if this was a problem that they did not cause), the pictures look more different than angles/lighting conditions can explain. It is almost like this is a MacBook Air the Buyer had they damaged themselves, tried to clean, didn't work, so they purchased another on eBay with the intent of returning their own damaged product in place of the working one they purchased.

    Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 5.14.09 PM.png
     
  14. Yvan256 macrumors 603

    Yvan256

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #14
    Like PinkyMacGodess and ZapNZs said, there's something fishy in those photos. The first one shows a clean PCB and the other two show something that's almost like rust, a chemical spill or something. So either this is a scam and the scammer made a mistake by sending you the first photo, or he's really good at cleaning up that kind of mess.

    edit: Daud, was the MacBook Air in a room with smokers most of the time? That kind of white dust could be from cigarettes/etc.
     
  15. Daud, Aug 29, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017

    Daud thread starter macrumors regular

    Daud

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    #15
    I have 494 100% positive feedback. I do not recall the Macbook around water the 11 months I had it. Arizona is dry, no condensation.

    He has ~140 positive 100% feedback for the last months. As much as I can get what he is buying from his feedback, sometimes these are recycled computers or parts.
    He seems to write computer code, reviewed several items on Amazon (technology, classical music, Buddhism)

    The name I shipped to is different than on the account?? Did he pay for a gift to his flame ?? (And she spilled the latte?)
    His ebay handle indicates his name.

    Info on Paypal
    Payment From:
    HIM (The sender of this payment is Unregistered)

    Shipping Address:
    HER
    Confirmed (!)

    He is in Pasadena, she in Altadena.

    He filed after 30 days:
    "Your item was not in immaculate condition. First of all, it s not in AppleCare warranty. It stopped working a week ago. Opening it up, I found spill damage. It was doomed to failure because of creeping corrosion from the spill. If you had tried to repair it right away it would have been a $30 part. Now it s a $600 part. I will be filing for EBay Purchase Protection unless you offer me a full refund."

    Right from the start, wrong. When he received the MBA, it was in warranty and he made the choice not to renew it. Ebay Purchase protection is not applicable after 30 days but he can file with Paypal.

    I think oneMadRssn and madrich have excellent advice. The brushes, the solder iron, the fact he opened it and cleaned the dirt on the motherboard (differencew between pics) instead to take it to Apple. Sometimes they offer a flat $300 repair charge. What if this was a contact issue only and he instead killed the motherboard.

    Still, I am torn. What if the damage was there without me knowing it, do I want somebody sour on me...

    And.....I fumbled. Reviewing the response form to his request, inadvertently I clicked the button "I accept" despite I had no return accepted on the auction. I know, I can still not send and wait him to open the Paypal case.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 29, 2017 ---
    ZapZNs, I think he cleaned the motherboard (with??)
    The outline of the fungus <?> on the silver part is still there.

    Yvan, non smoker household. The dirty photo reminds me of fungus.

    Any opinion based on the location of the damage what was the entry point?
     
  16. Rocko99991 macrumors 6502a

    Rocko99991

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    #16
    The dangers of selling electronics on ebay. 'Box showed up empty', people swapping products with damaged items, buyers damaging items and blaming seller. The bad part is ebay/paypal side with the buyer 99% of the time. This is clearly fraud. Proving it is another matter.
     
  17. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #17
    It sounds hinky from the start. I always check the addresses that I ship to through ebay, as much as I can, and NEVER ship to an address with a different name than the buyer.

    And that 'fungus' on the motherboard is corrosion. It generally takes quite a while to get that much corrosion to develop. It's NOT likely water. More like battery acid, or some sort of corrosive substance. I doubt that it was the battery because it would have left marks all over the battery, and the inside of the case bottom. This really looks like a mess. It would have likely failed before you had the opportunity to sell it, and likely would have been noticeable on the case bottom.

    This sounds like you were setup from the moment you accepted their bid, and agreed to ship it to a different person.

    I've gotten so ticked at possible screw jobs, that aside from checking the address for occupant, I also take detailed pictures of every item I've sold, so that if there is an issue with 'Hey, it's crap, corroded and died', I can say 'Um, no. Here are the pictures to prove it! Nice try!'

    And the day I received a 'professionally cleaned turntable in spotless condition, and it looked like it was stoed in a barn, COMPLETE WITH FEATHERS, I took detailed pictures, nearly a dozen, and included them in the complaint filed the very next day, and for the seller who whined like a stuck pig when I refused to 'talk this over' rather than filing a formal complaint.

    Oh, and I got an iPhone 5, that was activation locked, and the 'owner' said to 'try again' for a list of codes to unlock the thing. Nope. I think it was stolen, and I filed a complaint the next day, and had that seller disappear.

    Good luck. It sucks to be screwed. ebay is probably only going to get worse. Sorry...
    --- Post Merged, Aug 29, 2017 ---
    Yeah, remember the guy who advertised the 'iPad box'? People paid big money for an 'iPad box'. Cheeky, but...
     
  18. tentales macrumors 6502a

    tentales

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    #18
    It looks like electrolytic capacitor leakage to me. I've seen this in 2006 iMacs mostly in the PS unit but also on the mainboard. It looks like long-term damage and not something that happened recently.

    So, it's definitely possible that it was undetected by you, but it is equally possible that it happened to his MBA and he's showing you pictures of his broken MBA, wanting to save the purchase price for his probably OOW device.

    You could ask him to take it to Apple to verify the Serial# of the motherboard and take it from there.
    Be aware that tools exist to change the Serial# on the logic board's SMC chip, but it's worth exploring to resolve the conflict.

    In any case, unless your eBay ad stated any kind of warranty on your part, I would follow oneMadRssn advice and state your side. Device was 100% working upon receipt proven by his review. Late discovery of faults should not be your fault.
     
  19. davidoloan, Aug 30, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017

    davidoloan Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    #19
    Unfortunately I think you are going to lose any appeal with ebay, based on my own experience.

    I think you are being scammed too.

    If the buyer does send a box back, video yourself collecting / opening it, though to be honest even if you receive a bunch of used screws like I did, ebay is unlikely to find in your favour.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 30, 2017 ---
    Not a chance of this in my experience.
     
  20. madrich, Aug 30, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017

    madrich macrumors 6502

    madrich

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Location:
    World Class City of Chicago
    #20
    Although I am a little confused, it sounds like you "accepted" his position to return the merchandise to you for a full refund? If so, this really complicates the matter. (The buyer probably has it in the mail right now.)

    The buyer's premise will be that the order arrived, but it's significantly different than it was described in the auction, but since he waited 30 days to determine the difference, he undermined his premise. After the 30 days, Apple's initial warranty expired and it was not renewed by the buyer. Even if it was covered by Apple, they would not repair it under warranty because of the water damage. Since there was no warranty, the buyer opened the computer to see what was wrong. Did you indicate that in the auction that it is being sold as is?
    --- Post Merged, Aug 30, 2017 ---
    The above specifics have no bearing on this situation. It only indicates that the buyer's address was unregistered and not confirmed, and his girl friend's address was registered and confirmed. The buyer is definitely a registered Paypal member because he paid you through Paypal!
     
  21. madrich, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017

    madrich macrumors 6502

    madrich

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Location:
    World Class City of Chicago
    #21

    Paypal will probably be on your side if you have a excellent history with eBay selling and buying from them.
    Not a chance of this in my experience.



    In this case it seems that both parties have excellent eBay feedback. PayPal will be initially neutral to both parties. Let's assume that both parties are honest in this case. In fairness, the seller did not mean to sell a defective product, and the buyer did not want to buy a defective product. Both parties seem to have made mistakes (knowingly or unknowingly) in this situation. If I was the Seller I would list the buyer mistakes and offer a compromise of a partial refund.
     
  22. Beachguy macrumors 6502a

    Beachguy

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #22
    I helped a friend sell his laptop a few years back. A very well cared for Dell Latitude D620, nicely (for 2007) outfitted. He sent it to the customer, and they claimed it was damaged (but furnished no photos.) They complained to eBay (or was it paypal? Don't recall 100%) and my friend lost.

    He got it overturned when he sent them the pictures of the one he received back, a badly damaged HP laptop. As well, he was actually able to sell the HP to someone to use for parts. While the case was broken badly, the motherboard and disk drive actually were okay.
     
  23. iLondoner macrumors 6502

    iLondoner

    #23
    Empty your Paypal account. Refuse to refund. It's a scam.
     
  24. Daud thread starter macrumors regular

    Daud

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    #24
    You sum it nicely. I am only 99.999% sure that the problem was not there on shipping and at the same time it bugs me, that he waited so long and even with problem, he "touched it inside" instead bringing it to Apple in Pasadena.
    I received an off-line offer for a flat fee motherboard repair which may be useful later. Today is deadline for me providing the shipping label, not doing it under the (real) pretext that after reviewing the photographs the buyer provided, I found that he is not able to send me the same product he received (plus the other good suggestions I received here)
     
  25. davidoloan, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017

    davidoloan Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    #25
    Are you basing this on experience? Its common knowledge that Ebay and Paypal always find in favour of the buyer. Im sure there is one exception that proves the rule.

    If you sign for a box of rusty nails and you tell and show evidence to Ebay or Paypal they will still find in favour of the buyer, regardless of what their small print states.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 31, 2017 ---
    That will only result in a "debt" to Paypal or eBay and they will plague you with debt collection, phone calls, credit worthiness etc
     

Share This Page

88 August 28, 2017