I did something incredibly stupid

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Macdude2010, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. Macdude2010 macrumors 65816

    Macdude2010

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    The Apple Store
    #1
    Hello All,
    As the title suggests, I made a huge mistake selling someone a laptop. Now, I am certainly not a newbie at selling thing online, as I've been doing it since 2012, however, I think I just really messed up.

    It all started a few months ago when this woman contacted me about buying a laptop from me. Now, I do have a small following online from selling electronics, so this was completely normal. We talked back and forth, and then I didn't hear back from her for a couple of weeks, which then she said she was ready to buy. PayPal didn't work for her so we were going to try Google Wallet, well that didn't work either, so I didn't ship out the laptop. That was all fine until last weekend, where she contacts me again.

    She still wanted to buy a laptop from me, but was cautious about it because she claimed she had been scammed out of $3000 by a well known scammer on instagram. I was more than willing to help her out. Her PayPal and Google Wallet still didn't work, but I thought that if I got payment in the form of Apple Gift Card, I would be fine. She put the order in for the gift card and I put the order in for the laptop (I had run out of 15 inch MacBook Pro's, so I had to get one from eBay delivered to her house). I called Apple about an hour later because I still hadn't received the gift card, it was canceled by Apple, so I cancelled the computer. I woke up the next morning, and I got quite the threatening message. She was claiming she was going to make sure I ended up behind bars for scamming her, etc. etc (I'll attach the full message below.) as well as calling to threaten me. I got so scared I ended up putting the order back in for a computer. She also supposedly paid me using Wells Fargo SurePay, which I now know is a lie. At this point I'm out $1100 and a Computer and don't know what to do. I already filed a police report, and even though this is considered Grand Theft, I doubt they can do anything for me. I know this is quite a bit my fault, and I shouldn't have trusted her but I was such a mess after that message and call I was not thinking straight.
     

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  2. smallcoffee macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    North America
    #2
    Yup, SOL most likely.

    The moral of the story is:

    1. ALWAYS always always take a certain, guaranteed form of payment. A gift card or anything like that is nothing more than a gamble.
    2. Anytime somebody threatens you like this, if you did everything right and you're not scamming somebody, call their bluff. Be polite and reasonable, but call their bluff every time.
    3. Don't ever trust anybody online. Ever.
     
  3. Huntn, Feb 7, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #3
    Not to sound mean, but live and learn? It's normal for the seller to receive payment in full before shipping the purchased item. I mean it's not a trade, it's a sale. If I understand the situation accurately, there would have been no harm in waiting for the payment to arrive, right? If it was a situation where you had to put yourself at risk, ordering something off ebay (did you not own the computer? I'm a little confused about that) before receiving payment, this is a deal stopper imo. Maybe a miracle will happen and the police will come through (but I doubt it) or somehow you'll receive payment, but based on what you've said, I'd chalk this up as an expensive lesson. :(
     
  4. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #4
    I'm confused, why is she reporting you to Paypal if the transaction was not completed through Paypal?

    Definitely sounds like she was trying to scam, especially with that.
     
  5. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    Agreed, why would she report you to Paypal if you didn't make the transaction through Paypal.

    I think this is a good learning experience. Don't ship something out until the payment has been made in full and cleared. It's not absurd for the customer to make the cleared payment before shipping out the computer. If someone's Paypal and Google Wallet "don't work", there's probably something fishy going on.

    In terms of recourse, if she bought an Apple gift card and you have her mailing address, you might be able to get somewhere if you're lucky. Her threatening was a manipulation to instill fear and get you to comply. You should have taken a deep breath and confronted the issue that the Apple GC was cancelled.
     
  6. WarHeadz macrumors 6502a

    WarHeadz

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    Why would you have reordered the computer??
     
  7. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #7
    Your whole business is confusing, ordering machines through Ebay for drop ship to buyers[?]

    Anyway, all that aside, why in the heck, would YOU be scared of someone who you indicate did NOT pay you for your product? She didn't pay, threatened you, and you then provided her the merchandise?
     
  8. steve knight Suspended

    steve knight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #8
    you can contact ups or fedex and redirect the package.
     
  9. jeremysteele macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    #9
    Hate to say it - but in my experience most people who are purchasing an item and claim they "have been previously scammed" by "major scammers" are complete and utter liars (and in many cases are trying to get sympathy to scam you). Personally I don't hesitate to call out their bluff and discontinue any communication with people who say things like that. If you accidentally tick off one customer but save yourself from getting scammed by 9 - so be it. That's business.

    Yep, if this is at all possible with your setup and it hasn't been delivered yet - do this. It was made for situations exactly like this.
     
  10. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #10
    If you paid for any of this using a credit card you can usually file a dispute and have the transaction reversed.

    Also, I would try contacting her local police department and filing a complaint. They *might* be able to help.
     
  11. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #11
    yes you did......all the alarm bells and whistles were going off but you walked right into it and got scammed.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #12
    Wow, I'm confused, maybe the OP (or someone else) could clear things up.

    • So let me get this straight, you sell electronics on the side, and a potential buyer couldn't get paypal or google to work (why is this not a red flag for you?).
    • She then offers to buy a computer with apple gift cards that she does not have in her possession (why is this not a red flag).
    • You no longer have that model for sale so you have to buy one off ebay to sell to her - why doesn't she just do that and cut out the middle man?.
    • You send it to her, before funds are in your possession (this seems risky to me).
    • You then cancel the eBay purchase (or the shipment) because the apple store gift card thing was cancelled (presumably by her).

    So why is the buyer mad, she's not scammed, she's not out of any money, as no sale technically occurred. What will the police say, as they do the report.
    Cops: How much money did you send,
    Buyer: I bought 1,000 dollars of apple gift cards to send him, but then I cancelled the order.
    Cops, so you didn't pay for the computer
    Buyer: No
    Cops: Did the seller send you the computer
    Buyer: No
    Cops: [confused]
     
  13. 8692574 Suspended

    8692574

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    #13
    Hey if you don't give me a computer I'll report you to paypal!!!!!


    Now where's my computer????

    Joke aside I am sorry to hear but as other have said never ship without payment, never be scared about something you did not do and better to be reported to Paypal and solve the issue later than lose money in fear of being reported.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #14
    Funny thing is she didn't use paypal so what will they do - absolutely nothing. Its not their fight.
     
  15. 8692574 Suspended

    8692574

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    #15
    I know this is why i said
     
  16. BernyMac macrumors regular

    BernyMac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Location:
    USA
    #16
    The confidence game... they play on your greed or your fear. Awful stuff. I hope you learn from this terrible experience.
     
  17. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #17
    Are you shipping them internationally, and buying them from eBay sellers who won't ship out of the US, or why would the person go through you to buy a laptop on eBay, that in and of itself sounds like a scam, but I'll assume I'm misunderstanding something about your business model.
     
  18. 8692574 Suspended

    8692574

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    #18
    I always try to avoid people that want to buy from me and then they tell me they have been scammed...

    Allarm number 1 you tell me you have been scammed for 3000$ already
    Allarm number 2 your paypal / gwalled do not work....
    Allarm number 3 you still want so obsessively buy from me
    Allarm number 4 you want to buy with gift cards, wich are non traceable and without a name and can be voided
    Allarm number 5 after the gift card scam (witch apparently you told her) she claim to have paid with Wells Fargo SurePay. (at this point definetly NO item is leaving before i get the money, she tried to scam me with the gift card already!!!! shame on you if you fool me once shame on me if you fool me twice)
    Allarm number 6 she claim to put you in jail (i dunno for what, you did not get the money she will not get the computer, want to see the police do anything about it).

    I usually stop at number 1 may be 2 but that came with experience (lucky for me not very expensive), but again hope you understand this post is to help you, when you get allarms, listen to them they usually tells you how ity is going to end up.
     
  19. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #19
    Exactly (hahaha, the cop dialog ...). I was baffled - per my previous post - but I didn't take the time to get into the incredibly confusing specifics.

    OP, I'm just amazed you can conduct any business if this is actually what occurred. Something tells me it can't be, that there are some crucial missing details.
     
  20. profmatt macrumors 65816

    profmatt

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    Having recently lost about $1,000 as a result of my own carelessness, I'm guessing you didn't start this thread to be judged.

    Your situation totally sucks. You're a good person who tried to do the right thing and got punished for it.

    Kudos for using your real username.

    All I can say to you is what I said to myself: it's only money. You still have (I hope) your health and the people you love.
     
  21. Macdude2010 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Macdude2010

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    The Apple Store
    #21
    As I said before, I realize my mistake now, however, this is the first time in 4 years that something has caused a problem.

    To answer a few questions:
    1. The only reason why I bought off eBay was because I had run out of that model of computer, and she was threatening to sue if she didnt have a laptop by friday (playing off of emotion)
    2. She said she couldn't go buy one herself because of pending charges on her account (now know this is a lie)
    3. She was playing off of my emotions, I now know this was with the intent to scam.

    At this point I feel terrible and really lost.
     
  22. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #22
    Why not just cancel the order you placed on the machine that you are shipping to her? Or redirect the shipment?
     
  23. Macdude2010 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Macdude2010

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    The Apple Store
    #23
    Already delivered :(
     
  24. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #24
    Bummers :(

    Well at this point, is to chalk it up as a lessoned learned, though I can empathize at how painful it is.
     
  25. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #25
    Call the local police department in her area, see if they have some sort of internet fraud/crime department, explain to them the scam. They may not be able to do anything...but at least they're local, in her area, and if they CAN do something you have people with authority right in her neighborhood that can go knock on her door and try to straighten things out. Don't just give up on this quite yet.
     

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