Is this a scam?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zackkmac, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Like stated in my other thread, I'm looking into a MacBook Pro and I saw this on Overstock.com's auction page.

    http://auctions.overstock.com/MacBo...Superdrive/Computers-Networking/item/43950728

    It's a NIB 17" 2.5GHz MBP for $1200 off retail. Since his feedback is higher than 90% positive I'm starting to trust it, plus he is being nice in the e-mails I sent.

    I asked if it's new, he sent an e-mail saying it's unopened, in the box. I also sent one asking if I was allowed to bid/make it mine [I just signed up on Overstock yesterday], and he approved...was very nice about it. Finally, I sent an email saying that I would love to use the Make it Mine feature, and hold off the payment until Tuesday because that's about when my check clears and I'll be able to pay for it.

    He replied saying that the particular option ends Wednesday, so if I get my check cleared on Tuesday then to go ahead and buy it that day [if it's not already been bought]. Also he stated that if he sees the bid go over $1600, he'll make another listing "just for me".


    Sound too suspicious or should I go for it?
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #2
    It sounds fishy, especially the part about making another option just for you.
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #3
    Seriously, when 5 of the last 10 ratings give the seller a thumbs down?
    When the seller has a 'who's who' of desirable new laptops for sale, all 'new'? Where did they get them from?

    The only positive I can see about the auction is that they take credit cards, so you have some measure of buyer's protection. Of course, you also have some measure of risk of misuse of your card number once you submit it.

    The prices are unrealistically low for new equipment. I say run away. Chances are they are either not new, or stolen, or a scam.
     
  4. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    It sort of does, but his feedback just states he's not so good of a buyer. The only negative rating I saw from when he was the seller was nothing that would upset me much. The buyer was said to receive a brand new GPS but got a refurb, which I wouldn't mind [still a great deal], as long as it doesn't look used/worn.

    It's really tempting, but I don't know. I really want to buy it and cross my fingers but then again I may be risking $1600.
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #5
    Whaddya mean, you wouldn't mind? The GPS auction says "New, NOT A REFURB" and he shipped the buyer a refurb. So it is established that the seller is a liar. Do you need to know anything else? What else might he be lying about?

    Y'see, that attitude is scammers' meat and potatoes. They rely on the combination of greed + wishful thinking plus willful blindness about risks.
     
  6. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #6
    Just remember, if it sounds too good to be true ... chances are that it is.
     
  7. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    The ratings are really what made me hesitate and decide to ask here. The price does seem too good to be true, but he does have some satisfied buyers.
     
  8. mBurns macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Honestly, anything on the internet is always a risk. You could ask him for the serial number of the machine to see if he is able to "cough one up". If he gives you a serial number and it's either for the wrong machine or for a machine bought a long time ago (unless this is old stock), you know it's a scam.
     
  9. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #9
    Could be his friends ...
     
  10. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I can understand that and frankly I would mind if it's a refurbished MBP. But it's better than getting a dented, beat up first gen MBP, and for the price if it's in 10/10 condition I'd live with it. I would still be mad that he lied, and you're exactly right, he could be lying about more. But for the price, if I still receive a perfect condition $2800 laptop for $1600 I'd be okay.

    That's true. I had a bad experience with buying a Sony T300 camera...went through 3 online stores that were all scams.
     
  11. Gigatiran macrumors newbie

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    #11
    One thing that I looked at is the fact that all of the feedback he currently has is on cheap items. Nothing over even 200 dollars, it's possible that he has built up an account just to scam people later. Because now all he is selling is high end electronics. I'm not saying it is a scam, but just make sure you're careful.
     
  12. mBurns macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Good point.
     
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #13
    Keep on thinkin' that way. You'll make someone very happy.
     
  14. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Yeah, I really hate buying online. I'd rather go to the Apple Store and just get a Blackbook but my mom doesn't want to drive down there. I'd have to pay for gas, and she thinks I should find a good deal for a MBP for the same price as the MacBook.

    I just emailed him for a serial number, usually he'll reply very quickly [within 10 minutes], so I'm hoping he provides me one.



    EDIT: He replied, just as I thought he can't supply a serial number. He said "i am a dropshipper, so i buy them as needed."
     
  15. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    ...but I'm not even gonna buy it.
     
  16. FuuFuu macrumors regular

    FuuFuu

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    #16
    I also highly doubt that. i'm guessing that the specs are going to be really bad, not accurate to his description.
     
  17. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    That's another possibility, I didn't even think of that. I'm not going to purchase anything from this guy, but now I need to figure out how the 25% cashback from live.com works. :eek:
     
  18. Gigatiran macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Maybe ask him why it's so much cheaper than retail?
    Ask if he'll accept payments through PayPal, I believe you're insured that way.
     
  19. mashny macrumors regular

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    #19
    Whether it's a scam or not, if you feel something about it is fishy, you should avoid it. In the long run, it really doesn't matter if you pay a few hundred dollars more to get a reasonable but somewhat higher price on a computer, especially given all the potential problems a computer can have, and the fact that this is probably a scam.

    If , for whatever reason, you do decide to buy it, at the very least, use a credit card via PayPal or some other service (preferably American Express) so that you have some recourse should something go wrong. If you pay using cash, check, or money order, you are screwed if the item is not what was promised. I had a problem with a set of relatively expensive speakers I purchased on eBay a while back: they were damaged and the seller refused to reimburse me. I called Amex and within six weeks I had the money credited to my card -- the seller never responded to Amex's request for his side of the story. I was going to go through PayPal for resolution, since I used my Amex card via Paypal, but decided that it would not be in PayPal's best interest to reimburse me, whereas I had spent tens of thousands of dollars on Amex over the years. The only downside was that Paypal terminated my account because I didn't go through "proper protocol." I now use my wife's PayPal account.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  20. Xtreambar macrumors regular

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    #20
    I just got a practically brand new AEBS off of eBay for $100 plus $12 of shipping. The box looked pretty bad with all of these return stickers all over it, but otherwise it was in perfect working order. Hardly a scratch, the cables still had those plastic caps on the ends, and the install disk had never been taken out of its sleeve. When I got it, I ran the serial number and Apple said it had been bought less than a month ago! I'm a happy customer.

    It seemed too good to be true but... :)
     
  21. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    That's a good idea, I asked him about PayPal. Waiting on his suspiciously fast reply.
     
  22. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Here's his reply, definitely a scam or something.

     
  23. dazzer21 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Three words:

    DON'T. DO. IT.

    Firstly, Apple will NEVER EVER discount ANY of their products by such a margin, and no re-seller could ever hope to match that kind of discount either. If he's a private seller, then he's either plain stupid, or it's knocked off!

    My estimated guess, is that it's a seller's account that has been compromised or hacked. Speaking as someone who has been burned in such a way, if there's no paypal or credit card methods of payment, walk well away.

    I went for a fully loaded iMac 2.8 for the price of a stock 2.4 and got very excited about it all, thinking that I had an absolute bargain until I found out that what I really had was a grand's worth of fresh air!!!

    The seller was an established eBay-er with 100% seller's feedback. However all communication with the seller was being bounced to a 3rd party who it turns out are just a very small part of a massive scam organisation based around Austria and Belgium. Interpol are currently investigating, and you wouldn't believe how many others have been taken in by the same outfit - it's frightening, really!

    Macs seem to have caught the imagination of the recent day con artists. Although I've been surfing the Auto Trader website lately and I've come across around 20 'sellers' all trying on the same scam!

    Go for it if you want, but if you don't need the grief, have a VERY good think about it. You don't get anything for nothing, and in Apple's eyes, you won't get much off at all, even if you're lucky...

    My two-penneth...
     
  24. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Thank you for the great reply, and there's no way I'm gonna buy from this guy. If my dad will give me the other $650 of my money then I'll be able to buy a refurb 17" MBP, or possibly a new one somewhere...if it's not a scam. This online shopping thing is really stressing me out, I just want my Mac :(
     
  25. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Yvan256

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    #25
    A bit off-topic

    But I once bought the Spaceballs soundtrack CD from someone on eBay. The feedback was positive (like 98%), he had hundreds of sales, last feedbacks were also generally positive.

    What did I receive? An audio CD-R with an inkjet printed CD label on it, in a jewel case with scanned artwork re-printed with inkjet too. Worst part is, some tracks were missing half a second at the beginning, etc. And I could clearly hear distortion, meaning he made the CD from MP3 files (probably not even 128kbps).

    He did refund me (including shipping) but his "I bought these from a store I had no idea they were counterfeit" reply made me laugh. :rolleyes:
     

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