Misleading eBay Auction - What Are My Options?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by .:*Robot Boy*:., Sep 6, 2005.

  1. .:*Robot Boy*:. macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2005
    New Zealand
    As much as I despise Logic, I thought I should probably upgrade my Logic 7 Express to Logic 7 Pro as I've started doing a lot more compositional work lately. Unfortunately I don't have a steady enough income to afford the RRP of Logic, so I decided to go the eBay route :eek:.

    I found a seller who was selling, what looked to be, full versions of Logic 7 Pro. I did a 'background check' on the guy. His previous auctions were hidden, but I managed to find a roundabout way of finding them. I then contacted some of the buyers who had bought the same software from him to ask how their experience with the seller had been. I also contacted the seller himself in the hope that his reply would reveal all the tell-tale signs of a fraudulent seller.

    I never heard back from the buyers, but the seller replied and seemed to check out ok. He was also offering payment via PayPal, so I felt reasonably safe.

    I bid on, and lost, one auction but got an official (as in, received it in 'My eBay', not via email) Second Chance offer from the seller, which I accepted. Here is the actual listing.

    I PayPaled the US$615 to him (US$585 + US$30 shipping to New Zealand) and toddled off to polytech feeling rather elated.

    When I got home I checked eBay and found that I had received a message from one of the previous buyers that I had contacted to say:

    I freaked out and sent a message to the seller saying that I was totally unaware that it was an Academic license (he states in the listing that the software retails for US$1000, but the Academic version retails for US$499). I also contacted PayPal and informed them of the situation (though I doubt I'll get any help from them). I am pretty sure he won't have shipped it yet, so I sent another message to him asking that he simply PayPal me back the US$615 and get the whole thing resolved as quickly and painlessly as possible.

    The annoying thing is that I'm a student, so I can get Academic software legally anyway (at the time, I didn't realise there was an Academic version of Logic Pro :eek:). Also, the resale value of the Academic version is drastically less than what I've paid. I was hoping that I'd pick up a cheap version of Logic Pro on eBay, use it for a couple of months, then sell it in New Zealand when I'm done with it.

    So, I guess what I'm asking is, am I ever gunna see my US$615 again? Or am I stuck with heavily inflated, Academic software? Has anyone ever reversed a PayPal payment?

    Regardless of how this turns out, I'm never going to be tempted by eBay again!

    :eek: :rolleyes:
  2. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Assuming you are to receive the academic version, and not the complete version, you can do a couple of things.

    First, contact Paypal and have them reverse the transaction, and explain why. If you had a sufficient Paypal balance to cover the purchase, this is your best option.

    Second, if you used a credit card to fund the Paypal transfer, contact them and ask them to reverse the transaction. Ditto for a bank transfer.

    Of course, if you receive the complete version, just sit back and enjoy.

    With Paypal, explain that the box is that of a complete version and nowhere does it state that the auction is for the academic--cut down--version. That treads into the territory known as fraud--to knowingly misstate a material fact.


  3. lfielder06 Guest

    Dec 5, 2004
    Wait to see what you recieve. If it is the academic version then open a dispute with paypal, and attempt to reverse the charge on your side. For me paypal has been really good about disputes, although I don't know what they would do in this situation. Just remember you can only open one dispute against him per payment, so don't close the dispute until you are pleased with your transaction.
  4. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    You can also dispute it within eBay itself, which would be best for future buyers because they will take disciplinary action, including suspending his account, as well as returning your money to you. Just don't wait. I had someone do that to me with a book, except it wasn't even the book he said it was at all, and I waited too long to contest it because I tried to work with him and he was really slow about responding, so they said they couldn't do anything for me.

  5. .:*Robot Boy*:. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2005
    New Zealand
    Great, thanks for your advice! :)

    As far as I can tell, this guy is buying a whole lot of copies of the academic version for retail and selling them on eBay as full versions. I'm guessing that this is illegal, as the Apple EULA states that

    While it's true that I am an 'Eligible Educational End User', the Academic version is useless to me. As I understand it, the only difference between Logic 7 Pro and the Academic Logic 7 Pro is in the license and not the software itself. That is to say, I wouldn't be able to use it for commercial work. This makes it useless as I'm buying it specifically for commercial work! Plus, I can't imagine I'm going to have an easy time selling it on when I'm done with it.

    I think I'll file a dispute with PayPal/eBay. As far as I'm concerned, I just want to get my money back. I don't really care if it takes a couple of months for them to sort it all out, I just need to know that I will be getting my money back.

    So, does anyone know who I should contact? I'm no moron, but I'm finding it impossible to find an appropriate PayPal/eBay contact address on their websites. Should I go through PayPal or eBay? Who has the greater authority in this situation?
  6. skippydumptruck macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2005
    I don't know if this will help, but you can view the (possibly UK version of the) paypal protection here. Not sure if it is different from the New Zealand policies.

    It doesn't look like great news, either:

  7. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    I would do several things.

    1) Contact eBay and inform them that he is marketing academic versions of Logic as retail versions. They have a team of people (provided by the industry leaders such as Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, etc) that do nothing but deal with piracy and acadmic versions of software. I forget their actual name (starts with a V? maybe), but they closed a few of my legit academic auctions when I didn't give enough details on who was authorized to purchase the product.

    2) Have your credit card company charge back the item. PayPal will have no choice but to automatically assume your side of dispute at least intially. On a side note, this is how why legit sellers get screwed by PayPal, when fraudulant buyers "chargeback" legit sales.

    3) Email piracy@apple.com with the name, address, and other contact information of the seller. Include all emails to and from. You'd be surprised, I've heard of Apple and Microsoft giving you a legit copy of the software that you were susposed to have received just for turning the person in!

    Good luck.
  8. .:*Robot Boy*:. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2005
    New Zealand
    Thanks for the comprehensive reply. I'll definitely be letting Apple know about it, regardless of whether he cooperates with me or not (talk about 'brand loyalty' :D). Looking through his past auctions, it seems that he's sold a dozen or so academic copies. He's also selling Final Cut!

  9. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    Keep in mind that if you do initiate a chargeback with your credit card company that Paypal's user agreement expressly forbids this action. While they can't stop you from doing so, they can suspend your account indefinitely if you decide to take that route.

    If you have the seller's contact information, you might also consider forwarding it and all relevent information on your transaction to the FBI.
  10. aricher macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2004
    All the suggestions are good - just remember - you only have 30 days to file a complaint with PayPal and eBay - once that time is up you're screwed.
  11. javiercr macrumors 6502


    Apr 12, 2005
    Are you sure you are also getting an academic version too? may be you are getting the full version, you should contact the seller and verify if you are also getting an academic version and if that is the case ask him nicely to stop the transaction, he may not want more trouble with paypal and may just agree to do it or he may actually send you the full version (if he was it), if not then start all the reporting to ebay etc if not you are playing on the assuption that because the other guy got an academic version you may get one too.
  12. Gizmotoy macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    Ah yes, reason number... hmm, I lost track... why PayPal is a poor company to to do any sort of business with. Just this week they froze SomethingAwful.com's Red Cross fund, ensuring the people in New Orleans never see the money.

    Anyway, at this point there is probably very little you can do. Unless the seller volunteers to refund your money, you'll likely have to wait until you receive your copy. If it then turns out to be the Academic Version, start the dispute process. I don't think either PayPal or your Credit Card company will initiate any dispute merely on the possibility that you'll recieve the academic copy. PayPal is biased towards the buyers, so you'll likely be able to get your money back from them if you're "verified". Otherwise, I'd skip their nonsense and go right to your Credit Card company, but keep in mind aquajet's warning above.

    Best of luck to you.
  13. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    I would not worry about PayPal's policy in this matter. Check your credit card companies policy. I would NOT intiate a dispute with PayPal. Go directly to your card company, as they will have more authority in getting your money back. It may be "bad business" but intiating contact with PayPal allows them to tell your card company that "they are working on the matter" and it may never get resolved.

    You may loose your PayPal account, but I would bet you could easily open another account by using a different credit card.

    BTW, PayPal has awful customer service. Good luck, again.
  14. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    misrepresenting what he's selling might be illegal and it might be fraud but it doesn't have anything to do with the EULA

    be aware that a merchant reselling software is not covered by the EULA........a reseller isn't an "End User" and the EULA is an agreement between the software publisher and the person who purchases the license to use the software.........to be covered by the EULA you have to open the package and agree to the terms of the EULA while installing the software.....of course a reseller never does that, he just sells you the product.....courts in the United States have ruled that merchants aren't bound by the rules of a EULA in the same way that an "end user" is bound
  15. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    A reseller is however 100% responsible to make sure the product they sell isn't misrepresented.

    If they do misrepresent it, file an Federal Trade Commission report.

    And also file with their state AG -- they may have an internet fraud department.

    Too bad they didn't deliver via US Mail, because those dude's act far quicker than anyone else.

    Remember, don't let the credit card time limit run out to dispute it with them.

    Paypal typically operates slow enough that the time limit will run out before they decide what they will do.
  16. .:*Robot Boy*:. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2005
    New Zealand
    Ok, here's an update:

    I sent a message to the seller saying that I'd found out that it was academic software (he didn't dispute this) and that I wanted my money back. He said that he had already shipped it and that there was nothing he could do. I then replied and said that I'd be filing a dispute with eBay/PayPal and that I would be letting Apple know that he was misrepresenting academic licensed software and making a profit.

    Then I filed a dispute with PayPal. I couldn't file one with eBay because you have to wait until 10 days after then end of the auction. I outlined the situation and asked that they get me my money back.

    I haven't talked to my credit card company yet, I'm going to wait until Logic shows up so that I can say without a doubt that I have received something other than what was advertised. I've talked to them before regarding a similar situation and they seemed pretty happy to reverse a payment - they did, however, say that they can't do anything until it appears on my statement.

    Does the fact that this is an international transaction make things more difficult? From what I can tell, PayPal are less likely to take international claims as seriously as domestic claims.

    Does anyone know what academic software looks like? Will I have to take it out of the shrinkwrap to determine that it's an academic version, or will it be printed on the box?
  17. .:*Robot Boy*:. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2005
    New Zealand
    Update 2:

    Yay! I just got an email from PayPal to say that the seller had refunded US$600. The following message was attatched:

    So I'm out US$15, but I don't really mind. I'm just glad the whole mess is over!

    But now I have a moral dilemma. It was suggested earlier that I contact Apple and let them know about this guy. Should I do it? Or should I give this guy a break? :(
  18. AmigoMac macrumors 68020


    Aug 5, 2003
  19. Gee macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2004
    London, UK
    I don't see your dilemma - report the f**ker...
  20. crap freakboy macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

    Jul 17, 2002
    nar in Gainsborough, me duck
    Report him, don't even hesitate.
    Infact a few weeks ago I saw an auction where an Ebayer was selling £1000's of software for a Buy-it-now price of £35. Wish I'd shopped him but as I've been a hardcore Carracho user in the past I felt I had no right to without a clear conscience.
  21. .:*Robot Boy*:. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2005
    New Zealand
    Ok, you've convinced me ;)
  22. monty77 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2005
    UK, South Coast
    As for him keeping $15 to cover listing fees ... tough tits, he shouldn't of listed it incorrectly in the 1st place - I'd be chasing for that too, on principle.

    Once you have your $15 back, shop him to Apple.

  23. Euan macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2005
    Yep, I agree with all others, you don't have much of an option but to report him. I would sound as though he knew he was in the wrong, was going to get reported and decided to refund you to keep you happy.
  24. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    What a ****.

    "You caught me trying to swindle you, but I'm keeping the $15 fee, bitch!"
  25. wrxguy macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2005
    Deepest Regions of Hell
    Good luck...hope Ebay can help...I would report it to them over and over again till i get some results...

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