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A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-16-2007, 07:30 PM   #1
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A Problem On Ebay

People here were telling experiences with credit card fraud, well this happened to my brother in law just last month. He was selling his fairly new Ford diesel dually for $30K+ in the local paper in southern California. Out of the blue he gets a call from a fellow in Maine asking why he wants so little for his truck, $17K. My BIL says WTH, and the fellow says he saw it in ebay and sure enough there it is an exact picture from the local paper with all the details including VIN and other info. So the fellow was kind enough to send a message to the *seller* asking about the low price and got a whole sob story about wife w/ cancer & lost job. My BIL reported this to the local police & ebay but they did nothing as there was no "loss" to report. He still doesn't know the whole scheme, probably just take the deposit & run but it is interesting that this level of problem is occurring on ebay and there doesn't seem much to do about it except stay very aware.
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-16-2007, 07:50 PM   #2
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

I've seen lots of fraudulent offers on Ebay, but they are usually fairly obvious...ie seller says "you must contact me outside of Ebay before bidding" ..........classic muscle cars at ridiculous prices. How could the scammer collect if the ad directs potential bidder to BIL?

I have notified ebay when I note thiese situations and the listings are generally promptly removed, but its obvious that ebay relies on members to report phony offerings.
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-16-2007, 08:04 PM   #3
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

Saw this with a bogus ad for a Harley-Davidson CVO Deuce ... some absurd story about the bike being in England, etc. Reported it to eBay, and eventually the listing disappeared.

I get a ton of phishing emails related to eBay.

Slightly different subject ... I'm dealing with a bozo right now that owns one of these I-SoldIt.Com franchises up in Ohio. They listed a clock, indicating with care various cosmetic defects (an example of good eBay etiquette), and sold "as is". A little detail ... they didn't mention that the clock doesn't work at all. Lying by omission about a readily discernible fact, but pointing out immaterial flaws doesn't strike me as proper representation. We'll see how it works out, but these I-SoldIt listings act like fronts for bad goods ... bogus business model.
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-16-2007, 08:49 PM   #4
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

I had a problem with something I bought on Ebay a few years ago. One thing's for sure Ebay doesn't do a thing to help when there's a problem. I haven't bought a thing via Ebay since.
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-16-2007, 09:14 PM   #5
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

I've heard & read about other people having issues, but I've done about 200 transactions on ebay as both buyer and seller, with many Paypal transactions as well, and have never had the 1st problem. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I'm pretty careful about reading ALL of the auction's info and researching the seller's feedback before I bid. Lower feedback score than 98-99 & I move on without bidding. I've been known to dig back several years into a seller's feedback, if it goes back that far. As a seller, I've never been burned, but I did suggest to a realtor in Houston once that I really wouldn't mind driving down there to collect my $200 in person if he didn't get off his butt & send it. Seems business was just so good he couldn't make time to go to the mailbox. I sold him a commemorative coin set. Other than one slow payer, it's been relatively smooth for me with ebay. If anybody's interested, my ID there is "espud". I don't have any auctions going on, so this ain't a sales pitch.
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-17-2007, 06:30 AM   #6
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

I have made 2 purchases on ebay. No problems so far. I have been very careful to checkout the feedback from other buyers before I bid.

But I must admit... I am a bit wary. Futhermore, it seems to me that there is not free lunch. IF something is really cheap, I am suspicious.

The most I have saved on the two items I have purchased has been about 25 - 30%. One was from a store that was auctioning slow moving merchandise (the item was new). The other was from an individual that made a remorseful purchase and was trying to cut his losses.

What I have found is that seemingly legit items (that are in fairly broad demand) are bid up to squeeze out any really great deal like 50% off.

Of course, I have not bid on items that have few bidders.

Be wary of Phishing attempts related to ebay as well as social engineering attempts to get you to divulge information.
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-17-2007, 07:55 AM   #7
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Re: A Problem On Ebay


Let me preface my comments by saying I still use Ebay.

About a month ago, I listed a vintage item on Ebay and had several "watchers" and two bids. I came home from work and attempted to sign on to my Ebay account. No access.

I have two e-mails services (one is free through AOL) and they sent me an e-mail telling me that my account had been compromised. The next part was a nightmare. I could search Ebay without logging in, I looked up my user name and someone had posted pornography for sale under my ID.
My Ebay USER name (I know, stupid) is my first initial and part of my last name. Very recognizable! Not only that, my co-workers and my family know of my Ebay User name. I'm not a prude, but geez louise, I do not want to be known as a pornography barron. That's not my gig.

I was very upset, and of course, there is no possible way to get an Ebay person on the telephone. (they have no telephonic support, hide their telephone numbers very well) They do have a HELPCHAT, however, the software was not compatible with my computer, and it did not work.

The pornography pictures sold, and I actully received $$ in my PayPal account. This opened up a whole separate set of issues which required me to change all of my PayPal account information, passwords, etc. (PayPal is owned by Ebay) This also made me very wary of a service that can so easily be hacked into, that involves financial transactions.

This was the first time in my life that I have ever had something "hacked" into, or my identity/bank account compromised. It was very upsetting, and took much too long for Ebay to properly resolve.

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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-17-2007, 10:06 AM   #8
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

Quote:
Out of the blue he gets a call from a fellow in Maine asking why he wants so little for his truck,
I'm not clear on this. The ebay listing didn't list your BIL as the seller, so how did the guy in Maine get BIL's phone number? Did the scam seller include his phone # by mistake?
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-17-2007, 10:11 AM   #9
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

Here's one lesson I learned on eBay: If you're buying something from someone, make sure their high feedback score comes from them selling things rather than buying. I bought a faucet from someone who had a high score, but this was the first thing he sold. He was a flake, but it all ended up OK in the end.

I've bought about 140 things through, and everything but that one time things went perfectly.
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-17-2007, 02:38 PM   #10
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

I've done about 100 transactions on ebay, and my experience is:

- Whenever I sell something valued at more than about $500 I get lots of fraudulent responses from people wanting to complete the sale with a cashier's check. I just ignore them and all is well.

- I never do business with sellers that have less than 98% positive feedback, and try for 99% when possible. Most problems with sellers go unreported because people are wussies about taking the risk of retaliation.

- I've never been actually stiffed, but I've dealt with several sellers that took weeks to ship or who shipped products that were inferior in some significant way. This is just a risk you have to take I think...
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-17-2007, 06:18 PM   #11
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

I have only bid on a couple of things on Ebay... and always have lost the bid at the end... and ALWAYS have found the items on sale somewhere else for cheaper than the winning bid... (I have not bought anything used....)

A guy at work bought a watch from someone and it had a problem with the day/date function... brought it up as a problem and the guy just gave him back his money... did not want the watch back... did not want the hit on his rating..

My sister has done a number of buys and sells... from what I can tell, she has not had problems with any except for some out of the country items... but they were resolved in the end..

But, as they say.. buyer beware... be ready to lose what you bought..

BTW, the guy that was trying to sell the truck had not broken the law yet (IMO).. he had not collected anything... just put it on the site.. if he had gotten a bid higher than your BIL, he could have bought it and pocketed the difference... if he could not buy it, then tell the winning bidder he had already sold it... sounds like an arbitrage to me..
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-17-2007, 08:35 PM   #12
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

I'm with yakers. Legal or not, I'd feel pretty uncomfortable if someone tried to sell my car without my knowledge or agreement....using my description and photos.

Sounds like my eBay experience has been similar to most here. In about 135 transactions I have never had a bad one. Last Christmas I had two where it looked like the items were lost in the mail (one as buyer, one as seller). After one refund and one item replacement, both of the items were eventually delivered after about 6 weeks. At that point I sent the item back (since the replacement had arrived 2 days earlier) and the lady to whom I had refunded the money sent me another check (didn't bounce). I also won't bid on an item if the seller has less than 98% positive feedback. And I do my homework to determine how high I'm going to bid (well, almost always). There are still quite a few good deals on eBay, but if you're not careful you can also pay more than retail. And increasingly often you have to snipe to get what you want.
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-17-2007, 11:36 PM   #13
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

I had $1200 stolen from me by Randy Winegar-- or whoever he gave his eBay account to.

Over the last couple years I've purchased 3600 watts of photovoltaic panels from four different sellers, including two on eBay. Most PV panels retail for $9/watt installed (or even higher!) but I've been fishing the bottom of the barrel at $4/watt for old/blemished panels.

Randy Winegar had several Siemens 75-watt panels up for auction-- typical "old school" technology that's superseded by modern panels. He agreed to a total price of $300/panel so I bought every one I could at his "Buy It Now" price of $255 + $45 shipping (a bargain in Hawaii).

He seemed like a typical eBay seller (more on that later). He was putting 75-watt panels up for auction every few days and he actually shipped some to buyers who then gave him positive feedback. I won four BIN sales so I sent him $1200 via PayPal on 22 Dec. He even promised to refund the difference if the combined shipping was under $45/panel.

Note that PayPal only insures transactions to $200. They also push very hard for you to send money from your checking account, and you have to search for the link that lets you pay via a credit card. However a credit card is the only way to remain protected (by the credit-card company) above PayPal's $200 limit.

A week after Christmas I hadn't heard from him so I finally sent him an e-mail. He responded (verbatim) "good morning to you. I will be sending your refund to you this after noon Mr. Nords I appolagize for the tardyness of it, your panels willl be shipped by tuesdays at the latest. my brother sold these to you and didn't let me know. . I dont think he realized you were in Hawwaii. I will contact you through EBAY allso. my password was changed and dont have it untill this afternoon, thats why I'm writting you trough email. I will use ebay for all future communication. I'm sorry for unprofesionalist of the way this is being handled. future transaction will be better handled. P.S. any tips on shipping methods to you. never shipped there befor. Thanks, Randy"

That was his last e-mail and of course nothing ever arrived. On 19 January I opened a PayPal dispute and followed their procedures to escalate it to a claim. Otherwise I never heard anything from PayPal or Winegar and never saw eBay do anything to Winegar's account. I also opened a dispute with my credit card company (MBNA Fidelity, now FIA) and that got a PayPal response in a hurry.

On 6 Feb PayPal reimbursed their $200 x 4 transaction limit and swore that they'd pursue this criminal to the ends of the Earth claimed they'd try to recover the rest from Winegar. FIA charged back the other $100 x 4 on 15 Feb. On 22 Feb, without my consent, PayPal closed the dispute. If I hadn't persevered with PayPal to use a credit card for the transactions then I would've been screwed out of the last $400.

In retrospect Winegar manufactured his feedback record by making over a third of it from a guy selling used tools. Those $1-$5 transactions added up to a very high positive rating that would've been a lot more suspicious if I'd bothered to check his burst of buying activity in Nov & Dec. He was still buying in Jan but of course the negative feedbacks didn't start rolling in until the day before I filed my claim. After that he disappeared. I hope his crime paid.

Two weeks later I found a first-time seller-- feedback rating of ZERO-- practically giving away five 64-watt panels for $200 each plus $75 shipping. It seemed way too good to be true. It took me a long time (and a lot of Google searching) to overcome my scorched tail feathers, but I made the buy and they showed up a week later.



I'm done with this post, but just for Randy (& Google's index crawlers) I'm borrowing BMJ's tactic:
"Randy Winegar's eBay business is likely illegitimate and perhaps fraudulent. He's untrustworthy and I don't want anyone scammed by Randy Winegar. So hopefully when somebody finds this name they'll notice how suspicious Randy Winegar is as I keep using unhelfpul adjectives when I talk about the highly negative Winegar eBay feedback.
I wouldn't touch Randy Winegar with a 10-foot pole. Two million page viewers in the past two months will give weight to the idea that Randy Winegar may be a ripoff eBay seller--after all what else could you conclude from his negative feedback and the fact that PayPal decided our four disputes against him?
Disclaimer: I have no knowledge of Randy Winegar beyond the fact that he stole $1200 from me, so do your own due diligence to find out for sure if he's running a total scam that will rip off your money or if he's legit. From what I've seen, though, I personally wouldn't ever do business with him again."
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-18-2007, 05:25 AM   #14
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

Tell it like it is Nords!

There are plenty of scamsters in the water these days. Any they don't even have to lie to your face .


The couple of purchases I made seems to turnout alright. I did not consider the slow con. Build confidence with many small gestures then rake in a few large hauls.

It seems to me that there is nothing new going on here... just a new way of doing it. Eventually (next 10 years), this will go away as the internet mature and practices get improved. If ebay instituted some sort of "solid verification" of a person's identity, and makes sellers and buyers post a bond... most of the fraud and schemes would dry up.

You are correct... a credit card is the only protection for a buyer. I suppose the seller is on their own.
Of course, most sellers have the benefit of receiving the money before shipping. As long as they are rigid procedurally (and not careless) in what they accept as payment, they have some measure of protection.
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-18-2007, 07:39 AM   #15
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrinch
I'm with yakers. Legal or not, I'd feel pretty uncomfortable if someone tried to sell my car without my knowledge or agreement....using my description and photos.
This reminds me of a funny incident at work about 6 years ago. We had just developed GSAAuctions, an Internet auction system for Federal surplus. The Coast Guard asked us to post the Cutter Tamaroa which they were having a hard time excessing through off lines means. This was the cutter featured saving the floundering sailboat in "The Perfect Storm." About mid-way through the auction period someone alerted us to the fact that a bidder was selling the Tamaroa on eBay. Sure enough, all of our photos, and a better written description were up on eBay with a close date after ours. I guess the guy figured that he would get a much higher price on the premier auction site and could pick up the boat for less from us. I can't remember the details, but I believe the item stayed up on eBay throughout our bidding period and only pulled in a few thousand as a top bid. Our legal folks scratched their heads about it but didn't see where the guy was violating any laws. They eventually notified eBay so they could deal with it under their policies. We sold the boat for $60K which was actually a deal for the CG which was losing a ton of dough on it.

Ironically, it turns out that we got better prices on our site than we could get on eBay. Almost everyone, including me, worried that it was inefficient to run our own auction site. My team built it at management insistence that they wanted a Gov operated site because of our "unique" requirements. I an others assumed eBay would reach more eyeballs generating better prices and we could work out the "details." After we were up for a year or so I convinced management to split up a group of identical items (Rolex watches, furniture, and typical Federal excess junk that we regularly sell) and post them on both eBay and our own site. We identified ourselves as GSA on eBay and used the same photos and descriptions on both sites. Only about 60% of the items sold on eBay vs 100% on our own site. On all the items that eBay sold, we got a substantially better price ourselves in some cases more than doubling eBay's prices. We concluded that it was a matter of trust and a sophisticated customer base that understood how to buy and resell our junk. We figured we could probably move lock stock and barrel to eBay and bring those customers (and hopefully prices) with us but eBay wasn't interested in cutting much of a deal. At their commission levels it was much cheaper to run the system ourselves.
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-18-2007, 10:42 AM   #16
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

Have you seen this site?

http://www.tamaroa.org/

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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-18-2007, 03:41 PM   #17
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Have you seen this site?

http://www.tamaroa.org/

Thanks Al. I think I saw that site several years back but, if I recall correctly, at the time I saw it the Commission had not been able to buy the boat from the people we sold it to. It looks like they succeeded in preserving the thing. If they had gotten active earlier they could have gotten it for free from GSA. I think the news accounts from our sale caught the attention of former crew members who got this effort rolling.
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-18-2007, 04:07 PM   #18
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

I have made several purchases on ebay - but as others have said, make sure you do a thorough check on their ratings - i am also suspicious of negative ratings that are later taken out by mutual agreement - if there are a lot of those then you know something is up.

also read read read very carefully the details of what you are buying - funniest purchase I made was a set of children's books in spanish, they said they were large format - you know i was thinking those big ones for kids/toddlers...anyhow, I got the shipment and they were humungous - like 2 feet by 3 feet each! for teachers i guess...it was pretty funny.

we purchased my honey's rolex on there too - but we were very cautious and watched the ebay market for months - to see what prices they were catching... we got lucky and found a guy selling one in our town with original box and papers which is very rare - he even agreed to meet us so we could see it first, we eventually won the bid and payed in cash in person...

also, there are a lot of fakes on ebay - clothes, watches/jewelry etc.
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-18-2007, 04:08 PM   #19
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

I guess I've been pretty lucky with eBay. I've only had three fairly minor problems. The first was when I bought a pair of shoes from eBay. At the time I lived in a condo, and I didn't want them sitting out, so I had them delivered to my grandmother's house. Never showed up, so I contacted the seller, got a tracking #, etc. Well, the stupid deliveryman (can't remember if it was Fed-X or UPS) swore up and down that he delivered it to my grandmother's house and put it on her doorstep.

A couple days later, I was going through her mail for her, sorting out the junk, and saw a notice that the post office was holding a package, with postage due. Turns out the delivery guy stuffed my box IN THE MAILBOX!! Since that was a federal offense or whatever, the mailman picked it up, took it to the mailbox, and I had to pay postage twice on it. I think I had to pay about $3.99 extra for it. Real pisser, but I at least got the shoes, and got what I thought was a pretty good deal on 'em, overall.

The other problem was when I bought one of those Intellivision CDs for the X-Box. This is a collection of old Intellivision games ported to the X-Box operating system. Well, it wouldn't read the disk.

Took me awhile to get a response from the seller, but he did issue a refund, saying that he didn't have any others. And he didn't even ask for the bad disk back, which I thought was pretty trusting of him.

The third was when I ordered some screensaver thing for a buddy of mine. It never came, so they sent another one. Again, I thought that was pretty cool of them to do that, with no questions asked.

I've also bought two cars that I saw listed on eBay. I was the high bidder each time, but neither time met the reserve price. The first one was a 1979 Chrysler New Yorker, that was only about two hours away. I contacted the seller and we agreed to a price. I told him I'd drive out that weekend and look at it, and pay him that if I thought it lived up to my expectations. It did, so I bought it and drove it home.

The second one was a 1976 Pontiac Grand LeMans, in Cincinnatti, about 500 miles away. Looking back, I took a chance on this one. I sent the seller a $500 deposit, and drove out with a friend to get it, presuming it met my expections. The seller sent me some very detailed pics though, and told me every little detail that was wrong with it, so it turned out there were no surprises. I guess if the car ended up being a piece of junk, I could have had problems getting my deposit back, but everything went fine.

I was a bit nervous though, after I signed the paperwork, and it suddenly hit me that here I was, 500 miles from home, with a car that debuted around the same time as Laverne and Shirley! The trip home was uneventful though. No surprises or scares. The only problem was that I had no idea how big of a gas tank a 1976 LeMans has, so I probably stopped for gasoline more often than I should have. I figured it was about 18 gallons, but later found out it was 21.
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Re: A Problem On Ebay
Old 03-19-2007, 12:58 PM   #20
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Re: A Problem On Ebay

I've only used eBay a few times...probably less than 20. Always as a buyer. I had two minor problems that were promptly fixed by the buyers. A scanner (new in box) I bought had a bad pixel, but it was a company selling many and they replaced it. An individual seller sent me the wrong video card but also corrected it promptly.

My sister has sold a few things, most recently a non-working laptop which had two high bids of about $1500--much higher than expected. We double-checked the listing, and it was quite clear that it wasn't working, and there were two bidders, so.... But apparently it was a scam with two different accounts; they tried sending a fake PayPal notice that the funds had been received, and it was actually too much by about $100. I think they were banking on someone being too greedy to rethink what's going on and/or double-check their PayPal account before sending the laptop.

I get eBay and PayPal scam emails a lot. For a while I kept forwarding them to the appropriate spoof reporting emails (as well as major bank scams), but lately I've become too lazy for that.
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