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Author Topic: What to do about eBay fraud? Help!  (Read 3042 times)

breathe

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What to do about eBay fraud? Help!
« on: April 15, 2006, 07:48:29 am »

Okay, in the last two months I have been ripped off by two different eBay sellers.

Their names and e-mail addresses are:

David Coleman: davidcoleman_99@yahoo.com

John Dugan: jjdugan@gmail.com


David sold me a Tascam 48 that he dropped on the way to the shipping center, didn't send it, then was going to refund my money ($970 for the deck including professional packing/insurance/UPS).  He never sent the money and has stopped replying to my e-mails.

John sold me a Tascam 85-16 that was advertised as fully working, and arrived as anything but, and not through mishandling by FedEx.  My tech who is a certified Tascam Service Center looked at it thoroughly and said it was not just broken but unrepairable.  The deck cost $350, and shipping was also about $350 (~$700).  It's my impression that if an item sold arrives radically different than advertised, it should be able to be returned for a full refund.  John has stopped responding to my e-mails.

So I've decided I'm going to have this new policy where I ask sellers on eBay for their phone number and address before I send them payment.  I tried that on a seller today and I think it weirded him out.  Is that too much to ask from people I'm sending sizable amounts of money to?  Do eBay sellers get to hide in this shroud of secrecy from which they can totally fuck you over?

Most importantly, what recourse do I have against the people who have yet to refund my money?


Thanks and best,
Nicholas



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James Duncan

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Re: What to do about eBay fraud? Help!
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2006, 09:37:01 am »

Well, nothing is ever fool-proof, and if they want to rip you off, they are going to find a way.

Some things you can do that might help a bit is to use a (real) credit card, and always pay using PayPal.

Also, you need to watch who you buy from. Guys that use free email accounts (like "gmail" and "yahoo" are suspect in my mind.

I always look at their feedback to see what is that they are selling. If the only things they have sold are a bunch of $1.00 CDs in the last month, and are now selling a $5,000 mic, I am suspect. Don't just look at the rating, but see *what* they have been selling in the past.

If the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Look for guys that have been around for a while... Guys that have joined eBay in the last couple of months are not as worried about their reputation as guys that have a few years at stake.

With high-ticket items, you can always ask for escrow and see how they respond. Even if you don't go that route, if they agree to it in principle, it is a pretty good sign that you are OK.

If it is a really high-ticket item that costs a fortune to ship, I don't even bother if it is not semi-local. For these items, I will drive (up to about 5 hours away) and meet the seller and trade the item for a money order. 5 Hours away gives me about a 10 hour circle from which to buy.

If I can't use local pickup, I might just keep searching and being patient.

It is not worth getting ripped off. I have passed on many, many deals just because it was not worth the chance. But if you are patient, a good deal will come around that will match all your criteria.

The bottom line...wait until everything lines up perfectly before you pull the trigger.
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J.J. Blair

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Re: What to do about eBay fraud? Help!
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2006, 04:18:49 pm »

Why aren't you using Paypal, where you are covered up to $1,000?  Unless somebody has a 98% or better feedback, I won't do anything other than Paypal with them.
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studio info

They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

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Mike Cleaver

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Re: What to do about eBay fraud? Help!
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2006, 04:22:52 pm »

I use Ebay sparingly and never for items over a certain dollar figure.
Check the feedback carefully.
If someone is selling something they don't normally sell, alarm bells should start going off.
The account probably is hijacked.
If audio pros who prowl Ebay would do as I do and report what appear to be fraudulent listings, we all benefit.
It's easy to do.
All you need is the item number and a short description as to why you think the auction/item is bogus.
Ebay now acts very quickly, at least they have on reports I've sent to them and pulls auctions/items that are in the least suspicious.
Also, it helps to contact the seller and see if they can answer questions about the item that only a pro would know.
Also, ask for lots of pictures, both interior and exterior.
The escrow suggestion also is good for high value items and asking if you can have the item examined by an expert before closing the deal will usually smoke out the bad guys.
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Geoff_T

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Re: What to do about eBay fraud? Help!
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2006, 02:14:55 pm »

I presume that you have complained to EBay?

http://pages.ebay.com/help/tp/inr-snad-process.html

What was their reply?

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Albert

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Re: What to do about eBay fraud? Help!
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2006, 03:07:23 pm »

I've been ripped off repeatedly on eBay. It's very, very hard to determine in advance if the product will be as described. The sellers can check out perfectly and still send you a piece of broken junk.

The quality of sellers and items on eBay has declined overall in my opinion. This is a simplification, but it's like all the good stuff got sold and now it's just the junk nobody wants floating around from buyer to buyer. That's of course an exaggeration!

Also, I think in some cases sellers are reselling gear they bought off eBay the week before and haven't checked it themselves. For that reason I now check the "bought" listings of a seller I'm considering buying from. I will sometimes find that the item they are selling is one that they just bought on eBay. In a case like that I don't bid.

As has been mentioned, I don't bid on super high ticket items. I also avoid bidding on gear that is very heavy or bulky and requires a specialized kind of packing job. Another weakness of eBay is that a lot of times the sellers don't have a *clue* about how to pack electronics or delicate audio gear. Or don't care how they pack it.

Another rule I have for myself is that the item has to sell for WAY less than it would new. Or it has to be a vintage item that is not available new. I see some folks buying expensive gear for just $50 below what they could get it new with warranty, or even more than new in some cases. That's just ignorant in my opinion.

But ultimately, I've had so many pieces of gear show up not as described and not working that I've pretty much written eBay off as a place to buy gear for my studio. Any savings I gained is now lost from repairing broken gear or writing off a total loss.

I've taken stuff right to the garbage can. I can't with a clear conscience do what the seller just did to me, which is knowingly pass off a lemon as a working item.

I now limit my eBay purchases to low cost items or special deals from legit dealers. Or, if something is an absolute *steal* and everything else looks good about the seller, I'll pop for it on eBay. But the criteria gets more and more stringent as the bad experiences add up.

eBay is great for items like office supplies, cell phone accessories, computer peripherals (like finding new in the box out of production stuff), and other small items like that. But spending tons of money for audio gear, not for me anymore.
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J.J. Blair

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Re: What to do about eBay fraud? Help!
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2006, 04:14:09 pm »

I don't know.  I do a lot of eBase-ing.  I'd say that that my dissatisfaction rate is only 5% or less.  Considering the amount of money I've saved, I'm OK with that.

A lot of things I've bought, I've had to have worked on as soon as I get them.  However, I am buying them at a price KNOWING that I will have to do that.  And still, after you include the cost of the work, I've either paid the market value or saved money even.
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studio info

They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Geoff_T

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Re: What to do about eBay fraud? Help!
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2006, 04:52:04 pm »

J.J. Blair wrote on Sun, 16 April 2006 13:14

I don't know.  I do a lot of eBase-ing.  I'd say that that my dissatisfaction rate is only 5% or less.  Considering the amount of money I've saved, I'm OK with that.

A lot of things I've bought, I've had to have worked on as soon as I get them.  However, I am buying them at a price KNOWING that I will have to do that.  And still, after you include the cost of the work, I've either paid the market value or saved money even.


Hi

I agree, but I guess I've just been lucky. The only major mishap I've had was to buy a 40+ year old stereo tube amplifier from a guy with no concept of packing.

He put it in a large plastic tub, like kids would put their toys in, and lined the box with polystyrene cups... which were instantly crushed by the movement of the heavy amplifier.

When it arrived, the top panel had been crushed down and all the tubes smashed. I repaired it and fitted new tubes and it works OK. The guy promised to refund me part of the cash but never did and has a bad feedback as a result. It wasn't a lot of money so I haven't fretted over it.

Other than that, I've had some great deals.

I almost universally use Paypal for payment.

Smile
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Geoff Tanner
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smorgdonkey

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Re: What to do about eBay fraud? Help!
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2006, 03:52:59 pm »

I have been fortunate to get a lot of nice things from eBay and saved a pile of cash. The one item that I got that I felt I got burned on was a poorly packed guitar that was advertised as "like new, barely used". Well, aside from the poor packing there was fret wear and neck finish wear that I noticed in about 10 seconds but wasn't noticeable from the photos. I emailed back and forth for a while and then posted pictures of the wear on photobucket and gave him a link.
He said that he easily saw my point and asked how we could resolve the situation. In a discussion I said that a $30 refund would do it...he gave me $35 and it was all done.
That was my closest call to being burned and I hope it remains that way. I do always check feedback quite thoroughly.  
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Fletcher

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Re: What to do about eBay fraud? Help!
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2006, 04:38:51 pm »

breathe wrote on Sat, 15 April 2006 07:48



Their names and e-mail addresses are:

David Coleman: davidcoleman_99@yahoo.com

John Dugan: jjdugan@gmail.com


If you can get their actual street addresses [assuming it's their real name] you can always file criminal fraud charges against them.  It's been my experience that most folk don't fuck around with those things a whole lot [as in it'll be cheaper to complete the deal or do a refund than hit a court date].

As always... YMMV
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch.  
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

Vertigo

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Re: What to do about eBay fraud? Help!
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2006, 12:37:36 pm »

Unfortunately Paypal isn't a sure thing when it comes to buyer protection. I've had a case pending for almost two years now over a $100 MIDIverb. They agree that the seller was at fault (they never shipped), but claim that the accounts weren't available for withdrawal. So the status on the case is still "pending".

Maybe I'll harass them again today...

-Lance
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yhomas

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Re: What to do about eBay fraud? Help!
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2006, 01:44:21 pm »

You should report about them on Scam.com because it will show up in Google.

A guy in Canada sold the same RCA77dx to me and four other people.  His name is Tim Stevens, he lives in Kingston Ontario, and his nicknames/email addresses have been TallTim, MacguyTim, Bones122, Nelson122, etc.  You can find him on Scam.com.  In the end, I got some of my money back.

In my opinion, if you are even suspicious that someone MIGHT be ripping you off, report it immediately on Scam.com (which will be searchable by google in a couple of days).  That way, hopefully when they try to rip off other people, at least those people can have a warning.

In my case, the other people had given Tim their money and not gotten anything over a month before I sent him any money.  If any of those people had posted anything on Scam.com, I would have found out about it, because I googled the heck out of Tim Stevens (before I sent the money) and found no complaints.

---

On ebay, I also got ripped off the equivalent of ~$200 when the seller described the condition as "new", when in fact, the condition was, used (dings, etc).  The lesson there is to talk to the person beforehand and ask about everything beforehand.  Also, assume that the person posting the auction is doing their best to represent the item in the most positive possible way.

- Tommy
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