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Ebay scam. Beware before bidding for high end receivers


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#1 of 29 Raj Kumar

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Posted March 09 2003 - 11:34 AM

I was looking to buy a high end receiver.. around 1800$ max for a month now. It found that in ebay, there are quite a bit of tricksters trying to rip off unsuspecting ppl.

The receivers they sell are the highest end in each brand.
Denon 5803, Marantz 9200, Pioneer elite 49TX.
They do not have any reserve price and the bid value will be aroung 950$ or so. When you contact them, they will tell you to wire transfer money to spain or hungary or other european countries and they will ship the product.

I thought it is ludicrous that anyone will fall for it, but I read that there are people who have sent money!!

So, please be extremely careful when buying from ebay!'
The general rule of thumb is that if it is too good to be true, then it probably is not true!

Raj

#2 of 29 Brett DiMichele

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Posted March 09 2003 - 11:47 AM

IMHO if you are that naieve to sent a wire transfer to a
forgeign country on an item that is stated as being sold
in the US.. Then you deserve the butt reaming you are about
to get!

Yes there are people who bid on these scams.. There were
cars on ebay from Dimmit Chevrolet in Fla that the people
went and took pictures of and posted on ebay for sale.
A brand new Corvette Coupe for $30,000.00 that's a deal
considering I paid 50K for mine.. SURE fools were bidding
on the cars left and right... The payment instructions
were to wire 10% at auction end to a bank in Latvia (Former
U.S.S.R state)

Common sense would dictate "why" would a Florida auction
require you to send money to Latvia?

I guess people LACK common sense these days.
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#3 of 29 Chu Gai

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Posted March 09 2003 - 12:02 PM

to get a european feel of the road?

#4 of 29 Phil*K

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Posted March 09 2003 - 01:33 PM

I think the butt reaming comment is a bit harsh. Its like saying it the persons fault he got his car stolen because he left his keys in it when clearly if you didn't have some jerk out there stealing cars you wouldn't have to worry about it. People don't deserve to be ripped off because they're stupid.

There has been two occations when bidding on products on ebay that people have tried this with me. Once I was bidding on an AZ1 that a guy was selling in LA. The next day I noticed that the auction was prematurely terminated, but I had an email from some guy in Spain that said I won the auction and to send him a money order. I wrote him back and to him I didn't send money for products I haven't seen but if he was willing to send it COD that would be fine. I never heard from him again, but I did get an email from ebay saying that the auction had been terminated because fraud was suspected.

The second was on a Sony Camcorder that I was bidding on as a Christmas present, but lost the auction. I later got an email from another guy who was willing to send me the same product if I sent him a money order. I gave him the same answer and never heard from him again.

The bottom line to me is never send cash in any form for one of these auctions. If they don't take a card or paypal or are willing to go COD its probably a scam.

Cheers,

Phil

#5 of 29 Chas_T

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Posted March 09 2003 - 02:12 PM

Quote:
The bottom line to me is never send cash in any form for one of these auctions. If they don't take a card or paypal or are willing to go COD its probably a scam.


Phil,

I don't even do any biz on ebay anymore as you suggest unless the transaction is with a credit card or COD.

I'm not sure if Pay Pal has changed their policies since I used their service, but I had a problem with an XBox purchase a year ago. I made a payment and the seller took forever to ship. I asked Pay Pal if they could help me IF this guy was a scam artist. They pretty much turned their back on me. Fortunately, the product arrived after a long delay.

Sometimes people are very trusting in the world. I don't know if that is being naive. Maybe it's an innocence at an adult level that unfortunately some people will exploit for their own gain.

#6 of 29 Phil*K

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Posted March 09 2003 - 03:32 PM

Chas,

Thanks for the info thats good to know. I'll keep an eye on the Pay Pal transactions. I've only done one on some golf clubs and it went well.

I agree with your last statement. Its too bad that we can't keep some of that innocence.

Take it easy,

Phil

#7 of 29 Raj Kumar

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Posted March 09 2003 - 03:46 PM

Also, I noticed that these sellers have 70 or 40 or some big number of feedback profile. This used to be a good indicator how the sellers is. But if you check it, none of those transaction involve more than 10-15$. Even no I checked ebay, (for marantz 9200) and there they are!

#8 of 29 Mike Up

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Posted March 09 2003 - 03:57 PM

Chas,

Couldn't you had just filed a dispute with your credit card? Filing disputes had turned aggravating transactions into resolutions, at least for me.

This thread has enlightened me a bit. I've never sold on ebay and am considering to sell quite a bit. I have my Yamaha RX-V2095, my Yamaha CD player, and a couple of Sony minidisc recorders to sell. All this sits in my closet in their boxes with manual and accessories, as they were when new.

My buddy sells and buys vintage beer signs on ebay and really hasn't had any problems buying or selling. He goes with personal checks, cashier checks, and money orders, not paypal. Of course, the most is $300 which is like a starting price for electronics. I never considered paypal because they seemed like a headache plus charge a $5.00 fee for the use, which is normally transferred to the buyer along with all shipping expenses.

Ebays audio components right now just are not selling unless they're virtually given away. I've seen many Yamaha RX-V2095s and Denon AVR-4800s have ridiculously low final bids or no bids after a reasonable starting bid. People are just expecting these things to be given away!

For that reason I'm just considering transferring my Yamaha RX-V2095 to the bedroom and finding another use for the Prologic receiver that's there. Since I only use stereo in there, the RX-V2095 is big-time overkill. I'm thinking of trying to get better bookshelves so that the performance is not wasted on the Sony bookshelves. I had Infinity bookshelves in there, but they're now serving back surround duty on the Denon AVR-3803.Posted Image

Anyhow, I'll just wait until the economy gets better and people are actually willing to pay for something on ebay.

Happy listening. Posted Image

#9 of 29 Phil*K

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Posted March 09 2003 - 04:06 PM

Mike,

Sounds like Alpha 20 time to me Posted Image


Phil

#10 of 29 alan halvorson

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Posted March 09 2003 - 04:09 PM

Mike: PAYPAL's fee for a Premier Account (which is what most private parties have) is 2.9% of the transaction, plus either 30 or 35 cents (I can't remember which), all charged to the seller. It is against Ebay's rules for a seller to add that fee to the auction price, although some try to hide it in an inflated shipping charge.
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#11 of 29 Mike Up

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Posted March 09 2003 - 04:56 PM

Quote:
Mike: PAYPAL's fee for a Premier Account (which is what most private parties have) is 2.9% of the transaction, plus either 30 or 35 cents (I can't remember which), all charged to the seller. It is against Ebay's rules for a seller to add that fee to the auction price, although some try to hide it in an inflated shipping charge.


If that's the case, I'd just have to raise the reserve to cover my expenses.

However, I've seen quite a few people charging a $5 fee for using their paypal option. It wasn't hidden but right in the payment options. Unfortunate that Paypal had to start charging.

#12 of 29 Mike Up

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Posted March 09 2003 - 05:02 PM

Phil,

Quote:
Sounds like Alpha 20 time to me


I'll wait until their next series. The Alpha 20 while sounding good, is to big and a bit over priced IMO. The Alpha 10 looks very overpriced. It costs more than my 2000.4s and has a low power handling ability. As noted, I don't find much of a gain over the RS with the Alphas. I wish Infinity started to charge a more reasonable price for the lower models. I think Alpha 40 and 50's price is reasonable.

Have a good one.Posted Image

#13 of 29 Chas_T

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Posted March 09 2003 - 05:29 PM

Quote:
Couldn't you had just filed a dispute with your credit card? Filing disputes had turned aggravating transactions into resolutions, at least for me.


Mike,

You might be right about this. Since that time, I have not used Pay Pal. If I recall the situation and it's been a while, I had my Credit Card linked with Pay Pal. The payment was billed to my monthly statement.

My concerns were at that time after I mailed Pay Pal if there was a problem receiving the product, if they would support my situation in case of a problem.

I recall this part very well as they pretty much told me I was on my own. Again, maybe their policies have changed. Also, I am not sure IF Pay Pal being the middle person in the transaction, if the CC company would have reimbursed me. I am happy I did not have to find this out.

Since that time, Pay Pal requested a link to my Checking Account. There is no way would I give those numbers only because a debit card versus a credit card is a night and day transaction as you know. Debit cards are immediate debit with little if any protection for large purchases.

In the end Mike, I don't use Pay Pal anymore for buying anything, but do all my business with Credit Cards or COD. 99% of the time, it's with my Credit Card. Anytime you do online transactions, there can be a risk, however as you know, if you are cautious and use your head, the odds are with you.

#14 of 29 JakeMcM

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Posted March 09 2003 - 06:25 PM

I think that the reason that most people only buy things on EBAY for a ridicoulosly low price is because of all the scams. Personally if I see an item that is not really that much cheaper than what I could get in the store I would just spend the extra to get the security of buying in the store. I think that a lot of people now sort of think this way. It has to be at a real low price for it to be worth the risk of EBAY IMO

#15 of 29 Phil*K

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Posted March 09 2003 - 07:31 PM

Hey Mike,

I guess we're a little off the subject with the Alpha thing. I really haven't listened to the Alpha 10s, 20s, that much and I've never heard the RS 2000.4s. I think the 20s retail for $400/pr. But after looking at their specs I was supprised that their power handling capacity was so much lower than the IL10s. I paid $300 for my pair of IL10s and felt that was a good price for a very respectable bookshelf. I wasn't thinking you should replace your speakers, but responding to your desire to get some new speakers for your bedroom and knowing that you liked the Alphas Posted Image . Myself, I'd just find another pair of IL10s as they sound a litte better IMO.


Cheers,

Phil

#16 of 29 Mike Up

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Posted March 11 2003 - 09:15 AM

Phil,

$300 for the IL10s seems about right. The RS3s were MSRP $400 but could be found cheaper. The RS3's were Infinity's highest end bookshelf with the 1" silk tweeter and the 6 1/2" LMT driver(which I found little to no difference between the standard drivers). The RS2 used the standard 6 1/2" woofer(same as my 2000.4 towers), but used a 1/2" polycarbonate tweeter. While definitely not as good as the 1" silk tweeter that was in the RS3, 2000.4, RS4/2000.5, and RS5/2000.6 speakers, this tweeter sounded very good. In fact my RS1s that use a 5 1/4" woofer and 1/2" polycarbonate tweeter sound worlds better than the Entra One and share the great imaging of the Alpha series. The RS1s were $200 MSRP and the RS2s were $300 MSRP. I got my RS1 on sale from CC for $100/pair and the RS2s were bought by buddy during the same sale, at $200/pair. As you see, I think that the Interlude and Alpha bookshelf speaker's MSRP price and even regular street price is to high for what they offer. "OR" I just got use to Infinity's low price for such high performance. I noticed most good bookshelf speakers today, are higher priced than the RS series, having similar pricing as the Alphas.

BTW, went back to CC and did some more listening and believe I pinpointed the direct differences between the Alphas and the Entras. I found that the imaging from the Entras were the cause of their less than perfect sound. From the knowledge I have, this is a direct result of crossover electronics. The imaging was always phasy. What I mean is that different frequencies didn't combine to create the image placement. An example was with voices, the high midrange frequencies were focused in the center, the low frequencies in the voice were widely spread out a bit, the treble frequencies in the voices were very phasy. They shifted from coming directly from the speakers to the center and back to the speakers depending on the words. Of course this applied to other sounds as well. So in other when imaging was focused to one spot with a voice or instrument, the instrument or voice shifted in the soundstage or broke up depending on the notes or words that were being reproduced. Sometimes it's just hard to describe or characterize the sound that's being heard.

Some of the muddiness was from cabinet vibrations or lack of bracing as Infinity said the cabinets were of lower quality. The high bass was a little over emphasized which would relate to the cabinet have resonances. The muddiness in the upper registers I now relate directly to the crossovers.

The Alpha and RS speakers I own, have pinpoint precise imaging that doesn't break up with different frequencies in the words or the instruments. The sound NEVER seems to emanate from the speakers. The sound is always hovering above and in between the speakers, even when walking right up to the speakers and standing in between them. The lack of upper bass boominess is a big benefit. Having tight bass does wonders to the realism, even if the bass isn't that powerful.

Funny thing, I also compared low frequency output and extension between 4 different series, the Infinity Entra, Infinity Alpha, Polk RTI and Polk R series speakers.

Polk R30 is rated at 55hz -3db. Infinity Entra Two is rated at 50Hz -3db. There bass and extension was the same. The Alpha 20 being a bookshelf still had nice punch with a bit less extension as stated in it's 55Hz -3db rating.

Polk R50 is rated at 50Hz -3db. Infinity Entra Three is rated at 40Hz -3db. Polk RTI 70 is rated at 40Hz -3db. Infinity Alpha 40 is rated at 45Hz -3db. Believe it or not, all these speakers pretty much had the same bass output and extension even with their frequency ratings being all over the board. The RTI 70 although not putting out more output or extension seemed to have a bit more "PUNCH" then the others. It wasn't that more, just a bit.

The Infinity Alpha 50 has a rating of 35Hz -3db. The Polk RTI 100 has a rating of 36Hz -3db. The Infinity Alpha 50 had a slightly better bass extension while also having a slightly tighter bass output. Seemed more controlled. Both had excellent bass punch.

Each segment (one 6 1/2" woofer, two 6 1/2" woofers, and with the Alpha 50/RTI 100 segment, the Alpha 50 had two 8" woofer and the RTI 100 one 6 1/2" woofer and one 'powered' bandpass 6 1/2" subwoofer) offered a good bass increase over the other. I believe the extension on the Alpha 50 is very good without a subwoofer and would only slightly benefit from a sub. I think the bass extension is about 32 or 33 Hz -3db.

I'd say the Entra two and R30 is about 50Hz -3db. The Entra Three, Alpha 40, and RTI 70 is about 40Hz -3db. The Alpha 50 is about 33Hz -3db and the RTI 100 is about 36 or 37Hz -3db.

From my findings, it seems ratings can be thrown out the window. Similar competitors that offer models with the same driver configuration, can offer near bass performance when output, extension, and punch is considered, at least in my findings.

Of course, room placement makes a big deal. All is of my opinion.

Happy listening.Posted Image

#17 of 29 Phil A

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Posted March 11 2003 - 09:29 AM

I believe in buying equipment from reputable dealers. E-Bay or 'Sleeze-Bay' as I like to call pretty much views themselves as middlemen and could care less about anything except their own fee structure. I formerly worked in the online industry and I could not begin to even tell the stories. I understand why they can't be expected to police every listing but when there are repeat offenders and ads where the ad itself notes that something is illegal (e.g. Star Wars DVDs made from LDs), that is pretty much by limit as far as respect for their business practices. 95% of transactions will go through without a hitch. Just remember that if you are in the other 5% you are own your own.

#18 of 29 Dave Koch

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Posted March 11 2003 - 11:19 AM

Mike:

Couldn't you had just filed a dispute with your credit card? Filing disputes had turned aggravating transactions into resolutions, at least for me


No- won't work!

This is why NOT to ever use or trust paypal, even with a credit card. Paypal is a payment service- their "job" is to take your money and give it to someone else. That is all they do, and all the "promise" to do.

You can dispute a charge against the person or company that MAKES the charge (Paypal), and then it only works if they do not deliver what they promised you. Well, I hate to tell you this, but Paypal did exactly what they promised- they transfered all the money. They will win a credit card dispute (and they know this!)

You- if you are ripped off in a trnsaction involving Paypal-
are wanting to get at the bad seller. But with Paypal between you and the seller, you do not have an option of disputing the charge, and, in fact, I think you may even give up that right (Not sure on this, please read Paypal's TOS to find out for sure).

So there is no "credit card" protection when using paypal- that is a myth.
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#19 of 29 Mike Up

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Posted March 11 2003 - 12:11 PM

Thanks everyone, I'm starting to see Ebay as less than desirable.

As I stated, my buddy has been using Ebay for 10 years with his beer sign hobby. He's mainly bought and had no problems. Now he's selling and hasn't had problems with transactions except one bid winner who didn't want to pay what he bid. The bidder wouldn't pay full amount but paid a negotiated amount. While he broke ebays rules, he did pay close to the final bid and got severe negative feedback for not keeping his end of the deal. As my buddy has told me, ebay seems to favor protecting the buyers but not the sellers.

With his hobby though, beer signs are maxed out(with him at least) at $300 being the norm is between $20 - $60 although he's bought many in between $100 and $150.

I guess with dealings like that, fraud is harder as these signs are rare and only bought if very detailed pictures are provided. It's also a closer community where many people converse about their hobby, and know and trust one another more.

Electronics that are selling seem to be mainly from power sellers that have grey market wholesale business', where they do much of their business on ebay. They usually have a business address and walk in store although they're not always authorized many times to sell the products they do.

Maybe Ebay selling isn't for the casual hobbyist. Don't know, but I'll wait, see if demand and bid prices go up. If they do, I'll list since the lost of not selling is under $10. With it doing so poorly now, it would just be throwing that money away.

Kind of glad I didn't know this earlier, I wouldn't had bought my Denon AVR-3803. After hearing it, I can't think of a reason(other then not have the money) not to go with these new formats. IMO, they're that much better!

Thanks everyone.

#20 of 29 Phil*K

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Posted March 11 2003 - 12:52 PM

Hey Mike,

First, I know essentially nothing about how the crossover affects how the speaker sounds, nor do I know much about how the cabinet is constructed affects sound. So I unfortunatly can't really hang with you on all the details.

When I decided to get back into the HiFi game about 8 months ago I went out a listened to several brands of speakers. I loved the Sonus Fabers and the Vienna Accustics, but they were way out my price range. I happened by a CC one day and fell in love with the IL10s they had. IMO they were very near the sonic quality of more expensive speakers at a fraction of the cost. Anyway I searched all the local CC and managed to find the setup that I wanted.

I looked at the Entas as well and that is the only time I've listened to them. First of all I think that they are quite a step down in there construction. I don't remember the other drivers but the tweeters are .5" compaired to the 1" tweeters in the Interludes and the cabinets seem cheap. Second, I just felt that their sound is what I would call bland. This probably reflects what you are refering to as a lack of imaging. When I listened to the IL10s I felt as though the entire room was enveloped with sound. This was not the case with the Entras. The Entra subs don't have the RABOS feature.

When I first listened to the Alphas I hated them. While I felt they were a cut above the Entras I felt that they were just too bright and fatiguing. Now that they have been at CC for a couple of months and had time to break in I like them better, but I still feel that they are brighter than the Interludes, which I feel are very well balanced. I'm not sure what accounts for this, they appear to have identical drivers and the crossovers are set to what appears to be sending more of the freq range to the midrange. After looking at the specs and that the center channels and bookselves have lower power handling capacity than the Interlude I'm starting to think that at least in the centers and the bookselves that they are using less quality crossovers as their drivers appear to be the same.

Now the Alpha 40 and 50s seem to have about the same power handling as the Interludes so they must have better crossovers. This could be due to the paired drivers, I don't know. Still, while the Alphas share some of the characteristics of the Interludes I don't favor there sound as much. But, of all the Alphas the only ones that I would consider buying are the 40s or the 50s. I haven't heard the Alpha sub but I have heard and seen reviews that it lacks punch, which is not the case with the Interlude subs.

I didn't really consider the Polks as I felt that both the Alphas and the Interludes sounded more alive than the polks, but that probably depends on what you have hooked up to them. At CC that was a HK 525 and a Onkyo 800.

Not very scientific, but my impression.

Phil


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