too good to be true? help

JohnZ

Agent
Joined
Aug 31, 2001
Messages
30
I just won an auction of a pair of Dynaudio Audience 80 speakers (brand new) for only 255$. I haven't paid yet because I am highly suspicious of this deal.
First, he is new and has no credit at all. He only accepts money order.
Second, I think these speakers are worth about 1000$ in the US.
Third, he is in Romania. He said the shipping was free through UPS express worldwide. I think the shipping alone is more than $255 for a pair of speakers weighing 100lbs.
I am almost sure this is a fraud. What should I do?
 

PatrickM

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 10, 2000
Messages
1,138
John,
It sounds wayyyyy too good to be true. I think you should have thought of that before you became the winning bid. I don't think I'd ever send a money order to Romania. Keep your money in the bank and look for other deals.
Patrick
 

John Miles

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 16, 2000
Messages
236
Do not, under any conditions, send money to anyone in Romania if you are the slightest bit suspicious. There appear to be a number of scam rings running from that country. Do a search on Google Groups for "romania" and "ebay".... lots of PO'ed buyers.
 

Jeff Ulmer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 23, 1998
Messages
5,582
I don't mean to be a prick, but shouldn't you have considered who was holding the auction BEFORE bidding on it? Why did you bid in the first place if you knew the guy only took money orders and was in Romania, and if that wasn't stated in the auction, then why didn't you inquire if you were bidding to win?
What are the terms of the sale? were any posted? By bidding you have contracted to complete the sale, whether or not you think it is legitimate on the other end. If you don't send payment, the seller has every right to leave negative feedback , if you do and get ripped off that isn't great either.
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Ryan Wright

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 30, 2000
Messages
1,875
Yup, demand escrow. Problem solved.
And why give the guy shit for bidding on them? If you go through Escrow you have nothing to lose. The deal is probably too good to be true, but there is a chance that it isn't... I would have bid. If the seller refuses to use escrow, you know you're being scammed, so don't send him a penny.
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-Ryan (http://www.ryanwright.com )
Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
That way, when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.
 

Eric Scott

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 4, 2000
Messages
313
I would email ebay CS right away and tell them the same story, and just explain that it didn't occure to you at first that it has the makings of a scam.
Ask their advice, maybe they have a solution.
 

Eric Scott

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 4, 2000
Messages
313
Interesting story, Alf! The buyer should beware, but folks should know that most auctions are legit. I have been a lot of successful wins, (about 60) with only one for $25 "not shipped" from some loony
 

Craig Chatterton

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 18, 1999
Messages
148
Excellent ideas on the escrow service. But if you do decide not to honor this deal (and I definitely suggest you think hard about that), then document everything. Get screen prints of the auction, his Emails, your Emails, maybe some articles (copies, not links since the links might become invalid over time). If he leaves negative feedback, Ebay allows you to respond to any feedback under your ID and at least you'll have good solid information you can put there. The best thing to do would be put up a web page explaining your position (with all the documentation too). That way you could just leave the URL in your feedback response.
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Virgo: All Virgo's are extremely friendly and intelligent, except for you. Expect a big surprise today, when you wind up with your head impaled upon a stick.
 

Holadem

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2000
Messages
8,967
I am of those who think you should have thought about that before bidding in the first place. You could have emailed and asked info or something before you bid. YOUR BID IS A CONTRACT. I don't agree with retracting it on the suspicion that something might be up, since all the info was there already in the first place. I guess at this point you don't have a choice (it DOES look fishy) but that does not invalidate the fact that you should NOT have placed a bid in the first place.
For all we know, the guy is straight and you are becoming a deadbeat bidder.
--
Holadem
 

NathanP

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 13, 2001
Messages
841
Unless this guy has no feedback rating or is new to ebay,
(If he's new he'll have sunglasses by his name)
I don't think its a scam..
I bought a $1000 computer part brand new on ebay for $5..
Ebay is just a great place to get cheap stuff.
Can I get the URL of the auction?
Nathan
------------------
"Fascinating Captian"
--Spock
Visit www.speedemenu.com
 

alan halvorson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 2, 1998
Messages
2,009
Just curious Nathan - what sort of computer part did you get for $5? One thousand dollars sounds like the kind of price IBM and Unisys (as well as others) charge for rinky-dink little parts for their mainframes.
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They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
- Napoleon XIV
[Edited last by alan halvorson on October 09, 2001 at 04:56 PM]
 

alan halvorson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 2, 1998
Messages
2,009
Your only problem is, Buzz, is that Ebay allows a seller to mark a box refusing escrow when entering an auction. Furthermore, demanding escrow and threatening to leave negative feedback if a seller does not allow escrow is a violation of Ebay rules and could subject you to suspension. Maybe you don't care, but the seller was well within his rights. You should have asked before you bid - I would have refused also, I would have left negative feedback, and I would have reported you to Ebay and maybe have gotten any retalitory feedback removed.
It's just this: there are rules that you should know and then there is common sense. If I have a question, I always ask. If I bid and win, I comply with the sellers options and live with the results. I send a lot of e-mails.
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They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!
They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
- Napoleon XIV
[Edited last by alan halvorson on October 09, 2001 at 05:09 PM]
 

Jeff Ulmer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 23, 1998
Messages
5,582
There are good reasons why reputable sellers may not wish to use escrow, first is the cost, as this isn't a free service, the second being delay of payment. If a seller is either losing money or making a minimum margin, they shouldn't be expected to incur more costs for the sale than they have stipulated in their auction. It is not up to buyers to determine the rules of the transaction after they have won an item, Ebay makes it easy for the seller to state the terms they will sell under, and if they don't choose to use escrow, it is up to them to decide. Noone is forced to bid on an item, and it is because of people backing out after commiting to a purchase that many people are fed up with selling on Ebay, as they have to pay fees regardless of deadbeats.
You bid, you buy. If you don't like the terms, don't bid!
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Zardoz Online | Burt Lancaster is The Swimmer | dOc
 

Ryan Wright

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 30, 2000
Messages
1,875
I hate to admit it, but the seller is entitled to his money.
Not if there is a high likelihood that he isn't going to ship the item. If the deal is shady enough, I don't think any party is obligated to follow through. If you bid $1000 on what you thought was a Playstation 2 and after the auction suspected that the seller was going to ship you an empty box, would you still feel obligated to send the $1000, or would you demand escrow?
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-Ryan (http://www.ryanwright.com )
Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
That way, when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.
 

Jeff Ulmer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 23, 1998
Messages
5,582
This is common sense: You want to use a special form of payment, you pay for any incurred costs. Any seller refusing to use escrow when the buyer has offered to pay raises a huge red flag.
The problem is common sense is uncommon. The seller is under no obligation to offer any sort of accomodation to the buyer other than the terms of his/her auction. Ebay has a feedback feature which allows buyers the opportunity to look at the seller's history. Ebay offers an option to email the seller with questions. Both of these serve as a way for buyers to assess the risk in completing a transaction BEFORE they bid. Unfortunately, there is pervasive bidding by those who won't complete a transaction when they win, or back out because they get cold feet, both of which cost the seller time and money. If you can't use the tools available on ebay to make a decision about bidding, don't bid! How hard is that? If you want to use escrow, email BEFORE you bid and make arrangements. Otherwise, bid on something else. Don't expect sellers to be happy when you won't follow the terms outlined - one of which is whether they accept escrow.
I would also say that shades, negative or no feedback or suspect countries of origin are enough flags to keep the wise bidder away from an auction.
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Zardoz Online | Burt Lancaster is The Swimmer | dOc
 

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