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Thread summary:

Problems with eBay: internet access, buy computer parts, electronics, buying a car, insurance.

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Old 08-08-2007, 02:09 AM
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
27,997 posts, read 46,379,190 times
Reputation: 19403


SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A 37-year-old man was found guilty Tuesday of collecting more than $90,000 in payments for Rolex watches and sports tickets through eBay but never delivering the merchandise to customers.

Gilbert Vartanian operated the scam from 2001 to 2004, using more than a dozen user-identification names.

A federal court jury convicted him of 12 counts of mail fraud. Vartanian faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. He was arrested earlier this year in Fremont.

Man sold goods on eBay, never delivered - Yahoo! News (broken link)
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Old 08-08-2007, 04:43 PM
256 posts, read 740,809 times
Reputation: 181
Default There are scammers everywhere

I have purchased hundreds of items from eBay sellers, and have only had 1 fail to arrive (and the "seller" took off before my money could be recovered). Fortunately, it was not a high-ticket item. I'd say that overall, this is a pretty good track record. Most buyers know that they need to check out the seller's reputation (e.g., do they have a history of selling the same kinds of items, do they have a sufficient number of feedbacks from different buyers?) before they buy.

I think the adage about "if it seems too good to be true, it is" applies when buying on eBay.

Hopefully, the scam artist in the article won't have internet access in prison...
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:34 PM
Location: Lived Large in Parsippany NJ - Lived Larger in Livingston, NJ -- Now Living Huge in Bethlehem PA
460 posts, read 1,962,012 times
Reputation: 447
Default They have fiber optic service

Originally Posted by Wanderlust07 View Post
Hopefully, the scam artist in the article won't have internet access in prison...

Oh yes they have internet access in the prisons...you should see these prisoners on myspace and other websites trying to hook up. This ebay ******* might probably end up selling prison apparrel and accessories this time on ebay...lol

There was a story sometime ago as well about a 16yr old kid selling plasma television sets and laptops which never existed....ebay is a junkyard now.
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:28 PM
Location: The Hive
159 posts, read 319,689 times
Reputation: 161
Thumbs up Only one problem in six years.

I purchase a lot of merchandise on eBay, including some fairly high priced electronics and I have only had one problem in six years.

I filed a complaint about the seller not sending the item and lo and behold it showed up three days later. Lucky for me it was a very low cost item, but I still left a detailed negative feedback for the seller.

I also never buy from a seller that has a feedback rating of less than 97%.

My advice is to thoroughly review the users current feedbacks. If I am buying computer parts or electronics, I read the seller's feedback to see if they normally sell that type of equipment. I also pay attention to the buyers who have left positive feedback for the seller. If a large number of the buyers have between one and ten feedbacks, I avoid buying from that seller because those could be bogus entries to boost the seller's rating.

Like most things, you have to do your research and like Wanderlust07 said "if it sounds too good to be true...".

Also, always check the prices on some other sites like PriceGrabber.com - Comparison Shopping Beyond Compare or Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more before placing a bid. I can't count how many times I have seen people spend significantly more for an item on eBay by getting caught up in a bidding war.

Remember, Caveat Emptor.

Last edited by MacFan; 08-10-2007 at 12:40 AM..
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:40 AM
5,640 posts, read 16,934,349 times
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Yes, once ordered something for the kids for xmas in early October. The seller kept saying they would ship again and again... turns out they must have know you have a certain time limit to complain about things... because they pushed it past that amount of days and we never got the item. Needless to say, left bad feedback.
Once got something that was misrepresented... we did the ebay mediation thing, and they were supposed to give us some $$ back and never did. Left bad feedback.
Once more we had problems for a misrepresentation of something.
Considering we have been buying on ebay for 10 years though, 3 transactions going bad are not too bad. I found the worst "scammers" to be on electronics though. I suspect that we were not dealing with americans but some overseas operation in those cases. So buy electronics carefully, in order to not be ripped off.
Someone bid on an auction we had, for pick up at our location, and reneged on the auction once they saw the item (large)... he did not like the condition it was in, even though we posted very clear photos and stated conditions in a very detailed manner... the item was old - NOT new and was stated as such. That was REALLY creepy thing to do, if he had regrets he should have not put in the final bid, and someone else could have bought it and been perfectly happy with it.
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:52 AM
Location: The Hive
159 posts, read 319,689 times
Reputation: 161
Angry Dealing with non-paying bidders.

Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
Someone bid on an auction we had, for pick up at our location, and reneged on the auction once they saw the item (large)... he did not like the condition it was in, even though we posted very clear photos and stated conditions in a very detailed manner... the item was old - NOT new and was stated as such. That was REALLY creepy thing to do, if he had regrets he should have not put in the final bid, and someone else could have bought it and been perfectly happy with it.
I'm sorry to hear about your experience.

If this happens again, you can file a non-paying bidder complaint with eBay and they will refund the final sale fees and let you relist the item with no insertion fees. I think there is a small waiting period while they attempt to contact the buyer and get them to complete the sale.

eBay also now has an option available to sellers to make second chance offers. This allows you to offer to sell the item to the next lowest bidder if the winning bidder fails to complete the sale.

Luckily for me, I have only had one non-paying bidder in six years so it really hasn't been an issue.
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Old 08-13-2007, 01:22 PM
5,640 posts, read 16,934,349 times
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Thanks good to know!

It did work out... It was a harley, so we ended up deciding to sell locally, and it sold in 1 day in the condition we advertised for a HIGHER price.

We previously had good luck selling a minibike over ebay though.
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:40 PM
Location: Moved to town. Miss 'my' woods and critters.
25,463 posts, read 11,975,518 times
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Have 'bought' many items on ebay. Only 1 time was item not quite what seller had described. I also do much research and check the sellers rep before I bid. Must check out their other items also. Would never bid on items offered by a seller with less than 97%. That is my limit. I prefer to 'watch' an item prior to bidding.

Only time that I attempted to 'sell' an item, turned out to be a disastrous experience for me. Had a computer to sell, guy bids on the 'buy it now' feature. I start getting these crazy questions about shipping to his 'cousin' in Korea. Yeah right!!! Then the guy wants to know shipping charges to another country. Yeah right, Again.

Guy never did pay, never answered emails through ebay, etc. I wound up keeping the computer. Will never try that again. Oh, I have 100% for all of my 'purchases'.

It's fun and I do get some pretty good bargains, esp. brand name cartridges for my printers and copiers.
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:29 PM
10,871 posts, read 41,174,133 times
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I've bought and sold a lot of stuff on ebay.

Problems were:

1) a seller who claimed to be an expert collector of a particular manufacturer's goods shipped to me a very obvious fake, a poorly done reproduction. After fighting with me about it for awhile, he finally agreed to refund my purchase money, but only after I'd paid the freight to return the item to him, and it was a heavy item.

2) another seller, a "pro store", admitted that he'd oversold his inventory of a particular item with an automated ebay sale program and didn't ship mine. However, he refused to refund my money on the basis of having generated an electronic shipping label with the USPS, and he wanted them to trace the item. The USPS traced, and had no record of receiving the item for shipment. Then, the seller gave me grief because I hadn't purchased the optional shipping insurance; but the USPS insurance wouldn't have paid off anyway without proof of the shipment ... which couldn't have happened because the seller didn't have the item to ship. After 3 months, he finally refunded my money.

3) I'd bought several cars with good success. However, one seller posted pictures and a description of a virtually flawless car in good running order for the 114,000 miles on the odo. After 5 months of chasing him around, he finally allowed the car to be picked up by a transporter (up till then, he was going to have the car shipped out by a friend with a transport trailer and wouldn't let me come out and get the car). The truck driver told me that the car wasn't running very well when picked up and needed a tune-up, when he unloaded the car. In fact, the car had obviously blown head gaskets, and none of the touted features of the car worked except the radio. Major systems, like the ABS brakes, SRS airbag, clutch, front axles, tires, were all worn out and/or non-functional. The seller admitted to me that he'd removed the warning bulbs from the dash so that the lights wouldn't come on to alert anybody. Shipping the car back to VT was more than the car was worth. The seller agreed to a refund, but at the same time ... the FED's stepped in and charged him with 16 counts of odometer tampering. So he didn't have any money left after starting to defend himself on the felony charges. All told, he's defrauded at least 24 customers that I know of with junk cars that had many problems not typical of the mileage on the odometer (he was rolling them back 100's of thousands of miles). Anyway, the seller is now in jail for a couple of years and I've got a junk parts car in my lot.

4) I purchased a professional high end studio mastering tape recorder, supposedly just removed from service from a radio station in Tampa. The unit came to me from a storage locker where it had been submerged in salt water for years; absolute junk not worth the UPS charges. The seller said that the unit was one of several, and said he'd exchange it with another functioning unit. The exchange unit came arrived in the same condition. As did yet a third unit. I didn't ship anything back to the seller; he finally refunded my money and admitted that the units had been in "storage" for years. I know Tampa is on the water, but these units had clearly been submerged in salt water.

5) I bought some Carhartt shirts from a seller with a multi-thousand "good" rating. He sent a couple of rags; used shirts that had been torn and used as wiping cloths. I asked for a refund of all money spent. At first, he agreed to refund the money, but later asked for the shirts back. I sent him the shirts back in his original unopened inner plastic packaging. He emailed me and told me that he'd mess with me ... posted negative feed back about me sending him rags back when he'd sent me good shirts, although he acknowledged in his private emails that he knew he'd sent me junk. He stopped payment on his refund check, too. I (in violation of ebay rules) contacted a number of bidders on his other clothing auctions. They all said they'd gotten junk ... cheap copies of the brand name clothing they'd bought or rags ... but were afraid to give him a negative feed back for fear of reprisal. He's since shown up a bunch of times under various seller names, but with the same scam everytime. Most of the items in the teens to twenty dollar range.

6) I bought a flatbed scanner from a lady who accurately reported the model and features as listed on the box. What she didn't mention was that she'd bought that new scanner and placed her old one in the box. So, I got her old scanner ... and it took me awhile to realize that the service disc matched the box item, but not the contents of the box. No wonder I couldn't get it to work with my computer. Anyway, she refused to refund my money.

I've since been in touch with the Federal authorities about the car scam where I was defrauded of several thousand dollars. They say that they're now looking at bad ebay sellers as interstate commerce fraud; they are seeking to change e-commerce to a federally regulated business. It's not too bad a situation when it's small items ... CD's, DVD's, books, magazines, some lower value collectables ... and the sellers are reputable. But it's a big deal when a car dealer misrepresents his merchandise and won't do anything about it.

I still buy stuff on ebay, but won't do major purchases unless I can inspect or verify the merchandise. I had a friend fall for one of those "distress, leaving the country" deals where she bought a horse trailer at a great price and the location of the trailer was only to be disclosed after the payment was received by wire transfer or certified funds. She wired the money, and the location of the trailer in Texas was some folks out on a farm road who'd never heard of the seller or the deal. My friend drove her truck 1,600 miles roundtrip for nothing except to find out she'd been ripped off. Of course, the account she'd wired the money to was closed and the people were gone.

OTOH, I bought a 26' gooseneck stock trailer from a fellow in Wyoming who was kind enough to deliver it to me on his travels at almost no cost to me. I emailed him before making my bid, and verified the existence of the trailer and it's condition. Bought it for much less than 1/2 retail ... an almost new stock trailer, he'd used it to move his last group of cattle ... and it was in pristine condition. A really great buy.

I find it helps to use the ebay email system to communicate with sellers about their items before I bid. That way I've got a trail of seller statements about what they've got for sale in response to my specific questions. Should they not deliver the goods, I've got the basis of an ebay complaint supported. If I can't get good communication with a seller before I bid, then I'm not bidding ....
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:31 PM
103 posts, read 358,944 times
Reputation: 27
I seldem buy goods on ebey.so do my friends and classmates .We think it will be OK for us to buy things by ourselves.you can check those goods.I saw some news that those goods are different when you get them.they use some technology to make the goods more beautiful!
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