Caveat Emptor-eBay Buyer-Beware!!

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Chance3290, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Chance3290

    Chance3290 New Member

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    What a deal!! A brand new Trek 5200 for about $800USD!! A steal a twice the price.....Literally.
    Some guy has been putting high dollar Treks on eBay for very low prices. I saw one a few months ago. It didn't list a size, so I sent the fellow a message asking what frame sizes he had. His reply was; "What size do you need?"
    I had the feeling if I did the deal, I'd have to meet a guy named Guido in a back alley and tell him that "Ziggy sent me."
    Most likely this deal would end with me sending money and then waiting patiently for my Trek to arrive......waiting for a very long time.
    I saw similar items listed yesterday. About five or six bikes. 5000s up to a Madone. But there were two different user names listed from two different states. All the listing appeared the same. No sizes listed. I sent another message and this time eBay contacted me and said I shouldn't do business with this seller. They said it might be a scam to get people (like me) to contact them so they could be my email address. And today, when I checked, the items had been removed.
     
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  2. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Yes it's a scam. The bikes posted are always something that everyone would love to have and the prices are super cheap. The auctions are usually very short - one to three days - as these are hijacked accounts.

    One way to check is to go through the seller's feedback and see what kind of items were sold in the past. If the seller has a history of selling bird houses and all of a sudden has a Felt F15 for sale for a few hundred bucks, then don't do it. Also, the seller will most likely be overseas so that there are no laws to prosecute them. Mail order fraud in the States is a felony. However, there is no way to enforce that if the naughty boy lives in Paris.

    Never pay for anything on Ebay with Western Union or any other wire transfer.
     
  3. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    I see those guys on there all the time. And I've decided NOT to tell you guys the little tell-tale signsl in case one of those SCUMBAGS is lurking here trying to improve the believability of his auctions. "Buyer beware" is your best bet, just go with that. I will say that there are more than a few of us that keep track of these guys. We use alternate ID's and bid outrageous amounts so that the honest guys DON'T accidentally bid on them. I haven't had to pay yet, and as they are bogus (the ones I involve myself with anyway), there is no feedback, and the guy is off in a few days, hopefully before somebody gets hit.

    I've run into about 6 people that keep track of the high end BOGUS bike auctions and will bid them up so most people aren't interested.

    I've got maybe 30-40 conversations with sellers that started just like the one in this note. "what size do you need". All of them Bogus.

    I HATE eBAY bike scammer scumbags.
    DO your part when you see a bogus auction for bike stuff. Report it to eBay, email and annoy the guy over bid it, etc. Just make sure you know what's going on or you may own an expensive bike you didn't want. :)

    I'll give you one good tip. Check the feedback. If the last 10-20 have nothing to do with bike stuff, and are all for pitiful crap like $2.00 used baby clothes and $1 playing cards... Odds are the person ISN'T sitting around on a $6500 tricked out TT bike... Be smart.

    I actually got taken for a set of Zipp 909's, I KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT, and have a 1000 transactions to back it up, and am one serious eBay user. I paid the guy $1300. His feedback was good, he had over 300 feedback over 3 years, had been selling bike wheels for over a year, Lots of satisfied bike wheel customers, everything that should have been good, was good. It was a no brainer. The day I paid him the guy got 3 negs from people.... THE SAME FREAKING DAY I PAID HIM..... and then they kept flooding in. He finally, as it would seem, realized selling wheels and making $50 was not as profitable as simply keeping the money from the wheels from about 20 high end wheel auctions. The guy dropped off the earth, and that was that... That was just bad luck... I ended up buying another set of 909's from the place I get my bikes. True story, sad as it is.

    -Bob
     
  4. Chance3290

    Chance3290 New Member

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    Stormer,
    Can you explain the over bid thing? I've eBayed a bit, but I haven't heard of this.
    With my luck I'd bid $10,000 for a $2000 bike and the guy would be legit.

    But you and the good Doctor are right on your advice. I checked out this guy's feedback and he had a bunch of cheap stuff that was sold, no bike items.

    This is the kind of guy that I'd like to find out where he lives and then ring his doorbell and run.
    Or, to continue with Morbius' mantra, I'd "wave my private parts at your aunties."
     
  5. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    If the guy is legit, you've done a poor job of reconnaissance. ;) don't do it unless your sure. In fact, maybe don't do it is the best plan. Just report suspicous auctions if you feel they are funky. There are people out there looking out for cyclists but I'm afraid we are the minority. At one time I was guessing that 30% of the hihg end bike auctions were bogus. I haven't spent time doing that lately though. I got a new bike before Christmas and haven't been keeping up on things. (Trek team TT on 909's, wife loves me) :eek:

    I just checked on eBay for what i call my high end Trek search , things like 5500, 5900, madone, 5.9 etc. In the top 10, There is one for sure that is bogus (90% sure on another) and four I wouldn't send money to for any reason, none of them have put me in any kind of comfort zone. One guy has some bike feedback, but not enough for my tastes.

    Know the market, know and understand eBay. Bottom line it's your money, don't be stupid with it.

    Tell you what though, I'll give you guys an OBVIOUS one. My guess is that this persons ID has been jacked. Probably fell for one of those "please log in and check your password due to suspicous activity relating to your eBay account" emails.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=58093&item=7127849418&rd=1

    If nothing else, If you want to have some fun start emailing the guy with the most mundane stupid questions you can possibly think of to waste his time and irritate him. That's actually quite entertaining. Email after email asking about things he should know, or would have to do some work to find out. Most of these guys don't know bikes, ask for something like this. "I know that bikes comes with 10 speed rear cassettes, can I get that with an 8 speed rear cassette? I hate all that bothersome shifting." "How much more would that add to the price". "I have a wooden leg, could that right side pedal be swapped out with some tubing I could locate the peg into?" "What's the width of the tires, and how little air can I run in them?" "If I sent you an extra $1000 could you have it repainted for me?" "I don't need the front brake, could that be deducted from the price?" "What's the weight of the fork without the paint?" "could you measure the rider comfort zone for me" (Go ahead and wrap around that one for a while...LOL)

    Whatever it is, make sure it involves something obscure, or something that seems obvious to somebody that has no idea. Like that 8 speed 10 speed thing, a guy that's not in the know likely wouldn't care or understand the problem. "SURE, no problem...." LOL

    Hate to give away to much in case there is an EBAY selling bike thief lurking among us. You never know.
     
  6. Chance3290

    Chance3290 New Member

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    Yup, I checked out his auctions and, sure enough, he's a Ziggy. His feedback was for baby clothes and cell phones. In the old days, he'd be selling this stuff out of the trunk of his car.
    But man, $1500 for a high end TREK. Maybe he's legit. Just maybe.:D ;)
     
  7. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    Have some fun with the guy, ask him some stupid questions. In fact, I'll ask him a few from my list above and post them here for a good time. Don't use any from the list above. I'll ask about the 10-8 speed conversion. LOL.... :D

    I hate these guys....
     
  8. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    I dropped him a note at 2:55pm, let's see how long it takes to get some stupid questions answered.
    :)
     
  9. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    Took him about 3 hours:

    I asked:

    "...Could I get that bike any cheaper if you swapped out
    the 10 speed rear cassette for an 8? I don't care for
    all that shifting. Could you let me know the diameter
    of the seat post?

    Could I pay for half now and half in 2 weeks when I
    get paid again?

    Thanks,
    -Will..."


    He wrote back:

    "...Hi,

    Yes maybe we can have a deal....if you can please just let me know what it will be the half amount of money that you have ready to buy the bike.
    What size are u interested in ?

    Kind Regards..."


    And seriously, I think the guy is math imparied. 1/2 the money is half the money, regardless of the currency.... LOL. You know, I don't think he cared about my questions... Not one little bit... I think he just wants my money...:rolleyes: That tears it!!!!!!!!!!! I'm not buying a bike from this guy. :D
     
  10. stormer94

    stormer94 New Member

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    Chance3290,

    following quote ripped from "vegas vacation".

    "Tell you what, you give me half the money you were planning to spend for the bike, we'll go out back, I'll kick you in the nuts and we'll call it even!..."
    :D
     
  11. Chance3290

    Chance3290 New Member

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    Some halfs are bigger than other half. But, as I've said in other postings:
    "I was told there would be no math on this forum."
     
  12. domaindomain

    domaindomain New Member

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    You are right to exercise caution on ebay etc. My rule is a simple one - if it is too good to be true, then it probably is.

    That said, there are some of us on there that are just trying to make a crust from selling stuff through a great channel to market.

    Also, there are plenty of scammers posing as buyers too. If you are a seller, do your research on the buyer too - if something doesn't feel right or, especially for high value things, the buyer won't engage in discussion with you on the phone or by email, its likely a scam.

    Caution shameless plug!! : my ebay shop is bicyclerubber and I have the same as my website. I sell tyres and tubes!

    Good luck, enjoy your cycling
     
  13. Chance3290

    Chance3290 New Member

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    While Stormer94 and I and some others are having fun with this guy, I'd just like to say that I usually only use eBay as a price check. I try to buy as much as I can at the local bike shops.
    With shipping/handling (and what the hell is handling anyway?), waiting times, etc, I don't buy from eBay unless that is a substantial price difference.
    Plus, if you get screwing at the LBS, you can go face to face.
    Sure, they have a mark-up, but so do the mail-order places. Plus, I've never gotten a free whell truing from a mail-order place.

    Now, that being said, let's get back to screwing with the crooked eBay seller.
     
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