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WARNING!! Attempted Scam!!!

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#1 orion61

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

I just wanted to let you know about a disturbing attempt
for a scam.
I sold a Celestron C8 in Mint condition to a person
about a month & 3 weeks ago. He paid with PayPal, After receiving it
he claimed it to be not as advertised, that it came damaged and tried to get PayPal to refund him .
The scope He claimed to have recieved from me WAS NOT the scope I sent. it was beat up, Broken corrector.
My saving grace came from the fact that I live in a very small town and I know the Post Master very well.
I took Pictures of the Before shipping along with sealing it up in front of the Post master, leaving her a copy with both signatures.
The Guy even went to the extent of trading Bases to keep the SN!!! His mistake was the tube was the pebbled Orange not the celestron Pacific Semi Gloss!
With the Post Masters Witness, the pictures and the differences disclosed, the dispute was resolved in my favor!
Then the guy wanted me to do a UPS Claim!!! I refused, UPS called me stating he was attempting to do this without me I
informed them to the fraud and faxed/Emailed my evidence..
Thats the last I had heard.. Can you believe it?
If I hadn't taken the steps I did I have no doubt he would have been sucessful, If he would have just tried a UPS claim first He would have probsbly gotten away with it!
Anybody that has ever bought anything from me will attest to my honesty! So watch out and be warned...

#2 jgraham

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:40 PM

Too sad. Very clever of you to keep such good records.

#3 jmclaugh2001

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:51 PM

Dang! I always wondered if that would happen.

#4 Taylor

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:55 PM

Unfortunately that is pretty common on eBay nowadays. The market is heavily in favor of buyers and against sellers.
I stopped selling on eBay about 5 or 6 years ago when they started down their current path.
Buyers know this too, that is why they can get away with such scams. I try to stay local when I sell stuff, face-to-face, cash only. If I can't sell something that way, I'll go to specialized forums next, such as this place for astro gear and computer forums for PC hardware. If the person hasn't been around for at least 6 to 12 months and no record of buying/selling, then I'm a little more wary of dealing with them.

Your example is also why I try as hard as possible to not use PayPal unless I'm dealing with established buyers/sellers on places like AMart and here.

#5 Ed Holland

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:01 PM

People ought to be ashamed of themselves... It was very astute of you to take the measures you did to record exactly what was passed into the hands of the carrier.

Last year I had a bit of trouble when a C8 I bought suffered in transit due to careless packaging. Although I eventually negotiated a satisfactory and amicable resolution with the seller, it was a sticky situation at first with accusations of sabotage etc. Makes me think twice about putting a 'scope up for sale over the 'net...

#6 Gray

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

He should be banned from this site for trying to pull a stunt like that, if it was on here. Glad justice prevailed on your side.

#7 BigC

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:59 PM

Sorry to hear you had to deal with such a jerk.

We should all take your advice and document in detail the condition and packaging of valuable items.

Buying a new item same as the broken one already in hand and then trying a switch was something auto parts stores had to deal with years ago so their policies were changed;many tried that same scam on ebay.Every marketplace has thieves.

#8 orion61

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:59 PM

It was not on this site, I have had very good luck here,
I have known or recognized most of the dealings from here.
Thanks for the kind words.
I couldn't believe when the bay took away the option of Money Orders last year! they want to hijack all the funds they can from the seller, first in placing the ad, then in selling fees, now the push for the 3% PayPal. It is a shame
that another auction site hasn't challenged them,
The stupid new one that puts time back on an item with each bid stinks, I tried for 3 hrs straight and finally had better things to do with my life, then had to pay for my bids without winning it... I closed that account.
I have to admit tho the guy would have had me if I had not
taken those measures. Who knows how many times he had scammed people... you cant even make something like that up!!Makes you stop and think.. I'd highly suggest you sellers take my actions from now on if you can.
Mary has been very understanding about the extra 2 or 3 minutes it will take..Now I'm working on a damaged 8" SN8
tube, it got dented and the secondary cap came off and scuffed a 1/2 by 2" area in the coatings,
I have been on the phone with them for 1/2 hr today so far..
when it Rains it Pours... When this is all done I think I'll retire from the scope trading business.. I did get a MINT LXD75 mount tho, traded the whole scope straight for a nexstar 6se. it looked unused before shipping GOTTA LAUGH OR I'LL CRY..........
It WAs mint before UPS got ahold of it..

#9 Reid W

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:58 PM

Who is it??

Thanks. Reid.

#10 Paraclete

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:48 PM

Very clever of you to keep such good records.

Gotta love it! :grin:

#11 ckwastro

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:59 PM

Thanks for the heads-up!

#12 orion61

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:43 PM

Who is it??

Thanks. Reid.

Hi I don't want to print out his name understandably.
He lives in Florida, He is not a CN member thankfully.
I did pursue this on the site this happened and am happy to report his account has been terminated.
I will say If I should see him in a transaction I would feel compelled to notify the other party. Initials are A.R. that is as far as I have been advised to go. I hope you understand.
There were some red flags that I " felt" more than anything, one was a comment about how nice it was and are you sure the asking price was enough?
Another thing was insisting on using PayPal,When I asked for a Postal Money Order.
A 3rd thing is of all the scopes I have ever sold nobody was as insisting I print what the serial number was in an email, when I spoke with him on the telephone, I thought him writing it down then and there, he made a comment about not being able to at the time even when I said " don't worry find a pen and paper I'll wait". It all started adding up and just made me feel uneasy and there was something wrong. When all else fails, follow your gut instincts.
It cost me a lot of sleep because he was so insistent about
a full refund, and wanting to keep the scope at a FAR reduced price.
When asking, he was evasive about sending HIGH detail pics!
and only sent me a thumbnail sized picture except for the SN tag, thats where I saw the bit of the tube and I could see the pebbled paint finish of the tube proving it was made after 1980 and didn't match the SN and Pics I had upon shipping, then saying, his camera just broke and it was the only picture he had taken.. it didn't add up!
All I know is I lost a LOT of sleep for 2 weeks! he was making threats about ruining my reputation etc...
what a NIGHTMARE!
It was so different than when I have dealt with some of you
out there, and if you have and were happy, to chime in about your experience. I just about did not start this thread in fear someone would believe this guy!

#13 bob midiri

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:27 PM

This is one reason when I attempt to sell a scope its pickup only. I loose a lot of potential buyers, but don't loose any sleep over the fact that this might occur. Sorry you had to endure this. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. bob

#14 Cepheus Elf

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:34 PM

Yeah thanks for the heads up...Good job you took the precautions you did. I've been lucky with my sales in the past, but this really makes you think!!

Mick

#15 neotesla

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:48 PM

This is one reason when I attempt to sell a scope its pickup only. I loose a lot of potential buyers, but don't loose any sleep over the fact that this might occur. Sorry you had to endure this. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. bob


Seeing that shipping wise I appear to be on the far side of the moon, I can only hope this does not sour everyone into not shipping. I can not count the number of times I had to assure the seller I was not scamming. I have bought everything from a large SCT to minor accessories through here, and all I can say is that this should be the very small minority that would be trying this. My location in Canada is off the beaten track and there are little if any choices in retailers, so the used market is a great way to buy gear, and for the most part I do it sight unseen, and depend on the seller to represent themselves fairly.

#16 Masvingo

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:14 PM

Good thing your instinct was working and you picked up the signs that alerted you.

Glad to hear it was resolved satisfactorily but I can imagine it was not a pleasant couple of weeks whilst it was being sorted.

James

#17 Masvingo

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:17 PM

Seeing that shipping wise I appear to be on the far side of the moon, I can only hope this does not sour everyone into not shipping. I can not count the number of times I had to assure the seller I was not scamming. I have bought everything from a large SCT to minor accessories through here, and all I can say is that this should be the very small minority that would be trying this. My location in Canada is off the beaten track and there are little if any choices in retailers, so the used market is a great way to buy gear, and for the most part I do it sight unseen, and depend on the seller to represent themselves fairly.


+1

I have the same problems on the other side of the pond in Scotland. Ebay and PayPal are a great help in being able to get hold of stuff and it will be a sad day if these con artists cause sellers to be more restrictive.

James

#18 GeneT

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

Too bad that there are those type of scammers out there.

#19 orlyandico

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:48 PM

Meh. It's things like these which make buying used a big pain for people like me who are outside the US.

Thankfully I don't believe anyone has refused to sell me anything when I tell them I have a US shipping address.

The other funny thing is I must always insist on paying with PayPal - for my own protection, since I'm 8000 miles away with no recourse of shipping back if there are problems (shipping is very expensive.. $400 one way for a mount).

I guess the moral of the story is, only sell to someone here on CN or on the mart.

I did get some good stuff off ebay a few years ago... but that well has dried up.

#20 BigC

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:09 PM

The old Yahoo auctions always extended the time with each bid.
This IS how real,live auctions work.There can be no last second sniping and it can be demonstrably said to be more fair and the seller more likely to get the maximum price for an item.

Conversely it reduces the chances of grabbing a bargain when no one is looking....

#21 psandelle

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:25 PM

Wow, just reading your story makes my stomach ache. I had a similar thing happen with a Canada Goose jacket I bought on the Bay. (Hey, it was for ASTRO, so I wouldn't freeze to death.) The jacket wasn't new, and wasn't a Canada Goose, but had Canada Goose patches sewn in. Again: guy was VERY insistent about No Returns. (Con Man 101 must teach that being insistent gets people to usually back off, or something.) The best part was that the inner lining of the pockets had the name of another company as part of the material! Man, finally got my money back...but it was stomach wrenching. I feel for you.

Paul

#22 orion61

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

Thanks again for your words of support, this validates the feeling I have had about this site, generally a large extended family that watches out for one another.
If possible I would get on the good side of your Post Master
if you do shipping.
Your comments have had a genuine positive effect on me, I'm also going to stay away from that site for Astro sales.
As far as shipping across the pond, I have had nothing but GOOD experience from you in other countries. I have know reason why why people wont ship to you? The paper work isn't that bad and my PO will let me take copys home to have filled out at home before I get there, It must be like people not wanting to ship Dobs...
THANK YOU ALL...

#23 gillmj24

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:14 PM

For me personally I like to print US postage and leave it on my porch for the friendly delivery guy to pick up for free. It's much preferable to getting up early on a saturday morning and waiting in line for 30 minutes while the people in front of me want the less friendly postal worker at the counter to pack their boxes for them, print them 10 money orders for very small amounts, etc.

Last time I shipped overseas it was an AP .67x telecompressor. It was in excellent shape but used. I got a paypal dispute while I was away on vacation demanding a full refund (including shipping) for the "new item, significantly not as described" because "the glass was loose". It is a cemented doublet lens and therefore the glass can't come loose relative to each other. What happened was the retaining ring needed to be re-tightened a 20th of a turn. The language barrier didn't help but he wouldn't let me explain that it wasn't worth his expense to ship it back when he could fix it himself. He insisted though and finally removed the claim after I refunded him minus my shipping cost and he then sent it back. Lucky me, he might not have sent it back at all after I refunded him. Meanwhile I had a hold put on my paypal account while it was slowly being resolved.

Oh and another time not the buyer's fault but Fedex charged me twice and it was hundreds and hundreds of dollars! That was a few hours to clear up and get my credit card usable again.

So I'm not doing that again, my apologies to the honest folks outside the USA.

After hundreds of deals my scammer radar has gotten pretty good. But all it takes is one bad deal to give you a sour taste but I know 99.2% of people on astromart and cloudynights are good, much higher percentage than the general population!

#24 hottr6

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:29 PM

Sorry to hear that.

I was once bidding for an "ex-NASA" C8 on the bay, but was beaten by another bidder. 'No worries' I said, 'that's the way the mop flops'. But 30 mins after the ebay auction closed, the buyer advertized it on AstroMart for more than he paid for it, and he had the nerve to repost the ebay photos! In the AstroMart ad, he claimed to have owned it for years, outstanding views, blah blah blah. I called him on it and got a highly abusive email for my effort. A week later I contacted the original seller and explained the scam, and was told that the buyer had not paid for it. I left negative feedback for the scam artist on AM, and he has not been back.

#25 gillmj24

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:44 PM

Just this last 10 days or so lots of high end cameras and even a telescope or two listed in London UK (but check seller's other items and see that most other items are in the USA and $30 tops). All are buy it now for "ONLY 2600 USD" (like we americans call our currency USD...) and "don't contact me through ebay, "contact me at ukscammer@gmail.com"

Buyer... and Seller! beware!






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