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Craigslist - Buyer Beware!

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#1 mcoren

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 06:32 PM

When I was in high school in the early 1980's, I purchased a used Dynamax 8 SCT through a classified ad in the back of Sky & Telescope. I kept that scope through college and for many years thereafter, and sold it to a dealer in Maryland in 2004 after finally upgrading. I have one particular photo of that scope in my unfinished basement in Fairfax, VA, that I post to CN occasionally in Dynamax-related threads. Most recently, I posted it again at the beginning of December in the discussion of Gil Violette's excellent "Criterion Days" article.

Earlier today I received a PM from another CN'er asking me if I had moved and was selling the scope. Seems somebody in St. Louis is selling a "Classic" 8" SCT, and this sharp-eyed CN'er noticed that the picture accompanying the ad is my Dynamax 8 picture.

Here is a link to the ad:

http://stlouis.craig...3606089749.html

That's clearly my telescope (sold in 2004), in my unfinished basement in Fairfax VA, with my Ikea table on the left.

Now, I will give the seller the benefit of the doubt and suggest that perhaps he has a similar looking Dynamax 8 in the condition described, and couldn't get a good picture so grabbed one off of a web search result. Still, something feels cheesy because this is obviously a picture of somebody's scope taken in their home that is being represented as the one for sale.

I know people occasionally post sale ads for astro items using pics from vendors' web sites, but it's usually pretty obvious that these are from the vendor and not the actual item being sold (clean white background, perfect exposure, no shadows, etc.). This seems different to me, but maybe I'm just feeling self-righteous because this ad is obviously using MY picture.

Anyway, I suppose this should reinforce the advice to verify what you are buying and don't buy sight-unseen if at all possible.

#2 mcoren

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 06:35 PM

Here is a picture of the ad. I put this picture in a separate post just in case it doesn't pass muster with the moderators. Technically it's from somebody else's web site, but I would argue that it's my picture used without my permission so I have the right to post this here. :)

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#3 orion61

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:26 PM

You are probably right about borrowing your pic.
I had a fellow CN'er use a pic I took of a scope, but he was decent about emailing me that he used it.
BTW I have had a couple DX8 and the ones (2) I had the Grey and lighter Grey were far more superior optically than of the Blue Grey I had.
Funny thing is that I have a 6" Dynamax in the Blue/Grey and it has ex optics.
I don't think you have to worry about the other guy "borrowing your pic" It's just he should have asked you.
That ol' Grey of yours is pretty clean!

#4 csa/montana

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:17 PM

I don't think you have to worry about the other guy "borrowing your pic" It's just he should have asked you.


Unless he's a scammer "selling" something he doesn't have. In this day & age of cheap cameras available, it's very suspicious that someone would use someone else's photo of a scope. If it was me, I'd contact the seller.

#5 bierbelly

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:40 PM

I know, let's sue him for copyright infringement!

#6 csrlice12

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:19 PM

at $200 MAKE him provide the scope........

#7 Panotaker

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:45 PM

I have had my pictures used before too. When I contacted the seller, they said that they did a Google search and my picture came up, so they thought it was public domain since they used Google. Go figure.

#8 DoctorNoodle

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:06 PM

I have had my pictures used before too. When I contacted the seller, they said that they did a Google search and my picture came up, so they thought it was public domain since they used Google. Go figure.

Same here. I sold an Orion R&P focuser here on the CN Classifieds and a few months later saw someone other than the person I sold it to selling the same focuser and using the pic I posted on my ad. I got no response from the seller when I tried to contact him but didn't think it was a big enough deal to follow up.

#9 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:08 PM

This is nothing!

Some guy saw an ad on Craiglist for a motorcycle. The ad stated that it was "X" amount of dollars to buy and that the seller was to meet the buyer for the sale. Well, the guy went to meet to have a look at it and he was beaten up badly and robbed !!! I have never gone to meet anybody for any type of sale myself.

BUYER BEWARE !!!!

#10 Tom Polakis

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:50 PM

This is nothing!

Some guy saw an ad on Craiglist for a motorcycle. The ad stated that it was "X" amount of dollars to buy and that the seller was to meet the buyer for the sale. Well, the guy went to meet to have a look at it and he was beaten up badly and robbed !!! I have never gone to meet anybody for any type of sale myself.

BUYER BEWARE !!!!



And for every one of these stories there are thousands of stories of people like me buying quality stuff at greatly reduced prices without incident. Thanks to Craigslist, I have purchased over a hundred items ranging from concert tickets to a dryer at low prices without ever once getting ripped off or confronted in any way. In every case, the key to these good transactions is to meet the seller in person.

Tom

#11 mcoren

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:56 PM

From the "My you-know-what doesn't stink" file: Now that I think about it, I am reminded that I once listed an eyepiece on AstroMart using the same pictures from the ad that I had bought it from a year before. The ironic part was that the second person to answer my ad was the same person who originally sold it to me, wanting to buy it back! Unfortunately (for him), he was the second person to answer.

#12 wirenut

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:05 PM

yea there are lot of good deals just have to use some common sense about the transactions. It's just like any classified ad system. You also cant overlook some of the too good to be true ads either. I knew someone who answered a ad for a 70's GTO for next to nothing it was cherry. It was her exhusbands and had to go she said.

#13 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:09 PM

And for every one of these stories there are thousands of stories of people like me buying quality stuff at greatly reduced prices without incident. Thanks to Craigslist, I have purchased over a hundred items ranging from concert tickets to a dryer at low prices without ever once getting ripped off or confronted in any way. In every case, the key to these good transactions is to meet the seller in person.

Tom


I agree here. For every "ONE" of these real incidents, there are hundreds that go without a hitch. I just wanted to let people know that bad things can and do happen once in a while.

Cheers,

#14 StarStuff1

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:04 AM

About 11 years ago I purchased a 10-in f/9 mirror set and built a truss dob for the super duper Mars apparrition. It was just to long to set up every time I used it so I sold it on AM. A year or so later it appeared again for sale with my pics. I was kinda honored that my photography was considered to be that good. :grin:

FWIW, never meet someone in person to consider a transaction without at least one other friend/family member accompanying you. I used to do this alone but times have changed.

#15 DaveJ

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:24 AM

I agree here. For every "ONE" of these real incidents, there are hundreds that go without a hitch. I just wanted to let people know that bad things can and do happen once in a while.


Yes, this news item demonstrates the negative aspect quite well, I'd say.

#16 Mike B

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:19 PM

In every case, the key to these good transactions is to meet the seller in person.


I've done this a few times, as both buyer & seller. My 15" Dob purchase being my most *significant* example of success... but each event actually went quite well. Wasn't being overly cautious, but each occurrence was in daylight, and at a fairly public location where many people were around. Once was my own home, which i was less than thrilled with- for obvious (security of my family) reasons. But there were no issues.

Personally, i would shun lonely *and* dark meeting locations for sales/purchases. If its a scope you wanna try out under the stars before changing hands, just do it at a public observing event. A clear benefit here might be that if the other party bails (their robbery motive suddenly not looking doable, in a crowd :foreheadslap:), you can enjoy the eve anyway- observing with the other folks!
:grin:

#17 George N

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:49 PM

In every case, the key to these good transactions is to meet the seller in person.


I've done this a few times, as both buyer & seller. My 15" Dob purchase being my most *significant* example of success... but each event actually went quite well. Wasn't being overly cautious, but each occurrence was in daylight, and at a fairly public location where many people were around. Once was my own home, which i was less than thrilled with- for obvious (security of my family) reasons. But there were no issues.

Personally, i would shun lonely *and* dark meeting locations for sales/purchases. If its a scope you wanna try out under the stars before changing hands, just do it at a public observing event. A clear benefit here might be that if the other party bails (their robbery motive suddenly not looking doable, in a crowd :foreheadslap:), you can enjoy the eve anyway- observing with the other folks!
:grin:


I’ve sold a high-end GEM and a classic refractor with a post on AstroMart of “pick-up Stellafane or Cherry Springs Star Party”, with the understanding that the buyer gets the item *after the end* of the star party. That worked fine both times, and gave me a chance to show the buyer how the item worked, what “issues” it had, etc.

The former owner of my Obsession 20 delivered the scope to my house and helped my wife and I set it up and use it that night. That worked out great also, plus I got a well-modified Dob less than 24 hours after I decided to buy it, and a chance to test the optics before writing the check. The former owner got a pleasant 5 hour ride, a chance to meet fellow observers, and a quick sale of his scope – without packing or shipping.






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