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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rahzel's Avatar
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    Scam alert: eBay user selling Cannondale Tandem Bicycle (kercea6@googlemail.com)

    I just wanted to alert people of a scam I just (narrowly) avoided involving purchasing a tandem bicycle on eBay. The user has been banned from eBay, and I can't find his user page, but he advertises in the auction descriptions as having the email address "kercea6@googlemail.com", which in and of itself is interesting, since no one uses the googlemail.com extension of gmail anymore.

    I'm in the market for a tandem for my girlfriend and I. We're looking at something entry level, so when we saw a M/S 199x Cannondale road tandem with lots of upgrades pop up on eBay, we were interested. It contained several neat upgrades, including new FSA Gossamer cranks, full Ultegra drivetrain, Dura-Ace 10-speed componentry and Bontrager tandem aero wheels.

    However, there were a few unusual things about the auction:

    1. The auction was a 1-day auction, starting at 11am. Most people who sell on 1-day auctions are either very smart, or desperate.
    2. No PayPal, only personal check/money order.
    3. The guy's email was in the item description, instructing the potential buyer to email him for "The Buy It Now Price" or for any item questions.
    4. The item description was incomplete. Didn't include basic things like teeth on chainring/cassette, or detailed specs of the frame condition.
    5. The starting price was $349, at least $1000 less than what I judged the tandem to be worth.
    6. The guy has good feedback as a buyer, but hasn't completed any sales as a seller in 4 years.

    I placed a meager bid, and then emailed the guy asking for more info. He emailed me twice, first saying that I could buy it straight up from him for $500, then in a second email immediately following the first saying the price was $900. A few hours later, eBay pulls the auction and bans the seller.

    Just to confirm that this is a scam, I email the guy again, saying "I am still interested, even though eBay pulled the auction. Can you just confirm that the cassette is an 11-33?" He replies saying "Yes, cassette is an 11-33." Now, unless something happened in the past few hours that I didn't hear about, no one makes an 11-33 cassette in 10 speed...

    So anyway, my suspicions were confirmed, watch out for this guy! kercea6@googlemail.com.

  2. #2
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    - when will folks learn that eScamBay is no place to do business?

    - thank you for posting this warning!

  3. #3
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linux_author View Post
    - when will folks learn that eScamBay is no place to do business?
    And your opinion is based on what....experience? I have bought numerous things on eBay and have never been scammed.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by swc7916 View Post
    And your opinion is based on what....experience? I have bought numerous things on eBay and have never been scammed.
    YES! I got scammed so many times on ebay I closed my account! After over 150 buys. I will never, ever, buy off ebay again!

    Ciao,
    Timothy

  5. #5
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Ebay is an incredibly useful resource. However, as with doing any type of on-line business it's buyer-beware. Look for the red-flags that Ebay and common sense suggests are indicative of a scam and you'll usually do OK.

    I saw this C'dale and "contact me by Email before bidding" is about as obvious as any Email scam where someone wants to give you a bazillion dollars for a $1,500 item up for sale on Craigslist via a Cashiers Check: just send them back 1/2 a bazillion dollars and they'll call it even. Yeah right. If you looked at the sellers account you'd have also noticed that it hadn't been used since 2003... Similarly, I've seen lots of motorcycles and other high-end bicycles going for silly-low-prices where the seller has no history of ever buying or selling anything remotely related to motorcycles or bicycles, e.g., porcelain glass figurines, electronics, etc...

    Again, use your head and if an ad looks flakey tell Ebay not everyone else in the world. They'll pull the ad and the seller's ID and that protects everyone. It's unfortunately a PIA to do given that you must go through about 3 screens, but they pull the ads shortly thereafter.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rahzel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Ebay is an incredibly useful resource. However, as with doing any type of on-line business it's buyer-beware. Look for the red-flags that Ebay and common sense suggests are indicative of a scam and you'll usually do OK.

    ...

    Again, use your head and if an ad looks flakey tell Ebay not everyone else in the world. They'll pull the ad and the seller's ID and that protects everyone. It's unfortunately a PIA to do given that you must go through about 3 screens, but they pull the ads shortly thereafter.
    +1 on this entire post. The big red flags for me were the facts that PayPal was NOT offered, that there was no reserve, the auction was a 1-day auction starting at an odd time, and as you mentioned, the seller hadn't sold anything since 2003.

    This is the second time I've had a scam thrown at me in five years of eBaying (the first was for an LCD monitor that I didn't buy), but as you said it's easy to avoid the scams if you maintain constant vigilance.

  7. #7
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim24k View Post
    YES! I got scammed so many times on ebay I closed my account! After over 150 buys. I will never, ever, buy off ebay again!
    I'm not sure what you define as a scam. A item offered at a price that's too good to be true or an offer to deal outside of eBay is a red flag, and I suspect that it's a scam. If you received the item and it wasn't what you expected or as described, then I wouldn't call that a scam. I am careful about what I bid on and virtually every time I have dealt on eBay the item has been exactly as described. And the times they weren't up to my expectations, I didn't spend that much anyway.

    I didn't say that I haven't SEEN what were obviously scams; I just have never fallen for any of them.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim24k View Post
    YES! I got scammed so many times on ebay I closed my account! After over 150 buys. I will never, ever, buy off ebay again!

    Ciao,
    Timothy
    Like they say: FOOL ME ONCE...........................

  9. #9
    Double Secret Probation R900's Avatar
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    No problem with ebay, thank for the heads up.
    Time to Ride...

  10. #10
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    This criminal was doing the same thing back in June/July. Three times in a couple weeks, very similar auctions were offered. Each time, he/she varied some details (the email address, the bike, the user ID) but the overall auction was the same: "sweet bike for ultra low price - contact me via email - no paypal - one day auction". I emailed him/her with a technical question (which was answered knowledgably). But my follow-up emails, which hinted that I suspected a scam was afoot, were never answered. I suspect the criminal is periodically starting new accounts with new email addresses, hoping to dupe someone before eBay catches on. Caveat emptor.

    Rahzel - Thank you for reporting this to eBay and sharing with us.

  11. #11
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swc7916 View Post
    And your opinion is based on what....experience? I have bought numerous things on eBay and have never been scammed.
    - as other posters have pointed out: Fraud on eScamBay is nothing new

    - eScamBay relies on the legal gray area of supporting burglars, thieves, fencing of stolen goods, counterfeiting of trademarked items, and scamming of consumers by denying culpability, liability, and responsibility...

    - but that's not my main objection (there's no lifeguard in the gene pool); what i really don't like is eScamBay's pushing of PayPal as a middle manager in monetary transfers - especially because PayPal is owned/run by eScamBay...

    - YMMV, but for me, eScamBay is the Shopping Mall of Fools... JMHO mind you...

    p.s. there are numerous current lawsuits against eScamBay from some big names (such as the Tiffanys); it will be interesting to see how the courts and juries decide - but you can be sure that eScamBay's defense will always be the same: it will deny being an auctioneer and posit that its actions are protected under federal law (the Communications Decency Act of 1996)... caveat emptor!

    - also: a much better transaction method (for me) is Craigslist... this way i can deal directly as a seller and buyer... (in my last transaction i sold a ss/fixie to a local young student; she got a good deal on a needed bike and i got more floor space for another bike)

    :-)

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