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Old 08-09-2005, 02:59 PM   #1
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Buying a trailer on eBay

I just wanted to share my recent experience with purchasing an Airstream on eBay so others are aware of what could happen to them. After I won the auction and started my initial correspondence with the seller, the seller informed me that he had received quite a flurry of emails, AFTER the auction closed, from people trying to undercut the sale:

1) One person actually fabricated an email to look like it had come from me to him that indicated I couldn't afford to purchase the trailer and was letting this other person purchase the trailer instead for $50 more than the selling price.

2) One person asked the seller to not sell it to me and to name his price and this guy would purchase the trailer instead.

3) There were lots of emails from people wanting a second chance to bid because they indicated their ISP went down or they didn't have time to bid.

Luckily for me, I was dealing with an honest seller who honored the sale with me. My question to all those people is: why didn't you simply bid on the auction while it was active?

Has anyone else experienced anything crazy like this?

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Old 08-09-2005, 04:07 PM   #2
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Only my experience was worse.
I won an auction fair and square, and another Ebay user got angry because he thought he was high bidder. This even though his highest bid was significantly less than mine. This person contacted the seller, turned us both in to Ebay for supposedly rigging the auction, and even sicced the FBI on us!
This person seemed to think it was his right to win the auction, no matter what anyone else did. After a lengthy investigation by both Ebay and the FBI, and the local sheriff's office (!), it was decided that buyer (me) and seller had done absolutely nothing wrong, illegal, immoral, or unethical. The sore loser got his ISP account cancelled, his phone turned off, and was brought up on Federal fraud charges. It takes all kinds, I guess.

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Old 08-09-2005, 04:28 PM   #3
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My Ebay experience wasn't quite like yours. But it was bad enough.
2 years ago I was high bidder ($3800)on about a 68 25 footer.
The following Saturday a buddy of mine and I drove the 200 miles one way to pick it up. It was in horrible condition. Seller had badly misrepresented it's condition. I had called him twice before I bid and we chatted about it for about 40 minutes total. At the time I wouldn't have taken it if you had GIVEN it to me. ( If you gave it to me now I would be astute enough to part it out. Heh heh)So I refused it and of course he had to give me a non paying bidder which I still have behind my name on Ebay.
Two weeks later I found a 1975 27 footer in RV Trader and bought it on the spot. $300 less and 100 times nicer.
Now I'm pretty cautious about buying anything valued over a few $ on Ebay unless it's close enough that I can go look at it.
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Old 08-09-2005, 04:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by overlander63
....The sore loser got his ISP account cancelled, his phone turned off, and was brought up on Federal fraud charges. It takes all kinds, I guess.
I'm glad the story had a happy ending!

The purchase of my Argosy on ebay went smoothly. It was a pleasure doing business with the seller and I'd recommend them to anyone.

I also bought and sold an SOB on ebay and had no problem with either of those.
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Old 08-09-2005, 04:48 PM   #5
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I know what you mean. When I sold my 76 Sov on Ebay a few years ago, an actor from CA bought it and paid top dollar (it was nicely restored and I didn't misrepresent it). Several other people emailed and wanted to bid more after the auction ended. One coudln't understand why I wouldn't take more and offered to pick it up the next day. I guess some people get very passionate when they want something and then realize others do to. A deal's a deal!
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 68 Overlander
A deal's a deal!
thats what folks here understand that most people dont- a mans word is his bond (no offense to the ladies intended)

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Old 08-09-2005, 09:40 PM   #7
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bad and good ebay experiences

a couple of years ago i to bid on a '68 25 footer located in nc - wonder if it's the same one mentioned in this string. i won the bid based on the seller assuring me the trailer was road worthy. well, the night before i was to drive 600 miles to pick it up the seller finally emailed detailed photos of the non existant umbilicle (sp?) cord and the dry rotted tires. i had been asking for the photos for two weeks. there was no way this trialer was road ready as the seller had stated. i backed out of the purchase and he kept my $200 deposit.

the next day i purchased (non-ebay) a '78 excella which was more local out of jersey shore haven airstream park and was very pleased with the purchase.

fast forward to last week. i was the winning bidder on a '93 excella 1000 sitting in indiana. the purchase and pick-up went without a problem. now that my bank check has cleared in her account the title was fedex'd to me today. we could not be happier with our most recent ebay experience.

for more detail on the the purchase see

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Old 08-13-2005, 09:07 AM   #8
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1964 19' Globetrotter
charlotte , North Carolina
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AIRSTREAMS on eBay...a treastice

We've read the posts and heard the horror stories. eBay is just like every other area of life. It's populated with LOTS of wonderful and honest people but there are ALWAYS a few clowns who try to ruin it for everyone.
I get somewhat offended when I see some folks bad-mouthing eBayer's in general just because as a buyer they didnt do their homework or didnt ask questions. There ARE intelligent ways to do things.
As a professional restorer, airstream enthusiast, and avid ebayer I have been in business for quite a while...long before these little guys became a "fad" and trendy.
I've seen a lot of "flippers" pop up all over the place and, yes, some of them are unscrupulous and have no idea what they're doing.
But since day one my main outlet has been eBay and I have even given away items such as hitches, tires, and many other items to customers as well as inviting them to stay over when they pick up just to give them a pleasureable and memorable experience.
Ive become friends with most all of the folks Ive dealt with and made friends all over the world.
Ive run into my share of crooked BUYERS who send fraudulent checks or just out of plain meanness or jealousy attempt to ruin the reputation of a seller.
Its a 2-way street and there needs to be a level of trust on BOTH sides of the transaction.
In closing, the point is that there are good, knowledgeable, and trustworthy people out here who really want to see someone happy with a purchase of a quality camper that will add something to their lives.
I won't plug my own business in this post but anyone interested or needing assistance can feel free to contact me if desired. Thanks.
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Old 08-13-2005, 09:34 AM   #9
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1964 19' Globetrotter
charlotte , North Carolina
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Great eBay experience more thing particularly on this post which the one that prompted me to respond in the first place....I have always been a firm believer in the idea that everyone gets what they have coming to 'em.
Your great eBay experience actually amounts to "Transaction Fee Avoidance" according to eBay Trust and Safety policies...your actions in the end could have cost the seller his/her ability to continue on eBay at all for this infraction. Lots of seniors nowadays depend on and get tremendous enjoyment out of eBay whilst supplementing their retirement incomes. This could have ruined it for them.
Ultimately it was the seller's own fault for allowing you to "sucker" them into this scenario..but it speaks volumes about your regard for another person's well-being.
Enjoy it.

Originally Posted by 65GT
My ebay experience was great!! When we bought our GT it had only been online for less than two hours. By asking questions I discovered the HONEST sellers weren't looking to make a killing on this trailer -- it had been in the family for years. They just wanted to make sure that whoever bought it was going to take care of it (it needed/needs TLC). Anyway, they told me what they had it for sale for locally, I told them I'd give them $500 more than their asking price and they closed the auction and we had our baby just eight hours after being listed. Apparently some woman from CT had annoyed the hell out of them by being pushy about buying it over the phone (just name your price!), so I kind of think they sold to us to spite them.

On the other hand... I've watched a number of trailer ads go by on Ebay that do far more than raise an eyebrow. I especially get a kick out of all the questions that get answered as part of the listing by people that can't believe how nice the trailer is. How they've always wanted an a**stream. How it's the most beautiful trailer they've ever seen!

What MORON in their right mind is interest in WINNING a trailer at auction and does nothing but praise the seller about how nice their trailer is and hopes that it will be theirs? Nothing like artificially driving the interest and price of a trailer up! Yet some people read these admiring emails and get sucked into paying far more than the beast is worth. Let's see -- who benefits most by artificially driving the interest and price of a trailer up? Hmmm...

A particular non-a**stream silver shiny 17' trailer strikes a particular cord. I think the thing was listed a total of three times and never made the sellers reserve on the most treasured one-of-a-kind, no others exist, super-collectable. Never mind that it was in EXCELLENT condition (I guess if you could get past all the interior paint peeling off for starters). You'll also find at least one of these 'you gotta believe' auctions up there right now.

If I see questions from potential bidders starting out by saying how nice a trailer is, only by the teeny tiny photos available on Ebay, especially a vintage model that is NEVER pristine -- I have to laugh. Especially when the trailer never makes reserve with all these people drooling all over it.

I'd tell you that sometimes having a 100% rating isn't enough on ebay. When bidders start praising the auction -- it's a tell-tale sign that something's up with this listing. Something that doesn't benefit the buyer so hide your wallet and grab your shorts -- you're in for a wild ride! Take a pass -- look for something else.

Oh, and Ultra-Dog... Instead of accepting a non-paying strike you should have countered with the item being misrepresented. You wind up having to make a report, but your non-pay would have been (might still be) striken. Sellers CAN NOT misrepresent an item and get away with it (although you can still get stuck with the item). Ebay and Paypal support both really, really SUCK. I went through a FOUR MONTH episode over a cell phone that the seller stripped the serial numbers from. It worked out in the end, but four months on a $75 item? Wow...
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Old 08-13-2005, 11:23 AM   #10
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eBay works for me!

I have had great luck buying big ticket items on the bay (2004 Duramax, 1986 Corvette, flat screen TV, Dometic refrigerator) but one must do his/her homework before you decide to start bidding. I surfed for Airstreams for many months on ebay and other sites to get a feel for what I was looking for. I found a '77 Overlander 120 miles from my home on eBay, made arrangements to see it, bid on it and won. I strongy recomend e-mailing the seller or talking to them before you make the bid to get a read on the product/situation. I agree that 99% of the people using ebay are honest folks. I get a lot of raised eyebrows when I tell them that I bought my whole rig on eBay!
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Old 08-13-2005, 11:51 AM   #11
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1964 19' Globetrotter
charlotte , North Carolina
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eBay transactions

Great to hear it! It does work most of the my years experience with both AS's and eBay Ive found that there are signs that you should heed along the way...if you meet resistance or should be a red flag.
Ive had situations where Ive emailed Meg Whitman personally or called my account manager by phone to resolve an issue.
In order to be a little more involved and in the spirit of the community....
I'd be open to assist anyone involved or considering involvement with an eBay transaction or with just questions in general about AS's.
EDIT: Anyone experiencing a problem with an eBay transaction I may be especially equipped to help.
No strings...just being friendly.

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Old 08-13-2005, 04:57 PM   #12
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1964 19' Globetrotter
charlotte , North Carolina
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eBay continued...

Had a really nice gentleman from Savannah contact me recently who asked me to help him with auctioning this rig he owned:

I have to tell you that this was a REALLY nice outfit...spotless top to bottom and the buyer got it for a really nice price, the owner was tickled, and I felt good putting the 2 together and Ive become friends with both. They both send referrals my way also.
THAT'S the way things should go on eBay.
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Old 08-14-2005, 12:26 AM   #13
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i bought a 34 foot excella from firefighter,great problems at all, did a buy it now.
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Old 08-14-2005, 07:07 AM   #14
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Ashland , Missouri
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we've bought over 100 items on ebay and always been happy.
about a month ago we found a 31' 1978 sovereign and bought it. since it was 800 milie away we had no chance to preview it.

it turned out to be in extremely good, just needs some plumbing, etc.we're gutting the living room since we plan on going full time next year. robert has been looking evrywhere for plumbing and electrical schematics.

i think the higher the price of the ebay item the greater the chance of unhappy transaction. kind of like the probability of the toast landing jelly side down is directly proportional to the price of the carpet.

to me, it is critical to know the ebay rules before bidding.

elizabeth (and robert)

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Naked people have little
to no effect on society.
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