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Old 12-16-2013, 07:59 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Flatrock , Indiana
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 20
Question Seek & Ye Shall Find

I have been looking for our first airstream for quite some time, frequently visiting this helpful forum and the classified, ebay and many other sites.

I am currently trying to sort thru a potential purchase of a "sight unseen" trailer that the seller, who claims to be out of the country, will sell through Amazon Payment. Now according to the Amazon site, one has 5 days to rescind the transaction and during this time the buyer can make his inspection, accept or reject. I can see some advantages and disadvantages to this and wanted to ask the membership if any of you have had experiences with the Amazon Purchase program or unscrupulous folk that have been able to hammer a wedge in the system and take adavantage of any deficiencies in the plan.

Thank you in Advance

(ps: Sorry, I could find the spell check

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Old 12-16-2013, 08:06 AM   #2
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There are many scammers that use this ruse to take money without delivering. The same ads show up on Craigslist all the time. I have responded, talked with, and tried to get an address to look at the trailer.
My advice: If you cannot see the trailer DO NOT send money.

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Old 12-16-2013, 08:08 AM   #3
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If it sounds too good to be true, Beware, IT IS. There are many threads here about this exact scam. Stay away from this deal and any like it.

Good luck with your search and Merry Christmas.
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:44 AM   #4
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Run away from this scam scum as fast as possible. This scam has become so common as to be laughable.
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:13 AM   #5
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Ask if you can arrange to have an inspector visit the trailer. If that raises a flag, run.
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:16 AM   #6
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Flatrock , Indiana
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Affirmative on all levels. Since posting this thread, I have been in contact with Amazon who have taken a real interest in this. Amazon Payment is relatively new and one can actually purchase transact vehicles. However, the scammers have fiqured out that they get the money within the 5 day inspection period and .... well you can guess, they run with the money and Amazon and the purchaser is left holding an empty bag.

There is a need to have available to Airstream members a reliable buyer/seller program that could be offered that could assist in the transactions that would be made apart of the Classified menu, just not listing of the unit.

Amazon Payment maybe such a vehicle. Have a great day everyone and "Make it a Signature day!"

ps: Still can't find the spell check
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by RADINFLATROC View Post
I am currently trying to sort thru a potential purchase of a "sight unseen" trailer that the seller, who claims to be out of the country, will sell through Amazon Payment.
So many flags here that tell me "scam."

1 - He's out of the country. Stories differ, but they're all scams. He's working an offshore oil rig, or on a ship laying fiber-optic cable across the Pacific, or aboard a nuclear submarine uner the polar ice cap, or whatever. It is possible for a person who's overseas to grant power of attorney to someone Stateside to sell a trailer, but in that case, the owner's agent should be able to produce a notarized copy of the written power of attorney. That also means you should be able to verify through the appropriate State that the notary actually is a notary, and then contact him to verify that he did indeed witness the power of attorney. Do not proceed with the transaction until you see and verify the power of attorney letter.

Someone who is overseas, not working through an agent with power of attorney, will not be able to produce a bill of sale or a title; who takes their trailer title with them when they travel overseas? Without a properly executed bill of sale and title, how would you register it, even if the sale was otherwise legitimate? Dealing with even a legitimate overseas seller is more headache than it's worth.

2 - you can't inspect until after payment has been made. Any legitimate trailer seller will allow inspection before any money changes hands. Citing the "five-days to inspect" rule is designed to lull you into falsely believing you can get the money back when you find out too late that it's a scam.

2 - Payment through Amazon Payment. Or Paypal. Amazon Payments themselves have posted alerts about fictitious websites pretending to be Amazon Payment, that are actually phishing sites designed to steal your identity and your money. If you were to agree to the purchase, the fictitious seller would provide you with a link that you'd have to click to send the money, that would take you directly to a look-alike site that would then have your credit card and/or bank routing info for them to plunder.

You can protect yourself against scammers.

Always insist on inspecting the trailer before you make up your mind. If not you in person, then someone of your choice who can give you a full report on its condition.

Always get the license plate number and the VINó or if it's too old to have a VIN, then at least the Airstream ID number. With the Airstream ID, you can verify that it's a real trailer by checking with Jackson Center, who has records of every trailer they've ever built. With the license plate number, you can get the name and domicile address of the owner through that state's DMV (though it takes some effort, especially if the registration is expired), to verify that the owner and the seller are the same person.

Always insist on working through a reputable and verifiable wire transfer service if there is a legitimate reason why you can't pay cash face-to-face. Western Union is still the best. You can walk into a Western Union office to make the transfer in person, so that you know that the money is being sent by them, and not by some mysterious and anonymous online service hidden in the vast wilderness of cyberspace. When you send payment via Western Union, WU gets your account info, but the seller does not, so you're protected.
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Old 12-16-2013, 12:36 PM   #8
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Flatrock , Indiana
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AMEN Partner! My day discussing this with Amazon was also enlightening. They were extremely helpful and I might ad, proactive with their follow up.

Its been nearly two years of searching now and I have seen and talked to a lot of "raw Material" folks out there. The internet and such has really brought them out like worms after an Indiana rain storm.

So as the Michigan DNR officer suggested when asked where the grouse were on a recent hunting trip, "Seek and Ye Shall Find" will remain my compass point in landing our 1st. airstream!

Make it a Signature Dat
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:04 AM   #9
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Flatrock , Indiana
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 20
No new prospects these last (2) days. Have noticed that I may need to Seek Out of the our Indiana area as there appears to be more choices in the SE,S and Texas. I will be traveling this next year multiple times from Indy to Greenville SC so I am hoping some side trips will "flush" out some prospects.

I am seeking the elusive Safari 25 FB, or would be thrilled to bag a CCD FB, or even the Center bath Excella . By way of this thread, perhaps some of the old timer, seasoned hunters of the infamous airstream would be willing to share some of their hunting spots for this newbie to explore and assist me in my quest.

Make it a Signature Day!

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