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Old 01-24-2004, 11:48 AM   #1
Rivet Master
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Earlier this week I watched a news program that was dealing with "on line fraud."

They reported that "on line fraud" has become the # 1 method crooks use today.

ADDITIONALLY, they also reported that BY FAR, the most fraud happens with "ON LINE AUCTIONS".

All too many horror stories already exist, just within the Airstream interests. Unfortunately, most of them are never reported, simply to save themselves from further embarrassment.

Perhaps someday there may be a way to protect us from such activities.

In the meantime, we suggest that you use "EXTREME CAUTION" when dealing with any on line auction, or with someone that does not have an physical address.

Andy Rogozinski
Inland RV Center
Corona, CA
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Old 01-24-2004, 01:12 PM   #2
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1994 25' Excella
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E-bay precautions

I have to agree. After bidding and winning my first sale item. The seller refused any payment other than MoneyGram.
Ebay discourages use of such payments but I never read part of Ebay's policy until after I "won."

Perhaps I should have read the precautions better before I registered as a user. I realize now since the seller is E-bay's customer, the rules seem to be slanted in favor of the seller. They do investigate fraud when reported to them; they can't, however, tell the victim how the investigation turns out, "for reasons of privacy."

I have followed Airstream sales on E- Bay and even bid a few just to get an idea of what willing buyers and sellers are doing.

Even so, E-Bay has nothing like the Airstream showroom "touch, feel and smell."

Caveat emptor.
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Old 01-24-2004, 01:22 PM   #3
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Will 2nd that. My mistake was sending sight unseen up front deposit 1300 miles away, for an A/S in MN.
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Old 01-24-2004, 03:35 PM   #4
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Quite the contrary, I got my AS on e-bay and the transaction was entirely satisfactory, although I had to drive 780 miles for the pickup. The seller was responsive and helpful via e-mail and I PAID NOTHING IN ADVANCE OF PICKUP. The coach was as represented i.e., in need of major interior refurbishment, but sound in running gear and appliances.

I had previously sworn to my friends that I would never buy a vehicle online and I felt very queasy when I "won" the auction but it all turned out very well.

I would still never send more than ten dollars in advance of closing and be very cautious in bidding. From what I have seen the crooks tend to offer deals that are too good to belive.
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Old 01-24-2004, 03:55 PM   #5
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I've had luck w/ e-bay but only bought small stuff under $100. However my brother sold a item on e-bay for $900. Buyer used American Express to paid for it. buyer had item for almost 1 month when he contacted AE and told them he didn't want item. AE has a customer satisfaction clause and anyone using AE for whatever reason can get their money back. So AE charged back Pay-Pal and inturn Pay-Pal charged back the amount to my brothers account. This was 3 months ago. He is still out his $900 and his item because the buyer refuses to return it. Needless to say my brother's lawyer is working on it. But was told its going to be hard because buyer lives in another state and that is where the claim needs to be filed. e-bay and Pay-Pal both decline any liablity. They told my brother he should have read the 8 pages of disclaimers before he agreed to their policies. So yes be careful when using e-bay. Apparently some people use it to make their living dishonestly.

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Old 01-24-2004, 05:16 PM   #6
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Just a small time buyer

I bought five items on eBay without any problems. I limit purchases only to items I am sure I will never get any other way. They were out of print books and antiques.
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:01 PM   #7
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Ebay is a fantastic tool for putting buyers and sellers together on just about anything, Unfortunantly like a tool it can hurt you substantially too.
I've bought and sold on Ebay for about 3 years, Its been great too. The things I've found over the years to watch for are:

1. Check the seller's or buyer's feedback rating! It's not fail-safe, but it will give you a better idea of how long and how well they've been dealing on Ebay. I would never buy a $3,000 item from someone with a user rating of 0.

2. View the seller's "other auctions." Again, if someone is selling brand new high dollar items with little to no feedback, steer clear.

3. Email them with a random question during the auction, that way at least when they reply you'll have their email address with which to follow up. Keep in mind that email addresses are a dime a dozen. You can set up multiple email addresses at Yahoo or other large search engines. To me, someone with a Yahoo address sends up a red flag more so than someone with a or earthlink account.

4. Set up a Paypal account so that you can use your credit card to buy or sell. Especially for higher dollar items, credit card companies have a larger reach than you or I do to reclaim money lost.

5. If you have any inclinations that something is wrong with the auction you're looking at or that you think it is fraudulent, don't bid on it! You ultimately make the final decision to buy. Stick with the old adage that, "If it sounds too good to be true, then it is."

BTW we have a feedback rating of 122 with 100% on our feedback

Good luck
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:03 PM   #8
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I have bought several hundred items from Ebay, although nothing for our trailer. I have only gotten lightly singed, once. Basically, if something is listed as new, mint, in the box, it is probably used at least a little. I try to pay no more than what I would pay for a broken, or used, whatever it is I am bidding on, and have done okay with that. A vehicle is not something I would buy from an online auction, unless it was really, realy, REALLY cheap. Scrap value cheap. Then, if it is a hunk of junk, I am out very little, and can move on. If it is as advertised, terrific.
Know what you are looking for, know what it is worth, know what it will cost to get it to your door. And don't get into a bidding war.

My favorite Ebay listing was "Brand new in box, only used a few times."

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Old 01-25-2004, 07:22 AM   #9
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As some of you may know we bought our current Motorhome on Ebay. From a seller with a 1 feedback. It was 2300 miles away . We had a forum member check it out ahead of our bid, received additional pictures and a condition report. We did not get out to pick it up for 2 weeks. The sellers were more than willing to wait for the funds until delivery, that gave me a good feeling on the deal even though the auction said differently. The unit was in as stated condition ( well maybe a bit more filthy than described ) but we got it cheap enough that as long as it was a sound chassis we could replace the rest.

I have bought and sold on E-bay and have not had any bad experiences, but I do a little of all of the above described research. I would not have bought the MH if it had been an individual selling it. It was sold by a trade school.

As ericandterry said, If it does not feel right, don't do it. intuition is rarely wrong.
Brett G
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Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 01-25-2004, 08:13 AM   #10
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eBay is just like any other auction place. You don't really know the condition of the goods until it arrives. I have a 100% feedback rating with some 225 positives on 270-some total transactions. You genuinely have to be careful. Don't be afraid to ask questions and ask for clarification or additional, specific photos when necessary. I recently sold a $2600 camera outfit, with payment thru paypal. I also had some 30 photos posted off eBay and referenced in the auction for buyers to see. Sellers who do that little extra to ensure that their buyers are satisfied do very well. Feedback is truly the best yardstick for measuring the integrity of the seller. A few positive feedbacks on low-dollar items are pretty easy to get. It's much more difficult to maintain over two hundred positives when 20% or better are high-dollar (over $200) items.

Know what scams are currently working out there. eBay actually has a discussion forum to keep it's members up to date about scams. I actually had three different emails from Indonesia offering $3,000 for my camera outfit if only I'd take a Visa card. Believe it or not, there's a scam going right now called "the Indonesia Visa Card Scam". So, I wrote back and told them I'd be happy to accept their offer, provided that they sent the money in certified funds by wire transfer, their bank to mine. I'd ship the camera, but they're responsible for customs in Indonesia. I never heard back from them. Hmmm...

Then of course, there are the Nigerian scams as well...

Do your homework; know what the value of the item you're purchasing really is; investigate the seller; use Visa or MC to make your purchases through PayPal; ask all your questions and get photos before hand, and in the vast majority of cases, you'll be fine. Make sure you ASK what "New in the box, only used a few times" or "Clean, just like new" REALLY means before you buy something expecting it to be unopened, and find out it's been used two dozen times, but they just happened to keep the box.

AIR 2053 Current: 2004 Airstream Interstate "B-Van" T1N Sprinter & 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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Old 01-25-2004, 08:36 AM   #11
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i like the one where the buyer gets the item and it is new, mint in a box, they dont want it. you take it back and it is not the one you sent . you get a used item in return. had that one one time.
buyer didnt get his junk returned . the city trash truck got that one. yes i got negative feedback and the buyer got his $300 item.
ebay is a fun place, it is also the funny farm for some customers.
i like the one where the seller didnt get his reserve and wouldnt sell the item for the bid. two weeks later the bidder received a e-mail taking the bid with instructions as to where to sent the money several thousand dollars. you got it he did and a month later he complained to the seller and the seller disclamed and knowledge he had sent the e-mail. after an investigtion it was disclosed that the address was almost the sellers and the bank account was in russia. i wonder why this ebayer deleted his account with ebay. my thought it was for his own protection.
best know what you are doing on ebay.
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Old 01-25-2004, 11:30 AM   #12
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I have done 100+ ebay transactions. In all that I have had only 2 that went less than desired.
One the guy shipped the item ( a radio) almost unwrapped- thrown into a box. It arrived cracked, he wouldn't respond to emails.
I of course gave bad feedback. Then I sold the radio with the description including the damage, and made 10 bucks more than I paid for it.Not sure why, but someone wanted it more than I did.
The second was a 15 dollar piece that never was sent at all.
EBAy banned this seller, and I chalked it up to experience.

My main comment is this- check the feedback, correspond with the seller if its a higher dollar item sespecially..and use escrow for the money if you are still nervous about it. I have gotten some amazingly good deal for myself and my family, and sold some items for prices that made me quite happy.
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Old 01-25-2004, 11:46 AM   #13
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Me too

Our last AS purchase was an ebay deal and it was a pretty good deal.

Always understand, if you study alot and determine that you are getting a decent deal, you are still willing to pay more than the rest of the world.

The deal we made went without a hitch and the seller was reputable. He picked me up at aport, allowed me to test drive vehicle, offered assitance on breakdown, had vehicle serviced before sale. He even sent me 200 dollars to fix a problem after the sale, now top that for an Ebay deal.

What kills me is the individuals that buy retail items from stores like Walmart, Airstream store and then sell it on EBAY at more than the retail price, These folks are vultures feeding on the unaware and the folks that cannot get out to buy from stores. They prey on folks that are just not Internet savvy enough to shop the world.
It sickens me to see AS products bought from AS and resold on EBAY for more. Why cant these people just sell information or broker services? I have seen AS cards, Key chains, liscense tags and other items sell for three times as much as the original selling price from AS.

I bet ST would be quick to string them up

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Old 01-25-2004, 12:17 PM   #14
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Re: Me too

Originally posted by smily
What kills me is the individuals that buy retail items from stores like Walmart, Airstream store and then sell it on EBAY at more than the retail price, These folks are vultures feeding on the unaware and the folks that cannot get out to buy from stores. Smily
Fortunately, or unfortunately Ken, that's called capitalism. If the market weren't there, folks wouldn't do it. There are a couple of old saws that come to mind... W.C. Fields: "There's a sucker born every minute."; Unknown: "A fool and his money are soon parted.".

eBay is a forum of true capitalism. What sells, sells. What doesn't is re-listed. As always, it's Caveat Emptor: "Let the buyer beware."

It's not the amount that things sell for or what's listed for sale that are the problem. It's the unscrupulous sellers and buyers and combinations thereof that make it 'interesting'.

AIR 2053 Current: 2004 Airstream Interstate "B-Van" T1N Sprinter & 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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Old 01-25-2004, 12:35 PM   #15
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Let us not forget that for most part we as human beings are an honest lot. I think the dishonest are the minority that we hear about, not the majority that we don't hear about.

That does not mean I'm not careful when I buy stuff from e-bay - I bought lots of great stuff - new old stuff in the original box type stuff.

Ken J.
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