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A Warning / Heads up for everyone....

Hey everyone-

I just wanted to let you guys know that there is a afa graded 10179 listed on eBay right now that is a scam. I am 100% sure its a scam because I sold the set they are listing on March 29th. I realize that most of you do not or would not bid on any AFA sets/minifigures but I want to make sure none of you get scammed regardless.

This is the fake / scam auction. You will notice that they used my original images and auction text, including the misspelling of the word "serial".

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Serieal-26885231-AFA-Graded-8-5-AFA-graded-sets-are-the-perfect-way-to-prot-/281109407553?pt=Building_Toys_US&hash=item41736d2741

The original auction can be found here:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2007-LEGO-STAR-WARS-10179-UCS-MILLENNIUM-FALCON-1ST-EDITION-GRADED-AFA-8-5-/321094817229?pt=Building_Toys_US&hash=item4ac2be15cd

To make this even more interesting, in my eyes, is the fact that when the original buyer got the set a couple of weeks ago and it arrived with a damaged AFA case, so I had her send it back to me. The exact set that the person on eBay is trying to sell is actually sitting on my desk in my office here. I have put a few calls into eBay to get the item removed but I wanted you guys to know about it "just in case".

John
Legoboy
«1

Comments

  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    ^ Very nice of you to share. eBay will most likely do nothing, which is very sad. And, the scammer will probably make money off of this scam, also very sad.
  • FurrysaurusFurrysaurus Hiding in the kitchen.Member Posts: 156
    they did change the grading to a 9. not saying that's an end all be all, but the lighting appears different as well.
  • BrickEnvyBrickEnvy Member Posts: 23

    they did change the grading to a 9. not saying that's an end all be all, but the lighting appears different as well.

    I think you are looking at a different auction. They are both the exact same 8.5.
    cloaked7 said:

    ^ Very nice of you to share. eBay will most likely do nothing, which is very sad. And, the scammer will probably make money off of this scam, also very sad.

    When I spoke to eBay they stated it should be taken down later today, so we shall see.

  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448

    they did change the grading to a 9. not saying that's an end all be all, but the lighting appears different as well.

    I that case you should bid on it! :-)

    Sure looks like the exact same photo to me. Notice the creases in the fabric in the photo? Slightly changing the auction description doesn't mean anything. Look at the seller's eBay rating. A big fat goose egg. That, along with the hijacked photo, and auction verbiage, reeks of a scam.

  • FurrysaurusFurrysaurus Hiding in the kitchen.Member Posts: 156
    oh, maybe it is a different one. why would i bid on one, when i have two sitting at home? don't need a third.
  • ChillsChills Member Posts: 9
    I hope ebay takes it down. In my experience they don't do much with scammers.

    In the event the auction continues until the end I hope the buyer pays with a credit card so they aren't out all of that money.
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,827
    Somebody should contact the seller and see how they respond...
    cloaked7
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    ^ good point. I have done that. Some people don't realize until you tell them.
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,827
    Just speaking generally for a moment, I am always shocked at what appears to be an apparent low key interest and approach by authorities to auction scams. Contrast this to say shoplifting several hundred pounds worth of goods, that I would imagine get you in court pretty quickly. I for one would love a hard line crack down on auction scams.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    Isn't the biggest issue here that it's very clear that this user is selling something they don't actually have, given that the OP says the Falcon with that very serial number is in his possession right now?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,401
    I thought the OP said he sold that set already.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,401
    I have reported the listing as fraudulent. I'm afraid if I contact the seller, he might retaliate.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,401
    I wish there was a way to contact the buyers? ...or is there?
  • BrickEnvyBrickEnvy Member Posts: 23
    There is no way to contact the buyers. There use to be many years ago, but what would happen is other sellers would contact all of the different buyers to offer the same item a lot cheaper.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    edited May 2013
    Can't someone post a question to the seller? Isn't that show publicly?
  • kylejohnson11kylejohnson11 Member Posts: 508
    Pitfall69 said:

    I thought the OP said he sold that set already.

    BrickEnvy said:


    To make this even more interesting, in my eyes, is the fact that when the original buyer got the set a couple of weeks ago and it arrived with a damaged AFA case, so I had her send it back to me. The exact set that the person on eBay is trying to sell is actually sitting on my desk in my office here. I have put a few calls into eBay to get the item removed but I wanted you guys to know about it "just in case".


  • epyon396epyon396 Member Posts: 268
    margot said:

    Can't someone post a question to the seller? Isn't that show publicly?

    The seller has an option to post it.
    In this case, I doubt they would :P
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    Anyone can contact a buyer IF the buyer leaves feedback, because their eBay username is shown then. But, that's way too late to prevent someone from being scammed. I was scammed by a fraudulent seller who had LEGO dropped shipped to my address using a stolen CC. I got my LEGO set, but it was stolen.

    When I found out what happened I contacted eBay, LEGO, and gave the seller negative feedback stating what happened as best that I could within the limited text limit. I felt it was my moral responsibility and I simply did what was right and didn't concern myself with retaliation. I then contacted a few recent buyers that had given the thief positive feedback (strange that they did) and told them what was happening and that they might end up in trouble with LEGO if they didn't return the set (which I did). Eventually eBay shut the seller down.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    cloaked7 said:

    I then contacted a few recent buyers that had given the thief positive feedback (strange that they did)

    not terribly surprising..to the average unsophisticated buyer, they wouldn't even notice the drop/ship scam. they would just see they got what they paid for, throw away the box/invoice, then happily go on their way unawares.

  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    I reported it. Maybe if enough people do then Ebay will take it down.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    You could always create a new account just to bid this up to some astronomical amount and then just not pay the fellow... I'm sure that's just as against eBay's terms as filing a fraudulent listing, but they certainly don't seem to care, and it would be better than some poor sap getting suckered out of $3000 or so.
    cloaked7Legoboycardgenius
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,401
    edited May 2013
    ^Yeah, it sounds like fun, but I think we want to be "adult" about things like this. Yes, I know what you're thinking. "Pitfall, you of all people should find it the hardest to act like an adult" ;)
    pillpody2joshFurrysaurus
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,726
    Pitfall69 said:

    ^Yeah, it sounds like fun, but I think we want to be "adult" about things like this.

    Adult? You think we should take turns each to artificially raise the highest bid out of harm's reach? :-)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,401
    Hmmm. I'm saying we should not do that. I know it sounds tempting, but I think we should try to trust eBay to do the right thing. Don't laugh too hard. My cellphone might shake out of my hands :)
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    edited May 2013
    People shouldn't be stupid enough to buy from someone with 0 feedback. Plus item says in US yet he says he's located in Spain. wth? The idea of a bargain is too much for some people to resist?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,401
    Sometimes it is better the learn the hard way.
  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Denver, CO, USAMember Posts: 1,642
    I am sure the attitude of a lot of people is that they have nothing to lose, if it is a scam, eBay will cover them and they will get their money back with minimum effort...
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259

    I am sure the attitude of a lot of people is that they have nothing to lose, if it is a scam, eBay will cover them and they will get their money back with minimum effort...

    Agree, it is almost impossible not to get refunded in these situations and a lot of people know this. So even if the item doesn’t exist and they will most likely never receive it, they take the chance. If they do receive it (Maybe not this particular item as we know a few more details) they almost certainly know that it has to be stolen or something similar (Drooped shipped), I suppose there are plenty of people out there who are fine with this :(
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    edited May 2013
    I've seen this crap a million times... I sent him a message asking if he has a Buy-It-Now price and that I can pay immediately...
  • Dread_PirateDread_Pirate Member Posts: 184
    One scam that I am dealing with right now is, I sold an HO scale engine, I lost some money on the sale but no biggy really, I have had the engine for 4 years, never once used it and decided it was time for it to go to a new home. Well the new owner messaged me complaining about how "new" the engine really was and cited damage that was clearly not in my images. For me the definition of New is never been used. I bought the engine from a hobby store, I doubt they used it, I never used it so to me the engine was new. This guy must think new is fresh from the factory. Well Im a hobbyist not a store owner and this engine has not been available since 01. I told him that damage in shipping is not something I have control over and that I would not refund all of his money but I did offer some in return to cover what it would cost to buy new couplers and some detail parts that were dislodged and not found. I thought that was very gererous of me, it would have made me happy if the same happened to me. He wont settle for anything other than me refunding him all moneys including the second return shipping... Not gonna happen and here is why:

    This is how the scam works, you buy or own for cheap an item. Buy another in great shape and when it gets to you, you inform the seller that your item was damaged or not as described and demand a full refund. Threaten with bad feedback or what ever to coerce them into the refund. Send back the damaged item and keep the new and your money. Seller is out the nice item he had and the money.

    Now if this is not a scam and the new owner dropped the engine or it was damaged in shipping, this is not my fault and I am not going to pay for it. Insurance is available through the post office and the buyer didnt want any.

    Oh and one other issue I had with a Lego set I sold. The new owner was miffed that the set came in 3 bags full of pieces and not an assembled train! I replied it was Lego and the whole point of Lego is to build and here is the linky to the instructions from Lego.com. It should take only a few minutes to build each part of the train as I seperated the parts of each part of the train into their own baggies.
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    edited May 2013
    I sold a set (Rock Island Refuge) to a guy in Florida, but it turned out that he was really in Costa Rica and he had a friend in Florida ship him the set to him. When he got the set it was missing the boat sail and instructions...

    When I shipped the set, I packed the boat sail between the first 2 pages of the instructions and then placed the instructions between 2 pieces of cardboard and wrote real big "DO NOT THROW AWAY, INSTRUCTIONS AND BOAT SAIL INSIDE"

    Guess what? His friend(Who didn't speak English) supposedly repackaged my package and threw the instructions and boat sail away. He demanded a new boat sail and instructions, and after checking prices, it was cheaper to just refund him his money and let him keep the set.

    I contacted Paypal and they said there was nothing that I could do despite a middle man supposedly screwing everything up.

    Then I got to thinking, did a middle man really screw it up, or did I get scammed..?
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    ^I'm surprised PayPal didn't side with you when you had communications on hand stating that some other person threw the instructions and sail away. Honestly, if the buyer chooses to involve a third party like that, I think the responsibility of safe delivery can be reasonably asserted to be out of your hands once the indicated addressee takes possession of it.
  • Gavin83Gavin83 Member Posts: 251


    Now if this is not a scam and the new owner dropped the engine or it was damaged in shipping, this is not my fault and I am not going to pay for it. Insurance is available through the post office and the buyer didnt want any.

    It's a difficult situation this. I agree that this scam is a big problem. I guess the best solution is to take down any serial numbers etc that you might have on your model (I'd imagine an engine would have this) and then if the incorrect one comes back deal with it. However your solution of replacing the parts was clearly acceptable and would have rung alarm bells for me.

    However I disagree with the section I've quoted above. Until the item reaches the buyer it is the sellers responsibility. The insurance is there to protect the seller, not the other way around.

    I've just bought something on bricklink and the seller offered insurance as an added extra for about $15. They've stated in their store terms that if the item doesn't arrive it is the buyers responsibility and don't ask for a refund. If the items doesn't arrive I will ask for a refund (or the item to be reshipped) and if they don't provide it I'll pursue it through paypal.

    I wouldn't feel at all guilty about doing this. Their store terms are technically illegal (as in they would lose in court) and they should frankly be more knowledgable on their own rights.

    It may work differently in the US, I don't know but this is certainly the case in Europe.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    edited May 2013
    ^ I don't know about the legality of it, but I know Paypal will side with the buyer on these types of claims.

    This is another example of where Bricklink (both the website and even moreso, the seller community) is woefully out of date. there's a lot of groupthink and historical "traditions" in the BL seller community - many of which should objectively be trashed and re-thought, but the emotions and "this is the way we've always done it" mentality are hard to overcome I think.

    it's silly how many BL sellers are adamently opposed to real-time checkout, because they want to micro-manage their shipping charges/fees/etc down to the penny. They are tripping over dollars (new customer base, more overall orders) to pick up pennies.
    cycoduckkylejohnson11
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    edited May 2013
    ^^It's the same in the US. I don't offer insurance as an option on anything I sell... it's just part of the shipping and handling cost. This won't do me much good when I inevitably run into the person who says I mailed them a box of rocks or something... but I haven't had to deal with that just yet.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ yeah, i pretty much ignore the buyer's decision to check or not check the insurance box - I always decide on my own whether I want to buy it depending on the risk involved.
  • Gavin83Gavin83 Member Posts: 251
    I generally would send anything under the value of 15GBP without insurance and take the hit should it not arrive. Anything more than this I wouldn't give the buyer a choice. If I was shipping anything really expensive I'd take as much evidence as I could (photos both pre and post packaging, the package weight as confirmed by the post office) and supply this if they argued with paypal that I'd sent them trash. Luckily, like you this has never happened to me. I've never had anything not turn up as a buyer as well.
  • LegobutterflyLegobutterfly Member Posts: 488
    edited May 2013


    "I've just bought something on bricklink and the seller offered insurance as an added extra for about $15. They've stated in their store terms that if the item doesn't arrive it is the buyers responsibility and don't ask for a refund. If the items doesn't arrive I will ask for a refund (or the item to be reshipped) and if they don't provide it I'll pursue it through paypal.

    I wouldn't feel at all guilty about doing this. Their store terms are technically illegal (as in they would lose in court) and they should frankly be more knowledgable on their own rights.

    It may work differently in the US, I don't know but this is certainly the case in Europe"






    I see this lots from UK sellers and always end up paying the extra! I would never say an item was lost when it was not, but I worry if it did get lost and I'd not taken insurance they'd just say tough luck. I always thought if an item got lost it was up to the sender to claim but most ebay and bricklink sellers state in their terms that it's the buyer, yet I thought the 'contract' was between the carrier and the sender? Of course am likely wrong here, just seems crazy that I am paying £1 insurance on a £2 goods value order plus then shipping and handling all so the seller is covered which I thought they were anyway up to about £20 odd value with royal mail? One seller insisted I pay the insurance cost or copy her 'disclaimer' into the message box that I had been offered insurance at a cost and declined so if my item was lost in the mail I waived any rights to claim a refund of any sort. This was on £4 goods plus £4 delivery plus £2 insurance, so not like a £50 order or something, maybe I'm tight but it just seems crazy.

    Anywhoo, I digress, my bad.

    Hope ebay takes this auction down, for all the clued up people who wouldn't buy from a 0 feedback seller with discrepancies in his listing, there are always one or two who will :(
  • AvengerDrAvengerDr Member Posts: 453
    Exactly, even if one seller writes that they are not responsible, that will not hold against Paypal. That's why everytime someone claims that a package has been lost I refund the money right after the official "waiting period" (20/25 days for intl. items). Every time it happened I managed to have RM refund the money to me.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,205
    ^ and ^^ yeah, unfortunately things do go missing in the post (it has recently happened to me trading here). I wouldn't ever claim something is lost unless it is and you'd hope others do the same. I've also had it in reverse, a buyer claiming something is lost. Of course, when they claim it is lost you never know and it could well be genuine, as things do go missing. On BL I now state I use recorded delivery and charge for it on orders, and I believe this helps cut out lies about items lost (although on an ebay item I did once have someone claim something was lost and I had the tracking to prove it, and they then said they must have confused it with another seller!). Of course, RD is not worth it on low value items, but charging for it helps cut out tiny orders too, even though I will often waive it if the buyer looks trustworthy / has decent feedback. So I might lose a few orders, but they are likely to be smaller ones. If a buyer is not willing to pay for recorded, then they can shop elsewhere. Or, if they really don't want to pay for recorded delivery, send payment by bank transfer or paypal gift. Even then, I'd still get proof of postage, so you can prove an item was sent and you or them can make a claim.
  • HardradaHardrada Member Posts: 439
    Gavin83 said:


    I've just bought something on bricklink and the seller offered insurance as an added extra for about $15. They've stated in their store terms that if the item doesn't arrive it is the buyers responsibility and don't ask for a refund. If the items doesn't arrive I will ask for a refund (or the item to be reshipped) and if they don't provide it I'll pursue it through paypal.

    I wouldn't feel at all guilty about doing this. Their store terms are technically illegal (as in they would lose in court) and they should frankly be more knowledgable on their own rights.

    It may work differently in the US, I don't know but this is certainly the case in Europe.

    You are technically right. Still people like you (who use Paypal as free insurance) make Bricklink worse for everyone. The more people with your mindset the more sellers will be forced to ship everything insured. You know, I'd rather lose 1 out of say 200 orders as a buyer then pay insurance on every single one that might cost me 5-10% of the order total on average. So you are screwing with those of us who do accept the sellers' TOS as gentlemen's agreement.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,205
    ^ You could equally well say the sellers are wrong to not cover themselves and expect the buyer to put up with the loss. Or that buyers are wrong for paying with paypal when they could use bank transfer.

    In fact, I wonder how many buyers would opt to pay by paypal gift (and no chance of a refund) and waive their right to a refund if it is lost, just so they could pay for shipping with no insurance.
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    The guy contacted me and said that he'll take $1,000.00 as a Buy-it-now price...
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,401
    That's a steal!!!
  • HardradaHardrada Member Posts: 439
    CCC said:

    ^ You could equally well say the sellers are wrong to not cover themselves and expect the buyer to put up with the loss. Or that buyers are wrong for paying with paypal when they could use bank transfer.

    In fact, I wonder how many buyers would opt to pay by paypal gift (and no chance of a refund) and waive their right to a refund if it is lost, just so they could pay for shipping with no insurance.

    Some sellers do cover themselves. It's actually worse for me because they charge more for shipping. So at those sellers I don't have the choice any more to take the risk and pay less or to play it safe. And playing it safe is usually not worth it. I have gave up on buying several times when reading in the TOS that insurance is mandatory above X (a quite low value) and costs Y (a not so small percent).

    You know, it's easy to cover oneself when you have cheap 3rd party insurance available. For me the only option with mail is to buy the insurance at the post office which costs about 7% of the insured value. (+27% VAT for EU destinations.) Would buyers be willing to pay that? Maybe on a rare hard to replace item the answer would be yes, but otherwise no. Luckily insurance is cheaper on parcels so on those I'm covered as a seller.


    Maybe BL is outdated and so are the views of the old guard but it is the trust that allowed folks to send each other stuff uninsured and unregistered that made it a viable worldwide marketplace. If it breaks down then shipping prices can get prohibitive and the market will become more fractured.
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    edited May 2013
    I cover all of my international orders through www.shipsurance.com now...
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    Pitfall69 said:

    That's a steal!!!

    I asked him if he had anymore and asked for his Paypal address...

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,205
    Hardrada said:


    Maybe BL is outdated and so are the views of the old guard but it is the trust that allowed folks to send each other stuff uninsured and unregistered that made it a viable worldwide marketplace. If it breaks down then shipping prices can get prohibitive and the market will become more fractured.

    Yes, it used to be didn't it. But now it is fairly clear it is a business site more than a community.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    The paypal terms aren't a gentlemen's agreement, they're a legal agreement that it's (very clearly) the sellers responsibility to get the goods to the buyer and in the same state as advertised. I just laugh at any seller that has some stupid insurance/not my fault clause. Good luck with that. Having said that, I've never once had to claim a parcel has been lost/damaged.

    I sold a minifigure on ebay (as CCC above sent recorded delivery) and had the buyer claim it was lost in the post. Indeed the tracking said it was still in processing at the post office. Unfortunately for the buyer he told me he'd checked the status online - which was impressive as I never sent out the tracking number. Clearly he'd got it but hadn't signed for it, checked the status from the barcode on the envelope and decided to game the system. He didn't want a replacement, just a refund. I told him what he was doing was postal fraud that I could start a claim with Royal Mail but would then hand them over all the correspondence which showed what he was up to. Strangely enough he said he was happy to swallow the loss at that point! Given how few sales I have I was a little taken aback that it was apparently so common.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,095
    Pitfall69 said:

    That's a steal!!!

    I see what you did there. Nice.
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