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How is this being offered?

LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
edited November 2011 in Shopping USA/Canada
http://www.ebay.com/itm/LEGO-Technic-8110-Mercedes-Benz-Unimog-U-400-2048-PCS-/170727104698

$179.99 with free shipping, more than 10 available...

After eBay fees, this guy is collecting maybe 75% of what Lego charges for this set, what gives? Is he using his 30% employee discount to do it, which is why he says no more than 2 per item? He has a ton of positive feedback from selling Lego sets, so I assume they must be showing up...
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Comments

  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    Maybe he's a Mercedes Benz employee and they get a discount. :P

    I've noticed on Bricklink that this set has been selling "cheap" in The Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Ahh, so this might be imported?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,285
    That or the guy's account got jacked....
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    edited November 2011
    Hmmm... something interesting here.

    I've been watching a series of auctions over the past week or two from a particular seller. They are/were listing many "large" sets over and over again and charging free shipping on every auction.

    I finally scored a great deal on like the 18th copy of Portal of Atlantis that they've sold recently:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/200674175156?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649 (yay me!)

    Now, this isn't the same seller ID that's selling the Unimog in this thread, but they both are selling a nearly identical list of items, and using the same stock photos, and both offering free shipping. AND they are both listed from the same city. The only difference is that the seller I won from tonight sells via auction-style and this Unimog seller seems to use buy-it-now.

    Also, when tracking my current order from [email protected] tonight I noticed that the departure origin was... *drumroll* ...Southaven, Mississippi.

    Do we have a couple of rogue Lego outlet salesmen working out of their distribution center or something? Maybe not even rogue, but authorized and undercover Lego sales?
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    @Odindusk and @LegoTexasFan you guys have to be careful with current large sets on ebay. Here on brickset there have been NUMEROUS threads about auctions that are too good to be true. If the item comes to your door and it turns out it is shipped from LEGO, chances are the seller used fake/stolen credit cards to order sets from LEGO and have them send it to your address. When LEGO realizes the funds didn't go through, it could mean trouble for the receiver of the items because they will assume it was you who stuck them with the bill, so you'll have to clean it up with them. I'm sure it can be sorted out but it would probably be a hassle, having to provide proof of payment to ebay etc.

    Just remember, "if its too good to be true, it probably is"
    I for one use ebay only for retired sets, this helps reduce the chance of scams.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    You know what, when you lay it out like that I'm now virtually certain that's what is going on here. It never crossed my mind that these could be fraudulent sales... I checked the feedback and it all looked legit. Well, of COURSE it looked legit; it's full of people who are ultra-happy with the cheap sets they've purchased!

    Hmmm... I paid as soon as the auction ended. I guess I'll see what happens?
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    Yea it's tricky and I still don't know all the tell tale signs, I've come across some auctions that seem legit because of the feedback etc. but I still play on the side of caution and avoid. People here have suggested finding out when the seller set up his/her account, if it was just a couple months ago, probably not so safe, where as a couple years and have been receiving steady positive feedback, seems ok. But don't quote me! Hopefully you paid with paypal and should the need arise you can get your money back, but there's little you can do now except wait, maybe it will all work out fine? But if you get a package from LEGO, you may need to start contacting ebay/LEGO about the scam. Good luck!
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    edited November 2011
    I've used eBay for several years, and I know to look out for offers that are too good to be true. But those seem to be most often associated with new accounts (as you suggested) or accounts with low/terrible feedback. I guess my thought process was that I saw a seller with 500+ feedbacks (all positive) and didn't even consider that something fishy could be up here.

    How does a fraudulent seller successfully do this 500 times over without being shut down?
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    ^ Yea that's what tricks me also, I don't know what seller your referring to, but I think a possibility is they either sell a lot of really small items to build a feedback or maybe they're all fake auctions with accounts that he/she set up, or a combination of the two?

    Then again it might not be fake (I'm betting it is though sorry lol), either way I too would like to know how fraudulent sellers do this with so much feedback, it help us know what to look out for in sellers with 100% positive feedback
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    Well you know, now I'm just more confused. I mean, these were auctions that started at $1. The bidding (or lack of bidding) caused these items to sell on the cheap.

    I don't know... there's a lot here to investigate.
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    Oh it started at $1?? Well that could be a good sign I guess. I know I've tried to sell stuff on ebay and started at $1 and hoped to get more than the actual selling price. We'll just have to wait and hope other people with more experience on this forum post. maybe they can shed more light
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    The seller's stuff that I bid on all started at a buck. The thread starter (LegoFanTexas) is referencing a similar seller but that seller lists things with buy-it-now for a fairly cheap price, although not obscenely cheap, IMO.

    The Southaven, MS location on their eBay pages can't be coincidence. These must be shipping from a Lego warehouse.

    Ok, I'm going to bed with a scrambled brain. Hopefully someone else can make sense of this tomorrow. heh
  • JP3804JP3804 Member Posts: 332
    There is a thread that discusses this. Ebay scams I believe.
  • adol7adol7 Member Posts: 150
    If you view the profile, the seller "discmaker" is actually in the UK, yet the item location is Mississippi. There's a negative feedback stating:
    "He used a stranger's credit card to buy from Lego. They confirmed! Thief"
    Sadly, I didn't consider this kind of thing to happen when I thought I got a good deal on a Grand Emporium for $120. Made me sick when I realized what was going on.
    I wondered how people with such high rankings could continue with this practice without being caught. Then, I got an email from the seller:
    "You recently placed an order from us, we hope you enjoy your purchase.We are looking for sellers with good ebay accounts to distribute our products.
    By working with us you can easily make $500 per week. If you are interested and want more details, please don't hesitate to ask."
    Makes a bit more sense now, but you'd have to have no conscience to take them up on that. :(
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    I've purchased the 10197 Fire Brigade for $122 + FREE shipping from this seller. He is legit. Now the real strange thing is that I received the package the way the Official LEGO [email protected] ships you packages. Same box, packaging and receipt. Is this guy working for LEGO?
  • dimefielddimefield Edmonton Alberta CanadaMember Posts: 314
    Read above...he's not legit... and [email protected] will flag your address when the payment doesnt go through.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Northern VirginiaAdministrator, Moderator Posts: 5,245
    Scam....stolen credit card....LEGO employees are forbidden from selling sets they buy at a discount.
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    Well if he was a scammer, how come LEGO or eBay has not acted upon this?
  • adol7adol7 Member Posts: 150
    That is, "legit" as in you get what you paid for. Unfortunately, the billed person on the Lego invoice wasn't knowingly participating. :(
  • JP3804JP3804 Member Posts: 332
    When you try to order from [email protected] your order will be flaged and cancelled. This has happened to me.
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    I ordered the 10188 Death Star from [email protected] later with no problems.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    One question... If he is using stolen credit cards, why isn't he selling the Death Star or Super Star Destroyer? Would seem to net him more money per sale?
  • brclark82brclark82 Member Posts: 217
    So I agree that there a lot of scams going around recently, but for the original post I would guess this is a legit sale. Maybe he's an authorized reseller, nobody would think anything fishy was going on if a major chain was offering 10% off a unimog. I believe some store in the uk was recently offering buy one get one half off these sets, which would still equal over $20 profit per set after fees if you bought a bunch and resold them. I would be more cautious of crazy discounts and less reputable sellers. If this set interested me I would have no issues purchasing from this seller.
  • brclark82brclark82 Member Posts: 217
    edited November 2011
    Actually it was an even better deal... $133 apiece if you bought 3.
    http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/1936#Item_8
  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    I can give you first hand experience with this seller and what I am going through right now, I was on the phone for over an hour yesterday with Lego!!

    I checked his feedback, it was all good, he had been selling sets for several months now so I thought all was well.

    I ordered 2 larger sets from him, the Paypal payment goes to the UK, they arrived no problem, except they were both shipped directly from Lego with an invoice in each box showing a bill to name and address , each box had a different person it was billed to, one was a lady in Kansas, the other one was a man in Mi. They were billed to their Visa for much more than I paid!! I was the ship to address. His name does not appear anywhere on the Lego invoice.

    I called Lego as I knew something was wrong, they put me in touch with the their consumer sales affairs who handles these kinds of things. They agreed it was unfortunate I got caught up in the middle of this. They said yes this looked like definitely a fraudulent transaction, the problem is, there is no connection back to the seller. To Lego or the persons Credit card company it looks like I was the one who charged their card and had it shipped to me!!

    The only connection to this seller on Ebay and the package that will arrive on your doorstep directly from Lego is if he sends you a tracking number, that will link your transaction from him and to the ones Lego shipped you.

    Lego had me forward all my Ebay and Paypal reciepts for this transaction to the legal department. They said this be one of the people they have been trying to trace for awhile now.

    The reason he is almost impossible to stop is he uses a different credit card for each purchase. If he used the same one for multiple purchased then he could be flagged. What will happen to all these hundreds of people who have purchased from him is in 2-4 months from now they will be contacted by police or credit card fraud dept.

    Lego told me it was unusual for them to be contacted by someone like myself BEFORE the person whose credit card info was stolen reports it. They said these people likely weren't even aware their card was compromised.

    If you do not take preemptive action and contact Lego your self to provide your info and straighten this out your account will be flagged as having fraudulent activity to it.

    YOU DO NOT WANT TO WAIT UNTIL THE FRAUD DEPT CONTACTS YOU and then have to sort this out months down the road when he is gone and all you are left with is trying to explain how you bought something on Ebay and why you are the ship to address on a stolen credit card


    Your tracking number the seller gives you, if he does, will BE THE ONLY LINK TO HIM TO PROVE HE WAS CONNECTED TO THIS SHIPMENT!!

    The good news is the seller will refund your money if you ask him.


    Lego offered they would send me the prepaid return slips as they would like to see the sets back to them so they could credit back the people who were defrauded, I replied absolutely, I am sending them back today. They said they could not force me to return them OR help me get my money back, that is between you and Ebay and Paypal. But it will get you out of trouble with them and help clear the matter up.

    I just received un update from Lego legal dept. my name has been cleared, I am free to once again order from them, the seller refunded all my money, even before I returned the sets!!

    I never told him anything about what I found out or that Lego was involved, I was very nice and he wants to keep this thing going, as long as he is still selling on Ebay you will have zero trouble obtaining a refund from him!!

    He wants no trouble or Paypal disputes, flying under radar!!

    This only took me 3 days total to clear up, but ACT FAST and contact them if you have an invoice from Ebay that the Bill To: looks suspicious.

    I did not have to contact Paypal over this, Lego got me out of hotwater with the fraudulent card use after I provided all required info and offered to send the sets back and the seller immediately refunded money once asked.
    Good Luck!!

    Oh and one other think , take screenshots of everything on Ebay pertaining to your ended auction, if Ebay shuts down a sellers account, everything dissappears, your completed buying summary, you will no longer see it, much harder to prove things when the Ebay completed auction in your summary is gone, screenshot it so you will always have proof what you purchased.

    I realize you will always have your Paypal reciept but you can't have too much proof when trying to defend against this kind of stuff. Lego advised that also. They had me scan invoices/reciepts and screenshot everything and send it to them. If your Ebay summary containing this transaction goes away, you lose that screenshot showing the tracking number attached to that item. Make sure you have the tracking number!!!









  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    There is no mystery why he has so much good feedback, all buyers receive brand new straight from Lego sets most with the Holiday set. They got a great deal, cheaper than everywhere else and an extra gift to boot!! He happily refunds, no questions asked, what is not to like?

    Except pay attention to the Lego invoice in the box, the Bill To: and the Ship To:

    Look at the neg. feedback, I think the first one he got, the lady said he used stolen card and Lego confirmed!! Look at the date she purchased from him compared to when she left the feedback. I didn't look at the neg when I purchased because there was sooo much good feedback.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Just a thought...

    If this is a problem, Lego needs to change the way they take credit cards. Perhaps require the 3 digit security code, or use Verified by Visa or Mastercard Securecode.

    I suppose Lego wants to make it easy to send out "gifts" to different addresses, but in such a case, there should be some verification for first orders from new accounts.

    Not excusing the behavior, rather just pointing out that Lego could take action as well.
  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    Yes I am amazed that Lego will ship to 3rd party without verification. If I steal a credit card I can then sell a Lego set on Ebay, they I go to the library and get on the internet and order from Lego and have it dropshipped to the buyer on Ebay. No track back to me from my internet connection and no connection back to me as a seller on Ebay, unless I give the buyer a tracking number in his Ebay summary, that is why the tracking number is important here.

    Without the tracking number the fraudulent seller on Ebay will say that the set you received from Lego was not one he sent you, he will claim ignorance about that order as it doesn't implicate him.

    Lego said this is what will happen, when the person whose credit card was charged that person will call his credit card and say it was an unauthorized charge,

    Then the card company will reimburse the victims card and then will contact Lego to charge it back to Lego. At that point Lego legal team will look at it and see where the stolen merchandise went, and guess where it went? to you, and the they turn it over to the police to investigate!! Scary.
  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    When all these 100's of happy buyers start being contacted about stolen merchandise in Dec. or Jan, then the feedback of this seller won't look so stellar, I don't expect him to last that long though.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    But most of those buyers will have left him feedback already...

    The whole thing is sad, really... If this is what is happening, Lego needs to change their procedures. Even more, credit card companies need to do a better job, a card number and address aren't enough to secure anymore against this sort of thing.

    Grr...
  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 711
    Just think, LEGO is only a small part of this horror... we are only seeing a small tip of this iceberg, imagine how many countless other fraudulent transactions like this take place day in & day out.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,285
    ^--- I agree
    I think LEGO just needs to stop sending to addresses not your own.. does it make it a bit inconvenient if you are buying for someones gift? Yes, but in the long run they will save themselves a headache as well as stopping a lot of this fraud going on.

    Bottom line folks, if it is too good to be true then it is probably not true.
  • adol7adol7 Member Posts: 150
    I don't quite understand why a tracking number would help track down the fraud. I would assume that info would, at best, tie to an email account, which could be a freebie (Hotmail/Gmail/etc) that could be used anywhere as well.

    Now I just saw on Amazon a seller with $150 Lego sets for $99.99 and wondering what's going on there. I'd buy the Pet Shop for $100 if I knew it was legit.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/shops/storefront/index.html?ie=UTF8&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&sellerID=A30C3HUNL4SH16
  • andystarandystar Member Posts: 275
    I too experienced what @dremel99 described and I these "too good to be true" deals all the time.

    @adol I believe these guys are now doing this on Amazon, notice the Seller's Name is a meaningless name, and only has a feedback of 1, from someone with another meaningless name.

    I can't believe how bad this is getting, I no longer trust buying ANY new sets from auction sites.
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    Sounds like the only way to stop this is for people to stop buying new sets from E-Bay, or at least, confirm beforehand that the seller actually has the set in hand, and is not dropshipping. Pretty hard to stop when the sets are selling so cheap though.
  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    I don't quite understand why a tracking number would help track down the fraud. I would assume that info would, at best, tie to an email account, which could be a freebie (Hotmail/Gmail/etc) that could be used anywhere as well.

    Now I just saw on Amazon a seller with $150 Lego sets for $99.99 and wondering what's going on there. I'd buy the Pet Shop for $100 if I knew it was legit.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/shops/storefront/index.html?ie=UTF8&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&sellerID=A30C3HUNL4SH16
    If not for the tracking number there was no way to link the seller on Ebay sending me the fraudulent sets. Just because I buy two sets of Lego on Ebay and at the same time also receive sets from Lego directly, where is the link without that tracking number the seller provided.

    If you sell me two sets of lego on Ebay, I pay you and deal is done. I could also order two sets myself from Lego using a stolen card, and then say those sets were the ones you sent me. The problem with that is, there would be no way to link you with those sets UNLESS you gave me a tracking number attached to that auction in My Ebay summary and that can be linked to Lego tracking number from Lego to those same sets which were fraudulent.

    I know it is confusing and hopefully you don't have to experience it but that is the way it played out. On my screenshot of my Ebay summary the seller had given me a tracking number, I showed Lego how that corresponded to the fraudulent order number on their invoice and the their tracking number, it all matched, proving that the Ebay transaction was linked to that specific Lego order.

    Without that link there was no other path back to him. All Lego had was a anonymous internet transaction from someone who gave a credit card number to them and it was dropshipped to me, making me look like the bad guy. Yes I suppose if they wanted to get really serious maybe they could have traced the internet order to an ip address showing it wasn't me, but it was easier to clear it up fast.
  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    Sounds like the only way to stop this is for people to stop buying new sets from E-Bay, or at least, confirm beforehand that the seller actually has the set in hand, and is not dropshipping. Pretty hard to stop when the sets are selling so cheap though.
    That wouldn't help in this case, he says he does have them in hand and are shipped from his business. I guess that is true if he owns The Lego Company
  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    Oh and there is one other interesting thing about this seller, have you wondered why he limits each buyer to only 2 sets at a time and why he does not list any Death Star sets? It is because of dollar limits placed by Lego on orders being dropshipped to a 3rd party. 2 Death Star orders with tax coming to nearly 900.00 will trigger a review on the order. Or 10 orders all going to the same person will have a high dollar amount and also trigger flags.
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623


    That wouldn't help in this case, he says he does have them in hand and are shipped from his business. I guess that is true if he owns The Lego Company
    That makes it almost impossible to combat, then.
    Looks like you've done everything right though, if everyone who received dropshipped packages did what you have done then it would put these sellers out of business pretty quick, I think.

    This must be costing LEGO a bomb in legal fees and lost product trying to sort all these cases out.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    LEGO could put them out of business tomorrow by using Verified by Visa and Mastercard Securecode

    https://usa.visa.com/personal/security/vbv/index.jsp
    http://www.mastercard.us/support/securecode.html

    Unless I'm mistaken of course, and these wouldn't help. I don't take credit cards, so what do I know?
  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    Here is the funny thing, this all transpired this weekend, I emailed him yesterday saying I would be returning these two large sets back and would like a refund once arrived. I have never said anything to him about me contacting Lego. He replied back this morning asking if I would hold onto the sets and forward them onto his next customer and he would Paypal me the postage for doing that.

    I said sorry, my wife had already left the house to ship them back to Lego (she hadn't really left) and I would email him the tracking number. 5 minutes later he refunded my money for the whole amount, so I have two sets here that I have been refunded for. To bad I am so honest as Lego said they couldn't force me to return them and I have been cleared by them, BUT.. I will still be shipping them back to Lego today! They have been very appreciative of all my help and all the forwarded information. I feel good!
  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 711
    It is good to hear when honest people do the right thing! I salute you!

    However, it begs to be asked.... who gets stuck with paying the shipping back to LEGO? That can't be cheap :o(
  • adol7adol7 Member Posts: 150
    The tracking info makes more sense now. I wasn't thinking about it being on record in eBay's system either. Thanks for clarifying.

    Very interesting stories regarding the ebay sellers. Asking you to forward the sets to the next customer is amazing. I'm glad to hear things are getting sorted out, on your end at least.
  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    It is good to hear when honest people do the right thing! I salute you!

    However, it begs to be asked.... who gets stuck with paying the shipping back to LEGO? That can't be cheap :o(
    Because I called Lego and was trying to clear this up, the girl said they would pay for return shipping since she didn't want me stuck for it, she emailed me a couple of prepaid return labels along with the RMA.
  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 711

    Because I called Lego and was trying to clear this up, the girl said they would pay for return shipping since she didn't want me stuck for it, she emailed me a couple of prepaid return labels along with the RMA.
    Awesome, glad to hear they're taking care of the shipping.

    I hope more people that have experienced this will follow-up with LEGO (or eBay) like you did.
    We may not end this kind of scheme, but it would be nice to put at least some of the scammers out of business and into jail.

  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    I initially talked to the first girl who answered at Lego and she was super nice and was putting in many notes on my account to try and keep me cleared when further down the line this would end up with their legal team. She had to talk to her supervisor a number of times to make sure whe was handling this situation correctly as like she said it is quite complicated. That call was an hour and she is the one who asked me if I wanted to return them on my own or wait and see, I said oh I want to return them now and get out of this. She said she did not want me to have to pay for shipping so she is the one who sent me the Prepaid Returns.

    Later on I started emailing and sending information to a lady on the Consumer Sales Support Team who was sending all my information on to their legal dept. She was extremely helpful and once she would email me asking for something or more information, I would send it right away and she would get right back with me. It was nice that there were not long delays in communicating and she knew what Jessica(the first girl) and I had already talked about, so it was as pain free as it gets when dealing with a large company.

    I was much impressed by how they handled it, and happy this morning when I received an email from Tiffany in Consumer Sales saying my account had been cleared by their legal team and I could order from them again!!

  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 711
    p.s. Let's hope he (the eBay seller) doesn't follow all this on Brickset.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    For all the trouble those phone calls were (an hour on the phone???), Lego should just tell you to keep it.

    Just my 2 cents worth, if that is worth anything. :)
  • bahnstormerbahnstormer Member Posts: 180
    LFT - dont forget seller is in Europe somewhere so he is presumably using cards stolen this side of the pond.

    credit card fraud usually goes up at this time of year as the post office hire a huge number of temps to sort the post. a few years back a reporter filmed guys nicking the cards before they got delivered. they could use them for 72 hours or so before the card company locked the card - they were flying to new york and shopping for designer gear to bring back. this way saves them taking the risk of being caught in the US with a stolen card...
  • dsdg88dsdg88 Member Posts: 133
    This has definitely got me spooked, and others, too, it appears.
    I've been trying to get a deal on a 10195 Dropship & AT-OT and have been watching them on eBay for months.
    Now there's one that has an unusually low price (granted there are still hours to go) and I'm thinking I'll let this one go.
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