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Ebay Dispute - Seller claiming model is pre-production - Can anyone clarify?

jason_nijason_ni Member Posts: 32
Ok, so without boring you with all the details, I purchased what was listed and advertised as "Lego Imperial Flagship".
The box arrives yesterday, and straight away it doesn't look good, there was no padding/bubble wrap, and I can see that the bricks are not stamped as lego.  They look like a knock off 3rd party version.
(images here -

He is claiming that the ship was given to him, by his uncle, who worked as a product designer at lego( no name for his uncle, but he name drops Kirk Christensen as having worked on the design with his uncle (former CEO none the less(Kirk junior retired as CEO in 2004, am assuming he wasn't talking about the founder who died in 1958), and that early prototype models will not have the stamps.  This sounds highly dubious to me, why would Lego have a separate line to print, non labeled lego for production design?

This is balderdash right?  I have raised dispute with ebay, but they give you a week to try and resolve the matter, which is not happening, he is claiming the images I sent, of the box was not what he sent, as he bubble wrapped it, which is lie unless royal mail opened it, removed the wrap and resealed it.

He also offered a partial refund of £100, claiming it was legit lego, just with "no markins".

Then further down the he claims how does he know that I haven't switched out his legit with a fake.  He is also saying there is nowhere in the UK for me to return it to, as he has gone to Iraq with the army, and will be moving to his parents in Australia.  This whole thing stinks of BS, but part of me is slightly concerned that ebay will somehow not side with me, its soured my recent fall back in love with all things lego!

I'll reach out to lego directly, but not sure they will get back to me, appreciate any thoughts.


  • milambermilamber Member Posts: 637
    I can't help with whether it's genuine or not, but can reassure you that Ebay/Paypal always side with the buyer in such disputes. If you say it's not as described, then they will allow you to return it for a refund. It doesn't matter what he says, they won't even review any 'evidence' he sends to them. Just follow Ebay's procedure to the letter and you will be fine.
  • jason_nijason_ni Member Posts: 32
    Thanks, yeah, its a tricky from of the perspective of his story, maybe his uncle gave him it, but it sounds fishy.
    Just been stressing a bit, and didn't sleep great, not normally up at 7.30AM on a sunday!!
    I have contacted lego directly, so will update if I do hear back from them.
  • Gruff666Gruff666 Member Posts: 218
    edited May 2020
    Their pre production tools would be the exact same tools for production. If he named dropped Kirk then it suggests he knows atleat something about LEGO and knew it was fake. Also the £100 refund is alot if he thought it was a pre prod ( which would be worth more than a normal). I'm guessing the box and instructions state LEGO in the top left corner, he probably switched the real with a fake.

    Just tell him LEGO confirmed it was real and don't respond to any further messages, eBay will ask you to return it and should give you a label to print off to do so. 
  • jason_nijason_ni Member Posts: 32
    Gruff666 said:
    Their pre production tools would be the exact same tools for production. If he named dropped Kirk then it suggests he knows atleat something about LEGO and knew it was fake. Also the £100 refund is alot if he thought it was a pre prod ( which would be worth more than a normal). I'm guessing the box and instructions state LEGO in the top left corner, he probably switched the real with a fake. 
    Yeah, the listing was for an unboxed version, which I was happy enough to purchase, as I am keeping it long term, without instructions, so I purchased unboxed, no instructions, but it was sold as branded lego, so no way to confirm based on the box/instructions.
    He later sent a message saying all he had in his account was 150, and that was the best he could offer me(although did not actually put it forward as an offer), which would mean he has sold an official flagship for £120.
    I paid 270, thinking I would be out bid, based on what others went for, but would be happy to get it at that price( my max offer was actually 300).

    It just doesn't add up, but I know I'm going to be stressing about this now until ebay get involved, which is 8 days away yet.
  • Gruff666Gruff666 Member Posts: 218
    Don't stress, eBay always give the buyer a chance to return. All those messages will be red flags to them, and they have probably seen it loads of times. Tell him LEGO have confirmed they don't make tooling without their logo and do not respond any further to his messages 
  • BrainsluggedBrainslugged Member Posts: 2,199
    @jason_ni - Try not to sweat it. This sounds like a textbook scam, and ebay (of all people) will recognise that instantly.
  • jason_nijason_ni Member Posts: 32
    Thanks all - am a bit more at ease now!  

    Will provide an update once ebay get involved.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,753
    edited May 2020
    The explanation is nonsense. It's preposterous to suggest that LEGO prototype their designs with clone brands. If he doesn't provide a full refund then let eBay deal with it.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Member Posts: 7,534
    Ah yes, the classic 'Uncle Who Works Somewhere'. Never gets old.
  • ShropshireShropshire Member Posts: 650
    Having been to the factory, one mould costs TLG between £500k and £1m to develop and have made and that's just to make one element.. the do have ability to make a small test mould which they said can be reused literally a handful of times only. There is no way on this earth they would pay to make additional production moulds and make elements from that to build from in pre-production (imagine say even modest 30 different elements in this set = £15m to £30m.

    Also given that a main factor in production design is "clutch power" there is zero chance they'd test ideas out with non-lego elements.. This is a totally fake item, either they are openly trying to con you or maybe they fell for it from someone else and are trying to recover losses from someone else i.e you.

    You can always threaten them of reporting to Lego as well and to local trading standards office, ultimately they are "passing off" which is unlawful in the UK (eg. like going into a pub, asking for Pepsi and you get given Coke...hence they always would say "is Coke ok" in that scenario).

    Trading standards would assist here too if you don't get anywhere but as others have said Ebay is very much on your side here, but given he could try to sell to someone else.. i'd be tempted to lodge it with trading Standards either way.
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam Member Posts: 570
    The only legitimate Lego elements that don't say Lego on the studs are pre-1955.   Any thing that is "pre-production" would be made with legitimate elements, ie have the Lego logo on them. This is a total scam.  Get your money back then ask for a pound of flesh.

  • mr_bennmr_benn Member Posts: 941
    What a spectacular story!  I can't believe you're not more grateful for this SUPER ONE OF A KIND UNIQUE SET which was once touched by the CEO himself, and all the other CEOs, and by Tom Hanks, and the Pope?

    Fingers crossed for an easy refund :)
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca Member Posts: 618
    For your future reference, yes, everyone else is right that Lego does not produce prototype or pre-production models using logo-less bricks. From your pictures, the quality of the pieces suggests a clone brand, like Lepin. Hence why the box was missing. Lepin and other clone brands usually just bag up the pieces whilly-nilly and ship it.

    For a deeper dive, "Kirk Christensen", the CEO and owner of the company, would have never worked with anyone's "uncle" in product design. Of course, Kjeld stepped down in 2004, so his scam story assumes the casual or new Lego fan won't know that and get caught up in the excitement of getting a massive set with special ties to the company leadership.

    Prototype Lego sets and parts do get sold on eBay, however! They are rarely seen, but usually, you can verify with the seller the authenticity based on known other examples  in the market. Often the sets, if they are true prototypes, will contain all the usual Lego parts, but pieces that would have debuted as new with the set may be rapid prototyped, and therefore have an obviously grainy or coarse texture. They may even have a slight color mismatched, but they will still have the LEGO logo stamped somewhere. When it comes to individual parts specifically, test pieces may also be of the same quality of normal Lego pieces, but just made in a different color (or fusion of colors!) than what was ever available to the general public.

    Anyway, hope that is helpful for you. I really hope you get your full refund and maybe even that seller shut down for good. Fleecing people with that ludicrous story is wretched, and they should face the consequences for it.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    Weren't there some new small arch bricks prototypes that got 3D printed when they previewed the HP sets at toy fairs, as some had the half arch that never got produced. It would make sense that they would not have a logo on. Of course, all the rest of the bricks were not prototype, and so would be normal bricks.
  • jason_nijason_ni Member Posts: 32
    edited May 2020
    Thanks for all the comments to this point, I think I've been able to get him bang to rights.

    He attached an image, saying that he had found the original instructions, hence proving the authenticity of his unbranded Lego.  It didn't take me too long for to find the original version of "his" image online, which he had cropped, it's clear to see the matching shadows/glare/crease, so he has pretty made any arguments from his side defunct.  I've uploaded the original version of the image, linked where I got it, and called him out on it, saying he was blatantly trying to use false evidence to back his claim!

    Pretty sure at this point that ebay will be siding with me on this one!

    But yeah, it's pretty mad, he went fully in on his back story, accusing me of calling him out, this is a direct quite in the ebay dispute "that model been in family years as im nearly 40 i got it as a child so dont appreciate being called out"

    I mean, it was released 10 years ago, maybe it was Lego Founder Ole Kirk Christiansen who worked on it with his uncle, and it was in preproduction/prototype for 40 years, before there even was a pirate theme, hard to say!
  • BrainsluggedBrainslugged Member Posts: 2,199
    Good sleuthing on the pic! You should have kept up the correspondence with him just for shits and giggles just to see how many different ways he could prove his guilt. Having the set in his family for 40 years is a classic!
  • bpk2300bpk2300 Member Posts: 245
    The "I'm heading off to war in Iraq" line is 99.9% proof-positive that it is a scam. 
  • JudgeChuckJudgeChuck Member Posts: 1,576
    I'm only surprised he didn't claim that he was an astronaut, just about to head up to the ISS for a year. What a tool.
    Good sleuthing and we now just need to hear that you get a fully positive result in the end.
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Member Posts: 3,713
    I love the name-drop: "Kirk Christiansen". Which one- Ole, Godtfred, or Kjeld? 
  • samiam391samiam391 Member Posts: 4,484
    This is hilarious and sad at the same time. What is this person doing?

    Don't worry, @jason_ni you will 100% get your money back. eBay will always side with the buyer. Sadly, I've been on the opposite side of this scenario as a seller with the buyer making up fantastic stories. Have talked to eBay and had the reps agree that the buyer is bonkers. And then proceed to refund them anyway. 
  • jason_nijason_ni Member Posts: 32
    samiam391 said:
    This is hilarious and sad at the same time. What is this person doing?

    Don't worry, @jason_ni you will 100% get your money back. eBay will always side with the buyer. Sadly, I've been on the opposite side of this scenario as a seller with the buyer making up fantastic stories. Have talked to eBay and had the reps agree that the buyer is bonkers. And then proceed to refund them anyway. 
    Yeah, I kind am 2nd guessing the whole thing, like he is so committed to his story, and is adamant that the ship is legit, and its only because its an early model his uncle worked on, explaining the lack or Lego stamps, as well what appear to be Lepin studs.  I don't know if someone, somewhere along the line has given his the set, told him its Lego, and he is refusing to believe other wise.  It's a fine story.
    Or he is just so committed to the scam, he won't back down.  Latest message today claiming that someone at Royal Mail has sliced open the box, as his address label was printed, and the one that I received is handwritten(never mind that the written label on my box had a message inside that stated "Enjoy Jason, this was one of the 1st ships made")
    He did claim he sent it bubble wrapped, so I'm not sure if he is claiming that someone is Royal Mail, sliced it open, removed the bubble wrap, and put his ship back in, or that the Royal Mail person has not only removed his bubble wrap, but replaced the whole ship. 
    He has also stated that I am good at google, and is fed up with the rubbish I have been stating/links to Lego website, to prove that what he has sent is not legit.

  • MrJacksonMrJackson Member Posts: 453
    edited May 2020
    The simple fact that he claims a 10 year old set was in his family for 40 years should be enough. Imagine if Lego suddenly said "here's a Classic Space set from 1980 that we never made with moulds that don't exist anymore, let's produce it." Furthermore, he thinks that someone at Royal mail opened it up, just happened to have a clone version of that exact set, and pulled the old bait-and-switch?

    @jason_ni Send every correspondence and piece of evidence to eBay, right down to the handwritten note. I wouldn't be looking for just a pound of flesh.  I'd take this guy to church. 
  • colaycolay Member Posts: 547
    Hope it gets sorted. I have been the victim of a eBay siding with a buyer twice, despite my 100% 18 year feedback. Apparently, the guy I sold to, my games never arrived. He claimed that stuff from the EU orders go missing all the time but Im the only UK seller to not arrive. It was the one time I didnt get proof of postage too. Ebay took the money from my PayPal without evern telling me, sided with him, so I was out of pocket for a £40 game, my ebay fees, pay pal fees. I even lost on postage as ebay wouldnt let me list it without free postage. Hence, i never sell on eBay anymore. hate them
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,825
    No surprise there, but a welcomed relief for you all the same.  Good news.  :)

  • SumoLegoSumoLego Member Posts: 15,215
    mr_benn said:
    ...SUPER ONE OF A KIND UNIQUE SET which was once touched by the CEO himself, and all the other CEOs, and by Tom Hanks, and the Pope...
    And all four Beatles, Elvis Presley, Alexander Hamilton and Tony Stark.
  • jason_nijason_ni Member Posts: 32
    So - I thought it was all good, the item was returned, and the refund automatically issued on Saturday. 
    The seller has now sent me a message, basically threatening me with a solicitor.
    This is his message.
    "What the actually hell have you sent me that is half a boat you sent me a item wrapped in bubble wrap with a sticker on no box are anything i will be seaking legal action there half a boat no figures no mast load parts missing . My uncle just tried figing this and load stuff missing your a joke a con and herd about people like you .so exect a solicter letter for thieft"

    What do I do with that, I just think I'm not going to respond, or I'll contact Ebay to say that he is harassing me. 
    I took a lot of photos of what was packaged, and a video of the final boxing, showing the wrapped ship going in, and sealing the box.  I had a gut feeling he would try something like this.  The only thing I don't have is a selfie of me at the postal counter delivering it.

    He's a mentalist, and by far my worst ever online purchase experience!

    Should I just leave it and not respond?  I feel like asking how did he get it, given that he is no longer at that address, and in Iraq, but I don't want to wind him up.
  • ShropshireShropshire Member Posts: 650
    claiming it wasn't even in a box is stupid when you have evidence it was sent in one.... check with the courier / tracking to see the physical proof of delivery as they often take photo's of the item on the doorstep..... if they did so clearly you'll see a photo of a box... you can lift tracking info from the post receipt or from the label.

    you have choices, not exclusive, can do more than one.

    1) as a minimum report to ebay for abuse/threatening behaviours, they have agreed as a seller to follow Ebay procedures and here they are going outside of this.

    2) let them do what they want, little chance they would it would cost them hundreds to do and if so easily defended. The thing about solicitors is they will ask for his evidence before they put pen to paper and even if they did write if you landed back your list of evidence, messages from here and ebay back to the solicitor the only thing the person will get is a large solicitors bill... besides getting a solicitor to write a letter these days like this you're looking at at least £200 to £500 as they would want to understand the case beforehand. No solicitor will take up a case where someone is selling counterfeit goods........

    3) go to the police, he's calling you a thief...... there must be a crime then and at least you can lodge a harassment position... get the police to call/visit him to take his account of the theft /accusation and see how far he's willing to perjure himself. Imagine him getting a call "I understand you want to report a crime?"

    4) go to trading standards, this is a fraudulent trader.. but only useful if company not an individual.

    5) on Ebay block him, on email block him and just move on.

    6) go to Action Fraud website and raise a case on there, he's now moving from fraud to extortion. eg. making threats.

    if was me..... i'd look into tracking/photo and if that's good outcome i'd send it back with a final statement of .... here's the photo of the box on your doorstep, go ahead punk..... and i'd take options 2 and 5....

    if a letter does arrive then i'd call the solicitor (let me know if want help on that call) and check it's legit not a fake letter (look them up, don't just call the number on the letterhead) and put over your side and point them to ebay and pass it to whoever provides your legal protection cover on your house insurance if you took that option.... but seriously no real letter will come and if it randomly did easily defended, remember he's selling counterfeit goods......

    Last point.... if he then says (based on your evidence) that the courier stole/unboxed/lost bits etc... then as you used his return label it's something for him to resolve with the courier.... eg. he needs to issue that letter against the courier not you ! the contract for delivery is between him and the courier, not you and him and not you and the courier.
  • Gibbo1959Gibbo1959 Member Posts: 539
    This sounds like a case for Joe Lycett. And assuming the message extract above is a verbatim copy, I’d recommend he go back to school and learn to write English properly first. But only cos he doesn’t have my address! Sounds like an absolute nutter.
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,825
    He can’t even spell seaking legal action, let alone being able to find it.  He’s hilarious.

    Tell him to do one.  Say something that will really get under his skin.....and then block him.
  • jason_nijason_ni Member Posts: 32
    Thanks all for the feedback, lots of good info there Shropshire.  I'll look into the photo of the postage, it was Royal Mail, which I dont think they do, unless its before it is delivered, but I dont think I've ever saw my postie doing it.  In hindsight, I took all the photos of my packing it, but I should have got one with at the post office, but the lady might have thought I was a bit weird.

    Contacted Ebay on chat, and they have said they will report the messages he has sent to me, and that I should just ignore him going forward.

    I had previously reached out to TLG, and they got back saying I could pass his details onto them, and they would investigate the selling of counterfeit goods, so there is that option.

    At least I am in Northern Ireland, so there is a bit of water between me and him, but he genuinely seems unhinged, and has previously mentioned that he is a "Knife Expert" during the ebay dispute, so I'd rather not have him turn up at my door.  It is a bit unsettling that he has my address.

    The issue should be over, I'm not sure what he is hoping to achieve with the new threat, does he think I'm just going to respond and be like here, take your money back, and keep the ship that's been returned!!

    Think I already mentioned that one of the little red connectors for the sail had snapped when it was sent originally to me due to his poor packing, I even bloody super glued that and fixed it, some thanks I got! 
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca Member Posts: 618
    Legoboy said:
    He can’t even spell seaking legal action, let alone being able to find it.  He’s hilarious.

    Tell him to do one.  Say something that will really get under his skin.....and then block him.

    The dude's Atlantean. SeaKing Legal Action, LLC is a highly-regarded office of attorneys in the undersea kingdom of Atlantis. Probably why the returned set ended up in such bad shape, what with the currents and sharp rocks knocking around all mail down there.

    By the way, if you respond, Jason, don't mention how this whole transaction seemed "fishy" from the get-go. Atlanteans get really offended by that kind of language!
  • MugenPowerMugenPower Member Posts: 631
    jason_ni said:
    "i will be seaking"
    Easy, just surround yourself with grass and maybe a little bit of electricity for good measure.

  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    edited June 2020
    He used the term "Kirk Christiansen".... that would only include the founder Ole Kirk Christiansen (1891-1958) or his son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen (1920-1995).  The current owner of the company spells his name differently as Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, since they got it wrong on his birth certificate in 1947.  So Kjeld was probably who the seller meant... but since he was lying anyway... he probably Googled the company owners name... and in his tall tale, he gave you the name of an earlier version of the family name... lies lies lies... 

    P.S.  The last time any LEGO elements came out without any LEGO markings was 1952.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    I'd ignore it. It might be fun to wind him up but he has your address and while he might not visit you, he might have things sent to you.

  • BrainsluggedBrainslugged Member Posts: 2,199
    CCC said:
    ...and while he might not visit you, he might have things sent to you.

    I can't imagine it can get worse than used Lepin, can it?
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Member Posts: 3,713
    I can't imagine it can get worse than used Lepin, can it?
    Partial cat turds?
  • ReesesPiecesReesesPieces Member Posts: 1,115
    560Heliport said:

    Partial cat turds?
    Partial opposed to the whole thing!?!? What kind of evil person would ever do that!?! :)
  • samiam391samiam391 Member Posts: 4,484
    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience"- Mark Twain.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Member Posts: 2,677
    ^ That's one of my favorite MT quotes. It is so true. 
  • jason_nijason_ni Member Posts: 32
    Hey All - so weekly update, I've not responded to the last message on ebay where he threatened me with the seaKing legal team.
    Awake to find an email to my personal Yahoo, guessing my email was on the dispute, sent to me, where he is responding to an email from Paypal, as though I am paypal if that makes sense.  Just replied to an email from paypal, and put my address in. (turns out he didnt have funds in paypal for the refund, so ebay gave it me, and have went to Paypal to get it from him, 

    I guess he thought if there was no funds in his paypal, I wouldn't be able to be refunded. 

    Yes and he sent me a item back that was in bits was not the same item i sent it was a load of old lego bricks wrapped in bubble wrap broken parts absolute usless i cant rebuild are re sell as we looked at parts there were just random stuff sent so cant even re make it to re sell so i have bits that looked like been chewed i have parts of god knows what i do t have what was in the photo as photo below he sent me what the photo below just random bits i now at massive lost he kept my figures that worth rd £50 as sent no figures back so why should i re pay you when you not looked at both side you took his side i sold him that boat in return i get a box full of

    Its mind bogging how persistent he is, I'm tempted to reply and just ask him to send an image of the package was when it arrived, to see what he sends. (But I think smarted to just keep ignoring him)

    He's attached an image of random bricks, I think he has took this one, as he has placed in 3/4 parts of the ship hull, with other random bits, those lego rock formations/tree branches, basically stuff that is nothing to do with the flagship.

    Didn't realise the market for Lepin mini figs was so competitive, £50 for 5 Lepin ones, and 2 original blue lego soldiers!!

  • mr_bennmr_benn Member Posts: 941
    ^ As tempting as it might be to reply - don't.  He's flailing around like a fish out of water, don't give him any more attention!

  • ShropshireShropshire Member Posts: 650
    Just ignore, he's not a fantasist/delusional, this is clearly a con as in he knows that he's committing fraud and clearly has spent the money and doesn't have the money or balls to take it on the chin (so to speak) so is desperate.

    Worth keep checking Ebay to see if the item crops up again and miraculously with the "missing" parts back again, worth doing a postcode search as could just use another account to relist.
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 712
    Ignore's probably the right call but I'm really enjoying this thread
  • klintonklinton Member Posts: 1,248
    For the record, this is officially my new favorite soap opera. The plot twists keep me coming back for each new episode.
  • jason_nijason_ni Member Posts: 32
    Yeah, ignore is probably the safest option.  But like shropshire has said, this is pretty much outright fraud now.
    I'm guessing he is going to open a paypal dispute over this, pretty sure that I am protected from that now, and if paypal were to side with him, it comes from their pockets, I'm not sure?

    Its just pretty irksome to imagine that he comes out of this was his fake ship back, as well as being 277 better off!

    I've been keeping an eye on his ebay, as I was half expecting to see it pop up, that would be a laugh! 
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