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scams on ebay, its the summer of madness

sirrich69sirrich69 Member Posts: 518
edited August 2011 in Shopping Elsewhere
EDIT: Seller was likely a scam-artist. Please exercise caution and perform due-diligence when you stumble across deals that you know are simply "too good to be true".

Get your credit cards at the ready.

I am not sure if this ebay seller is for real, from looking at their feedback this is first lot of Lego they have sold.

I could not resist and have ordered a Death Star link attached, I hope the link works.

[URL removed since seller is likely to be a scammer]

They also have other Lego for sale at knock down prices, even if your package is charged for VAT and import duty, when it arrives, still really fantastic prices.

Thanks to other brickset members for the other Lego deals at various locations.

I feel a phone call to my bank manager is required soon.
edited by rocao: the seller appears to have been a scammer


  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,110
    wow, im really tempted, but my spider senses are certainly tingling
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,110
    ok, reviewed his feedback. his entire selling history is built up off of $.05 items. This is fishy at best.
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    hmmm. Shipping free from Hong Kong for something of that weight and size... I guess it boils down to to the old relationship between risk and reward. Just too risky for me I afraid, but best of luck.
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    There are some interesting things popping up lately. Has anybody noticed the seller selling 20+ Imperial Flagships at low prices. Again just looks a bit too good to be true, but you never know. I do question where somebody would get that level of stock for what is a 'hard to find' lego item. Would be interested to hear if anybody has purchased one of these also.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,110
    yeah. i'd be counting on ebay/paypal buyer protection to rescue me on this one, and I'm not sure I'm that trusting.

    if it sounds too good to be true...
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,641
    This current seller has ( had ) 200 of them listed originally. That's quite a few.
  • malachirobertsonmalachirobertson Indiana, USAMember Posts: 268
    Strange. I clicked on the link at one point, and worked. Seconds later it is gone!
  • sirrich69sirrich69 Member Posts: 518
    I was tempted to get lots, however only ordered 1 death star, but yes logic indicated something fishy, and looking this morning all items this seller had for sale, even non Lego are gone.

    It was clearly a scam, letter to eBay to try an recover my costs I feel.

    If my brain had kicked in before pressing the button then i probably would not have ordered.

    Sorry to others, hopefully no other brickset members were taken in by this scam.

    After a night to sleep on this, realise it was too good an offer.
  • ffffff Member Posts: 8
    Item is not listed anymore... dont trust so cheap offers...
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825
    @rich69 - Don't worry, it happens. Given eBay have removed all of their listings, they clearly acknowledge who the problem lies with. You should have your refund before the day's out.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,258
    I didn't even get a chance to see how cheap it was before the items were removed. Never mind, at least I wasn't tempted, although I think the fact it was in Hong Kong might have put me off.
  • sirrich69sirrich69 Member Posts: 518
    @atkinsar and others just for info most items were approx 70% off

    Items that he had for sale all had free postage, all items were on a 7 day listing.

    10188 death star £103
    8043 Technic excavator £43
    8258 Technic flatbed truck £49.9
    8343 Series1 minifigures complete sealed set £19.99

    plus other star wars sets

    Yes in my original post I was questioning the viability, however by then I had already pressed the buyit now button and was considering buying more, glad I didn't.

    Over 20 death stars were sold when I actually purchased one, so I am not alone.

    Email sent to ebay to request what is happening as my purchase history is showing that I haven't had any transaction with the seller in Hong Kong and haven't bought a death Star. Shall let people know the outcome.
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    edited August 2011
    Its a lesson learnt for the people who purchased these. With a bit of luck you'll get your money back, but I do know there are exclusions to the buyer guarantee. Its a different scenario, but a friend of mine got his fingers burnt with purchasing an item that didnt arrive for 45 days. The paypal guarantee is only inside 45 days I believe. There could also be some overseas impacts. Let me know how you get on.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,258
    ^ You need to have made a claim within 45 days of payment, so as long as you keep track of it and open a claim on the 44th day, you'll be ok (I know this since this is exactly the scenario that happened to me).
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited August 2011
    I realize the listings were taken down (presumably by eBay), but I made some modifications to the original post anyway to reflect that the seller was likely a scam-artist in case people didn't read the entirety of this thread and instead rushed off (and found) some re-emergence of the scam.

    @rich69: did you actually pay for the item? It sounds like you may not have, and I hope that's the case.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825
    When I've had a problem where a bogus seller has sold to me and then the listing was removed, Paypal refunded within hours of me applying for it. I am sure this was because Ebay had already acknowledged the seller was in the wrong by removing the listing.

    But like Rocao said, if you haven't paid for anything, you haven't lost anything.
  • trypticontrypticon Member Posts: 61
    I ran into an auction like this on Ebay just a few days back for a sealed 6083: Samuirai Stronghold for a price of $9.00 USD. It was also removed, with a message that the item was not available.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,732
    Sorry to sound harsh, but anyone with knowledge of the retail value of the LEGO on sale but who nevertheless still took the bait on that auction really can't complain..... Honestly - £103 for a new, sealed Death Star plus free shipping from Hong Kong ? That's just ridiculous and clearly (a) a scam, or (b) someone trying to shift stolen goods.
  • collect_thatcollect_that Kidderminster, EnglandMember Posts: 1,327
    I see these on sale yesterday and whoever bought one needs to have a serious word with themselves? I've been had on ebay once before, but these listings screamed scam! 200 Death Stars At £103 a pop!
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited August 2011
    It's good to see that eBay did act on this to remove the listings (and relatively quickly it would seem).

    Contrast this to the holiday 2001 season when Harry Potter LEGO sets were just released and at the height of their popularity. There was a "seller" that over a period of two weeks had 50+ auction listings -- each for the entire collection. The seller had very little feedback, so I was skeptical and kept an eye on the auctions.

    As expected, the feedback from the first few winners started coming in stating they had paid and not had any communication from the seller. I notified eBay that the seller still had many active listings but no action was taken. I took it upon myself every night to email every bidder to warn them and point them to the feedback.

    I actually got a warning email from eBay not to contact members unless we were involved in a transaction. As they say: "no good deed goes unpunished" :P
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,732
    ^ You're a good guy, Roland - most other people wouldn't have bothered. Glad to see that eBay seem to be more proactive on this issue these days, however - it's not before time.
  • johnsbricksjohnsbricks Member Posts: 210
    I would be so dubious about any goods that are well below RRP sold in large quantities. Ebayers don't tend to sell for the good of mankind. Therefore if they are genuinely selling at that price then I can only say the goods are stolen (or fake). Handling stolen goods is a criminal offence (up to 14 years in prison)....
  • sirrich69sirrich69 Member Posts: 518
    edited August 2011
    @DrDave yes I agree, should have realised 70% off a death star is a scam. As indicated I pressed buy it now, posted on brickset the link, then thought about it and realised is this for real, in the cold light of day yes should have realised.

    @rocao, yes £102.99 has been taken from my paypal account. I have a transaction id and as indicated have sent a mail to eBay, asking what are the next steps.

    Shall post the outcome.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    ^ I'm surprised (or maybe not so surprised, but think it's not proper) that eBay would pull your completed auction listing if money has exchanged hands. I understand that they are motivated to preserve the integrity of proper sales (and therefore keep prices where they should be) but IMO the record of the auction should be available until you receive proper restitution.
  • dlawdlaw Member Posts: 11
    I didn't see this particular seller's listings but I've been scouring ebay to find a good deal for "hard to find" Star Wars sets since I am just restarting this hobby. Although I'm usually very careful when it comes to ebay I will be more cognizant of weary sellers. Thanks for the heads up.
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    I have noticed that more Death Stars are cropping up from Hong Kong & China. People are still buying them....
  • AlHazredAlHazred Member Posts: 14
    It might be helpful to list the seller's eBay handle, without linking, as that way we on the thread have a record of the shenanigans. If eBay removes the listings entirely, then his record looks "clean," so to speak.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825
    edited August 2011

    Strange! 100% feedback, feedback as recent as a couple of days ago, yet no 'Completed Items'???
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    Buyer beware!
  • AlHazredAlHazred Member Posts: 14
    Hmmm... A brief search revealed:
    * HK seller with "more than 10 available," who's sold 15 of them, all for GBP 129.00 and free worldwide shipping
    * Chinese seller with "more than 10 available," who's sold 9 of them, all for GBP 128.93 and free worldwide shipping

    Apparently, this scam is more widespread than I thought, or there were a whole bunch of these that "fell of the back of a truck" somewhere in Asia...
  • DadDad UKMember Posts: 816
    Just trying to help here. It is quite obvious to people who know when a scam is going on, but things are only easy if you know. Regarding the seller with the Imperial Flagships I would not touch this with a bargepole. They have been selling so many of them but have still recieved no feedback. A certain amount of time has to elapse before you can put a claim in. Paypal will only mail the seller to ask for a tracking number. If they can supply a tracking number then paypal will find in their favour and not refund the money. It is so easy to get a tracking number but I will not tell you how on here. Please do not be misled into thinking that Paypal and Ebay really care. Some people with no feedback are very genuine, but the best advice I can give is if in doubt contact the seller and ask them if you can pick the item up. Their reply, or most likely lack of reply will tell you all you need to know about whether you should proceed with the purchase. Please everyone, don't fall for it, keep your hard earned cash and wait for the next deal. There will always be one!!!
  • YpresYpres Member Posts: 200
    Well I too have had my share of fishy Ebay buys. I once bought something from someone with zero feedback... (Ha-ha, I know)... and after a month the item never shipped. Luckily, a few weeks after an angry inquisition, the item was finally shipped. Upon the boxes’ arrival I instantly took pictures of the exterior packaging (with measurements) in case that seller was again acting to his fishy nature. After that experience I now read the seller’s story behind any Lego item and search feedback records vigorously.

    The most obvious rule I follow is never buy anything out of Asia (minus Japan). Places like Hong Kong and China are home to many knock-off brands of Lego and I wouldn’t believe any seller even claiming to sell “Lego”.

    Secondly know that re-seller prices reflect their morality. Re-sellers sell things to make a good dollar… don’t over look the question “Why would they sell something that cheaply?”

    If you ever see a set listed cheaply try to read the item description. Often times I find plausibly good deals to be listed by parent sellers who have children (who’ve lost interest in Lego) and ultimately have no concept on product value.

    Thankfully Ebay is on the side of the buyer.
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830

    I agree it never ceases to amaze me that people can be tempted by 'too good to be true' offers! I guess it's similar with e-mail scams and the like. Having said that, its easy to be wise after the event, and we can all make mistakes, so I do hope anybody sucked in gets their money back. It definately looked very dodgy from the off to me.

    JohnsBrick - Not sure if I am reading your reply correctly, but I can't envisage a situation where by a buyer on ebay would be prosecuted for recieving stolen goods. The whole idea of ebay is to try to shop around and grab a bargain cheaper than the high street. Obviously you wouldnt purchase something that was really fishy, but it would be ludicrously harsh if some unsuspected buyer was prosecuted if they purchased something in good faith that was actually stolen.

  • johnsbricksjohnsbricks Member Posts: 210
    items that are for sale well below rrp with bulk quantities available from a private trader on ebay (ie isnt a major store) should raise suspiscions to any buyer. The law would question whether you believed the goods to be stolen and that belief applies even if you didn't know it were fact. I can't think of any plausible argument for a private seller to be able to sell brand new goods with bulk quantities available without the item being fake or stolen.

    Pleading ignorance isn't a plausible defence...

    I would say that if the seller had one item they were selling at way below rrp, you could be justified in thinking that the seller doesn't need it or some other reason not necessarily it being stolen or fake.
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    hmm interesting, well it does make you think more about ebay purchases, but my query back would be that the same argument could be applied to almost any purchase, new or second hand. How can you ever be sure that anything isn't stolen? (unless its something obvious like 100+ iphones at knock down price etc)
    If you put in a particular recent lego set in to the ebay search engine, and look only for new items, you'll often find 10-15 copies of the same item with varying prices from well below the rrp to well above. The vast majority of them are personal sellers, or at best people with an ebay shop. I really would have no idea where they get the stock from I guess, but I have never thought that these might ever be stolen?
  • YpresYpres Member Posts: 200
    You can always "legally" buy things you think are stolen. Pawn shops get more than half their business that way. Someone would have to prove you knew the goods were stolen in which case it would need a lot more than a low price. Somthing like an ink-tag on clothing being bought out of someone's car would scream stolen.

    At least in Canadian Law you can plea for an "Honest mistake" where one can break the law (in some minor way) and claim they did not intend or have knowledge of doing so. So while one may easily see one buying stolen goods as illegal they still have to prove the action was carried out with that same intent.

    I wouldn't worry about it.
  • sirrich69sirrich69 Member Posts: 518
    As an update on my purchase and removal.

    I contacted ebay and they have responded, but this issue is not yet resolved. Ebay are reccomending I file a dispute in paypal as item not recieved.They own paypal, why can't they do that. Anyway paypal dispute now raised.

    Here is Ebay's reply.

    Thank you for writing to eBay's customer support about the item 'Lego Death Star' you purchased has been removed. I apologise for the inconvenience caused to you.
    I'm sorry to hear that you are not able to find the item 'Lego Death Star' you have purchased. I checked our database and found that the item in question was removed by eBay as it was breaching one or more policies of eBay. Moreover, the item is also been ended early by eBay due to listing irregularities or violations of eBay rules. eBay does administrative such cancellations as a courtesy to the bidders. I understand that it is not your fault but we never encourage our members to do a transaction with such users, we found that cancelling such auctions saves the potential bidders a lot of headaches down the road. Listings are removed for different reasons. For example:
    - The way the item was listed may violate eBay policy.
    - The sale of the item may be prohibited by eBay.
    - The sale of the item may be prohibited by law.
    - The removal may be part of a separate action taken by eBay that is unrelated to the listing itself.
    If this should happen, and you are an active bidder on that auction, we will send you a notification that the auction has been ended.
    When we end an item, it is completely removed from the site and is no longer accessible even from your My eBay if you have won it. If the item has been ended by eBay, this transaction is considered as void and you have no obligations regarding the transaction that has been ended by eBay. So, I recommend you to search for similar items. I am sure you will find one which you want. If at all you have paid for the item in concern then you may file a case on PayPal and get your money back.
    1. Go to and sign in to your account.
    2. Click the “Resolution Center” tab at the top.
    3. Click “Dispute a Transaction.”
    4. Select “Item Dispute” and click "Continue."
    5. Use the “Find Transaction ID” button to locate the Transaction ID, then click "Continue."
    6. Select “I haven’t received my item,” then click "Continue."
    7. Select a category and enter a message to the seller. Click "Continue" to submit your dispute.
    I trust this information is useful to clarify your concern. If there's anything else we can help you with, just let us know.
    Kind regards,

    Definately a case fo Buyer beware.

    @richo yes everyone is wiser afterwards, like so many posts on here, people have been burnt before. It was completely stupid of me but hopefully this thread is useful for others to be aware.

    I shall update on what paypal have to say, when I have any information.
  • MCNwakeboardMCNwakeboard UtahMember Posts: 320
    Ebay scams are pretty common, so when it is too good to be true, it usually is.

    I had a similar one back two years where someone was selling Grand Carosel sets for $175 with free shipping. I purchased and received the set a week later, but it was direct from Lego (which should have been a red flag).

    The scammer had used a stolen credit card number to purchase and send the Lego set but it created additional problems for me when I tried to order from Lego [email protected] because my address had been flagged as a fradulent account and I had to call and discuss the issue with Lego and send them proof of my payment to the seller before they would allow items to be shipped to my address.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,654
    I have noticed that more Death Stars are cropping up from Hong Kong & China. People are still buying them....

    I hope people realize you CAN report these sellers via the Customer support link in the upper right hand corner of the page..
    As I rule I do not bid on anything from Asia.
    I know I know, not all sellers are bad from Asia, but I just find that I hear more and more people always report that they do not get their items..
    Conversely never have had an issue with those shipping stuff to me from Australia....
  • JP3804JP3804 Member Posts: 332
    @ MCNwakeboard Same thing happened to me but the items I bought I won in auctions.

    I had this happen to me again about a year ago with the motorized excavator. I bought it with buy now for $185.00 and free shipping. When I received it the packing slip was Walmarts and it said it was sold to a third party out of state and shipped to me. I reported this to Ebay and Walmart but the last time I looked the seller was still active on Ebay.
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    Not e-bay related, but late last year when I was looking into buying the UCS Falcon I came across several 'different' sellers on different websites with almost identical descriptions of items and identical sales pitch: "Buy any 5 of the listed sets..." They had many desirable sets available, larger Star Wars, Modular Buildings, etc, all reasonably well-priced. All had different seller identities but all had payment through Western Union Money Transfer, which set alarm bells ringing. I just did a quick search to see if they're still around, and couldn't find anything, so hopefully this scammer is out of operation.
  • SutterCaneSutterCane Member Posts: 21
    edited August 2011
    Hey guys, came across a very fishy ebay auction/seller. Just want to give everyone else a heads up and maybe get a few other, more knowledgeable ebayers to check this out as I'm a pretty big ebay noob myself.

    This guy is selling a bunch of sets for unusually low prices, and even though they are auctions they seem to be set for 24 hours instead of the usual 6 days. His location is listed as Vietnam AND Singapore, only had stock photos and descriptions, and he has 0 feedback (just joined the site like yesterday). This set off all kinds of red flags for me, yet it seems like people are bidding on his stuff like crazy. I'd just like to get a couple other opinions on this, and maybe report him (which I actually haven't figured out how to do yet lol) so no one gets scammed if that's what's going on.

    What do you guys think?
  • sirrich69sirrich69 Member Posts: 518
    As an update and info to all

    Paypal have found in my favour on my ill advised Death Star purchase on ebay. I have had the money refunded to my account.

    They did however ask for more time to investigate as the seller gave a shipping reference.

    I checked the shipping refererence on a tracking website for Hong Kong post, and it was indicated as shipped and in transit. I also suspect this website was also set up by the scammers.

    So be careful out there and as others have said "If it looks like too good a deal, then it probably is"

    The whole process of getting my money refunded was 7 weeks. I had to do very little, it was just a waiting game,

    I am now reporting to ebay any LEGO items that I see on ebay that look like too good a deal, I suggest others do the same.
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,093
    @rich69 glad to hear you got your money back! Good thing ebay/paypal have their buyer protection. I'll definitely be more careful when using ebay, however I usually buy used sets so its not as big an issue.
  • ChompersChompers Member Posts: 658
    Rich, glad you got sorted and totaly agree about reporting items to eBay that as you say "Seem to good to be true" I did this during the week when a "seller" advertised 30 Millenium Falcon 10179 sets + 20 odd Death Stars all sold in a mater of hours earning the scammer over £6K!!!
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,817
    edited October 2011
    Wow, yeah I just bought two... :P or at least some mugs have.

    They're also selling the death star... for £93.10....! AS IF!
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825

    Reported both to eBay. How quickly do they act upon reports?
  • sirrich69sirrich69 Member Posts: 518
    The ones I have reported, they were removed next day.

    So within 24 hrs.
  • ChompersChompers Member Posts: 658
    Thats the same seller that is selling the DS on the Aus eBay site!!!!
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