Ebay Dangers

19 posts
20 March 2014
LaurenceJPower
Photographer
LaurenceJPower
I cannot of course name the person who deliberately ripped me off since I've not been to court yet, I can say that I am involving the police both in the UK and abroad.

My saga is this, I wanted to sell a Sigma zoom lens and move over to Nikon glass completely. I advertised the unit on Ebay and it sold to a Norwegian guy.

First warning that I should have heeded - a request to undervalue the item on the customs form I did not respond, but did not comply. I then get an email stating that the unit was sent without a custioms form - not correct, but see more later, then another why is it delayed? Finally I get an email, its arrived but is broken, and the Norwegian post have said that it was sent in broken condition - not true. His comment was that he unpacked the item at the post office - why one has to ask? He is sending it back. He did go a little ballistic when I said that I wanted to check the serial number since I still have the original invoice from Jacobs, also the post office state that they will take up to 90 days to sort out a claim for damaged post, this he did not like at all.

On Monday I finally receive the unit, yes it is broken or at least the UV filter on the front is smashed, however the serial number does not match. The customs form mentioned earlier is clearly attached to the box, and for some reason included in the packing is some literature from a Nowegian shop advertising what I assume are special offers.

Before the unit had arrived with the guy I had reported my concerns to Ebay over both the valuation and supposed lack of customs form, then of course when the wrong lens came back I referred him again.

Result - Ebay refunded the thief, and claimed back the money from me. I did appeal, no joy, but they have refunded their own fees - great, I am now £400 down. Their suggestion contact the Money claim online service - not possible since the offender is overseas, despite their assurances they clearly did not read details of the case or this would have been apparent, or the CAB, I am getting contact details of the guy's local police instead.

The moral of this story, beware of guys from Norway, log the serial number in the advert, photograph the item in the box, get a cleric, a judge, and a doctor to all witness that a perfect unit was packed wit the correct serial number. Or better still deal with people you can go and see, pay cash to avoid paypal fees, and examine the article carefully before leaving. One could of course do as I may well do and close my Ebay account asap and move over to Gumtree or normal auction houses.
Posted 20 March 2014
Edited by LaurenceJPower 20 March 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
It's things like this that put me off ever buying secondhand - too much agro. I also never sell anything, again too much agro (it just goes in the loft instead).
Posted 20 March 2014
Kiboko
Photographer
Kiboko
Sorry to hear your tale. I may sound like a walking ad. for LCE but I've found from experience over a lengthy period in which I've upgraded gear, that the very fair P/Ex price I've been offered from LCE is as much as I could hope to get by selling the item on eBay after taking into account EBay/PayPal fees & the messing around packing an item up and visiting the Post Office, (to invariably discover that it then costs more to post than they originally quoted and less than the buyer has paid). Having advertised gear on here too, mostly with no takers, I've then accepted the comparable offer from LCE and done a swift fair deal on the spot, - less hassle than any other means! Good luck in your quest. I don't think you'll find Gumtree very successful, there are few safeguards and you get a few chancers and timewasters.

Posted 20 March 2014
LaurenceJPower
Photographer
LaurenceJPower
I have done some very good deals in the past through Ebay, my 300mm F4 Nikon lens I collected on my way back from The Photography Show and a Peli case described as good user, was immaculate, my feedback was that "the guy lied, it was in BETTER condition than described", but this has gone horribly wrong and I have wasted a considerable amount of time both in chat sessions to Ebay, and emails to the fraudster.

i should add that i've bought a couple of items through here, a Sigma teleconverter purchased soon after the Jacobs purchase some years ago, and a Nikon 80-200 f2.8 in July last year, both were safely delivered by post, but this last deal has really hurt.
Posted 20 March 2014
Edited by LaurenceJPower 20 March 2014
SandyCamel
Photographer
SandyCamel
RedChecker

It's things like this that put me off ever buying secondhand - too much agro. I also never sell anything, again too much agro (it just goes in the loft instead).




+1




Posted 20 March 2014
dominicdgt
Photographer
dominicdgt
There's no doubt the buyer is better protected than the seller on EBay, Bowens trade gear on Ebay I've got great bargains from them there, Multiblizt lights at 20% of the new price, genuine people selling gear and wanting a good home and the equipment to be enjoyed at a fraction of the normal retail price.

Unfortunately Ebay is also used to pass on equipment that clearly isn't fit for purpose, so when buying consider anything that states an unusual feature like "the zoom is slightly stiff! as a possible red flag to something much more serious. You then end up arguing semantics. As to selling I'm often asked to send items overseas and your story reinforces my doubts, sorry to hear it. I'd only point out its not unique to EBay, Nikon have lied their way through a series of issues with me over the years. All you can do is follow protocols as best as possible, as you say recording every aspect of the process and contents is vital. If you ever read the small print on the insurance Royal Mail offer on their premium delivery service thats pretty much what you have to do to get your money back.

Dominic

Posted 20 March 2014
pmeu
Photographer
pmeu
dominicdgt
There's no doubt the buyer is better protected than the seller on EBay
I think that is understatement of the year! see for example http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/oct/27/ebay-wont-help-seller It appears as if eBay completely believe any buyer's complaint at face value - despite compelling evidence to the contrary. There might be one silver lining to this though. It appears as if that if you report this to the police then eBay might take it more seriously.
Posted 20 March 2014
Edited by pmeu 20 March 2014
carshaltonkev
Photographer
carshaltonkev
I am told that this is a fairly common scam on eBay. If you have a broken or faulty lens or camera, buy another the same on eBay and then claim that it has arrived faulty or damaged. You hope that the seller has not recorded the serial number. The reason it is so common, is that buyers are very well protected and sellers are not. Most of my eBay experiences have been very good, however I did once buy a camera that was faulty and the seller became very stroppy and rude, saying it was perfectly OK when he posted it and it must have been damaged in transit and I would need to claim for damage not him... I dare say 98% of buyers and sellers are honest, but a small minority are not.

Some sellers see eBay as a great way of getting rid of junk cameras and lenses at very good prices. Some sellers claim they know nothing about cameras so cannot test them, then you look at their history you see that they have bought lots of cameras from Germany, hence they must be trading or have a serious interest.

I am also told that a lot more scams go on with antiques. For example scammers with a china plate with a crack or chip in it, buy a perfect one on eBay and then attempt a swap and return their damaged plate for a refund. So they end up with something far more valuable.

So- seller beware. Best to stick to sales to the UK only?

eBay can seem like a respectable caring business. But in my opinion they are not. As long as they are raking in money, from buying and selling, they really don't care. Sellers are not protected. They need to improve their act.




Posted 20 March 2014
ATVLONDON
Photographer
ATVLONDON
Lawrence I've been slagging off Paypal for the past five years after I had a similar experience. All they are interested in is getting their fees. It really gets my goat when I see people on Ebay stating they want Paypal only. What's wrong with cash on collection? I know this wouldn't havebeen any help in your case as you're dealing internationally. But Paypal isn't the Saint it claims to be.

Posted 20 March 2014
Edited by ATVLONDON 20 March 2014
OldMaster
Photographer
OldMaster
My experience of e bay as a buyer is different and always been satisfactory. When it comes to photo gear though I usually buy second hand, mint or mint- from companies such as ffordes. Always brilliant service and always spot on with the condition. Paid £565 for a mint d300s from them and with the mint grip saved over £700 I estimate.

Lenses again I have never seen the point of buying new, not much to go wrong and again if "mint" a worthwhile saving and if looked after probably little loss if you resell?



Posted 20 March 2014
Edited by OldMaster 20 March 2014
dominicdgt
Photographer
dominicdgt
OldMaster
Lenses again I have never seen the point of buying new, not much to go wrong and again if "mint" a worthwhile saving and if looked after probably little loss if you resell?
I'm not sure I totally agree, lenses are sensitive souls, if dropped or miss-used its possible they wont focus well, front/back focus issues. VR systems can get damaged or the lens from new was never working correctly and gets passed on. Over the years I've sent loads of lens off for calibration, unreported dirt too can be an issue, Fungus not identified , there might be a stiffness in the focus ring that's not normal, a multitude of factors, I've found on EBay there's a disproportionate amount of duff gear on sale there, from a purchase point of view I've always felt confident if its a UK purchase and now tend to steer away from imported goods, but its not always possible. Even brand new from DigitalRev I've had faulty lens issues costing me the repair then claiming back from the seller.
Posted 20 March 2014
ATVLONDON
Photographer
ATVLONDON
OldMaster

My experience of e bay as a buyer is different and always been satisfactory. When it comes to photo gear though I usually buy second hand, mint or mint- from companies such as ffordes. Always brilliant service and always spot on with the condition. Paid £565 for a mint d300s from them and with the mint grip saved over £700 I estimate. Lenses again I have never seen the point of buying new, not much to go wrong and again if "mint" a worthwhile saving and if looked after probably little loss if you resell?


I agree Ffordes are a great company to do business with.  I was at school with Steve Byford and have bought and sold gear through his shop since he was based in Basildon in the late 1970's. Hope you read this Steve, just giving you a plug.
Posted 20 March 2014
LaurenceJPower
Photographer
LaurenceJPower
Well I am pleased to report that EBay are taking notice, they've come back saying that they will contact the member and insist on the correct lens is returned. I have agreed to hold off on my police report until Wednesday of next week, if the lens is not in the post by then the report goes in. We will have to see what transpires.

Posted 21 March 2014
I would still report the matter to the police as it is fraud, pure and simple. Might not be the crime of the century but still a crime.

next time (if there is a next time) video the packing of the item and off to the post office with full insurance cover.

Posted 21 March 2014
I remember years ago pre-ordering a computer game from somebody on ebay who claimed that they were getting a bulk order in so could offer it at a slightly cheaper rate.

I ended up getting an e-mail from a police officer down in England basically asking me if I had any contact with the seller to report it to the police as the person was being investigated over it. I'm guessing e-bay handed over all the buyers details to the police. We got our money back no problem.

I recently tried ordering an evening wedding dress for my reception and the seller failed to deliver (I gave her 3 weeks extra because she said she was busy). Anyway when you report on etsy the sellers shop closes down until they respond and resolve your case. I got my money back and left a negative feedback and within 4 days 3 other buyers contacted me asking how they can go about getting their refund from the seller as they were also left waiting weeks longer than they should have. I'm guessing the seller is officially no longer allowed to sell on etsy any more.

I do hope your issue gets resolved, I gave up with ebay a long time ago as a seller - it just seemed like too much bother.

Posted 21 March 2014
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