No, this post has nothing to do with the early 1970’s song by The Who, but to the bad practices by some on eBay. You may remember a previous post last week when I got caught by a fake seller. My, I suppose it’s greed, led me to purchase an item that turned out to be from a compromised site. The good news is that I got a refund more or less the following day.
Well, today was something different. I am nearly ready for some more ink for my printer. I tend to buy it from the same seller each time. It’s a competitive price and the seller send me an envelope so that the empty cartridges can be recycled. So I was checking to see if his price was indeed a good bargain and looked at the ‘suggestions’ at the bottom of the page. They all seemed to be in roughly the same price bracket of between £18.00 and £20.00. Then I spotted one at £5.00! It was being sold, supposedly by a well renowned and respected seller called Car****ge K**G. The stupid thing was that at the side of, what I knew to be a fake, was cartridges sold by the genuine Car***ge K**G selling at £19.49. After about 10 minutes hunting around the site and a quick search on Google, I was able to locate the method of reporting the seller.
This difference this time was that the seller had set-up a fake profile and used images from the genuine seller. Whereas the previous time, the genuine account had been compromised. I’m told that both methods are so easy to do. For a compromised site, it is usually a site that has not been used for a while. Maybe set-up to make a single private sale and never used again. The second method, anyone can do. You simply set-up an account and start conning people.
Note to eBay: maybe have a look at some price comparisons. You may be surprised.
The number of times I have warned people about the dangers of Internet shopping, I go and get caught myself. I’m forever saying that ‘…if it looks to good to be true, then it is…’ I can’t remember how many times I have told family and friends that the cheapest is not the best option as ‘…it’s usually cheap for a reason…’ That and advising people to look at the reviews and feedback, and then I go and ignore it all.
It was basically down to greed at the end of the day. I need a new, cordless hammer drill. The one I have is a cheapish one and I bought it about three years ago. The battery pack has started to lose it’s charge very quickly even if not in use. I can put it on charge one day and the charge will be lost without even using the thing. So when I had to use my corded drill to complete a simple job, I thought it was time to get an updated one. I did the usual trawl of the internet (or should I say eBay) to get the best price for what I wanted, and my results were coming up at between £35.00 and £50.00. So you can imagine my surprise when one showed up at £41.99 with ‘free’ accessory pack. What I wanted at the price I was willing to pay! Without any further research, I went through my cash-back site and purchased it, via PayPal.
It was a few hours later that I got an email from eBay advising me that “Your recent eBay transaction may be from a compromised account”. It also went on to explain, that “The item has been removed from the site, and the transaction was cancelled“. I checked my bank account, and of course the payment had gone through to PayPal. I then checked PayPal and found that the payment to the seller was pending. I quickly cancelled the payment and PayPal showed that my back account will be re-credited with the amount. There was a small caveat though, PayPal said it could take up to 30 days for the transaction to credit.
After wiping the egg off my face, I realised that this kind of thing can happen to anyone. I just took my eye off the ball and was caught. Massive lesson learned here.
I’m always up for a bargain, so when I decided that I needed to buy some ink for my printer, I turned as usual to the internet. To be exact, I nearly always go though EBay and this occasion was no different. I ran a search and the price for a twin-pack (colour and black) seemed to be between £17.00 an £20.00, with the average price falling in at £18.49. A little more than I expected, so I sorted the list by price. Amazingly the price of £7.99 was listed for the same twin-pack size. A ‘bargain’ I thought and delved a little deeper into the product and seller. That is when I began to smell a rat!
A quick look at the seven reviews of the ink, showed that they were reviews for ink sold by a different seller. The reviews also had been made within 10 minutes of each other. Unusual to say the least. I then had a quick look at the sellers profile, which stated that they had been a member of EBay since August 7th 2017. The same day that I was looking. That rat smell was getting stronger. How could a seller have seven reviews (all showing 100%) for sales on the same day that they had started trading?
Unusually for me, I reported it to EBay, and was pleased to see that the following day, the listing had been removed. But what’s this? Further down the search was a new listing, from another new seller, selling the same pack at the same price, with even the same reviews! Another reporting to EBay. I look the next day (today) and once again the fraudulent listing has been removed, only to be replaced by two new listings for the same product, this time at £10.49. I will leave you to guess what I did next.
Now I would say that I’m quite a savvy shopper, so I wasn’t really taken in by this confidence trick, but there are many people that would see this is a real bargain. What seems to happening here is one of four things:
- they are selling fakes – possible
- they are selling stolen goods – more likely or
- they are just stealing peoples money – which is my favourite
- they are genuine
If number 4 was correct, and I have been mistaken, then why does EBay remove the listings?
The old adage seems to apply here – “If it looks too good to be true, then it probably isn’t”