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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I'm in the market for a new Powerbook, and while I think I'll probably wind up buying from Apple (their groovy iPod promotion is just so tempting), a couple of times lately I've been cruising on eBay and come across these strange auctions.

For example, a guy in Germany was selling a 17" Powerbook, but you couldn't bid on it; it was restricted, so you had to contact the seller directly. I did, and he offered to sell it to me for US$995. He insisted it was brand new, still in the box, and needed the money.

Now, though we sent a few emails back and forth, there was just no way I was going to fall for such a sucker deal. But I've seen other "auctions" like this, and I'm wondering what's going on. Should I presume they're all stolen, or that it's all just a scam to get my money?

If anyone has the lowdown, please post!
 

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I have dealt with eBay quite a bit for buying and selling, and I am going to say don't send this guy your money, it just reeks of scam.
 

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Should I presume they're all stolen, or that it's all just a scam to get my money?
I would presume their all stolen and/or a scam to get your money.

I know a friend who was in the same situation, and just hours after he won a 15.2" Powerbook from eBay at an incredible price, the seller was pronounced "bad" by eBay and was later arrested on charges of theft of the Powerbook which he was about to sell to my friend.

My advice: Stay FAR from super deals. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I quite agree. I've half a mind to complain to eBay about it.
 

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I would submit a complaint just in case, if it saves somebody from getting ripped off, that's awesome!
If he is legit and desperatly needs the money, then he will be fine.
 

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The easiest thing is to check their eBay history. That's very easy to do. There's a link for every buyer and seller and you can see how many transactions they've been involved, and how they went. Most of the buyers I've dealt with have had 100 or more sales, and they are almost all 100% positive. If fewer then that, and even one bad dealing -- especially two -- I'd be worried.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've been looking around eBay more closely, and i've noticed several of these auctions. They all have this in common:

-- they're all selling 17" Powerbooks for impossibly low prices (under US$1,000, usually)

-- they're all located in Europe

-- they all have plenty of very enthusiastic, positive feedback, but mostly from the past week or so

-- many of these 17" Powerbook auctions have been removed by eBay

Basically, it's all a scam so everyone stay the hell away!
 

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I caught a scam a few months back. An auction was posted for a new iBook and I e-mailed the seller to find out whether they'd be willing to sell for US $900. Suprisingly, he said okay right away. I was already suspicious. Then he insisted that I pay an escrow company based in London via Western Union. When I finally told him that I'd rather pay by PayPal (which is a safer method to use because charges can be disputed), he told me to forget about it.

I advised eBay about it and the listing was removed. The seller changed his eBay username 4 more times to try to sell it, and each time eBay would remove the auction.

A few weeks later a lawyer from Brooklyn contacted me to ask whether I was involved in an eBay transaction with someone who wanted me to pay via Western Union. Seems that this person has scammed others.

The lesson: NEVER PAY SOMEONE VIA WESTERN UNION. Only use a traceable payment method and one that can be disputed if the goods are never delivered. Also, refuse to use an Escrow service, as nothing guarantees that you'll receive your item once you've paid. Also DO NOT BID ON AN ITEM BEING SOLD BY SOMEONE WITH LITTLE OR NO FEEDBACK unless it's for a small-ticket item.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Right, Western Union -- that's another thing they had in common. That's a giveaway right there.

One of these guys told me the other day that if I wanted to do an escrow-type deal, I should send the money to them via Western Union, but in someone else's name. Then when I received the Powerbook, I should change the name to his so he could pick it up. Or something like that.

Anyway, the lesson is, beware! The 'net is full of scams.
 

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what your speaking of sounds like something that happened about a month ago, I read on cnn.com that there was a theft or riot in an area of berlin, an apple store was robbed. The people who robbed the apple store tried selling there products, which were brand new, still in the package computers for really low money. So I guess sometimes its just to good to be true
 

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Yeah, my brother just bought a 14" iBook off of eBay, and in the process of looking for one he came across an attempted scam.

A guy had one listed for *really* cheap under a really off topic section in eBay (like Audio peripherals or something). He wanted my brother to pay through an escrow account because he was 'out of the country' at the moment.

A day after the auction had closed (and my brother had won, but luckily hadn't paid), he received and email from someone else telling him he was about to be scammed. The good Samaritan gave him a URL for an Auction that had closed two hours before my brother's had started, and the info/pics were *identical* to the ones in the auction he had just won.

When he had contacted the seller about it, the seller claimed the good samaritan was lying to my brother, and that their auction was a rip off of his. When my brother pointed out that his auction began *after* the other guys ended, he never head back from him.

Now I've bought lots of stuff off of eBay, and have never had a problem at all, but others are correct when they say always look for a long history of good feedback.
 

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I just bought a Pismo on eBay from a guy in Naniamo. He had a 0 feedback, and right after the auction ended eBay closed his account!! Naturally I got a little nervous, but this guy kept in contact with me just about every day and the whole transaction took a week, it was great and beacause of the comunication from him I felt very secure that the Pismo was in the mail.
He was eventually reinstated with eBay after e-mails from him and me.
Our first instincts should be what we listen too.

OH.......... I love my Pismo
 

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I think I have also experienced this I received this email the other day after bidding on a powerbook on ebay.ca:

"dear sir,
sory if i disturb you and I hope that I won't waste your precious time with my offer but i want to tell that i have for sale a similar product(it is new in original box, have 1 year international gurantee),also if you want more details about payment and shipping or something else,I'm waiting your email asap if you are really interested.
Best wishes! p.s. price i sale is 500$ with all shipping taxes includes which i will pay!

400MHZ G4, 256MB RAM, 10 GB Hard Drive, DVD Drive, and 15.2 LCD Screen ,battery, power adaptor, Apple Pro Optical Mouse, IOMEGA 100MB Zip Drive, Laptop Bag, original manuals and original CDs. The labtop will also come pre-loaded with Jaguar 10.2 and Office X."

I emailed him back asking why so cheap? he replied:

"Even if I consider it "my business secret", I will tell you some things about this low price. You know some factories have a special price for its employees? I mean a little one, of course. Well, one of my friends has this privillege. I think that's all I can tell you, but I'm sure you see my point of view. Also I want to asure you that my price includes also a little profit, enough to keep me in business and to offer me some extra money. I'm not a greedy person and also I think it's better not to keep money, but to let them run. So that's it about my little price!"

This reeks of scam!
 

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Right now, on eBay Canada -Apple Macintosh, there are a few listings that are suspicious. A powerbook G4 plus a 23" cinema display, a dual 1.42 gHz with 4 180GB HD plus a 23" display etc. You have to email the seller to be on the "approved bidder" list. I haven't seen the "restricted to pre-approved buyers" before. Is this new?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Um, those are the exactly the ones we're talking about.

Stay away from them, they're 100% scams.
 

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Fortunately for all the possible scams, there are many more legitimate sellers.

A friend of mine just bought a Clamshell iBook through eBay a couple of weeks ago for a great price, from a seller in Alberta. The thing is a gem - it's as good as new. I upgraded it to OS X / 9.2.2 for my friend last weekend and it works wonderfully. She's as happy as the proverbial pig in poop.

When she dropped by to pick it up after I upgraded the system, I demoed my FP iMac for her husband... he was mesmerised, heh heh. I think he's seen the light & will get an iMac this Fall. :D
 
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