100% on eBay can mean nothing at all!

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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100% on eBay can mean nothing at all!

I hope it's ok to show this eBay auction:

Big Red Flags!

This one makes me sad to watch. I just saw this auction on eBay. No one has bid on it yet as I'm writing this. The seller has a 100% positive rating with 24 feedbacks. He has an eBay "store." The buy-it-now price of $199 is a decent price for this ZIF. They go for a little more usually.

Now note: This is a one-day listing. Click on the seller's feedback. Note: The seller has been an eBay member for only a week. The seller is in Malaysia. Now especially note: all of his 24 positive feedbacks are from sellers, not buyers, and all are either private auctions or "one cent" auctions.

As I'm writing this he has three other one-day listing auctions that end in 6 hours. People are bidding away on those. I cringe and want to message those bidders and say, don't you see the big red flags? Of course, I won't, and I guess, no one should. Maybe it's all ligit. Maybe it isn't. But it's a shining example of how 100% positive feedback can mean absolutely nothing.

MaxTek's picture
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Thanks for the heads up!

I agree totally with you. I guess that is how you build your feeback in a week (I wonder what the Paypal fee for 1 cent is). None of the winning bidders of the zif cards have posted feedback yet. It will be interesting to watch what they post.

I have added him to my blocked bidders list etc. Than again being in the US I would never bid on anything abroad.

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100% rating based on items like . . .

this

Scambuggery like this is unlikely to be detected by eBay newbies who don't know enough to investigate further than the overall rating. Ought to be better policed by eBay but with all that volume it's awful hard keep ahead of the scambuggers.

dan k

ps: Wierd, I can't find any google reference to the word scambuggery except for my own previous usage. Does that mean I invented the word? :coolmac:

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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...all the way to the bank

Scambuggery is a good word, even if it's not in the dictionary. Sounds like a jail term.

"The seller ended this listing early because of an error in the minimum bid or reserve amount." Well, I wonder what that's all about?

His other three auctions ended and totaled out for him at $823.50. Not a bad haul for a 24 cent investment and a few fees. Hope for the bidders it's all up and up.

If you did want to scambuggery, the Mac market seems to be a good place to hit. People generally pay high in the market. I can't believe what people pay for Macs on Craigslist. $500 for a Sawtooth that might sell on eBay for $100. MacBooks and Mac Minis that sell for 10% less than retail. Well, at least it shows a lot of people really want Macs.

Jon
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Speaking of pricing, I was at

Speaking of pricing, I was at a local used PC shop yesterday. They were trying to move Gigabit G4/500 DP machines for $450. Not cleaned up, with nasty stickers all over them, blah. If an actual store is gong to sell an item for over $200, it ought to take the few minutes to stip the ugly stickers on it and at least wipe the case down a little. And be competitive on price...

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Still at it!

He's back at it again. Four one-day listings. Exactly the same items he was selling yesterday:
Items for sale, suckers (?)

So, he could keep this up everyday--everyday another $1000 or so--until the negative feedback starts coming in--if he's non-ligit, and at this point, I'm asking myself, why wouldn't he be, he might as well be! How could he lose? And now it's obvious--HE CAN'T LOSE! Right? There's no way he could lose here. He's already got it in the bag. I wouldn't doubt it that the winners of his auctions yesterday have already sent their payments. Even if eBay were to shut him down--and would they have any right or reason to at this point?--he's already won the game, if he's a scammer.

What is there to thwart such activity? Only buyer beware, right? Maybe eBay should have everyone who wants to start buying as a member first pass a test on how to recognize the red flags. After that, you just have to realize you're swimming in shark infested waters, and you need to know what the danger signs are, Shark-bait.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Is it any surprise?

Check it out!:
Mr. Malaysia's profile

"No longer a registered user"

Has our boy flown the coop? Laughing all the way to the bank? If so, it is a surprise for me. I would have thought he would have kept it up for as long as possible.
Maybe there's more to the story. Maybe he was shut down? Kinda looks like it. Guess we'll never know for sure.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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HE'S BAAAACK!! (?)

He's back! 6 weeks later, or is he?:

1ghz ZIF for sale

100% $.01 Feedback

Different user name--vrtech99 instead of mcsmy--so is it the same guy (or gal), or a copycat? Member since January 11, 1 day listings, located in Malaysia, 100% feedback via $.01 auctions. You need a credit card to get a user name right? So he would have to have another complete identity if it's the same guy since it doesn't show that he changed user names.

Did someone here notify eBay the last time? Is that why the previous Mr. Malaysia got yanked or skeddadled?

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Club members?

Actually, now that I look closer it becomes even more interesting. His 100% feedback also includes nine buyers, all of which, the auctions are no longer listed--have "been removed or is no longer available"--so there's no way to know what he sold, but do we really need to wonder? Of course, it's some $.01 item of his own, because if you check the buying and selling history of those nine buyers you'll see that they all sell and buy $.01 auctions, so it's just an interwoven nest of one centers with what in mind? It's a grand you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Are they all familiar co-conspirators, or more likely, are they simply co-participants in an available scheme? Opportunists, or should I say a club of grifters maybe, seeking out the like minded for accumulating support on little eBay?--possible?--cooperatively using their shared giant pile of cascading $.01 auctions--like the countless little loose sand grains making the slippery sides of antlion traps--in their little shared field for antlions--all each waiting for the unwary. Just a bunch of little guys together sharing their little means, with each their own little schemes.

Seems like it's time eBay wises up to all this and deals with it with somehow.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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What in the world!?!?

Gee this becomes even more interesting. I just went and checked that auction for the 1Ghz ZIF I just posted above--a little over an hour until it closes right now. There are two bids on it and the current bidder is "bidder 2." If you look at the bid history you'll see that there's bidder 1 and bidder 2 without respective feedback numbers or history links. If you look at the top, there's a message that eBay has decided to use this system instead to protect it's members. But when I go check other auctions, I don't see this system being used anywhere else!!!! Is this some kind of hack, getting a false bidding on the item going?

Something seems really rotten in Denmark.

Maybe it's just another elaborate ploy to steal user id's and passwords?

Jon
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It may be based on local laws

It may be based on local laws where the seller is located. I know there have been issues in Australia for the Buy It Now setup, because that isn't a "true" aution. Theremay be laws in Malasia that concern jbidder privacy. I see in the sellers bid history some of the feed back links are marked private. The one I did both the click on was a removed listing. It wasn't a time based removal, as the seller has no feedback older than 1 month.

The privacy issue may both help bidders keep away from scammers, but may also enable scammers to build false feedback by using the same accounts on many listings to create false bids. With a "private" list of bids, another bidder can't tell if the person they are bidding against has a suspect history. Personally, I think hiding bidder IDs does more to hurt the system than to help the real bidders hide from scammers. An intelligent person can figure out a scam fairly easy.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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too many suspicions

Hopefully, for the high bidder's sake, what you suggest is the case, but I find it doubtful. This in not a Malaysian or Southeast Asian eBay listing, it's a regular eBay listing, which is of course, listed in the United States. The business is being conducted in the U.S., so only U.S. laws should apply, but I'm no lawyer, so don't quote me. All the other aspects here are so highly suspicious. Now the auction has closed and the high bidder is located in the U.S. and his regular ID and feedback link is showing in the closed auction listing, not just "bidder 3," but the auction bid history does show him as "bidder 3." I'd lay odds it's all a scam. Hopefully I'm wrong.

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Re: Club members?

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:
Are they all familiar co-conspirators, or more likely, are they simply co-participants in an available scheme?

Or the same guy with a nice stack of stolen CC numbers?

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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The curiosities thicken

Ok, so now if you go and check the seller's feedback which I put a link to above, you'll see that the high bidder for that auction has already left a positive feedback for the new Mr. Malaysia. The auction ended on the 15th. The buyer, who it says is located in the U.S., and whose own history on eBay looks quite normal, left feedback today, the 18th. If it all happened as appears, then that ZIF traveled from Malaysia to somewhere in the U.S. within three days and the buyer is confident in it enough already to leave positive feedback. Is that possible? I suppose it is, so maybe I'm all wrong about this seller. But from my experience, shipping from Hawaii to the mainland, neither USPS nor UPS guarantees 2nd day delivery because all packages are traveling against the sun, and whenever I've sent 2nd day delivery, it's always taken 4 days, if I'm remember correctly. Traveling internationally from Malaysia, hmmm...3 days, quite impressive.

This Mr. Malaysia has been selling the same items the previous Mr. Malaysia was selling before he disappeared, so it sure looks like one and the same guy.

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Definite Scam!

I've been watching the VRTCH99 account for about a week, as I'm in the market for a G4 Upgrade. From the first one i saw about 7 days ago, it looked like a scam, and now as the other users here have mentioned, he's had auctions end, and positive feedback posted!

I've personally had my Ebay account stolen, it's very easy, you look at, or login to bid on an auction (said auction is a fraud), at some point the user is re-directing you THEIR fake eBay login, at which point they get your username/password.

I think what this guy has going on is a combo of those 2 things, he's selling stuff he doesn't have, and stealing eBay accounts so he can give himself + feedback on the auctions, or maybe even bidding on his own auctions?

So tempting, but stay away. It might be better to just buy from a re-seller, you can get nearly as good of a deal, and it will be New with warranty.

Ebay can be scary!

-lb

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Third time's a charm, I guess...

Here he is, back yet again. New ID: dottech44:

Mr. Malaysia #3

Same items for sale, same 100% through .01 auctions. Auctions end in 12 hours. There's somebody bidding. So this is how he does it. He puts it up, waits for payment, unregisters from eBay, then creates a new ID. I noticed on the auctions last time there were phony bidders--.01 auctioneers too--maybe other ID's he has--trying to stimulate the suckers to join in. He sure has a lot of stolen credit cards.

Actually, I haven't been following the processor auctions the past couple of weeks, and have only been interested in the AGP G4 processor auctions since I picked up a Digital Audio in December, so for all I know, this could actually be Mr. Malaysia #17 or something like that.

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So has anyone reported him to

So has anyone reported him to ebay?

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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I sent eBay a heads up and a

I sent eBay a heads up and a link to this thread a couple weeks ago, but never heard back.

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O.k. . . . What am I missing in my perceptions of this ebay ad?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?MfcISAPICommand=ViewItem&item=120090896663

Think this guy charges $2,000.00 for shipping?

The specs are not consistent with TiPowerbooks, I think. 1.5Mhz? I thought the fastest stock Tibook was 1Mhz, and upgrades could take them to 1.2Mhz. And after 667Mhz, I thought that the screen resolution was higher.

His feedback seems all right, and not flakey in ways described above in this discussion.

Help me out. What am I missing?

Mutant_Pie

Jon
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Well, for one, when I clicked

Well, for one, when I clicked the link it said the auction had been removed...

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When I asked about shipping costs. . .

Subject: Re: Question about shipping for item #120090896663 - Apple Titanium G4 Powerbook Received: Feb-24-07
From: 247choppershopper Expires: Mar-26-07
To: mutant.pie
Response from 247choppershopper
-------------------------------------------------------
247choppershopper (217)
Positive feedback: 100%
Member since: Jan-09-06
Location: FL,United States
Registered on: www.ebay.com
Item: Apple Titanium G4 Powerbook (120090896663)
This message was sent while the listing was active.
247choppershopper is the seller.
-------------------------------------------------------
for any of your questions i am able to responde you just via email at my personal
email address bc right now i am at work. thank you for understanding.

======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Details for item number: 120090896663
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Item title: Apple Titanium G4 Powerbook
Item URL: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120090896663&sspagename=ADME:L:RTQ:US:1
End date: Sunday, Feb 25, 2007 06:57:25 PST

O.k., here are the irregularities; the auction body said the item is in New York state, this note says the item is in Florida, he is in the U.K., and it ships internationally. The english in his response is not very well formed.

Wow! You REALLY have pay attention to many details in these auctions.

Mutant_Pie

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