examples of deceptive ebay listings
October 31, 2007 4:18 AM   Subscribe

I would like to collect examples of Ebay transactions in which the seller left critical information out of the description of an item. I am mainly interested in cases where what was left out is something one would not normally think to question. For example, you buy 300 Pokemon cards and the seller neglects to say that they are in 4 different languages. Buying on the US Ebay from a US buyer you wouldn't normally wonder if they were all in English. Basically, deception by omission. I know this must happen a lot; anyone have succinct examples? thanks.
posted by cogneuro to Shopping (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Xbox Box Box

People listing Xbox boxes for sale on eBay and getting hundreds of dollars because people do not pay attention.

Some a little more devious than others. Most looking similar to this ad though. He doesn't leave the information out, but we all know he is trying to be shady when he starts listing out the specs for the console. The funniest part, I think, would be the bottom text and the fact that he sold this BOX for $400.
Remember! This is an Xbox 360 Premium Edition Display BOX! Photos of the box on this listing may vary! There is no system in here and there are no accessories. It is just a cardboard box! I work at an EB and there are people I know that want to buy just a box because they bought these things off the street. I am NOT responsible for you bidding on what you think is an entire system! THIS IS A BOX!!!
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 4:29 AM on October 31, 2007

i recently purchased knocked up. it said brand new comes in white sleeve. i interpreted that as the box came in a sleeve as some dvds do. but actually it was just the disc in a white sleeve case.
posted by DJWeezy at 5:21 AM on October 31, 2007

the listing is long since gone but i once purchased a pda that turned out to be refurbished despite the word refurbished never appearing in the listing.

additionally the whole thing reeked of smoke. im talking the box it was in, the leather case, the pda itself the whole thing. so much so i always assumed they were picked up cheap after a fire in a warehouse or something of that nature.
posted by phil at 5:53 AM on October 31, 2007

I bought a dress on ebay once that the seller said "needed dry cleaning." When I got the dress, it had blood stains and holes on it.
posted by pluckysparrow at 6:32 AM on October 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

Judge Judy and the case of the cell phone scammer.
posted by googly at 6:34 AM on October 31, 2007

B(oYo)BIES that is hilarious. Charging the buyer an additional $8 for shipping is the definition of chutzpah.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:43 AM on October 31, 2007

@plucksparrow...ew. just ew.

i bought a box of designer clothes, with the main featured item being well worth what i paid for the entire box. box comes, and main featured item has a hole in it. the seller knew, but argued the entire box was worth more (retail!) than what i paid so i shouldn't be upset. i was SO pissed off.
posted by citystalk at 6:52 AM on October 31, 2007

I once ordered a deck of cards. They came reeking of smoke, and nowhere had the seller mentioned the environment. She then got huffy with me for "not asking beforehand if smoke was so important." Maybe I was naive, but I thought mentioning whether something stank of smoke would sort of naturally fall under the description of the item.

Uh, clue, much?
posted by canine epigram at 7:21 AM on October 31, 2007

canine: in defense of smokers she probably couldn't tell/smell the difference.
posted by Gungho at 7:30 AM on October 31, 2007

Three PSOnes, not one PSThree.
posted by howiamdifferent at 8:14 AM on October 31, 2007

My friend bought a "John Elway jersey." It came in Bronco colors, with Elway's number, but it didn't say "Elway" on it. I don't know other details, like if it was implied that it was NFL branded or authentic.

I don't think so, and I don't think she cared. But she was pissed that it didn't have his name on the back. The pic was just of the front, with the number.
posted by peep at 8:38 AM on October 31, 2007

I used to buy books from eBay all the time (I still do occasionally). Many book scammers will attempt to pass of book club editions of popular or difficult-to-find editions as retail editions. Some people may do this unknowingly, but most of the sellers know that they are doing this. eBay has fostered this nonsense by providing a book-specific template in which the seller is encouraged to add which edition of the book it is (and book-club is not an option). Thus, many sellers will choose 'first edition' as a default.

It is a total pain in the ass to buy books (as a bibliophile/first-edition hoarder) because of this. Unless the seller explicitly states that it is, or is not a book club edition, I have to email them.

When I email I ask them:
1. Is there a price on the inside front cover of the dustjacket (book club will not have).
2. What is the copyright number line: eg. 10 9 8 7 6 (indicating that it's a fifth printing)
3. Or to take a photo of the copyright page.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 8:54 AM on October 31, 2007

I don't think it's intentionally deceptive, but there's cockeyed's 36-1/2" flat screen
posted by milkrate at 9:40 AM on October 31, 2007

I recently bought a dress on ebay that, when I received it, had belt loops and a missing belt.
No mention of the belt loops or missing belt in the description, and the photo was taken from far enough away that you could not see them.
posted by chickaboo at 12:51 PM on October 31, 2007

I have run into a few sellers who neglect to mention that the "CDs" they are selling are actually CDRs. Ditto with people who don't mention that they are selling promo CDs (usually the ones with a hole-punch or notch cut out of the tray card, but sometimes also the ones that come in a cardboard slipcase). Also, there are a number of Russian Federation Ebayers selling $4 or $5 CDs, which of course turn out to be cheaply printed, with booklets partly in Cyrillic.

As i_am_a_Jedi noted, Ebay has made this sort of thing worse by providing a stock picture for items like CDs and books -- it used to be that people had to take their own pictures, but now that they can just use the default, who even knows what you'll really be getting?
posted by vorfeed at 1:39 PM on October 31, 2007

I fell for an ebay scam once in which a guy was packaging a whole bunch of knock-off Magnetix toys with 10 real Magnetix toys and listing them with "Magnetix" in the title. After I paid way too much for them and got them in the mail, I went back and looked at the listing, and realized that a very careful reading would have revealed this but, as with the XBox Box scam, the seller was obviously counting on people not reading the entire lengthy text carefully.
posted by not that girl at 2:22 PM on October 31, 2007

Here's the text from an auction that brought in $100 for a photo of a ham radio. (this is from my link above)
You are bidding on a picture of a Galaxy 2517 10 Meter Ham Radio and Silver Eagle Mic. Radio in picture LOOKS AND WORKS GREAT. I only ship to the continetal United States. I do not ship to PO BOXS. This is an as is sale. There will be no refunds of any kind. Payment is due within 3 days of sale ending. Thank You for looking at my sale and GOOD LUCK!
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:47 PM on October 31, 2007

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