What do you do when you've been scammed on eBay?
June 4, 2006 7:58 PM   Subscribe

I am concerned that a CD I've committed to buy on eBay is a counterfeit. The item's identification number is 4881752639. My concerns were raised after I read some of the seller's feedback from buyers and consequently the feedback the seller has left for them. Also, some buyers have gone so far as to create warning pages for others. There's even damning comments on Znooq's blog about the exact same item I've bought.

So, what should I do about this? The item hasn't arrived yet. Can I somehow cancel my order? Of course I'm aware it has only cost me a few dollars for this mistake I've made. And yes I should have delved deeper through the seller's feedback when I first decided to bid on the item. I admit I'm at fault. But what the heck are scammers like this doing on eBay anyway? Surely eBay has had enough time to remove this seller in particular? I have sent this exact query to eBay too. What are your thoughts? It's the first time I've been scammed on eBay. And here I was thinking that it'd never happen to me. I mean I'm usually so cautious when buying anything from there.
posted by sjvilla79 to Shopping (14 answers total)
Just be glad it wasn't a laptop from airnxtz. :p

And on topic, what payment method did you use? EBay doesn't seem to be too concerned with policing its sellers, which fascinates me, I mean, I've tried several times to contact their abuse dept to only get form replies back..
posted by cavalier at 8:05 PM on June 4, 2006

It's the first time I've been scammed on eBay.

You haven't been scammed yet. I'd wait to see what you receive and then leave feedback accordingly. You're out US$8 in the worst case, but that's only if the CD has absolutely no redeeming value or if you don't receive any merchandise.
posted by aberrant at 8:06 PM on June 4, 2006

Response by poster: ...what payment method did you use?

I used PayPal.
posted by sjvilla79 at 8:17 PM on June 4, 2006

If it is not like you expected ask the seller for compensation. Make sure that there was in an error in the description and not an error in your perception of what the item should have been.

If he is not helpful than leave appropriate feedback.

With 98.5% feedback he is still a good seller by ebays standards although I would have read every one of his feedbacks to see what he was up to before bidding.

Also 'buyer beware' and 'if it looks too good to be true.....'
posted by vidarling at 8:33 PM on June 4, 2006

Best answer: I had a similar experience with a *cough* "KISS Meets The Phantom of the Park" DVD *cough* that the seller swore up and down was a legitimate DVD imported from Japan. What turned up in the mail was obviously something he'd burned himself on his computer. I complained about it and he actually sent me my money back -- all the while sticking to his story that it was a real DVD and I just wasn't familiar with how they do things in Japan. Maybe not, but I totally know how they do things in Alabama.

I'd wait and see what you get. The listing specifically says "factory made, not a CDR" so if what you get is indeed a CDR, you have cause to ask for your money back. So ask for it and see what happens. Mention that you'd really hate to have to leave him negative feedback. The worst case scenario is you're out 8 bucks.... that's a pretty cheap lesson learned. You might even be able to get a refund from PayPal -- that worked for me once too, when an item I won never arrived.
posted by spilon at 8:36 PM on June 4, 2006

I knew someone who basicaly pirates DVDs for a living. He used to do ebay, but now uses google keywords.

Anyway, he was pretty good with refunds, don't want to lose that precious ebay rating.
posted by delmoi at 8:40 PM on June 4, 2006

now you have a moral choice:

you committed to buy the item, and you had every chance to see the seller's feedback in advance. If that's true, I think you should pay for the item, as you agreed (I also believe that 98.5% feedback is very good for a volume seller, unless there are many recent negatives.)

If, on the other hand, you can absolutely prove that there was deception in the seller's description, you might have a case for not buying it; however, you run the risk of getting negative feedback for backing out of the sale. You can probably mitigate this by waiting for his or her feedback, and then explaining quickly why the item you bought was misrepresented. Remember, the misrepentation should be crystal-clear - and not merely a matter of differering interpretations or perceptions.

You can also go through eBay's complaint process (in either case) but that will take a while to resolve...

Personally, I'd pay the eight bucks and learn a lesson, if there's one to be learned!
posted by soulbarn at 8:53 PM on June 4, 2006

I don't think you've been scammed.
You might have assumed you were purchasing a licensed copy of the CD as you might get at retail in Australia, but it appears this guy is selling Eastern European discs. The music licensing regime is very different in eastern Europe, so you might well be buying a factory made CD with appropriate local copyrights that would not meet your standards if it were sold in AU.
Even if it is a bit shady, he does not even claim it is genuine, just "factory made, not a CDR".
I don't know anything about the music, but presumably it is in some way rare, so if you bought it to listen to I would suggest listening to it first.
If you bought it because it has some collectors cachet for traditional retail versions, well, tough I guess.
I see the price for a retail copy on Ebay.com.au is $31 with no bonus tracks, so I think you didn't get do too badly.
posted by bystander at 9:43 PM on June 4, 2006

As a seller and buyer on eBay, wtf, dude? All the investigating you seem to have done after winning the auction... you should have done it before bidding!

eBay will not remove this seller unless hit with a VeRO request, which is unlikely. I've seen much worse sellers selling obvious bootlegs of big-ticket items and eBay doesn't do shit.

Swallow the $10 and suck it up.
posted by dobbs at 9:46 PM on June 4, 2006

you committed to buy the item, and you had every chance to see the seller's feedback in advance.

That's really immaterial. The only thing that matters is whether the item arrives as described.
posted by grouse at 12:42 AM on June 5, 2006

One of those pages says that the bootleg is identical, data-wise, to his real/legit copy.. As long as the music plays, do you really care that much about $8?
posted by mrbill at 2:40 AM on June 5, 2006

Did you *ask* the seller if you can back out? Back in 2000 or so, I bid on a pirated Final Fantasy 9 soundtrack, not knowing until a friend pointed it out to me later that it was counterfeit. I won the auction but e-mailed the seller and explained that I didn't know it wasn't a real soundtrack, and he was actually quite polite about it. (I didn't threaten to report him or anything.) He let me back out, saying he didn't want an unhappy buyer who wasn't comfortable with the product. He didn't leave me any feedback and I didn't leave any for him. YMMV.
posted by IndigoRain at 6:54 AM on June 5, 2006

Crooked sellers set up strawman identities and leave hundreds of positive feedback messages for themselves. One giveaway is that they repeat.

If there are more than a few negatives, run, don't walk, away.
posted by KRS at 2:58 PM on June 5, 2006

If there are more than a few negatives, run, don't walk, away.

My approach is to convert the percentages to fractions (or ratios).

99.5% positive means 1 in 200 customers posted a negative.

97% positive means that 1 in 33 customers posted a negative.
posted by winston at 6:24 PM on June 5, 2006

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