I recently ran into a VERY "funky" situation on Audioweb.
I found a product for sale listed as used that i was not even aware was in production. The seller had a very nice picture of the unit, full description, etc... and the price was right. Checking his feedback, i found three positives with all of them taking place within the last 2 - 3 weeks. I fired off an instant email to him letting him know i was VERY interested in this specific product. I also called his house and left a similar message with all of my pertinent contact info.
After doing this, i went to the company's website and checked to see what i could find out about this piece. While they did show it listed, there was no info available. I ended up calling them up and spoke to their distributor. During the conversation, the distributor mentioned that the unit will be in production at the end of July. HUH ?!?!?!?!
As it turns out, there were only two of these units in existence. The distributor had one to demo to their dealers and the engineers had one to work with. I then made him aware of the unit being advertised on Audioweb for appr 45% of retail. Needless to say, he became rather excited very quickly. He asked for the web address, etc.. and i gladly forwarded the pertinent info. The distributor then contacted the seller privately and who knows what was said between them.
When all was said and done, the seller did not have this unit. His ad disappeared that same day while i was at work. I spoke to the distributor the next day and he did verify that it was a scam. However, the seller did contact me via email and let me know that he had found someone that was interested in it and they were working through a deal. If the deal fell through, he would let me know. There is more to this than i've covered here, but you get the idea.
I forwarded an email to Audioweb questioning them about their policies on fraudulent ads and scammers. That was four days ago and i have not heard a peep back from them.
As such, i'm somewhat torn about what to do about this individual and the over-all situation. Obviously, this person planned on stringing someone ( who knows how many people ) along and probably bilking them for pre-payment and shipping fees. The way he worded his ad, he could simply contact me ( and who knows how many others ) at a later date and say that the original deal fell through. As such, he could sell me the unit but i would have to contact him ASAP as he had others waiting in line for this piece. With that type of a situation at hand, i think that many people would simply jump without thinking and agree to terms just to secure the deal. Know what i mean ???
Any thoughts or suggestions as to what should be done in this situation ? According to the little bit of detective work that i've done, this person does not have an account here on Audiogon. Sean