A price too good to be true should also be a red flag.
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I've also noticed some "too good" adds from 0 feedback sellers recently. The internet and instant money transfers have made an ideal environment for scammers.
One way to help determine if the seller at least has the gear that is for sale is to ask him/her to take and send you pictures of the gear that you request. An example could be a picture of the speakers with the grille off the one on the left, etc.
I request a phone number and call to chat for two minutes.
I have also requested a copy of the sellers Drivers Licence for big ticket items. Nothing can stop a dedicated professional scammer, but let's make it a little harder for them. Never send Western Union too.
And if somone pays with Pay Pal and does a pick up, you can be screwed. Paypal requires sellers ship to confirmed address and have an internet verifiable tracking number, if not they will reverese the payment.
Wait, Columbo I'm new here and a little slow. So what yer sayin' is that when someone has an ad that ships from another country, a country where their zip code or whatever doesn't exist, and they have no feedback and the price is too good to be true, that it might be a good idea to have them take a picture holding up today's Tehran Times, or whatever, right next to that pair of Tidal Sunrays that they are going to absorb the shipping cost on, so that you can be sure that no folderol is going on. Works for me, I just need to bone up on my Farsi.
Tommy, right you are. My mistake, a little slow like you said, "An example could be a picture of the speakers with the grille off the one on the left, etc."
Thanks fer schoolin' me Tommy. No need to hassle the nice international seller with the local newspaper. Just a few pix and we're good to go. Much appreciated, I was worried about those Farsi lessons.
May I add that selling to a "zero feedback" member and buying from a "zero feedback" member are two different things. Am Ok selling to such persons as long as payment is made to my bank account or cash on delivery, but selling to this category is a definite risk and we need to exercise extreme caution.
I am not against the idea that "zero feedback" members would benefit by accumulating some +ve feedbacks through purchases before resorting to selling.
I believe Audiogon should be taking a hand in policing some of the fraudulent ads and taking more action to make sure these scammers don't list here. As buyers we have responsibility too with our own due dilligence but Audiogon to me needs to step up more. Maybe with big dollar listings more credentials/verification is required?
Regarding the zero feedback situation. I believe that when one is starting out here with zero feedback and selling their wares that person needs to go the extra mile with their listings and being professional about it. No one line description listing with a stock or crummy picture.
When I started out I tried to be as descriptive as possible without going overboard. I used all the free pictures that were available with the listing. I didn't use stock pictures and I took my own. I had seller feedback from other sites and mentioned them. I then reiterated that while I may be new to Audiogon I would be professional in my transactions in the listing.
When I was buying items and had zero feedback there were times I would send a message to the seller conveying my seriousness in purchasing the item and that I would pay promptly. I made sure they knew that I was a professional and was going to follow through. I would try to assuage any fears they had in transacting with a newbie.
One other thing. I feel the feedback system is still a bit clumsy even with the improvements made. You still have to be very diligent in leaving feedback on a transaction. If you had a good transaction with a new lister on Audiogon be sure to leave them positive feedback.
Actually I have seen several suspicious (turned out to be fraudulent) ads from sellers with good feedback. Turns out that the original members' audiogon accounts were hacked and the ad put under their account to take advantage of the feedback. The lesson is that this kind of fraudulent ad does not necessarily have to be from an account with zero feedback. It is best to exercise due diligence while buying and not just blindly trust an ad from someone with good feedback.
What were the characteristics of those fraudulent ads from sellers with good feedback? Was it bad English in the ads or something in the title of the ad? Some time ago I remember seeing a fraudulent ad from a seller with higher feedback but I don't remember what made me suspicious.
Beware and beware... here they come again, this time from FRANCE..
Well yesterday, i came across (on Audiogon once more) a new zero feedback member advertising 3 products and again at ridiculously low prices. All three ads were freshly inserted. The writing language, style and advertisement structure and payment modes etc. were almost identical to the 3 ads from UK.
One of the ads from France was for a 1.5m pair of an almost brand new Stealth Metacarbon 2, interconnect XLR, advertised for $1,000 together with a very blurred photo of a certificate of authenticity.
I requested for a better, closer range picture of the certificate and further asked where exactly in France the product was located (i have previously lived in France so quite well acquainted with the regions)....
No replies, but my magic or coincidence .....all three ads disappeared from Audiogon system ... possibly to attack again through a different country listing..
In view of the repeats, I believe Audiogon should put on hold all sell ads from newly joined members and also those with zero feedbacks until a proper investigation, screening and proof of genuineness is established by Audiogon team.
"I believe Audiogon should put on hold all sell ads from newly joined members and also those with zero feedbacks until a proper investigation, screening and proof of genuineness is established by Audiogon team.Â
IÂm not a lawyer but I suspect that Audiogon would be reluctant to assume, even minimal, responsibility for validating classifieds. I think that could make them liable.
We are always vulnerable to fraud. Even an established Account is no good. I had my E-bay A/C hijacked by a fraudster a few years ago, by using a virus to find my password. He put about $500000 on for 3 day sale within a few hours, nearly new Audi's, BMWs.
However careful you are, you can be caught out. You just have to be as careful as you can. Now were was that Ad from the nice Prince in nigeria, who just needs $10,000, to get access to a half a million in diamonds. He promised I could have half, my lucky day.