buyer beware of late

Did anyone else respond to the "unbeleavable" listings lately, like the B&W 800's for $3000 or the N802's for $ members with no feedback. I received the message from Audiogon saying the members were "questionable" and not to do business with them. Same thing happened today with a listing for a Jadis integrated amp. I guess the only safe bet is to stay away if there's no feedback..but that doesn't do much for the legitiment new members trying to get established.
Yes, it can be diff. buying from new members,meaning those with no FB. I guess it's a tightrope and so far I have been lucky. Sometimes it can be hard separating desire for the item and the caution one must use under said conditions. It has always been this way,even way back 5/6 years ago. It's just that the site grows; attracting 'more' members and the potential for 'more' bad stuff to happen,if one isn't 'more' careful.
Yea got burned once. It's hard to tell this guy sold a bunch of small stuff and I was the one that bought something big. I really with Audiogon would list the cost or approximate cost of things you bought and sold or just what the item is so you can see that the guy has sold tube amps or speakers before.

I feel much more comfortable buying 5K amps off of someone that sold similar items rathor than someone that sold some cd's.
try COD with them.So the new memer will get feedback and the crook will refuse to do it.
I spotted three adds in "full range speakers" last night that looked very questionable. All ended with the word "used." All the adds were marked sold within just a few minutes of being opened and they had shared feedback. Looked liked feedback fraud to me.
I hear you. I find myself asking these new members with O feedback if they will ship and use Escrow. Of the few I have contacted most reply no or I get no reply at all. We were all new at one time and it is more difficult today then what is was in the past. It does make it tough on new members that are legit and want to get started in buying and selling in this crazy hobby.
Also, with AudioWeb gone (the original home for scammers) alot of those no-goods are drifting over here.
Hello every one !
Is there anyone know anything about this specific member who posted a cremona auditor speaker for sale for a $ 1,000 last Nov.24,2005.well as you said it is so hard for some of us (buyer)to decide if we are going to purchase item from a seller who have a zero FB,but we always want to be the first
buyer to an item which at very low price.Anyway i did not get lucky on this one,IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE GOT VICTIMIZED BY THIS USERNAME Karenmaguire ?Please let me know.Thanks.
Wow, your post was allowed? I posted regarding the same concerns last week and was blocked. I knew the B&W speakers were too good to be true so I questioned the seller and asked for a phone #. He replied that he is deaf and cannot use a phone. Maybe that's why the B&W's bright highs don't bother him!!! There appears to be a proliferation of these new members with deals that are questionable. I pray that management can prevent this from suffering the same b.s. as Ebay and Audioweb.
Hey if its to good to be true and you cant phone the seller or get a location, ITS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE!
I agree with Thanhn387

COD is an excellent way to insure a legitimate transaction with a zero feedback seller. Personally, I think FedEx has the best COD system (Air only, doesn't apply to FedEx Ground).

You can use FedEx "Express Saver" up to 150 lbs., the cheapest air service (3 day guaranteed). COD costs $4.50 more and here's what you get as a seller: Before handing over the item, FedEx will collect ONLY a certified or cashiers check from the buyer made out to you the seller. Ask the buyer for the bank's name, phone number, and the check number after he draws it so you can call the bank and verify its authenticity before delivery. FedEx will then overnight the check back to you (no extra charge) so you can deposit it the next day.

If you are the buyer, this is a way of assuring the seller that you have made the payment, that it is not counterfeit, and that he'll have it the next day.

I saw the ad's and said to myself "you've got to be kidding"
COD sounds like the best way to go when in doubt.
In addition to the # feedbak, I check the "member since"... it's hard to go back 5 years to join...
That's good info, Neil. Thanks.
Too bad people have to screw up every good thing. I've been an audiogon member for several years, but I've really only been active for the last year. I've only bought one item, and it was a great transaction. Earlier this year, I almost got scammed on e-bay after winning a bid for an amp, but figured it out before I sent the money. I politely refused to complete the transaction, and never heard back from the guy, nor did he relist the equipment. After that, I decided it's Audiogon for me. Now the scammers have invaded audiogon too.
I'm not sure COD is foolproof for the seller or the buyer. Is the Fed-ex guy going to hang around while you check out the equipment? Maybe the escrow thing is the way to go.
I've got no feedback as a seller, so what do I do? I'm going to be buying another amp (when I get my nerve back), but I won't be buying anything if I can't sell my current equipment. This, coupled with the recent thread on the shipping nightmares, makes me nervous. Ultimately, one can see a bit of an audiogon recession coming if we can't get this figured out.
One suggestion would be to look if the seller is an active member of Audiogon. I have not sold here yet, but plan on it in the future. My feedback for selling and buying is zero but I have been involved for a year or so with active discussions. I also would suggest calling the seller/buyer and if you can't, it does not sound reputable.

I saw the Sonus Faber ad and it seemed way too good to be true.....if it was a scam it was cleaverly placed..

a woman (naive) selling off her late father (sympathy) old stereo gear.....

My apologies if this ad was legit, but it really seemed too good to be true.
"unbelievable" low price can simply be the result of ignorance on the part of the seller. When a nearby high end store went under the bank held an auction. After selling off all the speakers and amps, and after the auction was officially over the bank officer (nice guy friend of mine but not an audiophile) opened a drawer and found a bunch of little things in boxes. So small... they can't be worth much. A bunch of guys walked out with MC pickups for $10 each.
It's sad that these jerks are trying to sabotage this site. I have had many transactions with Audiogon members without a single problem.
Distortion - you caught that too? All of those speakers sold within a day of being listed, and ain't it amazin' that the deals apparently were closed w/ overnight shipping 'cause all of the feedback was also posted within a day. And I thought there was an almost uncanny similarity to the style of all of the feedback (you can only use just so many "+++" before even my old eyes notice a pattern). Simply amazing!

You would think that it shouldn't be too hard to implement a system that IDs those offerings and transactions. Even slEazeBay has those silly icons that warn you about a 30-day new user, and even they have caught "likely" fraud rings like this (although with some help). Yup, it's unfortunate but you do have to take a regular dose of paranoia pills and do your homework - and still get lucky.
I got burned a few years ago using Fedex COD to sell a laptop.

The crook gave fedex an obviously fake money order which they sent to me. I didn't look closely and deposited the MO. A few weeks later my bank called me and told me the money order was fake.

Fedex was useless. They say that they aren't responsible for verifying the authenticity of the money order (despite the spelling errors and runny ink).

Ultimately my homeowners insurance came through for me after a long investigation. It turned out that the receiving address was a crack house in detroit. They refunded my money, minus a deductible, as a theft.

I don't know what I would do differently in the future. Maybe I'd have a phone conversation with the person and see if I could confirm home or work phone numbers. It wouldn't hurt to ask for a fax of the money order as well.
I'm with Jmslaw. I tried to start a similiar post a while back and it was blocked also. I'll usually email the seller and ask if local pick-up is available and if so, what part of town are they in. If they get back to me telling me no problem and give me an answer, I'm more apt to think it might be a real deal. Most of the scam ones will not respond. I've noticed what seems to me to be a marked increase in scam ads both here and on ebay. It pays to be super careful.

FedEx COD is super, BUT don't expect them to check the authenticity of the cashiers check or certified check they collect for you (I don't think they take money orders, or in any case check only the "cashier/certified" box)

It is up to you to do your due diligence and get a fax or scan of the check from the buyer. Get the issuing branch phone no. from the buyer also, it's not always on the check. Call the issuing bank to verify before your item is delivered to the buyer, and the check collected for you by FedEx. You can always call FedEx and ask them not to release the item if you suspect a counterfeit check.
I've been messing with the obviously fake ad posters the last two days. I respond by stating I'll be in their city this weekend and will stop in to take a look in person with the cash in hand. Funny...not one response from the thieves!
They are back!

Mr_Hosehead, yes I did. Check the feedback, its the same group of member names giving feedback, back and forth. I wrote down all seven aliases that this guy/gal is using. Obviously they are building up false positive feedbacks in order to better perpetrate a scam.

All the deals were marked sold just minutes after opening, with feedback both ways within a few hours, and low and behold all were paid with Money Order too.

What an idiot, as you pointed out they didnt even have the intellect to mix up the syntax. In the feedback or the Adds, which were posted one right under the other.

AudiogoN did a good job though. I sent them an email pointing out the fairly obvious situation and asked for a little prudent scrutiny. As of this morning 5 of the 7 aliases are no longer members. I'll be watching the other two pretty close.
Distortion - Glad you got 'em, but it does appear that Audiogon has only locked 5 of the 7 as of this evening. And the biggest problem is that one of those remaining 2 listed (or re-listed?) B&W speakers for $6,000 and now they're marked as "Sale pending". Maybe that was just an ongoing part of the scam, or maybe some unlucky member thought they were getting a deal? Hope it all gets shut down pronto and that the perp(s) get what they've earned.

And, sure hope no one actually sent any money to "alivealive"... (I also hope I can't get in trouble for naming names, but this just seems soooooo obvious that I'd take that risk. Much better than chancing a 'Goner being out several big bills to a frickin' scammer. And if I can get in trouble for that, then I sure hope that the moderator at least checks on that transaction for $6000 B&W speakers before someone else gets hurt and if it's legit and I'm being a bad bunny then just delete this post, thank you...)
Good for you for posting that! Bravo. We have to look out for ourselves sometimes. I do feel strongly about this community.

Your exactly right about the 2 remaining of the original 7. There are new adds that have Pics and all. Looks like the scammers have a foundness for B & W products and big Krell Amps.

I havent emailed A'gon about these newest adds. That brings up a good question. Why doesnt A'gon have a "fraud alert" link? Maybe they do... and I am just to dim to locate it.
hahaha,here's a new twist,a greenhorn with a stupidly low priced mac amp sent me an email in an offical looking audiogon service dept page stating that his deal's will be handled by the audiogon staff & that they will fall under the audiogon buyer protection program which will protect buyers for up to $5,000.

this new twist appears to be an attempt to get personal information from buyers,this fool keep's telling me that i need to give him all of my contact info before we can proceed & he refuses to give me his info,he even went as far as to say he is in my state too.

i fowarded all of his email's to the agon staff,this new offical looking email stuff look's bad.
See my Buyer Beware of Late Part 2 for my latest dealings with the thieves!
If I see any items from zero feedback sellers that look very suspicious then I email Audiogon.

I think we could all do each other a service by doing similar.
no phone number no deal no western union no emails from someone saying they are representing audiogon ie dba william mccabe of royal oak,mi
Getting a headache from all this.keep up the good work men,I am trying to do a little policing[I hate that word] myself as this site is too good to lose to scammers.Have many good deals in the past in a variety of ways.I just keep that phone conversation as my litmus test,good luck,Bob
I bought a fairly expensive cd player many years ago thru audiogon, COD. As I recall, the Fedex guy told me I was not allowed to open the box without giving him the money order first, and if there was a big rock in there, then I just bought a rock. I found all that sorta scary. I wonder if that is still the case with COD.
Anything over $1,500 - I always buy locally, pay cash and see what I'm getting by picking it up. Anything else is too risky. But mostly I buy through my dealer. His advice and support is worth paying retail or slightly below.
Last year a lady in TN was "selling" speaker cables at a very good price. I bit, even though she had no feedback. She had a nice voice over the phone when I talked to her at her place of employment- a bank. I sent a money order for $600. After a couple of days, the ad had not changed to sold, or pending (hint to all scammers). So I called her again. This time she was rude and had no time to talk because she was at work, etc. Another call was even more rude and short. Then someone posted a scam warning beside the ad (thanks to the member who took the time to warn me/us). Anyway, I got in touch with the other member and he gave me her home phone # which I called, now the weekend. She was more rude and angry, I won't say low class because it would it would be an insult to low class. On Monday, I called the bank and spoke to the manager, he asked me to explain. Then he said that she called him at home the day before, Sunday, to resign from the bank. No explanations from her. He intercepted my letter which contained the money order and returned it to me. I got 3 emails from members who had been scammed by this same person. The only ones who got their money back, to my knowledge, were myself and the guy who posted the warning.
In the past year I have made it a policy of mine to request that seller send me the item, or one piece (one speaker, for instance), then I send some of the money, to be paid in full only when I get what I've paid for. I do this if the person has no or few feedback. This has worked well. Most of the time the deal falls through, the seller somewhat pissed that I would make such an outrageous request- I understand. But, if you can't trust me, then who can you trust, IMHO?
Have fun and be careful!
P.S. I've noticed an increase of shady audio "deals" coming out of the U.K., especially on eBay.
Several days ago, I made an offer to buy from someone with no feedback. I told them I would only do the deal via UPS COD. Fortunately, I know our UPS guy and he will let me look at the item and even quickly power it up before handing over the funds. I never heard back from the seller. Either the item is sold (although it is not marked sold), they didn't like my COD terms, or they didn't like my offer, which was a little below the asking price. Either way, no problem. I will wait for a better opportunity. I think part of having good luck with these transactions is sticking to your terms, and knowing when to walk.
I got burned good on purchase of a turntable from someone a lot of you may know named Albert whose business advertises on A'Gon. I paid above the market going rate for the table and was aware of this. But this was based upon Albert putting in writing that unit was 6 to 7 years old. Coincidentally someone removed the serial # before shipping to me. But I had faith in what I was told and what Albert put in writing.

Less than a year later the unit required service and the manufacturer informed me that it's 20 years old. I email Albert several times and he does not even give the courtesy of ANY response.


A'Gon won't print my negative feedback, won't even acknowledge it. Likely won't print this.

I'm an honest seller and purchaser and should not be treated this way. My eyes are open much wider now but I still enjoy and believe in what A'Gon is trying to do.
If you send an Electra Glide cord to William Scott Hall for repair or retermination, be prepared to never see the cord, or its dollar value again. Or, be prepared to put up a determined, hard nosed fight to regain your property. Many have been down this road with Mr. Hall. I have personally communicated with half a dozen Electra Glide owners (and one dealer) who have contacted me unsolicited with their unfavorable experiences.

You've all been warned.