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TheRealAnubis

Some ebay ideas that may help you not get burned.. Maybe

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Hey all,

 

I've been getting some real junk on ebay lately, and really I should have known better. It seems like a lot of items are full of ALL CAPS warnings like:

 

UNTESTED, PARTS ONLY, NO WAY TO TEST, etc.

 

Now I understand that stuff can be broken, and also that you may not have a way to test it, but I've discovered a little trick to check on the seller's honesty for untested items. At least, I hope it can help.

 

When an auction has an UNTESTED item listed, they usually state that they don't have the power supply, TV connector, etc. so they can't try it out.

 

A quick way to see how reasonable this is - check out the other items the person is selling.

 

For instance, if you're buying an UNTESTED Atari 1050 drive, and the seller also has a power supply for it in a different auction, 800XL's complete with cables, and a LOT of other game/computer items that relate to your item, it's probably really not UNTESTED, it's BROKEN!

 

A more likely scenario for UNTESTED is that the seller doesn't have anymore items that directly relate to that UNTESTED item. I hope this helps. Of course, there are exceptions - like two different auctions for related parts, but they are listed as estate/yard sale finds. Very few people (in my opinion) would be willing to sell something that can be easily tested, which would increase the sale price.

 

Anyone have any other ideas on how to decrease your chance of not getting junk (other than not bidding!) ?

 

Thanks!

Edited by TheRealAnubis

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Not eBay, but I was in a thrift shop on Saturday morning. There was an old 16 mm. film projector. The case was clearly labeled as "does not work" (presumably by the previous owner), yet there it was on the shelf for sale :?

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Knowing what you buy...

 

"Untested" for an Amstrad CPC is almost safe - they are extremely reliable computers. A NOT WORKING NES probably need just a connector cleaning (if the seller say it power on, blinks and make a gray screen or a game screen, then it's safe to buy).

 

On the other hand, buying an untested Colecovision or Bally Astrocade is Russian roulette... It's certainly more non working than working.

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Buying untested or broken is a great way to get a console cheap. You just have to use common sense like as you suggested seeing what else they sell.

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Not to sound sexist, but I have got some great deals on eBay from obvious female sellers.

Sometimes female sellers aren't as knowledgeable about classic systems, they do not seem to care if it wasn't their system... maybe it was their child's or a sister ended up with older brothers console.

Oftentimes auctions are titled wrong / misspelled and can be won cheaply.

My Bally Astrocade, untested, came from a female seller. I could tell it was owned by one family since new, and they had spent a lot of money on lots of carts so it was used a lot and obviously it must not have had problems to acquire 6 controllers and lots of games.

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It would be a rare event to buy anything from me that was "untested." Now, we might enter into a gray area, where I knew it was dead, and gave up trying to do an easy or even complicated fix where I installed a lot of parts and then gave up, but I have forgotten the circumstances over time. That can happen when you have a shed of things that go back a decade or two. Even then, it ain't "untested" and I'll share any insights I have.

 

If I think it works, I sell as "not DOA." I even refunded a couple buyers' total cost plus shipping just because they claimed an "as-is" but working set arrived broken. Not worth the bother to fight such bottom-feeders. As a result, you won't see me selling much on ebay. The risks go both ways.

 

In my real business that pays the bills (note my avatar), we deal with new folks all the time and in that case mutual trust is what gets you in the door. All others get the revolving door, lol.

-Ed

Edited by Ed in SoDak
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Great discussion so far!

 

In my own experience, and UNTESTED item works about 5% of the time. I've purchased items that have been chip ripped, used as a dumping board for bad chips (listed as FULLY POPULATED!), and items that have obviously been underwater, left in a barn for 30 years, etc. I have had a few surprises, but most of the time it's been seriously broken.

 

The sellers that are honest will offer at least a partial refund to help you either fix the item, or just recover some of the lost funds.

 

I try to stand by anything I sell as well, but I also am very explicit on how and when refunds are given. I'm not going to socket and repair some vintage electronics and then have someone 'swap out' all of my good IC's for bad ones, then claim that the item isn't working. I take pictures of the motherboard of every item I sell, so unless you're lucky and can match all of the brands and date codes, there's no room there for cheating!

 

Thanks for the comments! Keep 'em coming!

Edited by TheRealAnubis

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Nice! Thank you for the links! This is a much more detailed list than I had, but I can see that we figured out the same things along the way! Too bad they don't make this mandatory reading before buying on ebay...

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The real scam are some dishonest Chinese sellers. They have a few tricks up their sleeves. If you get something that is wrong (ie expected laptop battery, got iPhone charger), they often take 2-3 days to respond. Offer a partial refund or offer to resend another. Never accept the resend offer because it may end up with fake tracking info or otherwise be way too late for you to file claim or escalate it. if they tell you to send it back, there's another scam. Postage from China is subsided and they can ship it dirt cheap but shipping back to China with tracking can be very expensive. If you don't send it back and you do leave a neg, eBay will remove it. :-o :thumbsdown: Because of this, checking the seller's feedback first may be skewed by eBay removing legitimate negs and make it look good for the shady seller.

 

I've had good deals from Chinese sellers. It's when you get wrong or broken item that you'd need to be careful. When contacting the seller to complain, use "Others" in the list of option as this will NOT open dispute. As long as dispute is not opened, you can leave neg if the seller is still no good.

 

As for the as-is auctions, check the seller's other items. I've seen listing for (for example) Atari 2600 "as is untested due to not having games" but have games listed that are tested working. That's a red flag the seller is an idiot. One of the best as-is auction I got was $30 for a 22" LCD TV that wouldn't come on. Took it apart, the cable from the switch board was loose. Reconnected it, viola $200 working TV :D . (well, $200 at the time, now maybe $50 today) As-is auctions are crap shoot provided you checked the seller's other auction and completed selling history.

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in recent months i bought an untested Super Mario Bros LCD wristwatch game. the seller didn't have other watches listed, and even said it probably just needs a new battery. well, he/she was right.

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The real scam are some dishonest Chinese sellers. They have a few tricks up their sleeves. If you get something that is wrong (ie expected laptop battery, got iPhone charger), they often take 2-3 days to respond. Offer a partial refund or offer to resend another. Never accept the resend offer because it may end up with fake tracking info or otherwise be way too late for you to file claim or escalate it. if they tell you to send it back, there's another scam. Postage from China is subsided and they can ship it dirt cheap but shipping back to China with tracking can be very expensive. If you don't send it back and you do leave a neg, eBay will remove it. :-o :thumbsdown: Because of this, checking the seller's feedback first may be skewed by eBay removing legitimate negs and make it look good for the shady seller.

 

I've had good deals from Chinese sellers. It's when you get wrong or broken item that you'd need to be careful. When contacting the seller to complain, use "Others" in the list of option as this will NOT open dispute. As long as dispute is not opened, you can leave neg if the seller is still no good.

 

As for the as-is auctions, check the seller's other items. I've seen listing for (for example) Atari 2600 "as is untested due to not having games" but have games listed that are tested working. That's a red flag the seller is an idiot. One of the best as-is auction I got was $30 for a 22" LCD TV that wouldn't come on. Took it apart, the cable from the switch board was loose. Reconnected it, viola $200 working TV :D . (well, $200 at the time, now maybe $50 today) As-is auctions are crap shoot provided you checked the seller's other auction and completed selling history.

 

It's not just the Chinese that are pulling that scam. Plenty of RoW (rest of the world) folks too. Like right here in good ole US of A.

 

I've been taken a couple of times but not in at least a few years now.

 

The scams I've run into in the US are the time delay to resolve a problem. The seller will either communication good or bad but, never actually do anything but just keep saying they will. Once your 30 days has past (and it may be less now), you've lost your ability for recourse through eBay. I lay it out on the line immediately. If there's a problem, I send the message and that I expect a response in a given amount of time, and if I don't hear back I will open a dispute to get my case started. I NEVER let more than 1 week go by without significant action (partial refund, full refund, whatever).

 

Good topic though! Better to be aware at least!

 

Cheers!

 

-Dano

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Even after knowing a lot of the ins and outs you can still get hosed. I just got an Atari 5200 on ebay for a decent price - 4 port, trackball, 2 joysticks, RF/Power box, no power supply.

Only one pic, but it looked pretty good - my mistake there is that you should grab any 'dark' photos and crank up the brightness on them if you can't see the item in detail (this has happened to me twice now, so I've learned).

Once the brightness was cranked I could see that the trim piece on the front was missing, and of course, that wasn't mentioned in the description.

As a matter of fact, more and more sellers are using the description area to tell you their shipping policy, and how they want 5 star feedback, etc. Check the auctions you are considering and see how many have 10 words or less about the actual item in the auction..

 

I can live with the missing trim piece, though, but when it arrived today I just about flipped.

 

The person that sent this filled a box with shredded paper - like what you would get in your home shredder (super fine paper dust and all). Then they proceeded to place all of the items directly in the box, and then pour more shredded paper on top of them.

When the package arrived, EVERY single item was filled with shredded paper and super fine paper dust. It seems that the idea of putting the stuff in plastic bags is too advanced for some. Anyway, after having to dis-assemble every item, vacuum out the chaff, then wipe everything down, then vacuum some more - it was well over an hour, and I was still finding paper in the items. There were bits of paper stuck under the cover for the start/pause/reset buttons - between the bottom of the plastic hold down piece and the top of the pads.

I'm seriously thinking of taking a break from buying on ebay. I've had some good experiences, but these types of things are becoming more and more common. :?

Edited by TheRealAnubis

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Whenever I get to a seller that seems unaware of such things (it happens - some people are unaware of basic things... I mean, really) I contact him and give him basic tips.

Outside eBay, I also give advices on how to test a console - some people gladly accept and gat back with positive infos. Some rare ones come back with "Okay, it's working - now price is raised up, thanks you".

 

But it usually goes well. And if a seller says "I don't care about this, take it ot leave it" well, unless it's some very rare odd item or very cheap, I leave it.

Edited by CatPix
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Whenever I get to a seller that seems unaware of such things (it happens - some people are unaware of basic things... I mean, really) I contact him and give him basic tips.

Outside eBay, I also give advices on how to test a console - some people gladly accept and gat back with positive infos. Some rare ones come back with "Okay, it's working - now price is raised up, thanks you".

 

But it usually goes well. And if a seller says "I don't care about this, take it ot leave it" well, unless it's some very rare odd item or very cheap, I leave it.

 

Yeah, I've taken the 'teaching' route plenty of times as well - I guess I'm a bit frustrated with people in general not thinking ahead about anything. I mean, it would have only taken a few seconds to think "I wonder how I'd feel about receiving this package"? They made some basic attempts to keep the confetti out - like tape over the cartridge port and across the joyports. I still can't believe that putting the items in plastic bags to 100% keep the packing out of the items didn't occur to them, but then again, there's a lot of people that aren't thinking about the next step for anything, so why would this be different?

Just a little bummed with the 'dim' pictures and crazy packing of late.

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I'm not going to socket and repair some vintage electronics and then have someone 'swap out' all of my good IC's for bad ones, then claim that the item isn't working. I take pictures of the motherboard of every item I sell, so unless you're lucky and can match all of the brands and date codes, there's no room there for cheating!

Would this actually be effective? The photo merely proves that you at one time had such a motherboard, not that you sent that particular motherboard to a buyer.

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Would this actually be effective? The photo merely proves that you at one time had such a motherboard, not that you sent that particular motherboard to a buyer.

Well, things can always be extrapolated to any extremes, but if the pictures are in the auction, with the IC's installed in the mobo, the date matches the time frame of the item, and then they get the item pictured, try to swap out IC's, return it and the IC's don't match, then you have a pretty good case, I think. Unfortunately we aren't able to hand deliver the items into the buyer's hands, you can only do so much, but taking precautions that are within your power is a good idea, I think..

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Well, things can always be extrapolated to any extremes, but if the pictures are in the auction, with the IC's installed in the mobo, the date matches the time frame of the item, and then they get the item pictured, try to swap out IC's, return it and the IC's don't match, then you have a pretty good case, I think. Unfortunately we aren't able to hand deliver the items into the buyer's hands, you can only do so much, but taking precautions that are within your power is a good idea, I think..

Ah, I see. Good idea.

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Even after knowing a lot of the ins and outs you can still get hosed. I just got an Atari 5200 on ebay for a decent price - 4 port, trackball, 2 joysticks, RF/Power box, no power supply.

Only one pic, but it looked pretty good - my mistake there is that you should grab any 'dark' photos and crank up the brightness on them if you can't see the item in detail (this has happened to me twice now, so I've learned).

Once the brightness was cranked I could see that the trim piece on the front was missing, and of course, that wasn't mentioned in the description.

As a matter of fact, more and more sellers are using the description area to tell you their shipping policy, and how they want 5 star feedback, etc. Check the auctions you are considering and see how many have 10 words or less about the actual item in the auction..

 

I can live with the missing trim piece, though, but when it arrived today I just about flipped.

 

The person that sent this filled a box with shredded paper - like what you would get in your home shredder (super fine paper dust and all). Then they proceeded to place all of the items directly in the box, and then pour more shredded paper on top of them.

When the package arrived, EVERY single item was filled with shredded paper and super fine paper dust. It seems that the idea of putting the stuff in plastic bags is too advanced for some. Anyway, after having to dis-assemble every item, vacuum out the chaff, then wipe everything down, then vacuum some more - it was well over an hour, and I was still finding paper in the items. There were bits of paper stuck under the cover for the start/pause/reset buttons - between the bottom of the plastic hold down piece and the top of the pads.

I'm seriously thinking of taking a break from buying on ebay. I've had some good experiences, but these types of things are becoming more and more common. :?

 

I feel your pain.

 

One of my purchases was the exact same deal but auction was for 20 some floppy drives. And guess what they were packed with???? FREAKIN' SHREDDED PAPER MIXED WITH LOOSE FLOPPY DRIVES!!!!!

 

ARE you kidding me? None of the drives worked right, full of shredded paper and dust jammed in every possible place. Shredded paper and floppy drives, what in the world was this seller thinking???

 

Now, I specifically state, I want working drives and if they arrive non-working I will be asking for a refund and not a return. That usually either gets the seller to say "don't buy my auction then" or "I'll make sure they're extra safe" and they'll know up front I'm not going to mess around with returns for stuff like that.

 

For sellers; Taking careful pictures of stuff you sell so the buyer doesn't do a switch-a-roo on you for a return for parts he stole and swapped out with bad parts. Ultraviolet ink is also another idea I've have floating around in my head but haven't gone that far yet. I just take good high quality photo's before I post, that's my insurance policy so far. LOL

 

I still love the ability to find just about anything on eBay though. Never could have done this back in the day before internet.

 

Cheers!

 

-Dano

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Or something like this: http://www.tamperevidentlabels.com/TEL/Tamper-Evident-Void-Labels.aspx?engine=adwords&keyword=void+sticker&gclid=CjkKEQjwlcSdBRD3wva3-KOAo80BEiQAjNIhiSkou6WvGU9gQX4Z4Q8NkQa7hxFAmQ55NVKsMDeg273w_wcB

 

I put one over the screw hole to make it very hard for dishonest buyer to open the game or system and swap parts. I do note the serial number of the label along with other serial number(s) and make it visible and clear in the auction listing.

 

Haven't had any fraudulent return since last year someone switched a mint label Mega Man for another Mega Man that was a former chew toy. I sure hope he enjoyed a box of piping hot poop I sent from poopsender site. (waited until it was dang hot in his state for extra ripe and extra stink!)

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I feel your pain.

 

One of my purchases was the exact same deal but auction was for 20 some floppy drives. And guess what they were packed with???? FREAKIN' SHREDDED PAPER MIXED WITH LOOSE FLOPPY DRIVES!!!!!

 

ARE you kidding me? None of the drives worked right, full of shredded paper and dust jammed in every possible place. Shredded paper and floppy drives, what in the world was this seller thinking???

 

Wow - I figured I was to only person to get the 'shredded paper soup' shipping. At any time I can go grab the 5200 and shake it and it starts snowing.. Grrrr.

 

 

 

I still love the ability to find just about anything on eBay though. Never could have done this back in the day before internet.

 

I agree - I just get frustrated when I have to school sellers, while taking a LOT of time fixing their mistakes.

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Or something like this: http://www.tamperevidentlabels.com/TEL/Tamper-Evident-Void-Labels.aspx?engine=adwords&keyword=void+sticker&gclid=CjkKEQjwlcSdBRD3wva3-KOAo80BEiQAjNIhiSkou6WvGU9gQX4Z4Q8NkQa7hxFAmQ55NVKsMDeg273w_wcB

 

I put one over the screw hole to make it very hard for dishonest buyer to open the game or system and swap parts. I do note the serial number of the label along with other serial number(s) and make it visible and clear in the auction listing.

 

Haven't had any fraudulent return since last year someone switched a mint label Mega Man for another Mega Man that was a former chew toy. I sure hope he enjoyed a box of piping hot poop I sent from poopsender site. (waited until it was dang hot in his state for extra ripe and extra stink!)

 

Those are pretty cool! I wonder how people that are seeking 'mint' items would react to that sticker? Maybe I could stick it on the inside.. Hmmmm

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One thing I've tended to notice is that one-off items, whether they be $50 items or $20,000 items, overall, always seem to be handled from start to finish beginning with the listing description and pricing and ending with the item begin unpackaged by you; better than commodity items.

 

Videogames are commodity items, whether they are $5.00 Combat carts or something more rare like a signed and validated Nuon console. Perhaps that's why there are so many botched or less-than-perfect experiences had by everyone.

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