eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

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eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby fxcat » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:50 am

Something to consider when you plan on bidding on a bike on eBay...


Recently I have bidded on a bike on eBay, it boasts full carbon, with 1 year old Dura Ace gears and Cassettes...

I won the auction and the seller arranged for the pick up after 7:30pm when it was dark, after we shook hands, he put the bike straight into the back of my car...

Since his auction said his bike has been sitting under the sun and rain for 10+ months in a salty suburb near a beach, first thing I did next day is to have it cleaned, checked up and serviced...

when I had it cleaned and checked, it turned out the cassette on the bike is actually an old 105 cassette model CS-5600 instead of the advertised Dura Ace, so I emailed the seller right away...

He went on to try and persuade me that a 105 cassette is actually better for me as it "wears" longer, and it doesn't affect the performance of the bike, and that I should just "enjoy" the bike, as I've already got a "massively great deal" on the bike... I was really shocked of his lack of surprise and non-apologetic reaction, which leads me to conclude that he already knew in advance that he wasn't supplying a Dura Ace cassette as advertised... when I pointed out that there is a huge price difference of $200 between the models, he became abusive and changed topic and started complaining that I have a new account?!

What's worst, when I had the bar tape changed over as the old ones were mouldy and dirty, instantly I noticed the "carbon bars" he advertised in his listing is actually just a normal "7050 alloy bar"!




So the summary of the story is that he must have planned the scam right from the beginning, he must have felt the auction sold much lower than his expectations, so he took out certain parts that normally people wouldn't notice, so that he can earn some extra money by selling it off separately, I would find it hard to believe that a bike owner wouldn't know if his handlebars are carbon, or what model cassette it is that he paid to have it replaced less than a year ago...

He went on to try and pull the stunt off, hoping the new buyer wouldn't notice, but it's always going to be a WIN-WIN situation for him, once the auction ends lower than his expectations, although he legally must sell on as it's a binding contract, but by pulling such scam, and taking parts out, he's getting getting a very profitable sale, in the worst case if the buyers eventually finds out, he just need to return the money, he will get the bike back, more than likely he will get his eBay fees back too for non-sale, but most importantly he automatically got himself out of the deal which he never wanted to be in...



This is exactly what happened to me, when I lodged the case to PayPal, PayPal have ironically "awarded" the case in my favour, that I can "return" the bike in its original condition and get my money back, but the fact is, I am clearly the big loser here, since I had to pick up and pay to have it returned, with my valuable spare time and petrol, the bike have now got new bar tapes, it's been cleaned, serviced, checked up, brake lines replaced, I had paid and ordered new pedals because the bike were sold without pedals, so how much out of pocket am I going to be now??


So the lesson learnt here, is you can't really trust what you bid on eBay, because something like this could happen again anytime, with the dodgy sellers untouched, these sellers ramp up their ratings by buying cheap non-relevant things on eBay to build up their ratings, even if I noticed the scam immediately when I picked up the bike, I can only just withdraw from the deal then and there, eBay sellers can continually use the same strategy to get himself out of a deal which he feels was sold below his expectations... Just thought I'd share my story, not sure if anyone could find anything to gain from this though... I feel this is a huge loophole in eBay / PayPal!!
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by BNA » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:52 pm

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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby JessicaAlba » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:52 pm

Really sorry for your misfortune here mate...but it has to be mentioned, you agreed to a deal made after dark, sight unseen and clearly didn't balk at the guy tossing the bike straight in your car. Seems to me, all the warning signs were there, even down to the "cheap" price you paid.

I think the warning here is to make sure you are clear on what you are buying, regardless if its a bike, a doll or a fishing lure. And never, ever, do a deal after dark. Sorry, but you walked straight into this one.

I do hope you are able to sort some recompense. Good luck.
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby ozdavo » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:38 pm

Got a link to the auction? Would be good to see if there were any warning signs.
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby JustJames » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:09 am

For ebay (and it works on here too, I guess), the rule I work by is "Don't buy the item, buy the seller."
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby bardygrub » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:13 am

JessicaAlba wrote:Really sorry for your misfortune here mate...but it has to be mentioned, you agreed to a deal made after dark, sight unseen and clearly didn't balk at the guy tossing the bike straight in your car. Seems to me, all the warning signs were there, even down to the "cheap" price you paid.

I think the warning here is to make sure you are clear on what you are buying, regardless if its a bike, a doll or a fishing lure. And never, ever, do a deal after dark. Sorry, but you walked straight into this one.

I do hope you are able to sort some recompense. Good luck.

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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby rkelsen » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:05 am

fxcat wrote:So the lesson learnt here, is you can't really trust what you bid on eBay

But that's pretty much the case with anything you buy second hand from any source, hence the phrase; "caveat emptor" (which is centuries old).

The real lesson is to learn about what you're buying before you buy it.

With all due respect, it doesn't take that much knowledge to be able to distinguish alloy handlebars from carbon ones. You should have been able to see this on the photos in the ad.

It is a hard lesson to learn, and I am sorry that you got burnt.

Given the circumstances, I think you're probably best off keeping the bike at this point. I wouldn't bring it back after having already spent money on it. I'd try to recoup most of my money by flipping it.
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby biftek » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:15 am

it's like anything you buy , being a new car a bike or a pair of shoes always check out what you are buying before you hand over the cash
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby bychosis » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:42 am

Yes, buyer beware with online sales and if it seems to good to be true it probably is.

The OP probably thought he got a bargain, but ended up paying a fair price, it's not too hard to replace those bits either. It's not like the frame was cracked and the bike is unrideable.

Some eBay sellers have just got no idea, some are plain dishonest but the majority just want fair price for their goods. It is up to the buyer to determine which category the seller fits into.
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby JustJames » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:57 am

Having re-read the OP's tale of woe...

1. Don't ascribe to malice what can be explained by thoughtlessness. My guess would be that the seller honestly but stupidly thought that he had a DA cassette and CF bars. He is very unlikely to be swapping bits out after the auction, to try and sell them separately. On a second hand bike, you'd need to replace the cassette and chain in the foreseeable future anyway.

2. Sorry, OP, but you really have yourself to blame here. How can you collect a bike without inspecting it to check that it is serviceable, let alone "as described"?

3. You only noticed that the bars were alu once you removed the bar tape? You didn't notice that there was alu between tape and stem at any stage?

4. You've been awarded a duff sale, so you can return for a refund...and you're still not happy? Realistically, in a world without fairies and unicorns, what would you consider a fair outcome once you've flagged the issues with the item?
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby macca33 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:20 pm

It is all in the detail - the detail provided by the seller AND the checking of said detail by the buyer - who has most to lose from the deal.

I recently bought a Norco RD-2 on Ebay, from a bloke in Frankston - it is a cracker!!!

Being as vigilant as possible and making sure things are 100% BEFORE handing over the folding, is always a good idea.

In your case, you should have inspected the bike properly upon pick-up - darkness is no real excuse, I'm afraid.

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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:02 pm

rkelsen wrote:With all due respect, it doesn't take that much knowledge to be able to distinguish alloy handlebars from carbon ones. You should have been able to see this on the photos in the ad.


I think you may have missed a point. The OP is suggesting that changes such as swapping bars, occurred AFTER the advertising.

Assuming that the OP's suggestion is right, then ...
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby fxcat » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:33 am

wow.. didn't expect to have that many replies...


I'll try to reply the relevant details here...


JustJames: I guess I fell for it because the seller had a 200+ feeback, although only later realised that less than 10 of those feedback was relevant to selling (rest were from purchases)


The frustration is not really that I would've lost anything other than time and small amount of money re: bike service & petrol, the annoying part is the scammer tried to talk me into accepting the deal as the 105 cassette is "better for me", and got abusive when I pointed out the price difference... That clearly shows his intentions...



In the end he "offered" to have it returned and refunded, which I would've got the same deal from PayPal anyway, but the lesson I learnt is, no matter what type of things you bid on eBay, especially bikes (maybe cars, or computers, or anything that you can remove valuable parts from), the seller can always use this trick when they realised the auction sold for less than he expect, and try to recoup some money back, or even to get himself out of the deal without legal implications this way... This is actually my second bad experience, once I've bidded on a no reserve car on eBay and won, then seller told me he can't sell the car anymore as he's just had an accident with it, but when I ask for photos to prove that is true, he also got abusive and refuse to show any proof, lesson is, anything worth more than $300, stay away from eBay!!



bychosis: I hope everything else with the bike is ok, I haven't had a chance to ride it yet, just got my pedals few days ago, but on visual inspection, there is no major damage or cracks with the frame at all, only light scratches... in this particular case I wouldn't think the seller have no idea, he said he owns 4 bikes, and as he have advertised he only had the cassette replaced November last year, so he should have a VERY good idea if he paid for a Dura Ace, or a 105 right?



rkelsen: re: the carbon bar, it wasn't something that you would notice right away, as the only parts of the handlebar that are showing is the part between the bar tapes and the stem, so when it's painted black, and you didn't pay 100% attention, it's hard to tell, the photos from the listing isn't clear enough on eBay either, but as I said I only fell for it because he seemed a nice bloke with good eBay feedbacks...
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby The 2nd Womble » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:40 am

It is entirely possible the cassette was sold new with the bike. Manufacturers can tend to cut costs where they think it suits. The cassette for me would be no biggie. The chain may not have been DA either.
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby fxcat » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:30 am

The 2nd Womble wrote:It is entirely possible the cassette was sold new with the bike. Manufacturers can tend to cut costs where they think it suits. The cassette for me would be no biggie. The chain may not have been DA either.



well.. the seller did say in the ad that the bike was serviced last November with "New Cassette"... and in another part of the ad it did say "Dura Ace gears and cassette"...

But the supplied cassette is a CS-5600 "105" Cassette... so unless the bike shop found a "new" CS-5600 from some really old stock, and charged the customer Dura Ace price without telling him, AND the customer having to never noticed what he received from the shop... VERY UNLIKELY right? Then the seller must the one that's guilty...



but the purpose of my thread, was to point out the big loophole in eBay, as it didn't really matter if I actually found out the scam while I picked up the bike, OR afterwards... As my only 2 options was either take it as is for that price, or bail out of the deal, which was a win-win situation for scamming and dishonest sellers anyway right?
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby RonK » Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:23 am

So let me get this right - you bought a bike cheap on ebay. You didn't inspect it carefully on delivery, and you don't have the expertise to do so anyway.
Then you spent more money on it before deciding to raise a dispute with Paypal.

Really? I would have thought the obvious lesson is that you need to inspect the goods carefully at delivery.

If you are so naive, you'll get stitched up no matter if you buy in ebay, gumtree, or the weekend classifieds.

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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby Sydguy » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:23 am

OP thank for posting - it is always good to be aware of these things. If it helps one BNA member then job done.

It is sade that people are not trust worthy, you do see people doing the right thing on eBay by drawing your attention to any flaws on the item for sale. However there are scumbags out there.

Hope everything works out for you. With new bikes being IMO reasonably priced I don't think I would ever get a 2nd hand one.

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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby boss » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:37 am

JustJames wrote:4. You've been awarded a duff sale, so you can return for a refund...and you're still not happy? Realistically, in a world without fairies and unicorns, what would you consider a fair outcome once you've flagged the issues with the item?


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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby cobba » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:55 am

ozdavo wrote:Got a link to the auction? Would be good to see if there were any warning signs.

I believe this is the bike being talked about.
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby boss » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:16 pm

cobba wrote:
ozdavo wrote:Got a link to the auction? Would be good to see if there were any warning signs.

I believe this is the bike being talked about.


For that kind of money I would have negotiated the price down with the seller... or at least attempted to, I'm not sure if you did or not.

105 vs Dura-ace Cassette and carbon bars surely aren't a deal breaker for that sort of price, especially if you could haggle $100-200 off rather than the seller forfeiting the entire $900.
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby wqlava1 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:12 pm

jimboss wrote:
cobba wrote:
ozdavo wrote:Got a link to the auction? Would be good to see if there were any warning signs.

I believe this is the bike being talked about.


For that kind of money I would have negotiated the price down with the seller... or at least attempted to, I'm not sure if you did or not.

105 vs Dura-ace Cassette and carbon bars surely aren't a deal breaker for that sort of price, especially if you could haggle $100-200 off rather than the seller forfeiting the entire $900.

I just skimmed what that seller's transactions had been. Take a look at what he bought 3 years ago today. Ebay sure covers a wide spectrum. Dunno if that would have been a warning sign!
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby damhooligan » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:25 pm

RonK wrote:So let me get this right - you bought a bike cheap on ebay. You didn't inspect it carefully on delivery, and you don't have the expertise to do so anyway.
Then you spent more money on it before deciding to raise a dispute with Paypal.

Really? I would have thought the obvious lesson is that you need to inspect the goods carefully at delivery.

If you are so naive, you'll get stitched up no matter if you buy in ebay, gumtree, or the weekend classifieds.

Caveat Emptor!


Caveat Emptor indeed...

You can not blame the seller for your mistakes , thats not fair.
This was not a scam, as in you did not get 'ripped off' .
the cassete is a minor thing, and the h-habrs..., well thats your own fault for not looking propperly.

If the link is of the bike, then you can clearly see, no carbon h-bars..
Clearly not the seller trying to scam you, just a person that assumed cause the whole bike is carbon the h-bar would be too.
Something you did too, otherwise you would have looked at the pic of the bars better, and would have noticed it.

secondly, the way I read the add, he listed the specs from the @new bike@.
then clearly mentioned he replaced the cassette during a service, it does not say anywhere he replaced it with durace.
Thats an assumption on your behalve.

That bike for that price, even with alloy bars and 105 cassette is stil a good deal.
I really dont see why the cassette is such a big deal to you... , its a used cassette...
it's a part that wears out , its something you replace anyway...

I get the impression you are trying to blame the seller for your mistakes...
you didnt inspect the bike propperly... not the sellers fault.
I hope you learned your lesson.....
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:16 pm

You got taken for a ride by a bastard. The same rules apply when buying a bike to buying a car; bring someone who knows what they're looking at, who isn't swept away in the moment of buying something nice. He purposefully mis-informed you, and sold you something that didn't match the description. However, sending it back isn't really an issue. Sure, you gotta pay petrol and time, but if someone hit your car, you'd have to pay for that too, to get to the mechanic. Or, if your LBS sent you a plastic bike instead of a carbon one, you'd pay to send it back. Make sure to leave him a negative review, and if you find something better for the money, send it back.
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby damhooligan » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:17 pm

]
fxcat wrote:well.. the seller did say in the ad that the bike was serviced last November with "New Cassette"... and in another part of the ad it did say "Dura Ace gears and cassette"...


It also says in the add is has new chainRINGS ....
Did you see if that s changed....??
Or mayby its a honest mistake and meant chain.....????
And if thats an honest mistake... then.....


P.s. comment is based on link posted.. if link is inacurate it wil void my comments....
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby damhooligan » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:21 pm

Wayfarer wrote:he purposefully mis-informed you, and sold you something that didn't match the description.


I dont think it was done on purpose .
I do not get that impression at all.
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Re: eBay Bike Buying SCAM, PayPal not helpful either...

Postby Walastik » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:30 pm

well, the pictures on that listing does not showed any carbon handle bars, so I would think the seller misrepresented the sale on his description by claiming it has one. Same as the cassette. But I would not worry about it anyway as the alloy bars would still be fine and the cassette is used and most likely needs replacing anyway. BUT, where is the chain!? I don't see one on the photos :?
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