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Thread: Don't get ripped off.

  1. #1
    Spotting a Fake Listing on aquabid
    Many of the tactics here can and should be applied before you bid on an auction. Buyers incur the most risk using aquabid because they're required to send their payment first, often without proof that the seller has any intention of actually shipping the item. And the merchandise they receive - if it comes at all - may not be of the quality they expected . Here are three types of sellers you should be wary of:

    1. Sellers who never ship the merchandise
    2. Sellers who accept really low bids
    3. Sellers who use multiple usernames

    1. Sellers who never ship the merchandise
    To avoid this situation, examine the seller's user feedback. If the seller has 100 unique messages attesting to his/her reliability, it is likely that he/she is reliable. If the seller has many negative comments attesting to his/her failure to ship the item on time, then insist on using an escrow service (such as I-escrow) to ensure that you will get what you pay for.

    In the case that you don't want to use an escrow service (they can get expensive), here are some other tactics for determining the reliability of a seller:

    When a seller sends you a name and address to send payment to, it is always a good idea to look up the address on a White Pages service, such as Yahoo! People Search.
    If the name and address matches a listing in the White Pages, the seller should probably be afforded some credibility. (Would you want people to be able to track you down easily if you were a scam artist?) - sound familiar?

    Also try looking up the seller's name and address in a search engine like Google to determine whether any other information pops up about his/her reliability. While you're at it, you may even find pictures of the seller in compromising positions.

    Sellers who accept really low bids
    If you know that the price you are paying is unreasonably low compared to the true value of the item, you might want to think twice before sending payment. Here's a real life example of the "too good to be true" syndrome:

    Jimmy bids $100.00 on a zebra pleco that he knows retails for around $500.00 and typically sells at auction for around $250.00. (He has already determined the average auction price by searching completed auctions on aquabid.) Jimmy is outbid by a few bidders, but does not want to bid any higher than $100.00 Ten minutes after the close of the auction, Jimmy receives an e-mail from the seller that the high bidder has defaulted on his bid and that Jimmy is now the high bidder at $100.00
    It is obvious that the seller is trying to pull a fast one not only on Jimmy but on a number of other buyers as well. Since the seller can see a list of all bidders and their e-mail addresses (in the bidding history for the auction), the seller has probably gone down the list and told each buyer that the others defaulted and that they are now the high bidder. Jimmy has reason to be suspicious for two reasons:

    1) It is highly unlikely that the high bidder defaulted within ten minutes, as three days is usually the period allowed for the seller and high bidder to make a deal. 2) $100.00 for the zebra pleco is unreasonably low. Why would the seller offer the pleco to Ted when he could garner around $250.00 simply by holding a new auction?
    Of course, you could then ask us "Why would Jimmy bid $100.00, but then be skeptical when it wins? Why did he even bother bidding?" What are we, psychologists? We can't explain Jimmy. He has donkey-bone yo-yos and banana trees laying around his house! BUT if you don't find out until after the auction that the pleco is actually worth $250.00 and you got it for $100.00 then your skepticism is more well-founded.

    Sellers who use multiple usernames
    Sellers have been known to use another username to bid in his/her own auction, thereby driving up the price. If you are concerned that a seller may have been bidding in his/her own auction, then you should contact Mark at Mark@aquabid.com to determine whether foul play was involved. It's hard to know when this happens... you just have to go with your gut. But if you suspect it, then drop out immediately.
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    Senior Member Swampy's Avatar
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    Toys for Tots NY Gang Member =Holiday

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    Get busy livin, or get busy dyin

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    ~perfect~

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    Eric, the native fish keeper

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