28 October 2010

eBay Scam?

My "Spidey Sense" is tingling. Here's why:

When I started my Goldwing search in earnest, someone pointed out that in addition to eBay I should check Craigslist.org for bikes. Listed there was a 2008 Goldwing GL1800, (that's the SIX cylinder 'Wing), supposedly in "excellent" condition.
The asking price? $2605.00!
I immediately wrote to the email address given and said, "If you are serious about the condition of the bike and are also serious about the $2605 selling price, mark it sold and tell me where to pick it up. I'll come with cash."
I got no response. So I continued my search, culminating in my purchase of the '87 Interstate I'm now thoroughly enjoying.

Two days ago I got a response from the seller of the 2008 Goldwing.
"I'm sorry for the delayed response but I've been out of the country on a mission with Unicef. Yes, the Goldwing is still for sale. As you can see I'm making no profit on the bike. My priorities in life have changed and I will donate the proceeds from the sale of the bike to charity."

The seller, a woman apparently, goes on to tell me the bike is ready to be shipped from a delivery agency in Mobile, AL., and the only way she'll be comfortable completing the sale is via eBay through their "Vehicle Protection Plan".

So whatd'ya think?
This seems like one of those "too good to be true" deals. If the bike is, in fact, in "excellent" condition, it's worth $15-18,000. I'd obviously LOVE to buy this bike for a fraction of its value!
I've now written and asked if we can go through Mobile on our way to Destin next week and view the bike. I'll let ya know if/when I get an answer.

In the meantime, I'd appreciate any advice you have about making sure I'm actually dealing with eBay and their "Vehicle Protection Plan"!


jinksto said...

Absolute scam.

They'll have some strange reason that you can't view the bike or need to put a deposit down to see it. Anything to get you to send them cash before you see the bike, which, in all likelihood, doesn't exist.

See the bike. Touch the bike. See the title. Touch the title. THEN write the check.

jinksto said...

Did some research:


On a Wing and a Whim said...

In my experience (two rounds of buying cars via craigslist), any time any vehicle needs to be shipped, it's a scam.

If they're claiming you can use Ebay's protection, it's definitely a scam, because Ebay protection only applies to vehicles bought via Ebay. That's a pretty common scam, sadly.

Read through this: http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams

If it's too good to be true, it usually is.

Rita said...

Bob has bought and sold quite a few cars online. When you start getting emails that are wildly specific, watch out.

This one smells a little too much for me.

Did you say you responded to a Craiglist and she wants to go through eBay Protection Plan? Then tell her to put the bike on eBay and go through the normal process.

Personally, we'd walk strike that, run away from this deal. As you've noticed, the seller is rarely the one to arrange shipping and I wouldn't want them too.

eBay does have some type of Protection Plan, but I'm sure it wouldn't cover a Craigslist item.

Timothy Frazier said...

You're "Spidey Sense is correct. Drop it like a hot potato. A buddy of mine lost $3000.00 on a scam that was nearly identical to this a year or so ago. They were selling a GW Trike, valued at $20,000 for three grand as a "charity" auction.

He never got his money back, the seller disappeared, and he never saw the trike. To this day local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies have done zero investigation because they all claim lack of jurisdiction.

Greybeard said...

Amazing TJ...
Some of the wording in the email response is EXACTLY as shown at your link!
I've asked once again for an address to view the bike. If that is again fruitless, I'll keep my money in my pocket!
Thanks everyone for your help and advice.

cary said...

I get the feeling your collection of Goldwings is (for now) going to be limited to one!

Bloviating Zeppelin said...


Do NOT do it.

This is the same scam perpetrated, only substituting the phrase "military veteran."

This is a SCAM. Drop it and run.


ulfwolf said...

Great post.

Perhaps I can just add to this that the best way I know to guard against being ripped off by online sales or auctions of any kind, Craigslist and eBay included—and whether seller or buyer—is to use a *bona fide* online escrow company. Especially for pricier items like antiques, jewelry and autos. Although it does add some cost, it takes the uncertainty out of the transaction, and that’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

For my money, the best bona fide online escrow (and there seems to be ten fraudulent escrow sites for every bona fide one) is probably Escrow.com (http://escrow.com). In fact, it’s the only one that eBay recommends, and is the only online escrow company that is licensed to provide escrow services all across the United States.

Take care,

Ulf Wolf

Greybeard said...

Received today from the seller:

"I am not authorized to provide any delivery details until the sale is started on ebay - this was their advice... So, if you think we can do a deal, please email me back with your full name and address for delivery so I can start the transaction on eBay. Will wait your email.
Thank you."

Thanks again everyone!

Rita said...

We just sold my Highlander online. But I would have sworn it was going to be a scam because the lady's email was too detailed and then she said we could use and escrow account and that her husband can set it up. They would have the car shipped to their home in Utah.

I kept telling Bob not to mess with it, but in fact they were legit. We insisted on cashiers check delivered to our bank and cleared. Which they did finally agree upon.

Been nearly two weeks now and the poor people have yet gotten a shipper to pick up "their" car while we have their money.

Bob talked with the guy again last night and he's fighting with the shipping company because they wait until they have a truck nearby, which they have not yet done.

At least they know we are not a scam because he made the shipping arrangements, we didn't.

And we googled the guy's name and found he was retired military and involved in local politics.