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Tell me it’s not a scam

  1. WYO_Watch

    WYO_Watch Jan 16, 2019

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    I found a Speedmaster I have been lusting over for quite some time on eBay. And I wrote a really long post and I am sorry...

    Bit of a back story: I have been on eBay for 13 years and quite frankly it sucks to sell but it is well suited for buying (buyer protection). Obviously you lose some of that when you go off eBay and just do PayPal but even there you have PayPal and a credit card. Last Christmas I received an empty envelope from Peru which was going to contain a transitional Speedmaster... total scam, painintheass, waste of time, stress etc, but I got my money back. And pledged to be a little less trusting.

    Now fast forward to today, I did not win the watch I was lusting after. Seller from Romania messages and says hey the guy who won didn’t pay do you want a second chance offer. He says he cant cancel until after the guy doesn’t pay for a certain amount of time (which is true) and gives me his email. I send an email and he says the guy still hasn’t paid and was curious if I was still interested. I said sure and he talks about selling on PayPal. He says PayPal doesn’t allow him to accept more than so much a month and there is a 21 day hold (which I believe is true). He says he would ship after the first half gets paid and the hold is off and then I could pay the second half. Of course, I am not waiting 21 days so I say not happening I’ll just wait for you to relist on eBay.

    At this point I figured he would stop emailing because I am not agreeing to send money and wait a month to receive the watch. However, he says if I have any friends in London or Frankfurt I could just send them money and he could mail the watch to one of his friends and they could do the exchange. Suddenly this doesn’t seem so fishy anymore.

    A face to face deal sounds pretty legit to me, am I losing it? ::screwloose::
     
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  2. WYO_Watch

    WYO_Watch Jan 16, 2019

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    superfly likes this.
  3. Evitzee

    Evitzee Jan 16, 2019

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    Yes, you are losing it. Run, don't walk, away from this deal. Every earmark of a scam.

    By coincidence I bought the CK 2998 blue panda watch from an Omega AD in Dec 2018 in Aruba. Probably one of the last ones in dealer stock.
     
    Edited Jan 17, 2019
  4. JimInOz

    JimInOz "Helpful Hints from Heloise" of bracelet cleaning. Jan 16, 2019

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    Face to face doesn't always have a happy ending.

    His friends will probably be bigger than your friends.
     
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  5. WYO_Watch

    WYO_Watch Jan 16, 2019

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    I am sure there are some messed up stories about this. Reason I don’t let my wife buy stuff on Craigslist, it doesn’t matter that your saving $4 over retail in the long run...
     
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  6. Foo2rama

    Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Jan 16, 2019

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    BS

    Say you’ll do it with an escrow company. He can choose which one and you can approve it. Or give him the choice of 3.

    Or
    Bank transfer on your receipt of the watch.
     
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  7. qboa

    qboa Jan 17, 2019

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    I prefer to play conservatively in these situations. Money can always be kept for the next good chance.
     
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  8. WYO_Watch

    WYO_Watch Jan 17, 2019

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    I’ll look into this. I’ve never thought of it as a tool for purchasing watches.

    The reality is, it’s likely a lost cause. But, it may be worth a shot to see what he says. And if it is a scam, wasting more of his time isn’t all bad.
     
    AveConscientia, Foo2rama and superfly like this.
  9. lillatroll

    lillatroll Jan 17, 2019

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    I live in Romania, if he is in Bucharest I would be happy to go check out his watch for you.
     
  10. WYO_Watch

    WYO_Watch Jan 17, 2019

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    I absolutely love this forum. Thanks everyone for your input. Stay posted :thumbsup:
     
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  11. superfly

    superfly Jan 17, 2019

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    Yep, you're losing it. ;)

    The seller is likely trying to lure you into paying him directly. If you accepted the "friend exchange" option, I bet he would make an excuse as to why it couldn't happen. (Example: "Sorry. My friend was badly injured in a motorcycle accident and can't help with the exchange.")

    You could always say "yes" to the "friend exchange" option to see if I'm right. And if I'm wrong then it's a little more likely to be legit (although the "bigger friends" scenario is still quite plausible). Even if he agrees to the "friend exchange" you would still have the option of backing out with the motorcycle accident excuse!

    Let us know how it goes. Your experience will help inform all of us. Good luck!
     
    Lbreak likes this.
  12. ndgal

    ndgal Jan 17, 2019

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    F.Y.I, if you split a payment on PayPal you are not covered by their buyer protection. Beware!
     
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  13. STANDY

    STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector Jan 17, 2019

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    Ask him for a photo of him and the watch with MACS on a piece of paper.

    macs = scam backwards
     
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  14. JimInOz

    JimInOz "Helpful Hints from Heloise" of bracelet cleaning. Jan 17, 2019

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    I think it's OK.

    I messaged him and he sent me a picture of what @STANDY required as proof. He said the watch is on his left wrist.

    scm1.jpg
     
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  15. gatorcpa

    gatorcpa ΩF InvestiGator Staff Member Jan 17, 2019

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    Tell him to mail the watch to his friend and you will meet them at the local police station to complete the purchase.

    Don’t be surprised if he says “No”.
    gatorcpa
     
  16. Darlinboy

    Darlinboy Pratts! Will I B******S!!! Jan 17, 2019

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    Lots of red flags & risk to get a watch that is quite readily available elsewhere.

    But this one is such a good price you say?

    Exactly.
     
    superfly likes this.
  17. Joe_A

    Joe_A Jan 17, 2019

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    I'd start by asking four questions:

    Can you afford to lose half the purchase price of the watch without the loss causing hardship?
    Do you feel it would injure your self-image if you took a risk and were scammed?
    Do you have a good feeling about the person based upon the tone of your communications?
    Can you find a way to learn more about one another/

    If the answers to the above are in the affirmative you may be able to mitigate some of the risk. Escrow service (including Chrono24 or escrow.com, for example) is a good idea if the person will agree and if you are willing to pay the extra cost.

    Perhaps you can exchange a bit more information about one another and increase the comfort level somewhat, but in the end, you will have to share some risk.

    Does the person work in a high profile job? Are you and he or she members of Linked-in?

    * * *

    I had an experience similar to what you are describing and as I tell the story, it may well sound as if it was going to be a scam. It certainly could have been a scam, but I decided to take the risk.

    Here is my tale . . .

    I saw a watch listed on Watch Patrol that was of interest. I wrote the fellow who owned it and it had been sold. But the fellow just happened to mention that he had another watch about to be listed on Chrono24 that was 4X the value of the watch I expressed interest in and this turned out to be a grail watch for me. Would I be interested?

    I expressed interest and received a few high-quality images and liked what I saw and the story that went with the watch. I am in NY and the seller was in Sweden. We did not know one another though I was able to determine that his screen name was associated with a good reputation. We had a mutual acquaintance in Germany who is well known for having knowledge of this particular kind of watch. The acquaintance - a man I have not met - confirmed that he knew the story associated with this particular watch. He was familiar with the seller.

    I agreed to send a 10% deposit and the watch actually went up on Chrono24 but was withdrawn within 24 hours. The seller had made the arrangements to list before I had contacted him.

    We went back and forth about how to complete the transaction . . . in a friendly way. We spoke by cellphone. He didn't want to go the escrow route and though we did not discuss the "why not," I suspected that he felt the risk was all his. He could send the watch to me and i could claim I received a Timex perhaps?

    If I did not mind waiting, he was due to take his family to Miami on vacation and we could do the exchange in person or I could send him half the balance. He would then send the watch to NY and if I liked what I received, I would then send him the final 45%.

    I received photos of a smiling Swede wearing the watch while at the airport in Miami. Could the photo have been Photoshopped? Of course. I sent him 45% of the value of the purchase as he'd been holding the 10% deposit. He sent the watch to me in NY via Fed-Ex. I liked what I received . . . and sent the balance to him.

    All the money in EUR went to his account in Sweden via TransferWise.

    I obviously took the greater risk, but as the watch was legit and worth what I agreed to pay for it, he took on some risk as well.

    Why did we do this transaction?

    I decided I was comfortable with my answers to the first four questions. He must have felt reasonably good about me. We exchanged business information and at least could identify one another. We then exchanged passport data early on which tended to confirm the business data.

    Good luck.

    ~ Joe
     
    Edited Jan 17, 2019
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  18. Muddlerminnow

    Muddlerminnow Jan 17, 2019

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    The first warning sign would have been the seller had only 3 transactions on eBay...puchases.....20 years on eBay have taught me to steer clear of these sellers from the get-go.

    You'll find your Blue Panda elsewhere....there's always elsewhere....
     
    wristpirate and time flies like this.
  19. ac106

    ac106 Jan 17, 2019

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    That seems a bit paranoid. I mean millions of transactions are completed on craigslist. How many people are getting killed over used furniture?
     
  20. Joe_A

    Joe_A Jan 17, 2019

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    What you warn about is good advice.

    I have made about 190 purchases on Ebay with 100% satisfaction rating as a buyer.

    I have many things that I want to sell, but I have not listed a single item on Ebay as yet.

    I guess that when the time comes I am going to have to find people more willing to take a chance so that I too can earn a good seller reputation.