2005-10-04

Seller Beware

I was bored a one day and decided to put up some ads on Craig's List - you know, I wanted to sell some of my junk.

So I put up an ad a got a reply from a guy named Bobby. Bobby is overseas, and he is looking to buy a junky $100 bike from the good old U.S.A. He also owns a shipping company.

It also happened that Bobby needed a $2,500 check cashed, and evidently he couldn't do it in his own country. Therefore, he asked me to accept a check for $2,500. Then I would then send him $2,400 and the bike. It'd be a win-win for everyone! His shipping company would pick up the bike later, so there'd be no shipping expense to me.

It's great that the internet can bring the world together, and allow people to rip-off others across the globe.

So I received the check via FedEx. The envelope was sent from Nigeria. But what do you know, the check turned out to be a fake - drawn on some poor soul's account. Good thing I didn't cash it and send Bobby the money - if I did, I'd be out $2,400.

Since then I've noticed a shocking number of people trying to scam me on my on-line ads. I recently tried to sell a crappy computer for $15 on Craig's. I got a weird reply from a potential buyer, and so I responded stating that my crappy computer was worth my $1500 asking price. Of course, the buyer was STILL interested, despite a two order of magnitude price increase. It's rare that I go to buy a $15 item, and remain agreeable when it turns out to be a $1500 item. The buyer, of course, was "located in the UK" and had a "special shipping arrangement with FedEx". Bah! On-line Ads: it's not only buyer beware - it's also seller beware. Or, just beware.

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