Anyone notice an increase in fraudulent sellers?

Archived From: Online Auction Info
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Has anyone noticed a trend lately of an increase in bogus auctions on eBay and sales by affiliated sellers on Amazon?  For years I've seen tons of auctions for various consumer items that were grossly overpriced by 100% up to 1,000% or more, and I always figured these auctions were money laundering schemes of some sort set up by organized crime figures.  However, recently I've seen a big rise in the opposite sort of auctions, with prices too good to be true.  

Over the past month, I spotted a Buy It Now auction on eBay for a drone (a relatively inexpensive toy-class, sub-$100 one, not a $1,000 DJI Phantom) that was about 60% off retail, so I bought it and after a fairly long delay, got a DHL tracking number from the seller, albeit one that was never in the DHL tracking system.  A week later, I get an e-mail from eBay saying that the auction had been cancelled because of an "account adjustment." I went to PayPal and discovered that luckily the seller had never accepted my I withdrew the payment.  I spotted the same drone for sale on Amazon by  an affiliated seller, albeit at a somewhat higher price, and again I trusted that buyer protection policies would make things right if the deal turned out too good to be true.  A week later I got an e-mail from Amazon telling me that the seller had never shipped, they were cancelling the transaction, and they issued a full refund.   Last week I picked up a software package in a BIN auction on eBay that was selling for about 80% off retail, which again seemed awfully low but not completely inconceivable because the software had been superseded by a subsequent version.  This one too never shipped.  Incidentally, these are all new sellers with no feedback.

​I've noticed a whole bunch of lowball-price BIN auctions on eBay or affiliated seller offerings on Amazon in the past few weeks when they weren't there a month or two ago, generally for smaller-ticket items selling for under $50, that are all similar to the several bad transactions I described above.  The seller has zero feedback, and the price is really good, arguably, but not definitely, too good to be true.  For instance, there are a whole bunch of auctions for name-brand, high speed SDHC and SDHX memory cards with prices as low as $4 for 32gb cards and 64gb cards under $10, many more drone auctions with BIN prices of about 70 to 80% off retail, cheaper by a lot than even the flash sales from Chinese mail order discount sellers like GearBest, TomTop, LighTake, or BangGood.

Here's a couple of examples of suspect auctions, the first  an auction for a nano-drone that should go for about $20-$25 that has a BIN price of $4.99, and the second for a for a Wifi/cellphone controllable drone that should be at least $40 to $50 or more with a BIN price of $8.97:

Probable drone auction scam 

Another probable drone auction scam 

​I spent a few minutes looking for the SD memory card auctions that looked like scams of the sort I saw earlier this morning and could not find them, so maybe eBay took them down already.

​Are these simply scammers trying to get a handful of $5 to $30 auction payments over a few days and then immediately bailing once the payments have cleared through PayPal? 

​Although it is only a temporary loss of money, with eBay/PayPal and Amazon buyer protections working to ensure a refund in the case of a fraudulent auction, I think I'm going to just go with the policy of avoiding all BIN auctions that look too good to be true to avoid wasting time.  Also, with eBay being as arbitrary as imaginable at times on its policies when there is a dispute over an item, I really don't want to have to choose between loosing or recouping $10-20 on what has turned out to be an obviously fraudulent auction (when the seller never even shipped) and maybe finding I've used up my allowable disputes on a future auction that is not as clear-cut of a case of seller fraud when the amount at stake is much higher and the seller sent something contrary to the description in the auction listing.  I'll have to just keep my fingers crossed that I'll luck into some regular auctions in the future where the initial bid price started low and there weren't many people following and bidding on the auction.


​On a somewhat related topic, is anyone else getting annoyed as hell with the prevalence of BIN auctions over the past year or two that have a clickbait low price only to offer potential buyers a clickable pricing menu on the listing page and not only is the listed item much more expensive than the auction title would lead one to believe, but the only product available for the initial cheap price is nothing at all like the item in the listing title (e.g. a cheap accessory instead of the main item, or a much cheaper, less desirable item than the one named in the auction title)?  Once in a while, one scrolls down the pricing menu, finds the specific item one wants and the price is not unreasonable (although always higher than in the auction title), but most often it's just a big waste of time.

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There has always been scammers on eBay, I don't think there is an increase but what you are looking for now might be in the scammer area.

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