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Author Topic: How Do You Buy "Used" gear and Avoid Internet Fraud??  (Read 1924 times)
KM6HFR
Member

Posts: 42




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« on: November 23, 2017, 07:47:34 AM »

Does anyone have any tips about how to buy used gear over the Internet and reduce the risk of not getting what I paid for, or not getting working gear?  Also, are there ways to insure/protect/protect your payment if you find out after sending money (I assume everyone is using PayPal) if your gear never shows up??  Does PayPal guarantee your funds?

I'm trying to figure out how to by used gear without taking extraordinary risk when sending +$1000 then just hoping / praying I'll actually see what I bought show up in the mail.

Thanks.
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Mark

Mark Wheeler
KM6HFR
mark3575@icloud.com
DL8OV
Member

Posts: 769




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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2017, 08:43:28 AM »

I only buy used gear if I can collect it myself, that way if the present owner tries to sell me an empty box he'll get caught out. Obviously this doesn't apply to a $50 notebook part but then again I've never spent over a thousand dollars on an EBay item.

As for PayPal, the way they have things organized these days everything is on the side of the purchaser. A couple of times I have had orders go 'missing' with one seller immediately shipping a duplicate part and the second time my funds were refunded by PayPal without question.

Peter DL8OV
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AC7CW
Member

Posts: 1011




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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2017, 09:20:23 AM »

I never send money that I can't afford to write off. I don't expect people to be able to pack things so they will survive shipping. The shipping thingy is a bigger concern for me after having an antique 75 pound radio shipped in a layer of bubble wrap. Forgetaboutit, it had a smashed corner and rattling loose parts...

You can investigate that a ham's address matches his callsign address with the FCC. A Bing search will find internet conversations by him or about him possibly... Possibly you can look up records of disputes of an eBay seller, not sure how much records' keeping goes on there...

Never send via PayPal's "friends and family" option. You give up rights to dispute.

Learn to recognize a psychopath: They will start off trying to establish that they are an acceptable person. They will play on your sympathies. They will request payment via friends and family. They know every trick in the book and delight in getting it over on anybody and everybody. Their schemes are very simple, their con artistry is neverending... don't argue with them, if flags are raised just walk away.

With eBay a seller's ratings tell most of the story. I got in the middle of a transaction with a guy then realized that he had a 60% rating! He wasn't even a con artist, he was just so dysfunctional that you couldn't complete a transaction! I tried to buy a tower from a local guy like that once. I couldn't make it happen no matter what, couldn't establish a price even. He did give me some free homeopathic pills out of a filthy box, there's that. I think he just believed that "the universe" took care of transactions maybe. I complained on the local repeater. An enterprising ham just drove over, dismantled the tower and drove off with it....
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Novice 1958, 20WPM Extra now... (and get off my lawn)
KE6EE
Member

Posts: 1870




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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2017, 09:34:14 AM »

I'm trying to figure out how to by used gear without taking extraordinary risk when sending +$1000 then just hoping / praying I'll actually see what I bought show up in the mail.

I've bought lots of used gear which has been advertised on various ham classified sites.

Never a real problem with delivery, promptness, etc. I have bought a couple of antenna tuners at a fraction of their new cost,
in perfect cosmetic condition which required only some mechanical adjustment in order to work as they should. My guess is that is why they were sold--the former owners did not want to work on them, or could not.

I have not, however, ever spent more than about $200 in such a transaction. Not a great deal to lose if that were the case.

You need simply to use your own common sense. Look carefully at photos provided or ask for more if you need more. Ask
questions of the seller regarding the condition of the item. Look at ebay ratings if that is where you shop. Look up hams
on QRZ to see what kind of person they may be.

Bottom line is that most hams are honest, straightforward, trustworthy people. That fact plus your own common sense will
get you high quality gear at a very reasonable cost.

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KM6HFR
Member

Posts: 42




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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2017, 09:41:06 AM »

Lots of great advice -- thanks to all.  I really appreciate it. 

Vr, Mark
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Mark

Mark Wheeler
KM6HFR
mark3575@icloud.com
NO2A
Member

Posts: 1203




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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2017, 10:37:44 AM »

What gets me is when sellers on EBay say if you have a question ask. Then why is there no option like there used to be for the "Ask seller a question " option. If anyone can't go into detail about how something operates,then they're possibly hiding something. Like when they post blurry dimly lit pictures. Yea that really helps selling a radio! One time I bought a Zenith pocket radio on Ebay, and the seller didn't offer much detail other than "It works. " Imagine my surprise when it arrived in its original gift box,earphone, etc. It was beautiful cosmetically and functionally. So good things do happen. ...sometimes.
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K9MHZ
Member

Posts: 1452




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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2017, 12:54:49 PM »

I only buy used gear if I can collect it myself.....
Peter DL8OV
^^^^This^^^^.  Admittedly a little harder in the U.S. since the country is so much bigger, but the point is still valid.  Usually buy new otherwise. 
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K0UA
Member

Posts: 1464




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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2017, 02:40:27 PM »

The most I have ever risked was $500 on a radio.  The advice to "learn to recognize a psychopath" was good advice.  I talked with this guy for some time asking questions and getting to know him.  He seemed legit to me.  I sent the money and he sent the radio.  All was well on both sides. Everything he said it was.  Your Milage May Vary.
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KAPT4560
Member

Posts: 384




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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2017, 02:31:35 AM »

 There are a couple of good threads on this subject in the 'Good seller/Buyer beware' forum section. Nothing is 100%, but your own intuition should play a part in any purchasing decision. Seller's claims and buyer's expectations are positive when they both are met. Financial protections for both parties should be guaranteed if at all possible. Some simple steps should help and be implemented during the deal.
 Sometimes the shipper/handler is at fault, even when the buyer and seller did everything right. I prefer an 'in-person' transaction even though that is not 100% protection either.
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KB4MNG
Member

Posts: 274




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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2017, 03:52:20 AM »

You use PAYPAL. PAYPAL has the back of the buyer 100%, no so much so for the seller. You can really get screwed selling on PAYPAL. Unfortunately, that is about the only system in place so if you "want to dance, you have to pay the piper."

I put out an ad on a forum saying I was interested in purchasing a certain antenna tuner. I had one response from a scammer in CA. I bit the bait and sent him money via pay pal. After the item not showing up and his stalling. I found a picture he had lifted off the web to use in selling to me. Long story short, I filed a claim with paypal and had my money back within 24 hours.

As for selling, you could sell a radio. The buyer could play with the radio for up to six months, have  buyer remorse, and file a claim saying it does not work. Guess what? The seller has to refund the money and on top of that garbage, gets stuck with paying the shipping. Many do not know this.
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G4AON
Member

Posts: 1029




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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2017, 07:33:22 AM »

The biggest problem I’ve had with private sellers is their inability to properly pack items.

I had an Acom 1000 linear packed in a computer monitor box with the mains cable wrapped around the case to position the mains plug against the front panel, which resulted in a chunk of front panel getting gouged out - he blamed the courier, then his wife...

A transceiver was shipped in its basic box and was dropped on a corner by the courier.

Now I never trust individuals to pack anything more than a penny washer unless I know them personally!

73 Dave
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SWMAN
Member

Posts: 1086




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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2017, 08:21:11 AM »

 I have NEVER BOUGHT ANYTHING off the internet and I never will. I have seen some good items even here on eham that I would like to have but don't want to risk it. I don't trust the internet or most people nowdays. That's just me.
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K8AXW
Member

Posts: 6378




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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2017, 06:59:48 PM »

One option not mentioned here is buying at a hamfest.  Before walking away with it insist on him, you and the radio seeking out an AC outlet and trying it out.

You're still taking a chance but at least you're looking the guy in the eye and evaluating him some.  Not only that, but it doesn't get all smashed to hell in transit....unless YOU do it!
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K8AC
Member

Posts: 1769




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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2017, 05:52:06 AM »

Before entering into a transaction, I always search on the persons call like this "K1xxxx scam" or "K1xxxx crook".  Every now and then, I uncover problems others have had dealing with this person.  I read through the complaints and make a decision based on how the alleged scammer has responded to the complaint.  I also check the feedback forum on the classified sites (QTH.com for example) and see what others have said about the person.  Ignore comments about what a great person he/she is.  Look for the negatives.  If there are multiples and they have a common thread, run the other way.

Certain guys are known to buy a lot of new gear over the years and sell it off on the classified sites.  Those guys usually have a sterling reputation and I prefer buying from them if possible.

73, Floyd - K8AC
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K4JJL
Member

Posts: 835




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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2017, 06:31:17 AM »

You use PAYPAL. PAYPAL has the back of the buyer 100%, no so much so for the seller. You can really get screwed selling on PAYPAL. Unfortunately, that is about the only system in place so if you "want to dance, you have to pay the piper."

This.  There's dirtbags on both ends.

I have friends who regularly sell used radios on ebay.  They regularly take radios apart and put watermarks and other things on the boards due to people part-swapping and returning burned out junk.

I had a guy try to return a 3-pole HVAC contactor because he said the contacts were burned out.  It was a brand new part.  He got the "request for pics" (which never showed up) followed with a "pound sand" request.
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