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Thread: Ever wonder where all those great tool bargains you get on ebay come from?

  1. #1
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    Ever wonder where all those great tool bargains you get on ebay come from?

    Police in Rochester NY shut down two pawn shops and charged them with $15m in stolen tool sales. They would give addicts lists of what they wanted. When caught they claimed they were doing it to cut down on home invasions. The police figure there are additional shops like these around.

    I have seen them post on CL unopened boxes for years, but figured they had to be legitimate or they would have just been shut down. I mean, how hard is it to demand to see receipts? Rochester is a pretty small town. Since it took years, I guess harder than I thought.

  2. #2
    New, first quality, unopened box power tools always looked odd to me - especially when it's current models rather than discontinued stuff. Figured that more often than not, it was "hot".
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
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    During my employment at a public transit agency one of the problems was counterfeit tickets.

    The transit police were having difficulty in preventing the revenue losses from this.

    It surprised them quite a bit when they were shown ebay auctions listing the tickets.

    Some used to refer to ebay as a thieves market. Seems that may still be the case for many of the folks listing there.

    Especially this time of year there are a lot of thieves following delivery vehicles and stealing packages left on porches.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
    I haven't seen tools being sold cheap on eBay. I don't know why someone would sell cheap, even if they were a crook. They could do a three day auction and the bids would get to whatever the auction price would be for the product, legal or not. The buyers wouldn't know if the tools were stolen or not.

    Are they offering the tools as "Buy it Now" or auction? I don't need any tools so I haven't been looking on eBay for them.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #5
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    Craigslist is another popular place, as is almost all on-line sales sites.
    Young enough to remember doing it;
    Old enough to wish I could do it again.

  6. #6
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    eBay always was a thieves market, i don't know what it is like these days as i haven't used it for years. Much of the stuff listed was stolen or simply photos lifted from somewhere else, many of the accounts were fake, many were real but, being hacked and used by crooks. Much of the emails "from" ebay were actually from hackers. And there was no-one to follow up or chase the crooks . eBay would just pretend to "look into it" and i can guarantee that lots of people where getting robbed every day, without any recourse. The police don't have the power , resources, juristriction or inclination to pursue interstate or international thieves. Many of the crooks were international crime gangs. And eBay was like the wild west, but without the sheriff; plunder as much as you can , no one is going to come after you, no one is going to chase you or shoot at you.

    And Western Union is the money laundering organization for all the crooks.
    They will continually transport money to known thieves and protect their identity, fully supported by the law.
    And the police will do nothing.

    Ask me how i know.

    It may have changed since i was using ebay, but i doubt that the thieves have stopped....just adapted.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    eBay always was a thieves market, i don't know what it is like these days as i haven't used it for years. Much of the stuff listed was stolen or simply photos lifted from somewhere else, many of the accounts were fake, many were real but, being hacked and used by crooks. Much of the emails "from" ebay were actually from hackers. And there was no-one to follow up or chase the crooks . eBay would just pretend to "look into it" and i can guarantee that lots of people where getting robbed every day, without any recourse. The police don't have the power , resources, jurisdiction or inclination to pursue interstate or international thieves. Many of the crooks were international crime gangs. And eBay was like the wild west, but without the sheriff; plunder as much as you can , no one is going to come after you, no one is going to chase you or shoot at you.

    And Western Union is the money laundering organization for all the crooks.
    They will continually transport money to known thieves and protect their identity, fully supported by the law.
    And the police will do nothing.

    Ask me how i know.

    It may have changed since i was using ebay, but i doubt that the thieves have stopped....just adapted.
    eBay guarantees that you will receive your merchandise or they will reimburse you. I had a situation where I ordered and paid for something and the seller didn't ship. eBay reimbursed me pretty quickly. However, they had already detected that the seller was fraudulent and had closed his account so there wasn't much question about the fraud.

    Mike

    [It costs a lot to sell on eBay but there's not many other places where you can get a national (even international) market of buyers.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 11-27-2019 at 12:22 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    eBay guarantees that you will receive your merchandise or they will reimburse you. I had a situation where I ordered and paid for something and the seller didn't ship. eBay reimbursed me pretty quickly. However, they had already detected that the seller was fraudulent and had closed his account so there wasn't much question about the fraud.

    Mike

    [It costs a lot to sell on eBay but there's not many other places where you can get a national (even international) market of buyers.]
    I've had two shipments reported as defective by the buyer. No point to having it returned, as I would have had to pay postage and received a brick. I've stopped selling on ebay; more economical to just throw the thing out.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Wade Lippman View Post
    I've had two shipments reported as defective by the buyer. No point to having it returned, as I would have had to pay postage and received a brick. I've stopped selling on ebay; more economical to just throw the thing out.
    I occasionally sell something on eBay - just things I have in excess or just want to get rid of. I've never had a problem with buyers.

    I've also occasionally purchased things on eBay and never had a problem with the merchandise that was sent to me.

    The feedback rating of buyers and sellers helps, but isn't a guarantee, I suppose.

    The advantage eBay offers is that the market is nation wide and can even include international. I would think that eBay would want both buyers and sellers to have a good experience - otherwise people would shun their site and that would affect their profits.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 11-27-2019 at 7:58 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    I would think that eBay would want both buyers and sellers to have a good experience - otherwise people would shun their site and that would affect their profits.

    Mike
    My sense is that there are many many sellers and not enough buyers. Accordingly, they are glad to let the buyers screw the sellers occasionally.

  11. #11
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    My experiences are somewhat old, so things have possibly improved; but a few things will be constant in the universe;

    Where there is money exchanging hands there are thieves trying to divert it.
    No matter what holes they plug the thieves will find new ones.
    The internet will remain the wild west; a lawless land for a long time to come, because it is without boundaries, and the the policing systems of the world are constrained by strict boundaries and budgets.

    Drive 10 miles an hour over the speed limit, and the police may chase you down and shoot you.but you go to your local police station and tell them you just got scammed on ebay, give them the name, street address , state and photos id, drivers licence of the person that took your money,.... and they will tell you to go pound sand.

    Specific to eBay;

    The feedback ratings are an excellent idea to evaluate the integrity of the owner of the account; The problem comes on whether you can be sure that you are dealing with the owner of the account and not a crook that has hacked the account.

    I agree with you that eBay would want their customers to have a good experience; but failing that would prefer the public not know about bad experiences. I have never heard of eBay reporting any data on losses of buyers and sellers.
    People might well shun their site if the true situation where revealed. Perception is all that counts in business. We will never know how many people have lost money through eBay transactions, because eBay will never tell us.

  12. #12
    Two observations. Had a friend who ran a pawn shop (He was killed in a robbery.) Here everyday, pawn shop owner must report to local policing jurisdiction a list of items bought, pawned and seller's name. After 48 hours, pawn shop owner is free to sell items. Tom (pawn shop owner) was offered several new tools in boxes, a few of which he bought. Reported them as required. Couple days later, seller shows up with more new tools in the box, which he refused to buy. All tools were from Home Depot. Tom figured it out. Thieves were using stolen CC and going thru self service check out to purchase tools. Contact HD and explains what is happening. About a week later, HD security shows up and wants their tools back. Tom explains the law to them, and they start to hassle him. He reminds them they should be giving him a reward for pointing out that HD self service check outs were the problem. Another time went into pawn shop, and there were several tools that I wanted. All had the same name and phone # on them, so I figured most likely they were stolen. That night called number and talked to the guy listed on them. He said the answer was simple, no they weren't stolen. Instead local (very colorful) judge had told him if had $500 towards his back child support by 5:00 PM a couple days earlier, he didn't need to bring his tooth brush with him to court. So I bought the desired tools.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Wade Lippman View Post
    My sense is that there are many many sellers and not enough buyers. Accordingly, they are glad to let the buyers screw the sellers occasionally.
    You must deal with things that are different from the things I have bought and sold. In the auctions that I am involved in, either from a seller or buyer point of view, there are many buyers based on the number of bids for each item.

    Additionally, for many items, there seems to be a price that the item will sell for. For example, I was tracking one item recently and every used version of the item sold for a very similar price (within a few dollars of each other). My sense is that there are plenty of buyers, as long as the price is right. And for "standard" items, the selling price is about the same for the same condition. By "standard" item, I mean a product that can be described by a manufacturer, model, age, and condition. An example might be a certain model of an SSD made by a certain manufacturer.

    If there weren't enough buyers, there would be items that closed with no bids. With the things I'm interested in, there are certainly plenty of buyers.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    We will never know how many people have lost money through eBay transactions, because eBay will never tell us.
    We don't need eBay to tell us how many people lost money in a transaction. With all the social media sites, that information would get disseminated pretty quickly. Unhappy people are much more likely to complain to the world than happy people are to tell their experience. Once one person starts the story, say on Twitter, others will quickly chime in with their stories.

    If there was some real meat there, some journalist would do a story about all the unhappy people on eBay.

    Someone with a good lawyer could even bring suit and force eBay to disclose that information.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  15. #15
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    For me, eBay would never be my choice for buying a regular retail tool.

    But it excels at matching up buyers and sellers of old tools and tool parts. I just had an old trusted power screw driver die on me. Been reaching for it for 25 years and It had never failed me. I was able to find a clean, lightly used one on eBay and grabbed it right away. With shipping I paid slightly more than I paid new 25 years or so ago but didn't care. It arrived today and works perfectly. I'm ecstatic to find it and have one back on my shelf. This tool has been out of production for at least 15 years.

    Then I also spotted just the switch from the same driver and bought it as well. Maybe when it arrives, I'll be able to bring my original back to life. For ten bucks, it's worth a shot.

    eBay is awesome for the right situations.

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