Hi everyone , thought i'd write up this guide as there are a lot of new people out there who are lost in iphone lingo and also i see way too many scammers selling phones and ripping people off - this hurts both buyers and legitimate sellers alike.
Firstly i'd just like to go over what to watch out for when buying an iphone and then about iphone information which prospective buyers need to know and understand to ensure a pleasant transaction.
This applies for not only for prospective iphone buyers but also as a general rule for buying on ebay.
Usually the best way to check out your buyer is via their feedback , item selling history and location.
Does he have recent positive feedback and history of selling iphones before ? if the sellers feedback is more than 90 days old and now he's selling 1000's of dollars of iphones all of a sudden - does that not seem a tad peculiar ?
Is he a fairly recent member to ebay ? Like in the last 30 days ? - May have just set up an account to rip you off !
Seller has been a member since 2007 and located in China / but the item location has an australian location such as a suburb in sydney - beware - you may receive nothing or a clone at best
Ask the seller questions - I asked one scammer who claimed the iphone would work on all australian networks if it would work on the bobo phone network in australia and he said yes it would. There is no bobo mobile phone network ! Not to mention that the iphone did not work on the 3G network at time of writing
Also if you see his feedback and he has not received any for over 90 days - i suspect it is a hijacked account.
Check also who they has received feedback from - if it's the same ebay user id over and over again it could be from his other scam account just to get a positive rating up and making himself look good to buyers.
Are the bidders identities private ? I have never trusted this kind of auction where you cannot see the bidders user name - it stops you from warning potential buyers that you suspect the listing is fraudulent and also the seller can push the price up by bidding on his own auction (shill bidding).
Does the auction run for only a short period such as 1 or 3 days ? Usually it is a buy it now type auction and the price is really really good and usually below market value- the short time period convinces you that you had best get this item now before you miss out and someone else gets it.
One major flaw with ebay is that even if you do report an item as suspicious they may take a few days to look into it and stop the auction - scammers know this and usually run one day auctions and/or also over the weekend to take advantage.
Does the sellers auctions all finish around the same time ? this is too easy to rip off multiple people and to stall them by claiming you have not received payment or the item is on it's way - by the time people get cranky and complain to ebay the seller has vanished and is no longer returning your emails !
Is there bad grammar and spelling in the listing - this could indicate that the seller is located overseas and has used translation software that did not come out right.
Is there excessive use of aussie slang in the listing ? "such as you don't want to miss this one my fellow aussie mates " generally we say it not type it - they've probably seen one too many croc dundee films !
Is the seller stating that he will accept payment via paypal but is not offering it via the ebay listing ? - you'll have even less chance of getting your money back if it goes missing !
Does the seller offer pickup available ? - If not don't be altogether to alarmed as it may just mean that he does not want a bunch of strangers coming around to his home who may be trying to figure out where he keeps his iphone stock.
Does the auction listing look almost identical to another sellers listing ? - Copy and paste my friend , that's all a scammer needs to do to get the ball rolling ! (Some have even been stupid enough to copy the sellers user name with the listing as well !)
Does the seller have an email address or phone number you can contact them on ? This may increase your chances of a legitimate seller - but scammers can also speak as well as type. Also they may be collecting email addresses in a further attempt to get your details and hack you next or end up on some junk mailing list.
Don't rush into anything ! Watch the auctions and sellers , check who has good recent feedback history , and is regularly selling the same items.
These tips may not always be foolproof as a sellers account can be hijacked and taken over by unscrupulous persons at any time or they just decide they've had enough and do a runner.
Bottom line , if you can speak to the guy and pay upon pickup - you'll probably be safe / you'll have to keep your wits about you otherwise and you're on your own !
Don't forget - scammers can read this too ! !
Buyer beware , you know the old saying - " if it looks too good to be true . . . . . . "
Best of luck !
IPHONE BUYERS GUIDE
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21 July 2008
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