Buyer beware - luxury cars at low price scam!!
Since Feburary 2008 I have noticed some seemingly great bargains on ebay motors. The cars are usually highly in demand or the most desirable mid-range luxury cars deliberately tempting even the most experienced ebayer.
Typical cars are Audi TT/RS range, BMW M3, new shape BMW 3 series conv, Mini Cooper Works, Range Rover Sport, latest Merc C class, SLK, CLS, Lotus Elise, VW Golf R32, anything convertible and many many others. They are advertised with a low 'Buy it Now' or more lately a classified ad format of usually between £6500 to £12000 dependant on model. Usually 25% of the true retail value so you can see how tempted you might be (and I was!)
As with other similar guides published here - the seller normally CLONES a real e-bayer to appear legit (I think they have software to guess your password) In most cases they state that "My ebay contact the seller facility is full so please contact me at their stated gmail or yahoo or bt email address" and similar. They are increasingly insistant (almost rude) on the listing that if you don't contact them prior to bidding your offer will be cancelled. In ALL cases the adveryised price is too good to be true and usually (but not always) is quoted as £X,000 gbp - a clue of the seller's not in the UK.
First may I say DO NOT contact them directly to their stated personal email address! My Norton 360 virus software blocks when I tried so heavens knows what you might be committing to just by sending an e-mail! When I have entered into dialogue (via the safe 'contact seller' way although I made sure I ticked the box to hide my e-mail address) you get spun the usual lies like:
"The car is in Spain/Portugal/Germany and a RHD car has no value here (boll*cks!) They say they need the cash for house purchase/wedding/divorce....or all three!" They want a deposit via Moneygram or Western Union and they say "the whole transaction will be through e-bay for your protection" (yeah, right) "car will be shipped to England and can pay balance on delivery" (yeah, right)
The daft tw*ts have used 'library' publicity photos of the car model over & over again but beware recently they use pictures from real UK dealers on-line web site stock with registration number shown (will show clear on HPI) Sometimes the pictures are so clearly from dealer's forecourts but often in the driveway of a beautiful property or with a farm land/scenery background (never in the seller's identifiable street as with 90% of genuine listings.
Recently they have even found a way of avoiding anyone being able to 'report item' to e-bay. They do this by duplicating the listing with another seller and you can just see the other listing for a millisecond. Cleaver eh?
If you do see one of these too-good-to-be-true listings can I suggest you contact the seller to ask if it's for real. That way they get an early alert before potentially getting the invoice for the normal ebay listing charges of £30-£60 (oh yes)
Ebay have just again changed the format of the search on ebay (now dreadful) and they've COMBINED 'newly listed' and 'new today' making it more difficult to spot the scam listings (I have asked to 'opt out' but the option is hidden despite what ebay say on their feedback pages)
Happy scam spotting!