Pram scams and how to avoid them

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Mamas and Papas are the most popular brand of pram for sale on eBay.  Here are a few things to be careful of if you're thinking of buying one.

Seller claims: "This pram has a RRP of £900 in the shops".

Really!  The full retail price for a M&P 3 in 1 combination (carrycot, seat unit and chassis) is around £425.  Even if you add a car seat (worth £110-150) and all the accessories (bag £45, footmuff £50, sun canopy £30, raincover £30), you still will be several hundred pounds short of the suggested value of £900. Unfortunately it's quite common for sellers try to bump up the auction price by overstating the value of what they're selling.  There's no reason you shouldn't still buy it of course, but don't end up paying too much!

"This pram is in City Scape which is a current colour"

Mamas and Papas change their colours every six months, but the most popular fabrics are repeated the following season. City Scape (black denim with leatherette trim) has been available since late 2004, so that pram you think is "current" could actually be up to three years old.  The seller is not lying by saying its a current colour, but the wording could be intended to mislead.

Boston Check (a charcoal grey with chalk check) is another one to watch, that's been around since 2005, and Jeans (dark denim with red piping) was around from 2002-2004.

Seen that photo somewhere else?

If you see the same photo on items from different sellers, then odds are that one of them's using an image from the other, with permission or otherwise.  Usually the older auction will be for the actual item in the photo.  Whether this is a problem for you as a buyer depends how much you're relying on the photo as a description of the items offered.  There may be small details that are different, like a missing car seat warning lable, or they could be big ones, like the pram is a totally different colour and has half the accessories missing.  The only way you can check is to ask the seller.  A similar problem can occur when sellers use stock images for second hand items.

"Selling it for my aunties sister's cousin's neighbour, who's suddenly discovered she's having triplets, and even though its never been used she'd lost the receipt and couldn't take it back to the shop" etc etc

It's nice to think it's a genuine sale.  However, there are a lot of what I call "serial pram sellers" on eBay, who like to cover up the fact that they are selling for a profit.  In a way, it doesn't really matter why anybody is selling a pram, the important bits are that it's in the good condition as described, and it's at a price you're happy to pay.  But I always feel that if they're not honest about their reasons for selling, what else aren't they honest about?

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