I am not an expert Ebayer but I have been doing this for a while and I have bought and sold a lot of items being a regular user of Ebay I thought the system would protect me if anything went wrong, well what can I say I am to trustinf. I made the mistake of buying a 4gb MP4 player from China when it arrived I was a little upset it never came with a box and seemed a bit cheapish as I had only paid approx Aus$45 it was not real surprise though. I tried it out and put some music on and gave it ago everything seemed to work fine so as a good Ebayer I went and posted positive feedback.
Later that day I started to realise I may have jumped the gun the first sign came when I went to put a movie onto the MP4 player, Movies have to be converted into .ASF format not a problem the seller being a nice guy, so I thought, had supplied a disk with software on it one being to convert movies to .ASF luckly I always scan anything before I install it to my computer it was full of viruses that would of given access to my computer had I installed it, which of course I did not. I went to a trusted download site and purchased a program to convert movies.
Then I came across my next problem as I added movies to the MP4 player things started going wrong they where not playing I was having problem loading them onto the MP4 player and other problems. I did a search to find out what I was doing wrong while searching I came across information about hacked MP4 players. After reading for a bit I realised that is what I had purchased. I found a site that showed you how to sort of fix the problem basically remove the hack and sure enough what I had was a 1gb MP4 Hacked player not a 4gb player as I payed for. My first step was to contact the seller and ask what is going on.
His reply was sorry it must have been the manufactures his spiel was word for word what the many sites and forums I had read said he would say they had also warned not to expect any help from Ebay or Paypal on this matter. I, at that time, still have faith that the system was set up to protect me the buyer and everything would be ok. My first step was to file a dispute with Ebay for recieving goods not as described, my first shock I was not allowed to put in a dispute with Ebay as I had paid with Paypal and I had to put the dispute in with them not Ebay. Well I was not happy with that so I jumped onto Live Help for 20 minutes all I got was there is nothing we can do you need to put in a dispute with PayPal. Well I can be stubborn and annoying, which I was, after about 30 minutes of insisting something be done about this seller and it should be Ebays responsiblity to protect its buyers the operator let it slip that this seller was already under investigation and had been for a while, they are still trading of course.
Phase 2 of to paypal with the information that this seller is selling hacked MP4 players and Ebay know about I had list of people who had given negative feedback after recieving hacked MP4 players links to sites about this and the seller in question. I was sure I was going to see justice I believed I was going to single handedly bring down a scammer who had scammed thousands of people I felt good. I put the dispute in the first problem Paypal insist you communicate with the seller first and they do not get involved until you have so for a few days I communicated with the scammer. Getting more and more surprised that his communication was word for word what the site/forums trying to fight against these scammers had said he would said. After 2 days I escalated the dispute to a claim now we should have some fun Paypal will come in guns blazing and rid the world of this scammer, or so I thought. The scammers response was to offer a full refund if I returned the item at my cost still Paypal had not got involved it was clear now the scammer knew how the system worked and how it was set up to protect the scammer not the buyer.
At the end of the day the only results you can expect if you get ripped of by one of these scammers is:
Seek help from Ebay, you will find none Scammer wins
Seek help from Paypal the scammers know how the system is set up and hide behind it the best result you can hope for is to return the item at your cost and hope you get a refund, this means paying for a postage that gives tracking approx Aus$20. This means the honest buyer is out of pocket $20 at least the scammer laughing he just resells the hacked MP4 player to anther unsuspecting Ebayer Result scammer wins.
Basically the system is set up to protect the scammers why? money of course this scam will be racking in millions of dollars for Ebay and Paypal. The seller I got scammed by sells 150 items a day each one incurs both Ebay and Paypal fees thats a lot of money and also a lot of disappointed Ebayers but that is ok they will get over it.
I use to be a advocate of Ebay and really believed it was set up to give me some protection if the time came but this has taught my Ebay and Paypal is there for one reason only to take my money any way they can. Will I use Ebay yes but I know anything I do I have to stand alone will I use paypal I have no chioce but I now realise any money I pay through paypal is taking a risk and I will be offer no protection. Will I buy from China never again which is sad I have bought other items from other sellers that have been good but my trust is gone. Would I buy a MP4 player on Ebay no way I would pay a few dollars more and go to a shop and know I will not get ripped of.
So buyer beware and do not get caught like I did money is not important but it is important to keep it out of the hands of scammers and thiefs as much as possible.
The China MP4 Scam Buyer Beware You Have No Protection
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26 March 2008
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