Zero Feedback Con Artists Looking for Suckers on eBay

I've been saving jpg pictures of items that sold on ebay and that we did not buy but were sold at auction for thousands of dollars. The images that I saved are of the kinds of items that interest us such as exceptional antique mechanical banks, antique toys, animated cap guns. In most cases we had bid on the items so we remember them well. Initially I saved the images because they were great examples of those specific items. But then having the images saved turned out to be useful when I saw the exact same images again in listings posted by zero feedback buyers who did not own the items.

What has been occurring on eBay is that some with larceny in their heart also save the images from listings that have sold for thousands of dollars along with the descriptions from these listings. Some time later these exact same images and descriptions appear again in eBay listings being offered for sale by auction by zero feedback sellers. This happens not only in the categories that interest us but in any category where there are items sold for thousands of dollars. Jewelry, designer purses, coins, dolls, any item that has sold or can be valued at a lot of money. The minimum bid for the item offered by the zero feedback seller (or low feedback seller) is always very low in relation to the item's true value.

Often the item is listed as being for sale with returns accepted which gives the appearance that if someone buys it and doesn't like it that they can get their money back if they return it. But the intention of the alleged seller is not to sell it on eBay. What they are hoping is that someone will write them a message and offer them money to sell it to them off of eBay. When they get a high enough offer and terms of payment that satisfy them, they end the listing and collect the money.

If they actually "sold" it on eBay and the buyer paid them through Paypal, the buyer could get their money back when the item failed to arrive. But if the seller gets them to sell it off of ebay, which is what the seller wants, and the buyer pays with a form of payment that offers no protection, the buyer will be out of luck when the item never comes.

On ebay there is a link on each listing where you can report an item to eBay when you know that there is fraudulent intent. I have reported the listings where I know that the seller does not own the item that they are offering for sale. More often than not eBay does not end the listing. I know of one case where a listing came down that I reported and was apparently ended by eBay but only one. I am sure that other users of eBay are reporting bogus listings too as there are a lot of bidders who have seen the same listings that I have seen back when the listings were of the same items when they truly were for sale. I am sure that the actual purchasers of those items have seen the bogus listings. I don't know if they have reported them but I can hope that they have. I feel sure that I am not the only one reporting bogus listings!

Once the auction begins, the zero feedback seller lets bids come in and the listing ends days before its scheduled ending time. The scenario that I imagine has happened is that the overly optimistic buyer believes that they have convinced the seller to sell the item off of eBay for a price that is low in relation to what the item is worth. The buyer pays according to the seller's terms. The item never arrives. The buyer is left with no item, without the money that they paid and with almost no recourse other than contacting the police to see if they can get them to go after the cons who could be anywhere in the U.S. or maybe even outside of the U.S.

There is some chance that there are savvy ebayers who play around with the con artists, convince them to take the listing down, and then just never send the money. What is the con artist going to do then? Complain to eBay or the police?

I don't know if that ever happens as I have no way of knowing exactly what occurs after the seller closes the listing. I hope that it isn't always a case of a buyer losing money.

There was one time that a low feedback Florida seller took an image from one of our pricier listings and then used it along with other stolen images to create a listing that appeared to be offering something for a bargain price. I sent messages to ebay and to others whose images also were being used. The listing was not taken down. The listing ran its course and the "winning" bidder in that case eventually left a negative feedback for the seller that indicated that the seller was a thief. I know for sure that the seller did not own the item as the item was ours.

There is an old saying that if it looks too good to be true, it often is. The hope of getting a great bargain gets people to take foolish risks when they see what looks like a steal on ebay and then they lose their money. If the situation looks too good to be true, don't fall for it!

Do business in a straightforward honest manner. That makes it much much harder for a con to get the upper hand.



1952 Topps Mantle card sells for $28,320

Saturday, October 19, 2013, 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sells at Conestoga Auction for $28,320 (including buyer's premium).

Eddie Plank T-206 card sells for $59,000


Lewy Body Dementia - October is LBD Awareness Month

In 2008 my father-in-law died of Lewy Body Dementia. While it is not a rare form of dementia, many people have never heard of it. It is often misdiagnosed as something else such as Alzheimer's. If certain prescription medications commonly given for other similar diseases are given to patients who have Lewy Body Dementia, they can be harmed, not helped at all. The medications can make the situation much worse and can lead to fatalities. So it is very important that sufferers are diagnosed correctly.

Jimmy and I both encountered this issue when his father first began to have symptoms indicating that something was wrong. It was a while before he was correctly diagnosed. He was given a medication that could have harmed him if it was continued. In the course of getting him correctly diagnosed, we had to fire one doctor. And we had to stay overnight with him in the hospital to prevent him from getting out of bed, walking the halls, and being administered more of the wrong medication due to the hospital's attempt to control what he was doing. The medication made him sleep during the day, making it impossible for us to get him out of the hospital. We did get him out of the hospital by keeping him in bed that night.

Eventually he was diagnosed correctly and received the correct medications. When he first became ill, I learned about Lewy Body Dementia and I also learned how it is not well known even by many doctors. It is scary when doctors won't listen to you and someone you love may be harmed by receiving a wrong diagnosis. Knowledge makes a great deal of difference in finding the right answer. So be informed and proactive! If you think that a doctor is making a mistake, speak up, ask questions, don't be afraid to say something.



Conestoga Auction's Oct. 19 Single Owner Collection of the Schatz Collection of Baseball Cards

Link to Sports Collectors Digest online article about the sale.



October 19 Conestoga Auction of the James Schatz collection of Baseball Cards

This unreserved auction on October 19, 2013 will showcase the 82 year collection of James Schatz. His collection focused primarily on antique tobacco cards up to 1960’s gum cards. Included are hundreds of lots of T-205 and T-206 tobacco cards, (including a rare Eddie Plank), 24 lots of rare Novelty Cutlery Co. postcards, various assortments of 1930’s cards, examples of all players from 1952 Topps series including the 1952 Mantle, 1953 Bowman and numerous other varieties of baseball cards.

All cards in this auction are guaranteed to be authentic, most significant cards have been graded by Beckett or PSA.

Full color catalogs available from Conestoga Auction at $30.00 each (includes post sale price list)


Friday, October 18, 2013 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM and Sale Day from 8:00 A.M.

Location of Sale:

Conestoga Auction Company - 768 Graystone Road - Manheim, PA 17545 

View full catalog with photos online: 
Conestoga's catalogue online