Dishonest reselling sites: examples

Have questions about the equipment used for macro- or micro- photography? Post those questions in this forum.

Moderators: Pau, rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S.

Lou Jost
Posts: 4638
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:03 am
Location: Ecuador
Contact:

Dishonest reselling sites: examples

Post by Lou Jost »

Robert's posts and others have made us aware of the eBay practice of listing items that do not belong to the seller. These sellers are usually Chinese. These sellers are finding things cheap on Chinese websites like taobao.com and marking them up; if you order from them, they presumably buy it cheap from the real owner and then sell it to you for a much higher price.

There is a great example of this right now on eBay involving a Linos 8k linescan lens that looks fairly interesting.

Here are all the sellers who are offering the same lens, using the same photo, often overlaying their own watermarks on top of the watermarks of others:

jiali20160
songlcd
lehk013
idea*for*life
jane-netwrok (note spelling)
gkservice2018
sx-space
smac3364

The lens:
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... s&_sacat=0

It may be useful to maintain a list of these dishonest resellers.
Last edited by Lou Jost on Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

JohnyM
Posts: 463
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:02 am

Post by JohnyM »

I've purchased from idea"for"life with no problems. Just saying.

Lou Jost
Posts: 4638
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:03 am
Location: Ecuador
Contact:

Post by Lou Jost »

I imagine it's just an economic scam. But it also means that the seller can't honestly make any first-hand claims about the item's condition or operability. It may be worth the risk, that's up to the buyer to decide. But I think it is a good thing to be aware of what these sellers are doing.

Note the range of BIN prices here is $678-$999. At the very least, if you see a lens from one of these dishonest sellers, you could try to make an offer well below the lowest Buy it Now price.

Scarodactyl
Posts: 472
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:26 am

Post by Scarodactyl »

I have no access to the taobao market so I kind of like a chance at some of the highlights. The biggest downside for me is a lot of these sellers are necessarily inflexible on offer prices while someone who actually has an item might have more room, so I can rarely get a deal I feel like going for.

ChrisR
Site Admin
Posts: 8563
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:58 am
Location: Near London, UK

Post by ChrisR »

There are lots of possibilities.
If you look at their other high value items, a number of these vendors have the same goods. I believe many of the vendors are the same organisations, in case one gets banned.
I came across a website giving advice and tactics to be employed if you want to keep your ebay accounts separate.

There's a war going on, with vendor 1 buying items from and denouncing vendor 2 as a fraud. If ebay get a few of those they make it difficult for vendor 2, then ban the account. Vendor 1 then has less competition. So everyone needs a lot of accounts.
It's rife at Amazon too, who are quicker to ban sellers. An Amazon employee told me they have a team continuously looking into it.

Taobao sellers aren't stupid, they'll have ebay accounts themselves, selling the same things.
Chris R

Lou Jost
Posts: 4638
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:03 am
Location: Ecuador
Contact:

Post by Lou Jost »

ChrisR, that's an additional complication I hadn't known....

ray_parkhurst
Posts: 2771
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:40 am
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA
Contact:

Post by ray_parkhurst »

I don't view this practice as dishonest, as long as they are able to fulfill the deal. Does eBay have any requirement of actually owning the item you are selling?

I've had dealings with both ideaforlife (several purchases) and janenetwork (RayFact 3.5x) and the transactions all went "smoothly" from a buyer/seller relationship. That said, the second seller listing the RayFact 3.5x right after I bought mine did give me concern, and I guess it could have gone badly. If so I'd be singing a different tune.

Right after purchasing the RayFact lens, forum member Macro Cosmos wrote that I had significantly overpaid, and that the lens had been for sale on TaoBao for much cheaper. While this irked me a bit, realistically I have no way to access TaoBao except via these eBay sellers who relist stuff they don't own. Ultimately I'd prefer having access, even with the added cost. I made my decision on the value of the lens, and I suppose I put a nice chunk of profit into the reseller's pocket, but in the end we both won.

mjkzz
Posts: 1237
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:38 pm
Location: California/Shenzhen
Contact:

Post by mjkzz »

I think the real problem is that eBay needs to reform, maybe copy what Taobao does -- hold the money in escrow.

Taobao has come a long way and it has so much leverage against dishonest sellers that they (dishonest sellers) can not make any money anymore.

For example, I have bought used Mititoyo one 5x, three 10x, one 20x, and one 50x, I only had trouble with the 20x, the seller, seemingly, did not have the item on hand because it was shipped from a different location (Canton) than his (Beijing). Image produced by it was fuzzy even though it was in excellent condition, even the paint on it was pristine. So when I returned it, as soon as I filed tracking # for return, I got refund from TAOBAO (not the seller). It was 4200RMB or about 600USD, pretty large sum in China.

I sometimes go to their physical stores to check items, or "sense" it from their description. The Mitty 5x was in bad condition and has scratches on it and seller did not try to hide it, actually emphasized on that, so I took the risk, and it turns out pretty good.

I think you "foreigners" buying these stuff on eBay kind of kept price up. Take Ray's 3.5x for example, I was going to get a similar one on Taobao, when I negotiated with the seller (not sure if it is the same seller on eBay), he told me that he can sell it on eBay for higher price!!! So I did not buy it.

It seems, these people think they have more "room" in terms of trade on eBay than on Taobao because now, Taobao is more pro-buyer than ever before and the money is in escrow, they really can not "trick" people anymore.

ray_parkhurst
Posts: 2771
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:40 am
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA
Contact:

Post by ray_parkhurst »

mjkzz wrote:I think you "foreigners" buying these stuff on eBay kind of kept price up. Take Ray's 3.5x for example, I was going to get a similar one on Taobao, when I negotiated with the seller (not sure if it is the same seller on eBay), he told me that he can sell it on eBay for higher price!!! So I did not buy it.
And he was right! But I don't think $1750 was too much for the lens, given it's in like new condition and RayFact still sells them for ~$12k or so. The price on TaoBao was $750, which if I knew I would have jumped at and found someone to buy it for me. Maybe I could have split the $1000 with them.

Lou Jost
Posts: 4638
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:03 am
Location: Ecuador
Contact:

Post by Lou Jost »

Yes, I see your points, maybe if I think of it as a service, it makes it seem less dishonest. They do still steal the photos from each other, and their claims that the items are "100% tested" are also lies, but they do give access to stuff we couldn't otherwise buy, and I guess the real owner is just as happy whether a real person buys his thing or one of these resellers buys it.

Macro_Cosmos
Posts: 990
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Location: Sydney

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

mjkzz wrote:I think the real problem is that eBay needs to reform, maybe copy what Taobao does -- hold the money in escrow.

Taobao has come a long way and it has so much leverage against dishonest sellers that they (dishonest sellers) can not make any money anymore.

For example, I have bought used Mititoyo one 5x, three 10x, one 20x, and one 50x, I only had trouble with the 20x, the seller, seemingly, did not have the item on hand because it was shipped from a different location (Canton) than his (Beijing). Image produced by it was fuzzy even though it was in excellent condition, even the paint on it was pristine. So when I returned it, as soon as I filed tracking # for return, I got refund from TAOBAO (not the seller). It was 4200RMB or about 600USD, pretty large sum in China.

I sometimes go to their physical stores to check items, or "sense" it from their description. The Mitty 5x was in bad condition and has scratches on it and seller did not try to hide it, actually emphasized on that, so I took the risk, and it turns out pretty good.

I think you "foreigners" buying these stuff on eBay kind of kept price up. Take Ray's 3.5x for example, I was going to get a similar one on Taobao, when I negotiated with the seller (not sure if it is the same seller on eBay), he told me that he can sell it on eBay for higher price!!! So I did not buy it.

It seems, these people think they have more "room" in terms of trade on eBay than on Taobao because now, Taobao is more pro-buyer than ever before and the money is in escrow, they really can not "trick" people anymore.
I'll have to disagree here. Ebay's return policies are draconian, and the fact that PayPal and Ebay acts as different interest entities makes it far worse for sellers. While ebay and paypal deals with dishonest sellers just as well as Taobao, it hands over too much powers to buyers, leading to buyer scams. I sold a 200mm ais Nikkor to some ##### in Melbourne using a forwarding service. After 2 months, the scammer claimed he didn't receive the item and contacted paypal. Paypal asked for shipping proof, I got AUSpost to provide it, paypal said it's useless since they want a photo of the label. So AusPost confirming the shipment is useless yet a photo of a label sufficed? I didn't have the label at that time, didn't know I had it. I was being a ##### on my phone changing registry information, crashed the OS and I had to do a factory fresh install. Just the other day, I wanted to recover some personal photos. I had the bootloader unlocked which makes it possible, trading security away... I know. I actually found a photo of the parcel sitting on the PO's balance. I sent the photo to Paypal and they still declined, sided with the scammer buyer. They took $160 from my account. I have no item and I have no money, it's a loss of $320. I'm looking to file a complaint to the financial ombudsman of Australia -- if they want to make my life miserable, I'm going to make them spend thousands in doing so.

The fact that eBay allows these buyers to contact them for forced refunds, and if that fails, they tolerate the buyer to contact PayPal for forced returns is ludicrous. Also eBay takes 10% and PayPal takes 3%, double plucking the seller.

Some Taobao sellers bait and switch. They will edit the description or add in stuff after someone puts an order. I'm not sure how Taobao handles these ####, according to Robert -- not very well.

ebay works the same way as TaoBao, Paypal are the ones that hold the money. If a forced refund must happen, they would take the money from the buyer without consent.

The Rayfact 3.5x you were trying to get is now in Ray's hands anyway, luckily he is a user, not a collector. Ray did overpay for it as stated. I personally would have found minute issues and get the seller to do a partial refund. I was considering to get it but the amount of extension put me off, and of course I don't want to eat dirt for a couple months :P

My mum's side of the family started by buying bicycles from Shanghai, riding them back to Suzhou and selling it for twice the price during Deng's era, so I personally can't say what those ebay relisters do is unethical. They just can't guarantee the quality of the product as they have no first hand experience. Luckily for the buyer, since it's eBay, they are covered. I think paying an extra $200 to get stuff from China with a peace in mind is a fair deal.

Also to note, most of these sellers allow offers, send an offer rather than immediately placing an order. It's even better to do so when there's eBay discounts. 10% off from eBay is kind of common.

[Edited by Admin]

ray_parkhurst
Posts: 2771
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:40 am
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA
Contact:

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Macro_Cosmos wrote:Ray did overpay for it as stated. I personally would have found minute issues and get the seller to do a partial refund.
MC...so far you're the only one saying I overpaid. I don't think I did, and am fairly sure I could sell it for what I paid, especially since it would be coming from a US seller. In fact I'm surprised that you had a chance to purchase a $12k lens for $750 and hesitated. You could have turned it around and made some $, though there was of course no way to know if it was truly in good shape, so would have been a gamble. I relied on eBay's seller policies to protect me in case the lens had issues. Luckily it did not, but those "draconian" return policies have saved me several times. They have also cost me, with several buyers returning my items they didn't like for full refund plus shipping, and indeed they took money directly from my PayPal account to pay for shipping, and would do the same if I failed to give a refund after receiving the returned item. Cost of doing business on eBay. I also take issue with your seeming willingness to extort a partial refund by finding "minute issues" with the lens. That is simply not cool IMHO.

ray_parkhurst
Posts: 2771
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:40 am
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA
Contact:

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Here's another example of sellers all having the same items to sell. In this case Nikon 20x MM objectives. Could be same seller, but the locations are different except for 2 of them (songlcd and lehk013). Here are the links:

sx-space
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Used-NIKON-20X ... Swkfxb4aYJ

zlb1981
https://www.ebay.com/itm/NIKON-20X-90da ... SwWrxcCRFg

songlcd
https://www.ebay.com/itm/NIKON-20X-90da ... SwGD1b2wGN

lehk013
https://www.ebay.com/itm/100-test-NIKON ... SwRYNb2qye

jane-netwrok
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-100-test-N ... SwAI9bqjQ9

I don't believe that 21 of these 20x objectives all came to market same time, so at a minimum something "fishy" is going on here.

Edited to add: I purchased a Nikon 20xMM objective a while back for $1000, and ended up selling it for $1200 (both eBay), so these prices are a bit high, but after they come down 30% like they did on the RayFact the price will be more in line with reality.

Chris S.
Site Admin
Posts: 3549
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Ohio, USA

Post by Chris S. »

One person wrote:I also take issue with your seeming willingness to extort a partial refund by finding "minute issues" with the lens. That is simply not cool IMHO.
Strongly agreed. "Not cool" is a very polite term for such dishonorable behavior.
Another person wrote:I have no item and I have no money, it's a loss of $320.
No, it's a loss of $160. You are entitled to either your lens or your $160--not both. You've been wronged in the amount of $160, but you would only have both the lens and the money ($320 total value) if you had wronged the other fellow.

BTW, it sounds to me as if Ray got a very good deal on his honorably-purchased RayFact lens.

--Chris S.

mjkzz
Posts: 1237
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:38 pm
Location: California/Shenzhen
Contact:

Post by mjkzz »

Macro_Cosmos wrote:
mjkzz wrote:I think the real problem is that eBay needs to reform, maybe copy what Taobao does -- hold the money in escrow.

Taobao has come a long way and it has so much leverage against dishonest sellers that they (dishonest sellers) can not make any money anymore.

For example, I have bought used Mititoyo one 5x, three 10x, one 20x, and one 50x, I only had trouble with the 20x, the seller, seemingly, did not have the item on hand because it was shipped from a different location (Canton) than his (Beijing). Image produced by it was fuzzy even though it was in excellent condition, even the paint on it was pristine. So when I returned it, as soon as I filed tracking # for return, I got refund from TAOBAO (not the seller). It was 4200RMB or about 600USD, pretty large sum in China.

I sometimes go to their physical stores to check items, or "sense" it from their description. The Mitty 5x was in bad condition and has scratches on it and seller did not try to hide it, actually emphasized on that, so I took the risk, and it turns out pretty good.

I think you "foreigners" buying these stuff on eBay kind of kept price up. Take Ray's 3.5x for example, I was going to get a similar one on Taobao, when I negotiated with the seller (not sure if it is the same seller on eBay), he told me that he can sell it on eBay for higher price!!! So I did not buy it.

It seems, these people think they have more "room" in terms of trade on eBay than on Taobao because now, Taobao is more pro-buyer than ever before and the money is in escrow, they really can not "trick" people anymore.
I'll have to disagree here. Ebay's return policies are draconian, and the fact that PayPal and Ebay acts as different interest entities makes it far worse for sellers. While ebay and paypal deals with dishonest sellers just as well as Taobao, it hands over too much powers to buyers, leading to buyer scams. I sold a 200mm ais Nikkor to some #### in Melbourne using a forwarding service. After 2 months, the scammer claimed he didn't receive the item and contacted paypal. Paypal asked for shipping proof, I got AUSpost to provide it, paypal said it's useless since they want a photo of the label. So AusPost confirming the shipment is useless yet a photo of a label sufficed? I didn't have the label at that time, didn't know I had it. I was being a jerk on my phone changing registry information, crashed the OS and I had to do a factory fresh install. Just the other day, I wanted to recover some personal photos. I had the bootloader unlocked which makes it possible, trading security away... I know. I actually found a photo of the parcel sitting on the PO's balance. I sent the photo to Paypal and they still declined, sided with the scammer buyer. They took $160 from my account. I have no item and I have no money, it's a loss of $320. I'm looking to file a complaint to the financial ombudsman of Australia -- if they want to make my life miserable, I'm going to make them spend thousands in doing so.

The fact that eBay allows these buyers to contact them for forced refunds, and if that fails, they tolerate the buyer to contact PayPal for forced returns is ludicrous. Also eBay takes 10% and PayPal takes 3%, double plucking the seller.

Some Taobao sellers bait and switch. They will edit the description or add in stuff after someone puts an order. I'm not sure how Taobao handles these pricks, according to Robert -- not very well.

ebay works the same way as TaoBao, Paypal are the ones that hold the money. If a forced refund must happen, they would take the money from the buyer without consent.

The Rayfact 3.5x you were trying to get is now in Ray's hands anyway, luckily he is a user, not a collector. Ray did overpay for it as stated. I personally would have found minute issues and get the seller to do a partial refund. I was considering to get it but the amount of extension put me off, and of course I don't want to eat dirt for a couple months :P

My mum's side of the family started by buying bicycles from Shanghai, riding them back to Suzhou and selling it for twice the price during Deng's era, so I personally can't say what those ebay relisters do is unethical. They just can't guarantee the quality of the product as they have no first hand experience. Luckily for the buyer, since it's eBay, they are covered. I think paying an extra $200 to get stuff from China with a peace in mind is a fair deal.

Also to note, most of these sellers allow offers, send an offer rather than immediately placing an order. It's even better to do so when there's eBay discounts. 10% off from eBay is kind of common.
Well, of course, from another perspective, scammers are on both sides, if there were dishonest sellers, there would be dishonest buyers. Bad people do exist. I myself have faced some buyers who even made threats, but these are VERY small percentage and I just ignore them and let Paypal do their business.

As for "bait and switch" and change description, I am not sure if that is possible, at least now -- after transaction, the page is frozen by system, nothing can be changed, if seller want to make change, they have to change the one in public, not the page frozen at time of transaction. This is at least what I think, never actually checked this and I have been buying on Taobao for 9 years and now almost on daily basis ranging groceries to brand new cameras.

Oh yeah, I forgot, I did encounter a "bait and switch", it was an Olympus objective. I wanted the one with N at the end and it was an item that has the outer shell sawed off half way, but when I received it, it did not have that N, so I returned it, Taobao refunded literally in split seconds and because I bought the return shipping insurance, I did not lose a penny (maybe some time)

You can use AliChat (or something like that) to negotiate a price before committing.

Another example here. I buy groceries from taobao, just because I am lazy and I can. Very often, eggs get broken upon arrival, when I show the seller a picture of broken ones, I have not encountered anyone asking questions, they all refunded me that portion even though I can still eat the eggs. Why am I saying this? It is trust. This is something I have never seen, even in US.

Anyways, I think Taobao is trying to build a trust based platform, not just trust in Taobao, but also, trust between buyers and sellers. This trust environment made me buying more on Taobao. For the past 9 years staying in China, I have seen profound change in this.

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic