Thank you for reading my guide, this is the 2nd guide I have written on this topic, and I suspect it will not be my last. My other was a 'Do's & Dont's Guide'- this is more of an informative guide. One that can help you to prevent getting scammed.
As a consumer you do have a choice, and you can choose not partake in
these auctions, which will, of course, minimize your risk of being
scammed. But if you do choose to bid, and should you win, there are a
few tactics you should use when choosing an auction, a seller, and if need be the type of claim to file. I will tell you
how to spot a scam, which seller type to avoid, and what you
can do if you get caught in a scam.
I feel confident that I can label myself as 1 of the few HONEST Mystery Sellers on eBay, being which I am compelled to defend my auctions, the contents within, and the handful of sellers, who like myself, have been at this for some time now.
Although I cannot speak for the vast majority, and will not claim my auctions to be perfect, I can speak only for myself when I say, not ALL mystery auctions are scams. As a mystery seller I have purchased almost as many as I have sold, and I can profess that I have been scammed. Every scam in the book has been thrown at me, and as I am at the mercy of the seller, have lost hundreds. The angst which was the result of these merciless pocket robbers, is the very fuel I use to keep my auctions running smooth. Those of us who have been selling mystery auctions since the beginning of their upswing can attest to the fact that the popularity has attracted the mindless morons of the world. Not as buyers, but as sellers, and the number of them continues to increase with each passing day.
Things to look for:
1. A seller's feedback is very important, but don't just look for the negatives, because even the best seller in the world may come accross a person with whom a transaction went sour. When you have millions of people in 1 place, you are bound to butt heads with 1 here and there. And if there are negatives, take the time to follow the links, chances are you will be able to see when & what went wrong, and if you can't but still want to know, contact people. Ask questions, seek the truth. An honest seller has NOTHING to hide.
2. Compare the feedback score to any claims made in the listing. If a seller has a feedback score of 76, but in the listing a claim is made stating 'hundreds of repeat buyers' or 'I have sold hundreds of these mystery boxes' or 'I am 1 of the original mystery sellers, and have been doing this for years'- you need not be a mathematician to see the lunacy of any of those statements. A person having sold 'hundreds' of mystery auctions, would logically (please correct me if I am wrong) have a feedback score of more than 100.
3. Be careful of low feedback! This could potentially be a professional scammer! They open several eBay & PayPal accounts, all in different names, and they spend weeks ripping people off. Then, when the fan's about to be splattered- they close the accounts & move on to the next set of alias's. You can file all the claims you want, but if they are nowhere to be found- you have lost your money. It's a scary, scary, thing- the fact that this can be done, and is done- every day! So when spending your hard earned dollars, watch for potential scammers out to rip you off!
Other Items Being Offered:
1. When you are browing through the thousands of mystery auctions, and you find 1 you like, put it on your watch list. Then, I suggest taking a moment to look at the other items a seller is offering. If they are listing an authentic designer handbag as the main item, but when you browse through their other listings you come across handbags that are obviously fake, what are the odds the handbag you will get is authentic? Not in your favor, I'll tell you that.
2. If a seller's mystery auction is promising its worth to be thousands, read the fine print. I can guarantee that someplace in the listing there will be a disclaimer, 1 that will tell you it COULD be worth thousands..... not WILL be. This is a blanket disclaimer, we all use it, because the final worth of your box/bag will be determined by the final bid. This is not meant to be a scam, this is how the sellers prevent losing a lot of their own money.
3. Is the seller offering any other items you think you'd purchase otherwise? Because those are the types of items that will be in your box. Just because a listing is worded nicely, or has fancy graphics & a catchy song, that does NOT mean you are going to love what the seller sends you. If a seller's main item is, say, trading cards, what makes you, a jewelry hound, think you will like the box you get?
Other Listing Tactics
1. I'll say this again. Just because a seller uses fancy graphics, animation, or a song playing when you open it, does not guarantee you will get quality items. I like to spend my money on nice items, and save in listing fees, this lets me offer high end items at a lower cost.
2. Remember, you are at the mercy of the seller. It is the seller's taste in items that you will have to deal with. If a seller likes yellow, but you but don't, are you going to be angry when your box contains a yellow bag?
3. Always make sure you ask any questions before you bid. Most sellers do not take returns or give refunds on mystery auctions, the reason being is that you are technically just buying the box. Therefore, all you are paying for is the box. (In the case of my auctions, a Coach handbag or a decorative storage box) Anything contained inside are classified as free gifts.
4. Do not mistake your taste not being the same as the sellers for getting ripped off. Different people like different things, a seller may think they are sending you the very best, but if you don't like their taste, you cannot get upset & say they sent you junk.
The definition of junk: the remains of something that has been destroyed or broken up.
1. Watch for misspelled words, if a seller has spelled Mystery - 'Mistery' - BEWARE, it is a scam. For that is a scam tactic they use. You cannot file a not as described claim, because by default it is already not as described. I found that out the hard way!
2. Historicals, is the seller listing the exact auction over & over? I don't mean the handbag auctions (like I offer, LOL). If a seller has an auction that is 'items a roommate left behind' or 'their child has moved out & left all their designer bags' can you can go back 5 months and find in his feedback, that exact auction? How many roommates could they possibly have had that leave the same box or bag of stuff, over & over?
3. Then there is 'The 1'- the auction you are sure is the one that will make you rich! The auction that is for a sack full of uncounted money- or a jar full of money, or 1 where the seller is promising to send you hundreds even thousands of dollars. This is where I beg of all of you, PLEASE use your intelligence. Would a person really give away his money, just to be nice? Ask yourself 1 question, if you were rich, would you throw 100 $1,000.00 bills in a bag and auction it off? I sure wouldn't!!
4. The empty box, or a box full of junk. Yes, people will go to any length to make money, so you need to be careful. If you are looking for brand new items, make sure the items listed say Brand New, otherwise, the seller could send you his trash- and there is not anything you can do.
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT: Do not file a claim for non-receipt until you absolutely have to! Sellers know this, and it is a popular scam, once a buyer files the non-receipt claim, the seller will send the box with delivery confirmation & signature, once you sign for the box, it is yours. If you open it up, and you have clearly been ripped off, you cannot do anything! You cannot file a 'Not As Described' claim, because you have already filed a 'Non-Receipt' claim- PayPal & eBay only allow 1 claim per transaction!! So- the seller has sent you an empty box- or a box of trash, but now you are stuck with it!
What Can you Do?
1. If you get ripped off, I mean really ripped off, you can file a claim with eBay & with PayPal. But be careful, because you can't always get your money back. And, don't file claims to get your money back based on a difference in taste. If you got what was listed, just don't like it- email the seller. Ask them if they will do an exchange, many will in fact swap 1 item for another. It beats having claims filed, try to work it out with your seller. If they are honest, they will work with you.
2. If all else fails, and you fall victim to a scam, 1 where you are stuck, you can file a complaint with the Internet Complaint Dept., they can assist you in working with authorities. If the amount of money is a high amount, they will assist you in trying to retrieve your money through the courts. But let's be civil with one another, honest sellers will work with you. It's the scammers who take your money & run, shutting down their accounts after they collect- and start up again under a new name. These are the REAL SCAMMERS, which is why I again direct you to feedback.
I know that mystery auctions have gotten some bad press, a disgruntled buyer of 1 mystery auction can go on a 1 man campaign to shut them all down. This is not the case with all mystery sellers, and I ask you all to give the honest sellers a chance to disprove the theives. If you find 1 you can trust, chances are, if you follow through the links in their feedback, it will lead you to the other honest mystery sellers. I can tell you this because I know. I have bought from the best, and I have bought from the worst- and every mediocore one in between.
I hope you will join me in ridding eBay of the scammers, we can do this by not buying their mystery auctions. Every Tom Dick & Harry that have jumped on the mystery auction bandwagon, who have almost ruined it for us who remain honest, will eventually be weeded out. If enough complaints are submitted about these sellers, eBay will remove them. I just ask that in the meanwhile, you all hang in there, and trust those sellers who have proven they send good quality items in their mystery auctions.
Be careful out there in eBay land, and use your common sense!! Nobody gets something for nothing!
Evalani's Designer Items Plus
Evalani222000, a Hawaiian Princess looking out for the good of all eBayer's!
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