Nick Mango

Second Chance Scams

A couple of weeks ago I decided to sell some things I didn’t need and buy myself a Macbook Air. It was a good decision, the Air is a great computer. One of the things I decided to sell was my iPad 3G. I rarely ever used it and I only bought it cause I thought the 3G would be cool for traveling. But now I hear that AT&T is going to launch wifi hotspot to compete better with the new Verizon iPhone. I figured the Air would be a good home and travel solution with this wifi hotspot feature, so I put the 3G up on ebay and something interesting happened.

First, let me say that the scumbags come out for the Apple auctions. You need to be on your toes when it comes to auctioning off anything Apple. Especially phones. The resale value on these products overseas are incredible, and people will try and pull a whole host of ingenious scams on you. I’ve already had a bad experience with shipping overseas, so this time I made sure to note in my description that I would only ship to the US. I still got a couple of people asking me if I would ship to Russia or the UK, but I wasn’t having any of that. Unfortunately for me, there’s a little trick that a lot of overseas people use to convince you to ship to them. They win the damn auction! Very good move actually. They don’t ask you if you’ll ship, they just bid. If they don’t win, the seller will never know. But if they do, they have something to fall back on. The fact that you always want to sell to the high bidder. Those devious bastards.

Needless to say, that’s what happened to me. The woman was from the Ukraine. Well actually her name was female, but if it’s a smart scammer, they’ll always pretend to be a woman because women are more believable. Most people would never think a woman was trying to scam them. I don’t trust anyone. So I never even responded to the winner. What I did was give the person who lost a second chance offer. If you’re not aware of how this works, it’s rather simple. The person who was outbid, meaning the second highest bidder, gets a chance to buy the item for their max bid as a Buy It Now. I gave this person 24 hours to make it happen. And they took it. So I got lucky. But here’s the funny part.

Maybe you can already see the issue here. Well if you can’t, I’ll explain. It’s actually kind of complicated, so if you can’t see it, don’t be ashamed! See the way the second chance offer works is, the person who loses must buy it for their highest bid. But in my case, the person who won, should never of bid in the first place. Therefore the bidder who lost, should of actually won. But it gets better. They should have won the auction for 1 bid increment more than the 3rd highest bidder. Cause that’s who they would’ve been bidding against if the person from the Ukraine wasn’t involved. So what does that mean? Well, what it means is, the second highest bidder could have won this auction for at most $420.00 or at the very least, $378.00! Confused? Let me explain. The first time e***0(the ukrainian buyer) bid was on Feb 12th at 15:53. Which means when he bid, he outbid s***j who had a max of $353.00. But if he never bid, e***s would have bid $373.00 on Feb 13th at 09:37 and would have been the high bidder at $368.00. Then ****d would have bid $500.01 on sunday and would have been the high bidder for $378.00. Now we don’t know if e***s would have come back and bid $410.00 because he would have been in the lead. Maybe he would have forgotten about it. The only reason his bids got up to $410.00 was because he wanted to win. Some psychology here for you. Sometimes it’s not about the item. Sometimes it’s just about winning. So if he had the high bid at some point, he might not have bid again. Obviously we have no idea what would have happened. But we do have an estimate on the dollar range the auction would have ended at, $378-$420. WOWOWOWOWOW!

I think we can all agree that there’s a major issue with this system. Here’s how I think it should work: The second highest bidder should only have to buy it for one bid over the 3rd highest bidders, highest bid(yep you heard me). The reason for this is, most likely, the high bidder should never have bid in the first place. Maybe he didn’t really want it, or he made a mistake, or the item wasn’t what he thought it was, or a million other ridiculous reasons. But basically, it all comes down to the fact that the high bidder raised the price for no reason at all. If eBay took this approach it would reduce the Second Chance Offer scam, where a friend of the seller bids high, and then the seller gives it to the second highest bidder for their max. The problem here is eBay doesn’t want you to sell the item for the cheaper price because they make more money this way. And we know the seller doesn’t want to sell it for cheaper. The only person who wants less money to change hands is the buyer. 2 against 1. Sorry buyer, you’re screwed. You always hear how eBay sides with the buyer in cases of auction issues. Well this is one for the seller I guess.