03.03.07

How to defraud ebay, the emartbuy.com way!

Posted in fastmemorymanscam at 11:31 am by blog

It seems there’s a great way to defraud ebay users, and best of all, it doesn’t violate their policy. Sure, it may be immoral but aparrently doing this is perfectly fine according to ebay. So first, a little history, you see i learned of this scam in the time honored way of being suckered by it.

I was browsing through ebay, looking for somewhere i could buy some additional memory for a computer of mine. There were plenty of cheap sellers in the US, but i don’t like to buy internationally because of the various difficulties involved, it is always better to deal with local sellers. So i was presently surprised, to see some fairly cheap (not the cheapest, but not bad) memory being offered for sale that claimed to be in the UK. The item i found was this:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270084335932

Clearly marked as being in the UK, the seller had loads of them available and the price was reasonable. I read the description, and noted that my motherboard chipset, the VIA K8T800 was listed as known compatible, and that they listed the company name and website, emartbuy – www.emartbuy.com on the listing. I visited this site, and was immediately presented with a choice between USA and UK. Great i thought, they clearly have a UK office and do business in the UK.

So i placed the order, paid for it, and within a few days received the memory. I eagerly put it into my machine and turned it on, and, nothing… The fans were spinning, the drive was spinning, but nothing on the screen. I put my old memory back in, and the system behaved as normal, so i tried again with only one of the new modules inserted. This time the screen came on, and the system started on it’s power on checks. Half way through, it froze and wouldn’t respond to any keypresses. I tried the other modules with similar and often erratic results, sometimes the bios initialization would complete, but i could never boot an OS. Sometimes the system would be able to load the “memtest86” program, but this never ran for more than a few minutes before detecting memory errors. Frustrated by this, i rechecked the listing and reconfirmed that my motherboard was listed as being compatible.
So i attempted to contact the seller, but to no avail, frustrated i contacted them through paypal. This time they responded, confirming that my motherboard is compatible and asking me to return the defective memory. But here’s where it gets worse. The auction had clearly stated the memory was located in the UK, but when asking for a return this company demanded that i ship it to the US, at my own cost. Nowhere on the original listing had any mention been made of this, and indeed the word “return” in combination with the listing stating the item was in the UK, would imply that returning it would involve returning it to it’s original location in the UK, and not a costly and time consuming international shipping exercise.
This company also only gives you 14 days from receipt of the item in order to return it, yet they freely admit that shipping internationally can take up to 15 business days (that is, up to 3 weeks including the weekends).
They then went on to say that misleading buyers like this is not against ebay policy, and that it’s perfectly ok to demand a return to an arbitrary location that was not once mentioned in the original listing.

So here’s how the scam works:

Find an address in a far away country, somewhere that it’s very expensive to ship anything to (Cuba, Burma, Iraq, The McMurdo Antarctic research station).
Obtain a large amount of broken items that are usually expensive (when working), since broken items are usually worthless you should be able to get stacks of defective junk cheaply or for free. Alternatively, you can ship random junk.

Put the defective items up on ebay, but don’t mark them defective, instead offer a refund or replacement guarantee. Tell buyers where the items are currently located, and wait for the suckers to start bidding.
When someone wins, add some extra to the shipping amount to cover not only the shipping and packaging cost, but also a small profit for yourself, and send them their broken merchandise.
Before too long, you will start getting complaints, but this is no problem because you have a returns policy, the buyer can return the item at their own cost and you’l refund them, so the buyer is mailing you asking for your address. Just give them your far away address, remember it’s not against ebay policy to do this. Don’t forget to request the buyer send the item insured, lest it be lost in transit.
Now with any luck, the buyer will consider the cost of shipping too expensive to bother, and just drop the whole thing.
And just incase they don’t, you can refund them their payment less the shipping cost, so worst case is you make the small profit on shipping, and a small amount of interest while your holding the buyer’s money. And don’t forget, international shipping takes time, so you can hold on to that money for a little while longer and make a little more interest.

55 Comments »

  1. John Trevor said,

    February 12, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Hi
    I just like to say I do not know what the USA are doing, however the Uk ones are very reliable. It is not their fault for what the USA scamsters are doing.

  2. Steve said,

    April 28, 2009 at 4:26 am

    Wish I had known then what I know now.
    I would never have touched them. Yes them, there is more than one involved.
    If I had known where they were exactly in the UK I would have taken the defective memory which had duff labels stuck on them to the Sutton Coldfield Fraud division and let them deal with it.
    As it was I had to get my money back via PayPal and that took ages through the system.
    Then there was the bit that they told Paypal. They had offered me my money back but I would not agree to it.
    The offer, which turned into threats from them was, Remove the Negative Feedback I had left them and they would refund my payment minus the postage and packaging.
    What they under estimated was that I had kept all their emails to me and forwarded them to PayPal and Ebay.
    I have spoken to many people since who have had bad experiences with FMM.
    The way FMM gets around it is not to send out duff stuff to all their customers, just to about 30%.
    I would never recommend them to anyone.
    So anyone using them does so at their own peril and expense.
    Good luck

  3. eBuster said,

    May 27, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    If you guys come across a scammer on eBay then please register them at eBuster,co,uk and also take a copy of all feedback and adverts as eBay will pull the pages and then if you get the trading standards to act they will play you along for months and months and then say you don’t have a case knowing all the eBay pages and messages have been removed.

    internet fraud on eBay is now put at $bn a year so don’t feel alone if you have been scammed only to find eBay don’t have real contact details for the member that scammed you.

  4. adam said,

    December 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I assume that people reading this know that eBay owns Paypal? Many people refer to them as though they were not associated with each other.

  5. ro-uke said,

    February 7, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Hi gang, all I can say is, toohlaus.org is your friend!

    It’s an essential tool for eBay buyers as you can enter a seller’s username and it’ll filter out all the negative and neutral feedback for you. This means you can sift through the negs and look for suspicious patterns and it’s invaluable when dealing with someone like this, who has such a high feedback score that the scams don’t show in his feedback percentage.

    Toolhaus is totally free and I’m nothing to do with it, but started using it religiously (and eBay a lot less frequently) after fastmemoryman ripped me off in 2005. I wrote this ‘review’ of my experience on eBay, which a lot of people have found useful and have frequently contacted me for advice about how to deal with him (basically, get your PayPal claim in right away and let him deal with them. Don’t listen to his crap, you will win your claim.)
    http://reviews.ebay.co.uk/Fastmemoryman-risky-business_W0QQugidZ10000000001964915

    In order for ripped off buyers to continue finding the guide, I need to be able to update his usernames as he changes them. Fastmemoryman and Fastflashman are gone now, but emartbuy is still going. If anyone know of any new aliases, please let me know so I can update the review.

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