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Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

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Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby foxdobbs » Thu May 10, 2012 12:20 am

Hi CC buyers/sellers,
I have a question about an eBay Buy It Now item I purchased recently. I bought the POTC Black Pearl via a Buy It Now at a really discounted price with free shipping and was surprised to find that it came directly from shop.lego.com. Has anybody else had a similar situation? When I went to leave feedback, I discovered the user deleted their eBay account which also seems sketchy. Thanks for any responses.
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Re: Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby bronx » Thu May 10, 2012 5:16 am

Oddly enough, I have . . . between three "different" users, actually. One from Arizona, one from Mississippi and I cannot recall the last's location (somewhere in the South, perhaps Alabama).

I did not partake in their Buy It Now auctions, as their low feedback had me wary at first. However, after winning a 9764 Republic Frigate and receiving it within two days at an incredible price, all of my inquiries of suspicions disappeared (greed overtook me).

Between the three, I purchased seven 9764 Republic Frigates, four 4195 Queen Anne's Revenge, three 7946 King's Castle, and two 8129 AT-AT Walker, winning each set well under $90.00, also with free shipping. I managed several 10210 Imperial Flagship (!!!) purchases and some UCS Star Wars buys at insane prices, too (not under $100.00, but still quite discounted). Each shipment arrived in record time and while each package did come straight from shop.lego.com, my name and address were never on the slips. It was always a different name, and no two slips were the same.

I found that strange, and I also found each of their stock strange. I mean, I was essentially eBay stalking these sellers. I may have won about twenty sets, but I had probably bid on twice that amount, all at one time. And, even then that was only a tenth of their items as these sellers had hundreds of listings, all for these relatively newer sets . . . but, all ending within 48-72 hours at the most.

They were active for, maybe, two to three weeks and then that was it. I'd notice the same items being sold by "new" users, but my spree had been sated.

It is totally suspicious; I would not dare deny that. But, what do I have to complain about? I got a legit item and paid for it. I don't know, though. If I had to guess, I'd say that it was an internal job.

'Grats on your 4184 Black Pearl, though. :D I only managed one, around $85.00. All the others I saw were actually jumping above retail price.
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Re: Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby AK_Brickster » Thu May 10, 2012 3:03 pm

Well, it's nice when you can get a set at a good discount, but I'll tell you what's really happening. I know, because it happened to me, on BrickLink.

A friend of mine asked me to see if I could find a good deal on a winter village set for her to display at Christmas. I looked on BL and was able to find the one she wanted for $15 less than retail, with cheap shipping. I initially thought the seller had bought it on clearance and was reselling it for a couple of bucks. I do that on a regular basis myself, so it didn't seem suspicious.
However, when it came directly from Lego, with an invoice showing full price paid and express shipping as well, this puzzled me. How was the seller able to make a profit on this? I thought maybe he had cashed in a bunch of VIP points or something.

Anyway, all went well until a couple of months ago, when I tried to order something from Lego.com. My order was put on hold, with a notification to contact customer service. When I did, they said that I had paid for my last order, the winter village set, with a fraudulent credit card. I was able to explain the situation, and after I sent them my BL and PayPal receipts, they took the hold off of my account and processed the order without further hassle. The customer service rep said that she mainly sees this on eBay, but that she had seen it happen on BL one other time.

What happens is this, the seller takes your contact information after you buy, and uses it to order the set from Lego.com using your name and address, as if you were the one making the purchase from TLG. He then uses a fraudulent credit card to pay for the order. The order goes through, but at some point, the credit card transaction is declined, and TLG puts a hold on any purchases by you, or to your address (I'm not sure quite how they track it) and then you get held up the next time you try to order. In this way, the seller gets money from you, and you get the Legos. The real loser is TLG, since they are now out of payment and have lost the set.

I guess if you don't mind ripping off TLG, you can take advantage of these deals, but I imagine that if you do it on a regular basis, especially in a case like mine, where I've already been informed about the scam by a representative of TLG, then maybe they would have cause for legal action against you. I'm not really sure.

My advice would be to PDF your receipts from eBay, BL, and/or PayPal ASAP. The more documentation you are able to provide that you were not the one who place the order with the fraudulent credit card, the easier it will be for you when TLG figures out what is going on.

I hope that helps. Please share this information with those you know who buy Legos from a third party site as well.

-AK_B
Last edited by AK_Brickster on Fri May 11, 2012 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby foxdobbs » Thu May 10, 2012 4:02 pm

Thanks guys, I figured something shady was going on... I've printed out my eBay and Paypal transaction invoices/confirmations... I order quite often from shop.lego.com and I may call them to see if my account is on hold...
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Re: Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby Redav » Fri May 11, 2012 12:56 am

AK_Brickster wrote:What happens is this...

That's pretty dodgy. So even though you're using PayPal as an the middleman, you can still be unwittingly involved with a scam because they're using their fake CC details and your legit name?
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Re: Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby bronx » Fri May 11, 2012 4:13 am

AK_Brickster wrote:I initially thought he had bought it on clearance and was reselling it for a couple of bucks. I do that on a regular basis myself, so it didn't seem suspicious.
However, when it came directly from Lego, with an invoice showing full price paid and express shipping as well, this puzzled me. How was the seller able to make a profit on this? I thought maybe he had cashed in a bunch of VIP points or something.

All of this is exactly what went through my head.

AK_Brickster wrote:What happens is this . . .

Color me skeptical, but I'm a bit reluctant to believe that several dozen sets over the course of a decent duration of time, all of which going to the same name and address, failed to get flagged after the first couple of purchases made out to me . . . especially if each purchase was done with a fraudulent card.

I may simply be naive in thinking this could not occur for so many sets. I can see this easily transpiring for onesies and twosies, a set here and there, but between the three sellers I was eBay stalking (which is not to say there weren't others) there were maybe one to two thousand sets.

Regardless, your explanation seems more plausible and far more solid than my own conceived theories and I certainly appreciate you sharing this. As you said below . . .

AK_Brickster wrote:The real loser is TLG, since they are now out of payment and have lost the set.


AK_Brickster wrote:My advice would be to PDF your receipts from eBay, BL, and/or PayPal ASAP. The more documentation you are able to provide that you were not the one who place the order with the fraudulent credit card, the easier it will be for you when TLG figures out what is going on.

I hope that helps. Please share this information with those you know who buy Legos from a third party site as well.

-AK_B

Great advice. Always good to archive transactions and receipts.

What is amusing (in the ironic sense) is that I found this thread not long after adding the following to my Watch List, as it struck a chord of suspicion within me. They're likely doing what you were told by the representative.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/180874675733?ss ... 1438.l2649

A feedback rating of 0, and selling several Kingdom Joust sets. I was so very tempted, but refrained, as my main interest is seeing how long the seller's account will be alive for now that all the listings are over.
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Re: Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby bronx » Fri May 11, 2012 4:19 am

Redav wrote:So even though you're using PayPal as an the middleman, you can still be unwittingly involved with a scam because they're using their fake CC details and your legit name?

Seems that way.

I took it to mean you're simply being listed as the shipping address, while the billing address (and payment) is coming from someone who has had their card cloned/stolen.

It's all likely being made out to look like you are merely the recipient of a gift until the person being charged notices and disputes the charge. However, by then, you likely already have the item (that "free" express shipping and all) and now TLG is stuck returning the funds and flagging your address as a possible scam artist.

This hasn't been my experience, as I've ordered from shop.lego.com after my numerous third-party purchases, but it makes a lot of sense.
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Re: Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby Bluesecrets » Fri May 11, 2012 10:08 am

First of all, as a mod..I need to remind you not to post twice. Use your edit button to avoid doing that.

Now as a person who has found the TLG database of information on all of us VERY interesting...I can tell you that I have no doubt that what ak_brickster said is 100% truthful. On more than one occasion I have been very surprised to find out what information is on their database about me. Not that I find it bad at all, but its there.

I guess my concern about this is someone is being a thief. LEGO Legal is a fast handed strike force. They hit first and hard. Companies bow to their legal threats.

Sometimes a good deal, is not a good deal. Especially if it puts a "black mark" or something negative on you in the TLG database.
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Re: Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby Redav » Fri May 11, 2012 2:24 pm

I have a parcel waiting for me at the post office to pick up tomorrow and after reading this, I'm curious to see what it is. I ordered an MMV from someone else in Australia and after waiting 2.5 weeks for it to arrive (should have taken three days tops), it hadn't so I let them know. They said it should have arrived by now and refunded me immediately without question stating that it must have been lost (and I didn't prompt for a refund, what I wanted to know was whether there was tracking info) but the way I'd bought the item was interesting (2nd chance offer as they had found 'another spare').

Now, chances are it's a Bricklink order however it could be the MMV. If it is, I told them I'd be in touch to repay the refunded money however if it is and (while I don't expect this) it's from Lego then I think I'll contact Lego and let them know what's going on. They had at least another item that's currently available from the Lego Store so you just don't know, that said, they've been on eBay for a few years.

And naturally after I click post, I remembered what else it might be... two map expansions for Ticket to Ride.

[edit]

Redav wrote:And naturally after I click post, I remembered what else it might be... two map expansions for Ticket to Ride.

Okay... so I'm wrong and it's the MMV that was missing. This is what I know;

- I have received what appears to be an officially packaged purchase from LEGOshop.com sent from Sydney
- I have a LEGO delivery note that lists my name and address as the ship to and some other person as the customer which doesn't match the eBay seller from Victoria
- it even included one of those foldable red LEGO bags (how thoughtful)
- I had bought the set as a second chance because the seller had 'found a spare set'
- I then said it hadn't arrived a week after it's latest expected date and so they refunded the money

This leaves results in;
- I'm not out of pocket
- the seller hasn't got my money (probably to trick me into giving positive feedback and protect their 'venture') unless there's a PayPal claim
- I have the set
- LEGO is out of pocket and lost a set

So, based on what the AK_Brickster and Bluesecrets has said, it seems that this appears to be what has occured to the OP. The only difference is that the seller wasn't new to eBay and had over a hundred previous sales over four or so years. Nothing appeard out of the ordinary although after my purchase, they have had some negative feedback which they've replied to.

So, I was going to give LEGO Australia a call next week.

What are other peoples thoughts? If anyone cares for me to posst pics, I can although I'm sure most of us have seen the MMV packaging and LEGO paperwork before.
Last edited by Redav on Sat May 12, 2012 12:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby Redav » Sun May 13, 2012 8:12 am

Done a little more looking around and found this thread on Brickset's forum;

http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion ... cklink-etc
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Re: Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby Sir Osis of Liver » Mon May 14, 2012 4:39 pm

This is quite an intersting topic. It's good to get this sort of info out there to keep buyers aware of some of the unscrupulous people around the interweb. Personally I've never had a LEGO item that I purchased from ebay show up shipped directly from S@H. However I have had LEGO sets arrive that were listed in one country but were shipped from another. I had figured the seller was an international student or something. Recently I purchased a book from a seller listed in Toronto, Canada, however the item was shipped from a book retailer in the UK. The invoice total seemed to be in order with what I had paid so I didn't give it much further thought at the time. Hard to tell if it was one of these "deals" or not.
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Re: Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby gedren_y » Tue May 15, 2012 4:30 am

Those of you who have found yourselves as a purchaser in these kind of scams should be careful. If the person or persons running the scams were ever caught, and still have some of your information, the remote possibility exists that you could be charged with receiving stolen property. If they used your name and information, you should check your credit score. You may be able to make a claim of identity theft.
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Re: Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby Redav » Tue May 15, 2012 5:14 am

gedren_y wrote:...the remote possibility exists that you could be charged with receiving stolen property...

Yes, this is what I'm concerned about and why I haven't open the set. I have taken photos off what I've recieved and I'll be printing out the other information. I have also left a call with LEGO Australia (seeing as though I'm not out of pocket and I have the set, I'm happy to pay what LEGO would have invoiced me for had I bought it from them properly) and have let eBay know about this seller (they received more good feedback so plenty have been had, tempted to put up negative feedback that they are involved with a scam but they aren't selling anything yet and I suspect they will have dropped the user like a hot potato). I'll flick the details onto that other LEGO email address too.
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Re: Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby Redav » Wed May 16, 2012 10:48 pm

Woot! LEGO Are happy for me to keep this set (which seems consistent with what I've read elsewhere) so I got me some building this weekend. eBay and LEGO have said they're investigating this seller which is also good news, although I'm sure they've dropped the account like a hot potato. I'll leave some negative feedback and see if they reply. I hope they nail them but probably unlikely and I'd doubt I'll hear back about it. I just hope that my address isn't black listed as I need to get some spares. Time will tell.
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Re: Question about a recent eBay LEGO purchase

Postby Tria » Thu May 24, 2012 7:28 pm

Really impressive...

No matter how many security measures there is always a way to breech..
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