Several of my readers have received the following email from someone in California who claims to be in the music business. He is seeking eBay TA’s to sell his products on eBay for him for a 15% commission. Look at the email he send through the TA contact form and then let’s figure out what is wrong with this.
I can buy brand new musical instruments at wholesalers price. Sometimes it is up to 40% discount of the normal price for the high demand products. I was looking for the possibility to profit from my position. I’ve tried to run eBay auction by myself but this was totally unsuccessful because I had a tons of unanswered questions due to the lack of time. The winning bidder asked me to use eBay escrow service because of my low feedback score and I gave it up finally because this process is totally new and unnecessary for me.
I need a professional eBay trading assistant who can help me with the sales. I will provide brand new products with official warranty. I can exchange defective products with “no questions asked” money back guarantee. I need a seller who will do the auction posting and held all the communications with the potential buyers for 15% commission. I can’t promise you big money but I can insure you that all the transactions will be hassle free and fast. Since we have our own shipping facility I can deliver the products to the buyer directly from our facility. This will cut the delivery time and let us save on shipping charges.
I’ll try to outline the selling terms in this email:
step 1 – I email you the list of available goods on sale with the minimum selling prices.
step 2 – You run the auctions and do all the communications with the bidders. You contact with the winning bidder and forward shipping instructions to me.
step 3 – I deliver the package to the buyer. The item will be shipped via UPS Ground Service or FedEx in 3 business days. Once it is shipped I will forward you the tracking number.
step 4 – Buyer confirms delivery and leaves positive feedback. You deduct eBay fees and your 15% commission and send the rest of the funds to my bank account. I would need payment via bank wire only and will cover all the fees.
This is how I see it. If you have offers or suggestions let me know.
So let’s analyze what is wrong with this offer:
- If his music store is in California, why is he contacting Trading Assistants in the Mid-West and on the East Coast?
- The phone number he supplied (in a separate email) was a fax machine
- His business name could not be found online
- He wants to be paid via bank wire transfer (This is a huge red flag)
- His grammar and style indicate he speaks English as a second language (probably Asian). Could he really be emailing from somewhere in Asia?
- He says the product will be shipped and feedback left before you pay him. OK – what if the buyer of the musical instruments is in cahoots with the seller. The buyer could file a claim with eBay/PayPal and you have to refund the money.
I don’t claim to know exactly how the scam works in detail –but I would be willing to place a large bet that this is a scam.
In my book, How To Start and Run an eBay Consignment Business, I lay out my rules for dealing with consignors:
- Only deal with consignors you can meet face-to-face
- Always take possession of the goods.
- Insist on photo ID (divers license) and pay the consignor by check to that address
- Do not pay consignors until you are sure the transaction is complete and the buyer is satisfied
If you have any insight into how this scam works or if you have seen this, please leave a comment. I do have to approve comments but I will be watching closely for these and approve them quickly.