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344 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 42325 2-Oct-2009 13:02
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Hi everyone
I thought I'd vent my anger here on Geekzone because I'm sure some of you may also have bought iPhone's or other electronics through sites like Trademe, Sella or Zillion.


About a month ago I saw a sweet deal on Sella for an iPhone. The seller had good feedback, they were address, email and phone verified and had answered many questions on the auction from other interested buyers.


So I hit the buy now for $850 and sent them an email to confirm details etc.


I payed up the next day and got a reply saying "Thank you...will post on monday...etc."


Then comes Monday and I get another email (from the dudes girlfriend supposedly) saying "Oh I'm sorry my boyfriend sold it already...its already been sent to the other buyer...I'll give you a refund"


Ok no worries by that point. 
But now its a month later, with no refund and no further contact from the seller (I've been emailing them every day).


I contacted Sella last week, they said "We take these matters seriously...we can provided their details to the police"


So I head down to the police station today and they say, "because its an online theft can you please call this number to report it to our investigative unit". Didn't even take my details.


So I call the number. After two separate people telling me I need to go down to the station with printed evidence (which I had), I ask to speak to the supervisor who finally takes my details, and tells me "because it was an agreement between two parties, it does not technically qualify as theft...we recommend you go through the courts"


Thats great becuase I don't know the seller's details and can't contact them! So I'm now awaiting a response from Sella to see if they can release the seller's contact details.
Assuming the details are legit, which I would bet they are not.


In summary, I've learnt that a) I can't rely on the justice system b) buying through an online auction is a big risk and requires a lot of trust and c) If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.


Thanks for reading, I feel slightly better for having written that down :)
Keen to hear anyone's thoughts on the subject

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291 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 260559 2-Oct-2009 13:41
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I can see how frustrating the police experience must have been for you. But I think it probably is a civil matter. (I'm not a lawyer or anything like that, so this is just my opinion.)
Usually, for smaller civil matters the best place to go is the Disputes Tribunal. It's reasonably easy/cheap to lodge a complaint with them. But in your case, the fact that you don't know who the other party really is is a big problem. I'd try again asking for advice on how to proceed with the website, and perhaps contact the disputes tribunal as well for advice. I have no idea whether they will be any help though. Good Luck




kind regards Andrew TD

xpd

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  Reply # 260576 2-Oct-2009 14:23
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I ran an auction on Sella when it first started...was the last time also.
Within a couple of days I had 3 scammers trying to scam me..... I led one on until I got bored with them.

That was 3 scammers to scam me as a buyer...so Id hate to think how many go the other way round....

Last time I looked on there, it was full of car saleyard adverts and real estate...... has it changed at all ? :)




XPD / @DemiseNZ / Gavin
 
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  Reply # 260578 2-Oct-2009 14:28
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Did you get emails from the person/people selling the goods? If so you can normally check the the headers of the emails and see the ip address they where at. If you can get the information you can forward it to the police and they can contact whatever ISP it is and contact them. (UNless they are from overseas and then you have no where to go).

Also.. how did you pay? you transfered the $$ into someone's else account? paypal? Western Union (you are stuffed).

Thanks



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  Reply # 260584 2-Oct-2009 14:47
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Put there Email address into facebook under search for friends option

You might even get a photo

John

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  Reply # 260586 2-Oct-2009 14:53
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Hehe good point :)

Also the old saying applies here...if it seems too good to be true....




XPD / @DemiseNZ / Gavin
 
Corsair Carbide SPEC-02 / Corsair VS550 / G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB / Zotac 760GTX AMP! / ASUS H81M-E / Intel Pentium K Anniversay G3258

 

Internet provided by : Voyager - VDSL 68/13  -  Musical Support by : Like A Storm - Visual Entertainment by : Plex and Steam and Overwatch




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 260587 2-Oct-2009 14:54
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AndrewTD - I have considered going to the Disputes Tribunal and if I can get more help from Sella then that may well be the route I will take. Thanks for the advice :)
What about Baycorp? This sort of thing would be right up their alley wouldn't it?

xpd - Do you mean "That was 3 scammers to scam you as a seller?" Its confusingly worded...

LennonNZ - Yes I got a total of 3 emails from the seller(s). One providing me with their bank details for the deposit (ASB Bank), second confirming they'd received payment and would send the iphone on the following wednesday, and lastly (from the partner) saying they couldn't send the phone and would give me a refund.

How do you check the headers for their ip address? I can't see it anywhere (running Mac OS snow leopard).

Thanks :)



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 260593 2-Oct-2009 15:01
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johnr - awesome idea!

I did a search in facebook and it came back with the seller's girlfriend's full name (definitely the right name - the one who sent the last email mentioned in my post above) but there was a photo of a baby.

Still, it might be a real fb account. Maybe I should see if she'll accept me as a friend :P

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  Reply # 260595 2-Oct-2009 15:06
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Heh.... they were offering to buy my car for 3x what it was worth but I had to ship it to Nigeria (ding ding ding ding ding).
Im not sure on exact details how it works but they end up getting some money paid into their account and you lose.
Ive probably still got the emails somewhere :)




XPD / @DemiseNZ / Gavin
 
Corsair Carbide SPEC-02 / Corsair VS550 / G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB / Zotac 760GTX AMP! / ASUS H81M-E / Intel Pentium K Anniversay G3258

 

Internet provided by : Voyager - VDSL 68/13  -  Musical Support by : Like A Storm - Visual Entertainment by : Plex and Steam and Overwatch


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  Reply # 260603 2-Oct-2009 15:36
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gurthang117: AndrewTD - I have considered going to the Disputes Tribunal and if I can get more help from Sella then that may well be the route I will take. Thanks for the advice :)
What about Baycorp? This sort of thing would be right up their alley wouldn't it?



I don't think Baycorp will be useful for you. As I understand it, they are primarily a business service provider. I.e. if you are a business, and you have some bad debtors, then you can sell them(Baycorp) one of your bad debts, or pay them a commission to collect debts for you.


I doubt very much that they would deal with small one-off debts. At least not at a cost that would be worthwhile for you in this instance.
But if you've got time free, why not ring them and find out for sure. I'd love to be proved wrong on this one :)





kind regards Andrew TD

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  Reply # 260606 2-Oct-2009 15:51
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gurthang117: johnr - awesome idea!

I did a search in facebook and it came back with the seller's girlfriend's full name (definitely the right name - the one who sent the last email mentioned in my post above) but there was a photo of a baby.

Still, it might be a real fb account. Maybe I should see if she'll accept me as a friend :P


Glad that idea helped

Now send round Tony they should return it very quick

John

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  Reply # 260626 2-Oct-2009 16:36
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Hi guys, we've talked to the buyer and we're helping them get this resolved through the proper channels.

Cheers,
Mike

www.sella.co.nz

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  Reply # 260660 2-Oct-2009 18:48
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Hmm That is interesting that you got turned away from the police. I have had a similar experience and the police have dealt with the matter, resulting in a conviction.

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  Reply # 260661 2-Oct-2009 18:54
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I use safetrader for anything that costs more than 200 dollars. Gives a lot of security.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 260729 3-Oct-2009 00:23
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Sella - Yes I can confirm that we're now attempting to work it out through the district council. This is definitely the right way to go. Hopefully it will put an end to this whole sordid issue.
As a side note, I'm very impressed with your responses to my reports of abuse. Its a real shame that some people exploit your otherwise excellent website with scams, but I suppose it's hard to avoid.
Thank you Sella for your excellent assistance!

mattRSK - How did you approach the matter with the police? What did the conviction result in?

AndrewTD - I suspect you're right about Baycorp only working with businesses. Funnily enough, I actually planned to use the iPhone as a testing device for my newly formed company's app development.
I did send them an email, but I've decided to try the district courts. Moral high ground and all that ;)

Basekid - Interesting, I've never considered safetrader. Though I've heard of it. Thats a good idea. Surely that limits your choice of auctions though? Does anyone other than Trademe make use if it?

And to everyone who posted on this, or just read the thread and felt some empathy for me, a big THANK YOU to you!

I'll be sure to post a follow up here with how I get on with the district council...



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 261680 6-Oct-2009 13:44
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AndrewTD:
gurthang117: AndrewTD - I have considered going to the Disputes Tribunal and if I can get more help from Sella then that may well be the route I will take. Thanks for the advice :)
What about Baycorp? This sort of thing would be right up their alley wouldn't it?



I don't think Baycorp will be useful for you. As I understand it, they are primarily a business service provider. I.e. if you are a business, and you have some bad debtors, then you can sell them(Baycorp) one of your bad debts, or pay them a commission to collect debts for you.


I doubt very much that they would deal with small one-off debts. At least not at a cost that would be worthwhile for you in this instance.
But if you've got time free, why not ring them and find out for sure. I'd love to be proved wrong on this one :)






AndrewTD - If you're still wondering about whether Baycorp handles small one-off debts, they do.
There are a few small fees for setting up and an account with them , plus the 25% plus gst they charge for the actual debt retrieval.


This quote caught my eye: 
"We will Endeavour to collect any debts as long as they are not in dispute, if accounts are in dispute you must first go to the Disputes Tribunal. We cannot recover debts that are older than 5 years. We accept debts with no forwarding addresses for NZ debtors only. We charge a $10 tracing fee once debtors are re-located."



Of course this would be a last resort for me. Then again, the Disputes Tribunal do not enforce their rulings and the police have been no help whatsoever.


Also, I filed a claim yesterday with the Disputes Tribunal. Currently awaiting a letter in the post (due next week) with a date for the hearing.

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