How to avoid getting ripped off on the internet

Discussion in 'For Sale: Effects and Pedals' started by Jugghaid, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. Jugghaid


    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    Mods, feel free to move this wherever you want, but I thought the classifieds was the most appropriate place to post this.

    I get about 2 or 3 requests a month from people asking me to help them track down someone who has ripped them off on a transaction on eBay, HC, Bassgear, etc. I'm more than happy to help out, but the one thing I have noticed is that a lot of people don't protect themselves as much as they could. Here's a little checklist to go through that I posted over on the Dudepit that can help you guys avoid a lot of grief when doing a deal with someone you don't know.

    In the future, I hope everyone here checks out people before they do business with them. A lot of you guys here buy and sell a lot of gear, and if you know the person...great. But if not make sure you get a home phone# a work phone # a cell phone# home address etc. check out the info too. Call the person. If you think they gave you a cell# as a home or work # - check it out here:

    It will tell you if it's a land line or a cell and what city it goes to.

    Reverse the phone#s and addresses they gave you to see where they go. Argali is really good for this. You can also reverse the address.

    Just go to and download their program.

    If you think the address is a mail drop you can check that out as well at

    If you want to find out who owns the address they give you to send payment to you can also go to

    Select the state and county of the address. A lot of them have online databases, but you can call the tax assessor as well and find out who owns that property.

    These are just a few of the free online resouces you can use to protect yourself and verify the information the seller gives you is accurate.

    Ask for references from other people they have done business with. If I'm shelling out $100 for an effect pedal or $3000 for a bass, I want to know if the person is honest or not,

    Make sure the info they give you checks out before you give up any of your hard earned cash. An honest seller won't be offended in the least when you ask them for this info.
  2. Very good post!
  3. WesW

    WesW <><

    Jul 25, 2002
    Springfield, OH
    Great info!

    Maybe we could talk the mods into making this a sticky - it's great info!
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Great info. I'd like to add one of my basics:

    If it smells funny, walk away. You started the day without it, it probably won't kill you to end it the same way.
    OpposableThumbs likes this.
  5. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    If I always followed that rule, I would never eat any Mexican food! :D

    BTW Great post - this should be stickied at the top of the forum!
  6. I would request this become a sticky... it is a really good post
  7. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Inactive

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Definitely. Been a fan of Juggs for a while now. He knows his stuff, big time.
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    ditto on the sticky!
  9. inazone


    Apr 20, 2003
  10. Jugghaid, you sure ain't no "jugghaid".......... excellent info.

    Also, if the other party checks out - even a homemade receipt with "Received and Paid in Full" written on it by the buyer/seller holds up in court.

    No more, "Dude! I never got your check/money order!"
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Great post, Jugghaid!:cool: I am going to sticky this one for now. Might also be a good idea to eventually put this in the site FAQ.
  12. Jugghaid


    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    Thanks for the kind words gentlemen. I get real tired of seeing my bass playing brethren getting ripped off.
  13. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    I ALWAYS retain the receipt of the money order I purchase until well AFTER I get the item that I bought just in case anybody tries to play any funny business. I haven't been ripped off yet, and I hope I never am!
  14. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Just to add to this (and I know that this scam has been mentioned on other threads, but it's probably best to put it on a sticky thread):

    The scam in which the "interested buyer" states that he will be issuing a cashier's check from a bank and that a third party will be involved in the shipment continues to rear its ugly head.

    I just placed an ad on a new music classifieds site and received three 3-mails in one day from three different addresses attempting the same scam.

    The English is typically broken and the spelling/grammar are usually pretty poor - this is at least one component of these e-mail "offers".

    BEWARE of these offers! They are scams and you will NEVER see dime one.

    Here is an example of the e-mails that you may receive:

  15. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    That kind of scam is like the P-P-P-Powerbook. Escrow services are not a good way to go. It takes as muh faith to just send money and hope it gets there as it does to use an escrow service. Good post, Mr. Boulder!
  16. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I just completed another deal on TB. Never been ripped off yet.

    The bass way to be safe is to just deal with the TB "family". No one gets ripped off here. If they do, there are enough of us around the country to track down the offender, and hang them from their toe nails.

    OpposableThumbs likes this.
  17. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    A helpful hint from todd 4ta, for when things really turn to s... poo.

    OpposableThumbs likes this.
  18. Stephen Soto

    Stephen Soto

    Oct 12, 2003
    i havn't looked on this thread in a good while. this is a really good thread btw.
    i think that if anyone has any doubt at all about the product's quality and everything, that they probably should stay away from it, unless they can play it or whatever in person.
    I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT ANYONE ON TB. i don't that anyone has gotten ripped off in the TB "family", as previously said.
  19. De Teng

    De Teng

    Oct 27, 2003
    Utrecht, Holland
    Perhaps let me add something to Planet Boulder's story.

    I got an email of somebody who was interested in my Streamer Bass (which I still have for sale over here on TB too anyway) and was very fast in replying. Constantly talking about husband, kids etc... this woman keeps talking about her man which arranges shipment and payment.

    Now be aware... (I still don't hope they are one of these people anyway)... there are some people who use the construction of letting someone else on their behalf pay the price of whatever you are having for sale. In our language: A nice bass, cab... amplifier. But then they send a larger sum of money to you, while paying with a false cheque. The bank takes back this amount of your bank account, while you already sent the bass to the buyer and remit the amount which is left after taking your costs into account.

    So in the end you loose the bass, a certain amount of money AND the price of the bass in the end, because your bank takes it back from your bank account. A friend of me noticed this repetitive construction in this case and it can be used by a lot of people.

    That's why I took a Paypal membership! Hopefully they just pay the bass, but I'm a bit frightened they won't.....
  20. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Excellent info my man. Much appreciated. However, I might add that in the past, I have exchanged a scanned copy of each person's drivers liscense in addition to a home address. This seems to be fool proof IMO, and makes both parties comfortable.
    conttador and OpposableThumbs like this.