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Discussion Starter #1
I've never used PayPal for such large money transactions as this one (selling a sax for about €1200) so I'm a bit weary about this (I'd rather have some guy from the same town buy it in cash or something like that).

Context: I listed my alto sax on www.2dehands.be (a Belgian 2nd hand site) and I recently got an email by a guy named Greg XXXXXXX (respecting his privacy) with email adress [email protected] (also x'es as not to post his full email) stating he wants to buy my sax.

Greg said:
Thanks for your mail,Can you assure me that is in good state and that
i will not be disappointed with it and i want to be the best offer by
adding €100 to your money then keep other offers off * ....And i would be
glad to pay for it as soon as possible though i will not be available
to come for an inspection due to my flexible schedule. I will be
paying you with my PayPal account because it's attached to my bank
account and its safe and very secure way to make payment online. If my
mode of payment is accepted kindly email me with the information below
to proceed with the payment.

1)Your full name?
2) Firm Price?
3) Are you the Original Owner?
4) Your PayPal Email Address ?
5) Your Picked Up Location Address

Get back to me with your address so i can forward to the shipping
company to schedule an appointment with you for pick up. I have a
private pick up agent that will come for the pick up after payment has
been made. And if you don't have a PayPal account, you can easily
go to www.PayPal.com and sign up. its very easy. I await your reply
and i will like to see more pictures..

Thanks.
*I find this a bit weird. My ad's been there since February with no offer at all (I even took off 100 euro's every 3 months). Though he cannot know if other people have bid on my sax.


So my questions are:
1) is this a normal way of buying a sax (or does it look suspicious)
2) is PayPal safe for this sort of stuff, not sure if I'm right but aren't there scams that involve him sending me money, receiving the sax and then filing some claim that I scammed him so he gets his money back (I know very little about this stuff), basically I want to know how watertight this whole transaction is
3)what measures do I take to cover myself from possible scams (autographs, personal info of the buyer, etc )
4) is this deal too good to be true? He seems to know how to buy saxes, yet I have the feeling he's "too willing" to take on my offer

It's just such a large amount of money, I do not want to do anything stupid.
 

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no stay away its a scam especially when they want their own shipping company you will lose your sax don't do it !!

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah I searched for "Common paypal scams" and I have 3 checks for the things this guy sums here

Also thank you for the quick reply.
 

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Hmm... Everything seems kosher to me. If they send you the paypal payment direct and the money is in your account what does it matter how they have the horn shipped to them. If anything I'd prefer this because it means you don't have to go ship it yourself. You've already got the money. What's to worry about?

Dogster, maybe you can clarify why this wouldn't work out. I have always had to do the shipping myself but I would be open to someone having FedEX or some other company come pick the horn up as long as everything was clear and I already had the cash in hand. Once it leaves your hands the risk becomes the part of the buyer.
 

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They pick the horn up, and then file a paypal complaint. Then, paypal sucks their money back out of your account. Big mess, and not worth the potential for disaster. "I have a private pickup agent" --- I mean, really, who has a private pickup agent, and who uses that kind of language?

If he has a so-called "personal pickup agent," then surely that agent can verify the condition of the instrument and hand over the CASH.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't think I'm gonna go through with this. The deal seems too good to be true (I've seen EX-90's for under €1000, and I don't see why you wouldn't try bidding it down instead of bidding it up), and I already have too many advices that seem to tell me this is a bad idea. Also the whole shipping thing is weird indeed (who has a private pickup agent? does he have one in every country or what?). His name seems awfully standard (and thus makes it impossible to Google/Facebook it). AND he's browsing a Belgian 2nd hand site, which seems weird to me.

I'd rather sell it for less money to someone who actually comes to have a look and try it.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
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it's a common PayPal scam I've seen several times before. Probably a hijacked PayPal account. STAY AWAY!!! You don't want these people coming to your home.
 

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I'd rather sell it for less money to someone who actually comes to have a look and try it.
BINGO. The other big red flag is that there are no detailed questions about the instrument itself -- just about the purchase (stealing) arrangement. Run away!
 

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You can always ask some specific (and bogus) saxophone-related questions. For example:

This has the third-register altissimo G# key -- I assume that you are familiar with it's operation?

This saxophone overblows a 12th, rather than the usual octave -- is this fine with you?

This only plays in tune with a Cocobolo wood triple-chamber Ferragamo mouthpiece -- do you have one?

Then, sit back and wait for the (always entertaining) responses.
 

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You can always ask some specific (and bogus) saxophone-related questions. For example:

This has the third-register altissimo G# key -- I assume that you are familiar with it's operation?

This saxophone overblows a 12th, rather than the usual octave -- is this fine with you?

This only plays in tune with a Cocobolo wood triple-chamber Ferragamo mouthpiece -- do you have one?

Then, sit back and wait for the (always entertaining) responses.
This is a scam, for sure. But, yes, I usually jerk them around a little as above before I run away!
 

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I would love to hear this guy's response to any of those questions! :twisted: Seriously, if it feels weird at all then for heaven's sake don't do it!! 1. No questions 2. Willing to pay $100 more than what is being asked?!! 3. Using their own shipping company??!! A "private pick-up agent" uh huh... yeah, riiight! [rolleyes]
 

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Hmm... Everything seems kosher to me. If they send you the paypal payment direct and the money is in your account what does it matter how they have the horn shipped to them. If anything I'd prefer this because it means you don't have to go ship it yourself. You've already got the money. What's to worry about?
Do you even sell things by taking paypal? I mean, seriously? As a seller, if you sell an item without delivery confirmation through a known carrier, all someone has to do is claim they didn't get the item in question and they will get their money back through paypal and you will have no recourse when paypal comes back at you. People on this very site have described such situations where they were taken by buyers when they failed to get delivery confirmation to save a few cents.
 

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The major tipoff here, even if you were unfamiliar with the C'list List of Typical Scam Attributes....was the "I will schedule my carrier to come pick it up".

Why ? If they paid PayPal....why not just have you ship the horn, using the shipping method of your choice ?

The next question it begs is..."if you will be having your local agent come pick up the instrument, why don't you just provide him/her with the cash payment so they can pay me in person when they get here ?"

Yup....
 
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