This isn't exactly on topic but it does fill out some of the scam signs:
I'm looking for a 4x4 ATV to help haul wood around some acreage we have. I found one in "Drain" Oregon, a very small burg that we've been through a couple of times in our travels. It would have been a cinch to run up I-5 to pick it up. (The warning signs are boldfaced.) The price was really low
. Sometimes there's a good reason for this, maybe a repair that the seller didn't want to deal with. In this case, the ATV was presented as near perfect. The seller had zero feedback
. When I went to look over his profile there was a small notation that stated that the seller was registered in another country
, something that simply doesn't make sense for an item in a backcountry burg like Drain. The seller required that all bidders be pre-approved
. This last isn't an unreasonable request, especially if you have little or no feedback yourself. But when you are obviously a serious buyer, have good feedback, and the seller won't reply to your question
, well it's clear that the "approval" was intended to weed out all but the dummies. The auction ended with zero bidders and hopefully no one tried to buy it behind the scenes.
Another one listed a Kawasaki for an excellent price. After a couple of inquiries, I learned that the ATV was in Great Britian but the seller had a cousin in the airline industry who could get it shipped anywhere in the world for free. ... Right ...
The above are the easy ones. The really insidious scams are the ones where somebody has hijacked a legitimate account with lots of good feedback and happy customers. Then, all you can do is apply a liberal dose of common sense and detective work to be sure it's on the up and up. And, as has been mentioned before, if the seller won't take cash on delivery, don't bid.