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Old 03-13-2019, 08:17 PM   #1
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Oh Lordie! I need advice, stat!

'kay, just got notified that I won this Gunbroker auction. Got the email below from the guy and am totally freaking out!

(First of all, I do not trust @hotmail addresses worth a damn! But I have a gmail address for him from the seller info at Gunbroker, and an address in MD... Near as I can identify him on the web (and I don't trust it) he's living in a $657k house -- but there are two women also listed as living there. And, it's right around the corner from an Ebeneezer Church.)

The gun was described as: "Posting as used because the firearm has been registered to me, but the gun is brand new in the box, never fired."


So, I sent this to Gunbroker under the heading "Fraud"
Subj: This 'win' sure sounds like fraud; how can I tell?

Dear Gunbroker,
This is only my second purchase through Gunbroker (the first was shipped by "Elk & Ammo" just today and went perfectly smoothly); so I have almost no experience. I've read lots of your help screens and information for new members. I am VERY concerned about this specific 'successful bidder' result. I want to stay within Gunbroker's guidelines for dealing with a winning bid; but this guy's directions makes me leery of whether this is a legit sale.

================
Good afternoon, congratulations on winning this auction! Payment can be made via PayPal Friends and Family to {censored}@hotmail.com[/email]. Shipping and handling for this item will be $50 (Total of $750). Please place something non-descript in the note section like Happy Birthday or something of this nature. Once payment and FFL information is received, I’ll get the item to my FFL within 48 hours to be shipped.
================

M{censored} has no other items for sale; although he has a A+ for 44 reviews?


His Gunbroker ad for Item 803055847 includes this info:
Location Frederick, MD 21704
Shipping Buyer pays actual shipping costs for the following option(s): 2nd Day, Priority
Payment PayPal

First (very large) concern:
PayPal Friends and Family is NOT protected against scams; so "some guy" wants me to send him $750 with no guarantee he'll actually send the gun.

PayPal makes clear: https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mp...#sending-money
"You must not use the "send money to a friend or family member" feature in your PayPal account when you are paying for goods or services."


Second (lesser) concern:
His: "Buyer pays actual shipping costs for the following option(s): 2nd Day, Priority" would seem to be less than clear. Kimber's soft-sided case would fit easily into this (free) box, and the postage is minimal; unless he also pays insurance.

USPS Priority Mail 2-Day Medium Flat Rate Box $14.35
USPS-Produced Box: 13-5/8" x 11-7/8" x 3-3/8" or 11" x 8-1/2" x 5-1/2"
Which means, like, $35 for handling?

It seems a bit odd that his "S&H" charge is that high. Is it usual for sellers through Gunbroker to charge a high fee for shipping? (Elk & Ammo charged $30.)


So, I'd like advice from Gunbroker about whether to trust this.

I'm not willing to pay through Friends and Family, and will tell the seller so; the PayPal 'seller's fee' for this sale would be a whopping $20.60, and I am willing to pay that for the protection PayPal offers to me as the buyer. I am also willing to provide a UPS label to him to ship me the gun on my dime. Am I being unreasonable or does my caution seem reasonable?

Should he have made clear he did not actually mean PayPal for "sale of goods," but PayPal for "friends and family" (neither of which I am to him!).

Thanks,
Elenor Snow

p.s., Also, PayPal seems to have some weird restrictions on gun sales? Has Gunbroker had any problems with fraudulent sales not being refunded to your customers by PayPal because it's a gun?
I am tempted to write him asking for his FFL's info, to verify it for MY FFL. And point out that PayPal disallows using Friends and Family to "purchase of goods."

From PayPal's site:
You will not be charged any transaction fee for sending money to purchase goods or services as long as you choose the “send money to pay for goods and services” feature in your PayPal account. In that case, the seller will pay a fee. You must not use the “send money to a friend or family member” feature in your PayPal account when you are paying for goods or services.

He has two 2019 reviews as a seller; so, most of his "44 A+ reviews are as a buyer. Oh God I think I've made a huge mistake!

Help? Advice? Info?
El

Last edited by Ice-and-Snow; 03-14-2019 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:42 PM   #2
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Don’t send any money. Wait for clarification from GB. Never send Friends and Family.
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:27 PM   #3
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Mmmm... yeah...
It's not uncommon to use PayPal "gifts" to circumvent their ban on firearms, or to skirt their fees. It often calms my nerves to speak to someone on the phone. Call him up. Perhaps he'll take a personal check or a money order. But frankly, I don't see how that would offer you more protection over PayPal. But the dude has 44 solid deals on Gunbroker, so I'd not worry too much about it.

Congratulations on your new gun. Now make it happen!
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Old 03-14-2019, 03:57 AM   #4
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I’m not sure why but from what I hear the best way to pay is with a USPS money order.
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:01 AM   #5
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I would think Pay Pal, and it's harsh anti-gun rules would provide you no protection at all! Friends and Family gives you no recourse at all and regular Pay Pal on a weapon can get your account locked if they even have an inkling that it's gun related. Did his auction say the Pay Pal was the only form of payment accepted? If not, I'd insist on paying with a USPS Money Order since it offers a more secure transaction for both parties.

I have more feedbacks as a buyer than a seller on GunBroker and all of them are positives with great comments. Even with 1% negative wouldn't make me shy on a transaction depending on positive feedback comments (you can't make everyone happy these days IMO)! Might also tell the seller you need his FFL/drivers license info for your FFL for him to know where it will be coming from.

Like shockfinder said, I'd see what GB comes back with!
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:16 AM   #6
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I just looked at his feedback profile and looks pretty good to me! Been on for 6-7 years mostly as a buyer but feedbacks are all very positive. I'd definitely try to pay with USPS Money Order. I would never use Pay Pal and never a personal check (they'd then have your routing number and info).
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:45 AM   #7
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I'd say "contact seller" and see about using a money order, tell him you don't have PayPal. I can't imagine why that would be a problem, may delay shipment a day or two. On the shipping that's not too out of line. I've seen numerous listings where they say "buyer pays actual costs". Some do charge less than others though?
...so what did you buy? We're in the Micro .380 area, is it a new Micro???
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:44 AM   #8
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I say no go. I've never seen sellers saying to pay via Paypal. Shipping fees are high. The norm is $25-$35 Priority Mail which is mandatory unless you are having an FFL transfer it to yours. FFL's may charge to ship the gun but they also must log the gun into their ATF books. Seems fishy. $50 would cover the Paypal fees and shipping he may endure only if he accepts it as goods as a buyer, but not a seller but again, Paypal does not approve of buying guns. Your choice.... See what GB says.....
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
Mmmm... yeah...
It's not uncommon to use PayPal "gifts" to circumvent their ban on firearms, or to skirt their fees. It often calms my nerves to speak to someone on the phone. Call him up. Perhaps he'll take a personal check or a money order. But frankly, I don't see how that would offer you more protection over PayPal. But the dude has 44 solid deals on Gunbroker, so I'd not worry too much about it.

Congratulations on your new gun. Now make it happen!
Except his "solid" deals are all HIM buying stuff; he has only two (reviews of) sales in 2019... That's another thing that worries me.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cousinmark View Post
I'd say "contact seller" and see about using a money order, tell him you don't have PayPal. I can't imagine why that would be a problem, may delay shipment a day or two. On the shipping that's not too out of line. I've seen numerous listings where they say "buyer pays actual costs". Some do charge less than others though?
...so what did you buy? We're in the Micro .380 area, is it a new Micro???
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/803055847

{wince} Yeah, it's a Sapphire, but he listed it as "Posting as used because the firearm has been registered to me, but the gun is brand new in the box, never fired. " And $700 seemed like a good starting bid -- if it went higher, I didn't care; if I got it, I wanted it... I was the only bidder...

I just couldn't stop myself... Of course, now his claim that it's 'registered to him and never been fired...' makes me wonder if it's stolen? "Registered"? WTH does "registered" mean? Does Maryland register guns by owner?!

I also thought maybe if I sent him an (empty) UPS box WITH a UPS label sending it back to me (and INSURED!) ... that might give me a slim bit of 'assurance' there'd be a gun in it when it arrives?


Oh, man! A box-load of newbie mistakes... All on accounta it was BLUE and PRETTY!


Oh, and my OTHER (probably HUGE) mistake!? I ALSO am "high/only" bidder on THIS:
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/802957898
(At least THIS seller has 589 A+ ratings?!?) (At least?)

Oh Lordie, I AM a foool!

And I was NOT EVEN DRUNK!!!

Well, maybe I was sorta drunk -- not on booze but on this:
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/802570728
which shipped yesterday... I mean, really, I got it for just $430!! (plus $30 shipping and ~$13 credit card fee) - -whoo hoo!! (They have lots more (custom tan) -- make a low bid and see if you win... you know... if you WANT one! Be a drunkard like me!!)

So, if it's not as pretty as I'd like, I may be sellin' a tan Micro soon! (Or not, never too many guns!!) (I was also chuckling at myself cause I guess I'll need another of these: (Well, maybe two, cause this is already overfilled...)
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Last edited by Ice-and-Snow; 03-14-2019 at 07:46 AM.
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