Net scam? Flea markets still risky too.

Discussion in 'Swapmeet Talk' started by W8AAZ, Jun 4, 2019.

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  1. W8AAZ

    W8AAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just wanted to remind the younger hams that even though there are a lot of ways to get ripped off online with ham gear, face to face with unknown persons can still be risky too. I was recently the purchaser of a modern radio at a famous hamfest and got burned out of 250$. I listened to the seller and his story about the fine working radio. Nothing suspicious. If I had some way to power it up and try it I might or might not have spotted the issues even though the radio was unfamiliar to me. No outward signs of damage or trouble. Eventually got around to firing it up at home and discovered alot of strange things happening in this radio. Well off to the factory repair center. The cost of fixing exceeded the value of the radio. Beyond economical repair is the term. So I let them keep the radio to avoid the additional cost loss of the estimate as the radio had practically zero value. I have been rarely burned at hamfests but has happened before on different items so buyer beware anywhere, even if the deal does not seem shady shifty or send up a big red flag. That's all.
    KA3BQE, KC9ONY, VE1DDD and 1 other person like this.
  2. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some hamfests set up a "test bench" where people can take their prospective purchases to power up. They can hook things up to power supplies, RF meters, receiving antenna's and a dummy load sort of thing before finalizing their purchase.

    Just the fact the test bench exists and is available for everyone to use at the hamfest, has a funny way of keeping everyone honest.

    No one likes getting burned at a hamfest and this can only help improve the event because it builds and promotes purchasing confidence for the prospective buyers, and helps sellers move more items to increase their sales.

    If your local hamfest doesn't have this option, you might consider asking those in charge of organizing the event if they could do this. Better yet, offer to help volunteer with it.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
    N0TZU likes this.
  3. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Another option is reserving a hamfest table with AC power. It usually costs only a few bucks more and is well worth it when trying to sell equipment. Bring along a dummy load and whatever else you need to demonstrate that it works.
    KC8VWM likes this.
  4. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do not have a power cord to test is the norm at a hamfeast with bad ham.

    Buying anything that is not in need of some work is very rare.

    If it is perfect, Why are they selling it for cheap ?

    I get their callsign, And Will catch up with them later.

    I normally have no problem. I buy broke for cheap and repair it myself for cheap.
  5. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not sure rare is accurate, but it's perfectly fine to sell something in need of work if they are upfront about it.

    The problems start to occur when they don't do that. It should never have to be assumed there is a problem with the equipment only by the selling price itself.

    Keep in mind many sellers go from being an honest seller, to being accused of being a scammer simply because they neglected to communicate something to the buyer.

    In fact, the vast majority of flea market or online transaction problems occur because of a lack of communication, or miscommunication for that matter.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
    KA9JLM likes this.
  6. N1VAU

    N1VAU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Younger ham at a fleamarket? (Poor kid is probably lost) Otherwise no video, never happened! And if there is a video it's on a 8mm film reel!
  7. K1OIK

    K1OIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    At a hamfest I pay the price I can accept assuming it doesn't work.
    Otherwise if I pay more I get the sellers address and phone number and don't but unless he is verified.

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