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Suspiciously Cheap - Flag for a Scam?

Discussion in 'Swapmeet Talk' started by AF7ON, Feb 11, 2018.

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  1. AF7ON

    AF7ON Ham Member QRZ Page

    There have been a couple of HF radios listed at prices I regard as suspiciously cheap - a KX3 a day or two ago and currently a TS-990S. In both cases administrators picked up problems (such as inconsistent e-mail addresses) but took a while to flag or remove the ads (the 990 ad is still up).

    I would just like to caution any hams new to online purchases to be aware of any gear listed at an apparent bargain price significantly lower than the market and to treat them as a potential scam unless proved otherwise.

    AJ4GQ likes this.
  2. AJ4GQ

    AJ4GQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good advice. By the way, it was concerned Members, not administrators that picked up on the inconsistencies with the KX3 ad. The TS-990S ad you mentioned was reported as having all the earmarks of a compromised account and scam ad. The administrators apparently checked it out and responded with, "Unfortunately, your recent report has been rejected: Post in thread 'For Sale - Kenwood TS-990S' - Acct. is just fine. No problems noted."
    KA2FIR and NZ4X like this.
  3. N9LCD

    N9LCD Ham Member QRZ Page

    How does anybody know what's "MARKET"?

    In the absence of independently verified data, "MARKET" is whatever the buyer and seller say it is.

    If nobody bites, EVEN IF IT'S FREE, then it's junk.
  4. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    We really appreciate Member reports of these types. Our moderators aren’t perfect, and are Members just like everyone else. We don’t care who discovers a problem but rather that problems are spotted quickly. Different people see different things and sometimes you miss things that are apparent to everyone else. Bottom line is that we’re glad it was resolved.
    NZ4X and WB7OXP like this.
  5. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, I know what MARKET is. Yes, it is whatever someone is willing to pay, but just because you can find someone who will give you $1 for a new Mercedes Coupe doesn't mean that it's the "market" price. You can always find someone who is willing to pay less that what something is worth. In context, "market price" means the average, or usual amount that the item typically sells for, period. Anything else is a misrepresentation.

    Fair market value is fairly easy to determine on popular, name brand items. Just search right here in these pages for past sales of the same make and model. Then, check the New prices at the dealers, and possibly eBay and/or other swapmeets. Once you've done you're homework, let's say that you determine that a given rig usually sells for between $1500 and $1800. Suddenly, you see one come up for sale at $750. If this doesn't make you supicious then you shoudn't be shopping here. Scammers bait their victims with abnormally low prices all the time. It's a fact.
    W3ATV, KD4MOJ and WB7OXP like this.
  6. AJ4GQ

    AJ4GQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not exactly resolved in the way you thought. It has just been confirmed as a scam ad.
  7. AF7ON

    AF7ON Ham Member QRZ Page

    Regarding fair market value, this is pretty easy to estimate for equipment that is traded quite a lot. Every KX3 I have seen listed below $1,000 has turned out to be a scam; depending on options, $1,100 to $1,400 is the market range for used KX3s in good condition. Likewise, I have been kicking the tires for either a Yaesu FTDX 5000 or a Kenwood TS-990S. Following ads and sales for several months, I have a pretty good idea what these are selling for, which is why I flagged a 990S at under $4,000. As I said in a companion thread, prices below 70% of retail price for models in current production are either a bargain or a warning flag.

    Yes, you may pick up the odd bargain - I have done so with lowball bids on eBay and offers on private listings that were not selling after a long time - but buyer beware!

  8. WX5DL

    WX5DL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    To maintain QRZ as a (relatively) safe trading site, perhaps the ads should be submitted to moderators and not posted until approved. This would not eliminate the occasional scam but it would greatly reduce them. While I don't expect or need a babysitter, there is no question that those who look at these ads every day will be able to spot problems more quickly than an old codger like me who drops by a couple of times a year to buy a piece of equipment. That being said, I appreciate QRZ and the moderators for the job they are doing. It can't be much fun keeping this site running smoothly.
    Dave WX5DL
    KN7S likes this.
  9. NZ4X

    NZ4X XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I took a screen shot of the Kenwood TS-990 ad. The first red flag was of course the price. To check the validity of the email address being used all you need to do is use the search box on the upper right of the page. Most sellers on here are not posting for the first time. Enter the call sign, you will see a listing of all other items the seller has posted. Spot check the email address in those ads. If it differs from the current contact info being used that is a big indication the ad is suspicious. The real owner of this call sign did confirm via email that his call sign was stolen. That info was posted. I believe the ad was then removed by the mods. Hopefully no one got burnt by this scoundrel.

    Attached Files:

  10. AF7ON

    AF7ON Ham Member QRZ Page

    I usually try to get background information on any seller I don't know personally and will check for any web pages and forum listings on QRZ and other popular web sites. If you see a blog post where a ham says he only has American gear with photos of his shack that show that, I get suspicious if he suddenly appears selling a Japanese rig below market with a new e-mail address!. I noted the inconsistency in the TS-990 ad since the original owner had a fairly long history of sales and posts. I'll also check photos carefully to see if they been borrowed, stolen or spoofed. I got several red flags on that one!


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