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The Ebay Laptop Auction Fraud Continues
- All I
wanted was a laptop so I could work on the road.
I won a bid on an IBM Thinkpad T23 laptop on Ebay, sold by a one "Brian Silverman", aka "electro_depot", and overnighted the payment to him in certified funds (as required by his terms) within 5 days of auction close.
The payment was received on 1/25/2002 and signed by one "Jena/Tina A. Waterman" and immediately deposited. Based on the terms of the auction, this individual had 2-4 weeks to ship the laptop from this date.
- 1/31/2002 09:50:31 -0800 (PST)
Received an email from Brian acknowledging the receipt of the payment.
1/31/2002 10:19:13 -0800 (PST)
Requested a tracking number for the shipment.
- 2/18/2002 16:41:26 -0800
Received email from Brian asking for the ebay tracking number. This number was clearly written on the cashier's check, and on an included note that was shipped with the check, which he recieved and signed for on 1/25/2002.
2/18/2002 17:11:28 -0800 (PST)
Responded with tracking number within 30 minutes.
- 2/19/2002 16:47:17 -0800
Received an email from Brian stating that my Sony Vaio 300 series (PCG-FX370 or PCG-FX390) laptop was no longer available, and asked that I select another model.
2/19/2002 17:11:28 -0800 (PST)Responded to this email, clarifying that my auction was for an IBM Thinkpad T23 laptop, model 26479LU, not a Sony VAIO.
2/19/2002 17:53:04 -0800 (PST)Received an email acknowledging the error, and stating that the item would ship "shortly".
- 2/20/2002 04:57:56 -0800
Responded to last email from Brian, stating that it was now a month after the date of the auction close and over three weeks since he received and deposited my payment into his account. "Where is my laptop?!"
2/20/2002 06:30:59 -0800 (PST)
Received email from Brian stating that they're "running the full shipping time" on this item, and that I should be glad to wait the extra time to save the money on
- 2/27/2002 12:18:48 -0800
Sent email to Brian clarifying his violation of his own auction
terms. It is now 40 days past the close of auction. After researching his feedback profile on ebay it became clear that this person has a real problem with shipping dates and times.
2/27/2002 12:18:48 -0800 (PST)
Made it very clear that if he could not ship the laptop to meet my deadline of March 4th (I had a speaking engagement in Berkeley, CA), to overnight me a full refund, so I could use the cash to purchase another laptop in time for my speaking engagement.
- 3/1/2002 09:15:25 -0800
Sent email to Brian with my telephone number requesting that he contact me directly to work out issues related to shipping and delays.
3/1/2002 18:20:34 -0800 (PST)
Receive an email from Brian asking for my shipping name and address. He stated that he sent me an email "several days ago" asking for this information.
3/1/2002 18:58:14 -0800 (PST)
Requested copies of the original emails sent "several days ago", to try to track down what may have caused the disconnect. Never received copies of his emails. I receive over 400 emails a day, and never lose a single one. Brian never emailed me, this was a delay tactic.
Demanded refund or laptop by Monday 3/4/2002, or I would initiate an investigation. Also requested a full receipt for the item, if it shipped. Brian's feedback profile led me to believe that he does not provide receipts, and hence no way to secure the manufacturer warantee.
3/1/2002 19:27:36 -0800 (PST)
Received email from Brian stating that the "warehouse" was closed on the weekend, and the best way to proceed was to refund my payment by wire transfer.
3/1/2002 19:30:30 -0800 (PST)
Received email from Brian stating that a "printout of the ebay auction webpage" is a valid receipt. He also states that he is not late in delivering the laptop (he's 42 days past the close of the auction at this point). He also states that he does $1,000,000 annually in sales, and asks me not to start quoting him federal infractions and IRS tax laws regarding his questionable business practices.
3/1/2002 19:52:09 -0800 (PST)
Received email from Brian stating that he could come in on Saturday (3/2/2002) to check on his email, presumably in anticipation of my rapid response.
- 3/2/2002 09:07:03 -0800
Sent email to Brian: "Do you have the laptop or not? You've had 42 days to obtain the merchandise. Do you have it or not?!"
3/2/2002 14:29:51 -0800 (PST)
Received email from Brian stating that these items ship "warehouse-direct" and that they usually have no problems shipping on time (another lie, since his feedback profile has 60% or more of his buyers complaining about incorrect or "epic" shipping delays). He states that he thinks the T23 is in stock, and could ship in 1-2 days. He also states that he can upgrade it to overnight shipping "..if that helps".
3/2/2002 14:39:34 -0800 (PST)
Responded to Brian stating that even if he shipped the laptop on Monday, it wouldn't get to me in time for my departure to Berkeley and my speaking engagement. The delays and the transaction in general have caused me to miss two speaking engagements already, and will now cause me to miss a third.
I request that he upgrade it to overnight shipping, and if possible, upgrade the RAM in the laptop as a complimentary compensation for my troubles.
- 3/3/2002 12:45:23
Received email from Brian stating that they cannot help me, and that he will be sending me back my money.
At this point, the scam becomes abundantly clear. He's had my $2350.00/USD in his bank account for 37 days, gaining him interest on my money. In this time, I have seen Brian put identical laptops up onto ebay for sale, and seen other bidders bid, win, and be successfully shipped their laptops, all in less time than I've had, and I still have no laptop, and no money back from Brian.
Based on his current auctions, and this scam he's got running, he's making literally thousands of dollars a month in interest alone on these "sales". I'll bet he double and triple sells the same laptops to different bidders, gains the interest from all of them sending him their money, then cancels out on all but one bidder, refunding their payment, minus the interest he's gained on their money in his account. Some bidders have even waited up to 8 weeks to receive their purchases, all the while, Brian states he's still within his auction terms of 2-4 weeks. Where? On Jupiter?
If I do not receive the exact funds in return on Monday, I will be calling the FBI and the IRS on Brian Silverman. Perhaps they'd be interested in his "$1,000,000 in sales annually". If he's doing that much business, why is it so hard to ship a single laptop 100 miles away? Why is it so hard to provide a valid receipt? Why is it so hard to keep your word without excuses and lies? Well, I'll let the FBI and IRS figure it all out on Monday.
Meanwhile, I'm out one laptop and $2350.00/USD.
I'm pissed. Why does so much "dark cloud" always come my way. I'm a vortex for bad luck.