The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 20

[ Return to Index | Top of Index ]

It had to happen sooner or later
Message #1 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 14 Sept 2011, 10:54 a.m.

Well, I guess the HP 15C fraud had to begin sooner or later, so here it is:

HP 15C LE on TAS misrepresented as an HP 15C

Edited: 14 Sept 2011, 11:00 a.m.

      
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #2 Posted by bill platt on 14 Sept 2011, 11:00 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada

Man, I am such a sucker. If I thought like a businessman instead of an engineer, instead of questioning my need for a new 15c LE, I would have bought a bunch and turned them for a handsome 100% profit!

      
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #3 Posted by M. Joury on 14 Sept 2011, 11:01 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada

LOL...

Michael,

How many times have you come across products you are familiar with on eBay and said to yourself: "What idiot would pay that much when they can get the same product brand new from a regular retailer with free shipping for X% less"?

The other day I saw a listing for an HP-12C Plat for some ridiculous amount. He had 4 for sale each at that price. I sent him a message asking him to confirm that the quoted BIN price was for all 4 because why else would I spend that much. Never got an answer of course.

Cheers,

-Marwan

            
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #4 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 14 Sept 2011, 11:05 a.m.,
in response to message #3 by M. Joury

Yeah, but in this case the seller is misrepresenting a HP 15C LE as an original HP 15C. I think this is intentional fraud. Note that the main listing photo shows a HP 15C, not a HP 15C LE. Only one photo shows the correct model.

                  
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #5 Posted by M. Joury on 14 Sept 2011, 11:12 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Michael de Estrada

Ohhhhh.... I glanced at it real quick and missed that. One of us should report the listing to eBay as fraudulent!

      
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #6 Posted by bill platt on 14 Sept 2011, 11:06 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada

It is actually a fraudulent listing. Some of the photos show a 15C, while others show a 15C LE in LE packaging.

But there is *no category* in the Ebay reporting system to capture this and report it properly!

            
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #7 Posted by M. Joury on 14 Sept 2011, 11:17 a.m.,
in response to message #6 by bill platt

I reported it anyway under "Fraudulent Listing".

      
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #8 Posted by bill platt on 14 Sept 2011, 12:39 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada

I can't find anything in Ebay rules making it illicit to make a false claim as to what the product is. Apparently it is simply "caveat emptor" which makes sense, as ebay doesn't want to have anything to do with the truth of a listing. That would open them up to liability.

So chalk it up to "there is a sucker born every minute"

and "honest folk are suckers"

            
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #9 Posted by Jim Johnson on 14 Sept 2011, 12:48 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by bill platt

I did send the HP-15cLE seller a message yesterday indicating that he was misrepresenting the HP-15cLE and that he needed to CLEARLY state that it was a "Limited Edition" version.  
Of course, no answer from this seller.
I noticed that the high bidder, for the misrepresented calculator, had bid on other German items.  Does that mean that someone in Germany can't buy the HP-15cLE yet?

Edited: 14 Sept 2011, 12:49 p.m.

                  
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #10 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 14 Sept 2011, 3:12 p.m.,
in response to message #9 by Jim Johnson

I sent him a direct email (I think), by inferring from his eB** I.D. what his email address is.

We shall see.

            
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #11 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 14 Sept 2011, 12:51 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by bill platt

Actually, they do worry when they can be sued by manufacturers for fake brand name items. Like fake Gucci bags etc. This isn't a fake HP, just one that has been grossly misrepresented. The buyer can still go after the seller if they figure it out. Before TAS made aliases of the bidder user names, a good samaritan could send a warning message to the bidder before the auction ended. The current high bidder appears to be outside the USA, and probably has no idea that this is a total fraud.

                  
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #12 Posted by bill platt on 14 Sept 2011, 1:08 p.m.,
in response to message #11 by Michael de Estrada

Ebay is all geared towards big sellers now. I hate ebay. I have lost about $10 even trying to sell stuff the last 2 years. I haven't bought anything on ebay since a beat up 27s about 2 or 3 years ago. I just think it is the pits now.

                        
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #13 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 14 Sept 2011, 1:20 p.m.,
in response to message #12 by bill platt

I stopped selling anything with them, since they changed their selling fee to include the shipping cost as part of the sale amount. I sold some calcs privately to overseas addresses, and the shipping costs were over $50, which would have meant an additional $4.50 fee in a TAS listing.

                        
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #14 Posted by Howard Owen on 14 Sept 2011, 5:16 p.m.,
in response to message #12 by bill platt

The balance of power has shifted toward sellers in recent years. Hiding identities of bidders has prevented buyers from banding together in various ways. Some of those strategies could be described as abusive, but many just give buyers the advantage of the wisdom of the crowd. What eBay has come up with is the opposite of social networking. eBay's customers are the sellers. eBay's products are the buyers. You don't let your products conspire against your customers. That's no doubt how they see it.

I still find it worthwhile to bid on eBay occasionally. I keep strict discipline, bidding only what I am willing to pay, and disregarding other bidders. I no longer go to the effort to make last second bids for items, although that remains a viable strategy in the face of buyers who compulsively outbid anyone that comes along. I simply don't care as much about most things I see on eBay now, so I make many fewer bids. I find I'm much happier with the results if I follow those rules.

                              
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #15 Posted by Paul Gaster on 14 Sept 2011, 9:39 p.m.,
in response to message #14 by Howard Owen

I somewhat disagree with you. Ebay for several years now does not allow sellers to leave negative or neutral feedback for a buyer, no matter what. I have sold several non-calculator items to just clean up my place, and several people have bid, won, and never paid. It was a shock to find out that I could not leave any negative feedback, and not even neutral either. And after you go through the unpaid item process and that is closed, you can't even leave any feedback. You can't even leave a positive with a warning to others that this guy never paid. Also, others have mentioned this, but now ebay takes a cut from even your shipping dollars. Yes, they take their percentage off that too. They keep squeezing sellers more and more all the time.

Edited: 14 Sept 2011, 10:04 p.m. after one or more responses were posted

                                    
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #16 Posted by bill platt on 14 Sept 2011, 9:59 p.m.,
in response to message #15 by Paul Gaster

It is really a bad deal all around. They used to be the most amazing bargain. Now they are marginal at best.

If you are selling, you have to sell big ticket items to make it worthwhile. They expenses on $20 to$50 items runs close to $30% of sale price in the end.

Back in the 1999 period, it was less than 10%--gee, it might have been 5%!

                                          
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #17 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 14 Sept 2011, 10:19 p.m.,
in response to message #16 by bill platt

Don't forget 3% for PayPal, which they own.

                                    
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #18 Posted by M. Joury on 14 Sept 2011, 10:44 p.m.,
in response to message #15 by Paul Gaster

I thought that non-payment was the only case in which a seller could leave negative feedback these days. Has that changed as well?

The logic behind this was to prevent sellers from posting retaliatory feedback (that was the theory in any case) but the whole feedback system is worthless if it does not work both ways.

                                          
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #19 Posted by Paul Gaster on 14 Sept 2011, 11:21 p.m.,
in response to message #18 by M. Joury

Quote:
I thought that non-payment was the only case in which a seller could leave negative feedback these days. Has that changed as well?

The logic behind this was to prevent sellers from posting retaliatory feedback (that was the theory in any case) but the whole feedback system is worthless if it does not work both ways.


Yes, it changed, and it was way back in 2008.

http://contact.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?CustomerSupport

Search Results:Here's what we found for "cannot leave negative feedback"[ Previous ] While sellers can leave a positive Feedback rating and a comment for buyers, they can't leave negative or neutral Feedback.

-------- http://cybernetnews.com/sellers-cant-leave-negative-feedback-on-ebay/

"eBay has really got their work cutout for themselves this time. They have decided, as expected, that itís time to block sellers from leaving neutral or negative feedback for buyers. Oh, and to make matters even worse they are now counting neutral feedback left by buyers as a negative when calculating the feedback score, which is sure to drop the score of many sellers. A lot of sellers have turned the other cheek when eBay has jacked up their fees, but I think this move could very well be the tipping point."

------------

edit: one more thing I should mention... I have had about a dozen people in the last year not pay for items they won and it's a major pain to deal with. Ebay's policy for these situations is frustrating to say the least. You have to wait 4 full days before you can open a case for non-payment. Then you have to wait 4 more full days before you can close the case. The math is simple, but I want to stress that this is 8 full days. And that is if you open the case promptly after the 4 days, then close the case quickly 4 days later. Then you have to relist your item again, typically for a week, and wait. So in summary, you list an item and you wait a week for it to sell, then 8 days because someone doesn't pay, then another week for it to sell again. Now we are over 3 weeks for what should take 1. Major pain.

Edited: 14 Sept 2011, 11:30 p.m.

                                                
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #20 Posted by M. Joury on 15 Sept 2011, 7:14 a.m.,
in response to message #19 by Paul Gaster

I found the passage which states: Note: Buyers can leave sellers negative, neutral, or positive Feedback. Sellers can leave buyers positive Feedback or choose not to leave Feedback.

So what the heck is the point of the buyers even having a feedback rating. It is meaningless.

                                                      
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #21 Posted by Bart (UK) on 15 Sept 2011, 8:02 a.m.,
in response to message #20 by M. Joury

Hmmm, recently I was going through someone's feedback and saw a positive, but the comments were in capitals and in the line of "buyer doesn't pay...". I wondered why someone would leave a positive with negative comment, this explains it.

                                                            
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #22 Posted by bill platt on 15 Sept 2011, 9:46 a.m.,
in response to message #21 by Bart (UK)

That is actually quite clever. It is the only way to actually leave negative feedback!

                                                      
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #23 Posted by Namir on 15 Sept 2011, 8:19 a.m.,
in response to message #20 by M. Joury

The TAS rules about feedback in either case (old and new rules) allow abuse. A two-way positive-neutral-negative allows buyers and sellers to blackmail each other! The current feedback rule allows buyers to abuse sellers and blackmail them.

I agree the current system that allows sellers only positive feedback or no feedback is not much. TAS wants to encourage people to buy, since there are plenty of sellers. So they are biased towards buyers.

Of course buyers are even more craftier in sham descriptions that seem encouraging about the item, but include "sold as is" and "no return or refund" behind which the seller hides when you get a dud.

Namir

                                    
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #24 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 15 Sept 2011, 10:02 a.m.,
in response to message #15 by Paul Gaster

You guys must trade in product areas with a lot of shifty customers. I have about 650 transactions, and I only experienced one non-paying buyer and one non-shipping seller (a minor item).

But most of my dealing has been in only two product areas: collectible Nikon film camera stuff and Unimat miniature machining stuff. Perhaps a higher class of traders?

      
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #25 Posted by uhmgawa on 14 Sept 2011, 1:50 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada

Quote:
Well, I guess the HP 15C fraud had to begin sooner or later, so here it is:

HP 15C LE on TAS misrepresented as an HP 15C


And the seller has a 100% positive feedback rating! This stunt should put a dent in that assuming the eventual buyer realises they've been scammed.

            
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #26 Posted by Eddie W. Shore on 14 Sept 2011, 3:17 p.m.,
in response to message #25 by uhmgawa

Agree. The seller is banking on that the buyer does not know the difference. Apparently the seller missed that episode on Judge Judy where a scammer tried to pass pictures of cell phones as actual cell phones.

            
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #27 Posted by Paul Berger (Canada) on 14 Sept 2011, 7:24 p.m.,
in response to message #25 by uhmgawa

Seller has added a further note saying that first picture is a stock picture and not the actual item, that was obvious to me as that picture is in focus and on a white background unlike the other 3 pictures, seller goes on to make it clear item is the limited edition version.

                  
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #28 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 14 Sept 2011, 8:49 p.m.,
in response to message #27 by Paul Berger (Canada)

But notice he states:

Quote:
Any bids prior to 9/14/2011 at 7:00 pm EST are welcome to be retracted. Bids after this time are expected to be fulfilled.
So he still hopes to rip someone off.
      
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #29 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 14 Sept 2011, 7:13 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada

I Too sent a message through eB**, and actually got a reply:

Me: You have listed a 15c LE as if it were an original 15c. Please change your description.

Answer: The pictures accurately show the product.

However, he has since revised his description. I wonder how long before he gets bid retractions?

            
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #30 Posted by Nick R on 14 Sept 2011, 7:47 p.m.,
in response to message #29 by Martin Pinckney

It's probably worth checking the serial numbers, as sooner or later one of these bottom-feeders might figure out a way to carefully erase the "Limited Edition"

                  
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #31 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 14 Sept 2011, 8:52 p.m.,
in response to message #30 by Nick R

The back of the calc looks completely different, anyways, and says "Product of China". So it won't make any difference unless the buyer is totally clueless.

            
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #32 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 14 Sept 2011, 8:35 p.m.,
in response to message #29 by Martin Pinckney

Not only have there been no bid retractions so far, but the price has been pushed up by the second bidder, and the top bidder still has two bids placed, so it could go a lot higher.

                  
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #33 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 14 Sept 2011, 8:53 p.m.,
in response to message #32 by Michael de Estrada

Yes, notice he states:

Quote:
Any bids prior to 9/14/2011 at 7:00 pm EST are welcome to be retracted. Bids after this time are expected to be fulfilled.
So he will still rip someone off unless they wise up and file a complaint with eB**. Or just refuse to pay.

In the old eB** days one could email the bidders and warn them.

            
Re: It had to happen sooner or later
Message #34 Posted by Paul Gaster on 14 Sept 2011, 9:29 p.m.,
in response to message #29 by Martin Pinckney

I sent him a message too. Here is a cut and paste of what he told me:

"You are rude for your statement. I have no intent to deceive. Look at the pictures. I have revised the listing however."

      
On the other hand ...
Message #35 Posted by Howard Owen on 14 Sept 2011, 8:29 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Michael de Estrada

Here's an auction of a vintage 15C by a seller who is aware of the LE.

edit: I want to point out that this guy is being honest. What was interesting to me is evidence of the impact the LE is having on auctions.

Edited: 14 Sept 2011, 8:46 p.m.

            
Re: On the other hand ...
Message #36 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 14 Sept 2011, 8:56 p.m.,
in response to message #35 by Howard Owen

I agree. The originals should still command a higher price, because of the quality difference and where they were made. Even where the quality is the same, I've seen made in USA calcs command a premium over made in Singapore calcs.

            
Re: On the other hand ...
Message #37 Posted by Peter Murphy (Livermore) on 14 Sept 2011, 9:11 p.m.,
in response to message #35 by Howard Owen

The seller must have been jolted into action by severe words from Forum members, but his response is still well short of ideal. His listing title still reads, "HP 15C HP-15C Scientific Calculator New In Box," for example, with the words "Limited Edition" conspicuous by their absence. Starting over from scratch would have been the right thing to do.

Bidders who do not retract their bids (as might be the case if they do not revisit the listing and discover the seller's revision of it) may end up paying well more than they should: bids before the retraction deadline were over $224, well more than the $89.99 at which Buy.com had sold 43 LEs on TAS as of a few minutes ago.

Edited: 14 Sept 2011, 9:17 p.m.

                  
Re: On the other hand ...
Message #38 Posted by Michael de Estrada on 14 Sept 2011, 10:24 p.m.,
in response to message #37 by Peter Murphy (Livermore)

In fairness to the seller, IIRC you can't change the title of a listing once bidding has begun. You would have to end the listing, which cancels the bids, and start an all new listing.

                        
Re: On the other hand ...
Message #39 Posted by Paul Gaster on 14 Sept 2011, 10:29 p.m.,
in response to message #38 by Michael de Estrada

How about the stock picture? That should be removed if possible. I still think he could do better.

                              
Re: On the other hand ...
Message #40 Posted by Cristian Arezzini on 15 Sept 2011, 3:50 a.m.,
in response to message #39 by Paul Gaster

I agree about removing the picture, but I think that the description is pretty honest now... He states very clearly that the first picture is to be disregarded, and that he sells the Limited Edition. Of course we can't expect him to say "I'm selling a lower quality, made in China copy", but the listing, as it is now, couldn't "fool" anyone... I hope! :)

Cristian

                                    
Re: On the other hand ...
Message #41 Posted by Gerson W. Barbosa on 15 Sept 2011, 6:56 a.m.,
in response to message #40 by Cristian Arezzini

Quote:
Of course we can't expect him to say "I'm selling a lower quality, made in China copy"

Especially because this would not be true altogether. It is an original HP calculator, not a copy.

                                          
Re: On the other hand ...
Message #42 Posted by Cristian Arezzini on 15 Sept 2011, 8:01 a.m.,
in response to message #41 by Gerson W. Barbosa

Quote:

Especially because this would not be true altogether. It is an original HP calculator, not a copy.


I know, I wasn't implying anything negative. I myself bought two of them. It's that the "purists" here wouldn't consider the LE on par with the original 15c, and I believe someone here called it a "copy" a few days ago...

                                                
Re: On the other hand ...
Message #43 Posted by Gerson W. Barbosa on 15 Sept 2011, 1:26 p.m.,
in response to message #42 by Cristian Arezzini

Ciao Cristian,

Well, the word "copy" sounds somewhat belittling to me, considering the effort HP has put into the project to bring it back at a competitive price. In a sense, however, every unit except the first working prototype is a copy.

Gerson.


[ Return to Index | Top of Index ]

Go back to the main exhibit hall