Is this some sort of scam?

What am I missing here…?

This is the very TV I have my eye on, from $950 everywhere else… to $31 on ebay? It looks like the actual TV (reportedly), not like the remote or the box it comes in or something. Several sold per hour, 52 sold as of me writing this. 100% positive feedback (I mean, this could be faked I assume, but the effort seems like a lot for $30).

Brand new TV, original packaging, free shipping…? WTF? I’m firmly in the “too good to be true then it is” camp, but $31 seems like it would be worth trying at least. If it was like $200 or something I’d be like, nope and walk away. But I mean, I have $31 on me so … any reason not to give it a try?

Is this some sort of scame?

It’s not obviously a “pro” account, despite pro levels of sales claimed. All the feedback is for them as a buyer, not as a seller. They have no other items listed. I mean, it’s clearly a scam, but I don’t know what it is beyond taking your money and not giving you a TV.

Maybe a legit buyer’s account that got hacked and is now being used for a selling scam? But you’d think it would be better to use a legit selling account. Maybe a prelude to a phishing attack.

Yep, pretty common scam. In this case it looks like someone who had their account compromised. The scammer will put up a high value item for pennies on the dollar and send – with tracking of course, to fulfill their obligation to Paypal – a worthless bauble. They’ll sucker in as many people as possible and use whatever Paypal releases to them before getting flagged and shut down. One of the tip-offs in this case is the description being in a font that’s common when Asian sites post text in English.

It’s the same font as any non-HTML item description on ebay.

Huh, I don’t use eBay enough to have seen it much, but noted. The rest stands true though – I threw a few bucks at one of those scams on a lark to see what exactly they’d send me. eBay/Paypal to their credit flagged the account and refunded my money within a couple of days, and weeks later I received an envelope from China with a tiny bead in it.

Thanks for the feedback (everyone) - I went ahead and pulled the trigger. I’m wiling to pay $31 to see how this plays out, in case maybe he’s just fencing a bunch of stolen TV’s or something. Hey, you never know. Ebay protection should get me my money back, I think, but we’ll see. I do wish I’d thought to use a pre-paid Visa card or something, but I’d imagine Ebay should provide protection against any attempts made against my account. I’ll let you know if it’s like a box of dead mice or something next week!

You’re weird.

Seconded. I mean, sure, now I’m curious, but you know this is not going to turn out well and the hassle of getting back your $31 would annoy me enough to not do it.

Do let us know, though.

I believe that this may result in more than $31 worth of entertainment for all of us.

I fully endorse spending Scott’s money on this endeavor!

On the off chance the TV actually turns up, you’re just gonna have to drill holes in it.

This is like the Internet version of Let’s Make a Deal… you can keep the $31… OR you can pick what’s behind door no. 1!

This is truly the most confusing variant of the Monty Hall problem.

Except there is no car behind any of the doors.

Sorry guys, I pussied out. I saw that the transaction still hadn’t been accepted by this guy, and he’s up to 68 units sold with “10 or more still available” so I cancelled it while I still could and PayPal immediately refunded the money. Kind of a relief, actually.

Is there any way to contact the other purchasers and tell them it’s a scam?

Not that I know of, but I will report the listing just in case.

I find it interesting that $31 basically worked on you while $200 wouldn’t. For me personally, $31 is laughable for a TV. But if it was say $500 then I could almost see myself going for it, if it was truly the model I wanted and it was $900 elsewhere.

Guess we’re all vulnerable at some level, which is why we have to flag these sellers and call them out.

Yeah, but $200 (or $500 even, honestly) would have been a much greater gamble. If I’d lost $31 I’d shrug and be annoyed, but if I lost $200? $500? Nope, not even going to take a shot. If it had been $750 though, or something reasonably close to the target, I would have assumed (ironically, perhaps) it was more legit and just a warehouse flush with inventory they had to move.

But even then, I’d have doubts, because everywhere I look this thing is getting harder and harder to get. I watched Amazon go from 14 in stock to “buy from these sellers” on this particular TV in a single 12 hour period.


I’m not going to be that guy! I opt out of it. Here is the blank space where that guy would go.