View Full Version : ebay scam alert.

Daniel Grenier
21-Jan-2005, 10:15
A SCAM in the making?

If you are on the market for a 14x17 ULF, be aware of this situation. The first listing recently sold but the second listing, (the SCAM?) just came up days after the first sale.

Same pics, same text, 0 feedback seller, private auction, payment methods not disclosed. Smells like a SCAM. If you're interested, you may want to contact both the seller and the buyer of the first, original listing. They surely know this camera's whereabouts.

The ebay anti-scam police should be made aware of this if, indeed, the camera is with the original buyer.

No way in hell would I bid for this!

(recent listing) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=15248&item=3864445431&rd=1 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=15248&item=3864445431&rd=1)

(current listing) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=627&item=3868966596&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=627&item=3868966596&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW)

paul stimac
21-Jan-2005, 10:47
Looks like a shill (sp?) bid to me. Looks like he wants to get the price a lot higher. I'd definately use a escrow company if I were bidding on it though

Alick Crossley
21-Jan-2005, 10:59
First auction says Houston, Texas. Second says England. Different name too. Yikes.

Ole Tjugen
21-Jan-2005, 11:25
It's a scam. The owner of the camera is informed and has responded on APUG, and eBay is alerted.

luis a de santos
21-Jan-2005, 12:01
The ad on e bay is a scam.The camera was sold and delivered last week.I have nothing to do with this ad,this is clearly a fraud .Luis a desantos.

Tony Karnezis
21-Jan-2005, 12:20

ANOTHER LIKELY SCAM. It's a 4x10 Canham, for sale with photos from Keith's web site (not the actual product for sale), together with a Schneider 180mm lens (which doesn't cover 8x10), and--get this--4x5 film holders! All from someone with no recent photo related transactions or transactions with people buying/selling photography. Watch out for these bastards.

Michael Mutmansky
21-Jan-2005, 12:49

I saw that auction and was going to post something about it being a possible scam, but I decided to ask the lister and see what they responded before I posted it as a scam. I'm waiting response from them right now.

Unfortunately, they have a BIN price, and someone may jump on it before it is exposed as a scam (which I think it probably is). I hope I'm wrong.


Tony Karnezis
21-Jan-2005, 12:58
Michael, I had the same reservations to say something at first, and I don't mean to offend the person who posted the camera if it's all legit (which seems highly unlikely). But I'd much rather offend someone and get them to make us all feel safer with a more legit-looking ad than not say something.

Michael Mutmansky
21-Jan-2005, 13:08

I think you are right. I would rather that the lister be forced to post actual photos of the camera and better information than have a member of the LF community be scammed out of $2900.

The lister in this case has one difference from all the regular scammers; they have a history with substantial feedback. However, none of it is recent enough to see what the auctions were for, so it's not possible to determine if they are legit feedback or not.

The scammers are going to get more sophisticated as time goes on, so people will need to be much more careful with auctions. I think the golden days of ebay LF auctions are past, as the scammers have clearly moved into even the specialized categories like ours.


21-Jan-2005, 14:27
Also, the 4x10 Canham listing does say it has a 4x5 reducing back - hence the holders and lens. However, as has been said, better safe than (very) sorry. You would have though that practically everyone had a digicam point-and-shoot laying around these days...


Tony Karnezis
21-Jan-2005, 15:02
Sorry about the oversight on the 4x5 reducing back. That does change things a bit, but just a bit. I'd still like to see a real photo, but then people can simply use recycled photos as in the case above. Besides that, where are the 4x10 film holders? I'm guessing nobody buys a 4x10 camera to use it only as a 4x5. I think I'm beating a dead horse here.


I know of a shameless (redundant) ebay scammer. He said that there are three typical ways that scammers work on ebay. First, they sell a bunch of cheap crap (dolls, used clothes, baseball cards, etc), get between 50-100 positive ratings, then commit fraud with a couple high priced items, usually at the same time to make it seem legit (ie. so it looks like they're dumping a bunch of their gear after a period of ebay inactivity). Straight forward. Second, they would search for accounts that had lots of positive feedback that were inactive for a while. Then they would hack into the account and use the cover of good feedback to commit fraud. Third and least likely to be done, but most likely to work, is the one that's the hardest to see through. These are the people that actually go through the effort to sell some photo gear (usually cheaper stuff obtained from garage sales) and have recent transactions (ie. ones that are less than a few months old so the victim can see the products that were sold). This bait lures the victim into thinking that the seller deals in photographic items on a regular basis. Then comes the big ticket fraud item.

Hope this helps us all be more careful.

David Richhart
21-Jan-2005, 17:20
It is easily possible for a legitimate seller to be selling photography related items without having a history in that category. They could be selling it for a friend. It might be inherited.

Tony Karnezis
21-Jan-2005, 18:45
I understand your point, David. I've been asked to sell other people's stuff. I recently bought a lens from someone selling it for their friend. Problem was that the seller didn't notice that their friend's description of the item was very inaccurate, requiring it to be returned.

I'm not saying the Canham auction is outright fraud. I've been very careful not to say that. I sincerely hope it's completely legit, but it just looks too suspicious. Examples of fraud like the original posting up above make the rest of us more cautious and, hopefully, make legit sellers more willing to do what it takes to make us feel safe to bid on their items. Whenever I'm curious about dubious auctions and request photos of the actual item for sale, I often get no email back which strengthens my conviction. Other times (as above) I receive identical photos of items that have been auctioned before.

If you look, the Canham auction in question now has more photos. Perhaps in response to requests from curious would-be bidders, or maybe in response to this posting. Who knows. Are the photos for real? Most likely. The point of my original posting was as a word of caution, not as an accusation. Caveat emptor.


Scott Fleming
21-Jan-2005, 18:55
ebay needs to get off their ass and take some responsibility. I use them. I have bought and sold thousands of dollars of equipment through ebay. Although ... I must admit my biggest purchases have been outside ebay off a failed auction ... weeks after the fact.

They need to at least carry the active feedback for sellers back for a year. Maybe two. This would preclude a lot of falsehood. But ebay does not give a good GD. I'm just waiting for some smart guys to put ebay out of biz by offering guaranteed auctions. This will add some percentage of cost to both buyer and seller but it has to come.

Tony Karnezis
21-Jan-2005, 19:04
I re-read my original posting here which looks much stronger and more accusatory than it should have been. The 'bastard' comment was inappropriate, for it refered to the 11x14 camera scammer as well. I was quick to generalize and shouldn't have prematurely lumped the Canham seller into the same category. I simply despise people who do this malicious stuff to us, and I wish they would be punished severely.

Unclench fists and exhale, Tony. Ahhh, much better.

Michael Mutmansky
21-Jan-2005, 20:07

I received an email back from the lister on the Canham auction. She replied that she would post some photos and a bit more information on what is included in the auction, and I believe she has done that.

I don't know if it is legit or not, but it at least looks a bit better than a scam at this point.

Maybe someone from the DFW area wants a 4x10? That would be the way to be sure; go over and pick it up.


Gem Singer
23-Jan-2005, 17:01

Take a look at the NEW camera that Jack Deardorf (yes, THE Jack Deardorf) is making. It is now being shown on the NEW, IMPROVED Midwest website (www.mpex.com). It looks like cherry wood. Perhaps cherry stained mahogany?

By the way, my wife and I took a ride to Ft.Worth this morning. Looked over the 4X10 Canham outfit that the guy was selling on EBay under his wife's name, and snapped it up at the full "buy it now" price. It was too good a deal to pass up. Now, I need to perfect my technique for cutting 8X10 film in half in total darkness and loading it into the 4X10 Canham film holders that I am planning on purchasing in the near future.

tim atherton
23-Jan-2005, 18:30
"Take a look at the NEW camera that Jack Deardorf (yes, THE Jack Deardorf) is making. It is now being shown on the NEW, IMPROVED Midwest website (www.mpex.com). It looks like cherry wood. Perhaps cherry stained mahogany? "

it might be new and improved - and perhaps easier to buy from and prhaps keep up to date - but it's horrible to search through and doesn't seem to list some of the stuff that was on the old site. Also, the search engine limits the number of characters you can use

Sometimes it's just easier to look through a simple list of stuff....

Reminds me of the new View Camera Store website, which is still pretty sucky

Scott Fleming
23-Jan-2005, 20:03
Site sucks. Some links don't work. Most LF items have no pictures.

Must have hired somebody's brother-in-law to do the website.

Donald Hutton
23-Jan-2005, 21:42
"Site sucks."

To some it may. I've seen far worse. Probably much more important is that they are a retailer of excellent standing who deal in a personal manner and I have found there service over time to be absolutely outstanding. Their business appears to be built around relationships with their clientele which I personally find to be a very refreshing change in a world of neverending decline in real customer service and a huge shift to the inherently impersonal nature of eCommerce. I'd actually much rather pick up the phone to Jim than order anything off a website ever. And I can vouch that he will deliver a much more practical description of the pros and cons of most items he sells (because he actually shoots) than any standard manufacturers blurb I've seen on the web.