SOSFakeFlash and victims have wondered for a long time, how do fake flash eBay sellers in the Orient just keep coming back? Why do some of them have such old start dates on eBay? The FrankenFlash Project finally has some very interesting information about that. Also on why eBay is losing sales.
Yes the project has noticed very strange things about the id’s of fake flash eBay sellers in Hong Kong and China. Frequently multiple id’s ship from the exact same address. Envelopes show the same name. Return instructions tend to have different suffixes to these names (so the seller knows which id he used).
We’ve also studied what sellers sell, when they started selling and what they sold. Quiet a few id’s are old, some over three years old. They show almost no activity in buying or selling, then suddenly out of nowhere they leap into action. Usually they start with small items to build a positive score. In some cases it is interesting to see who buys. Want a positive score, fast? Just get other id’s to buy. Nothing is exchanged, the items cheap and the score goes up. Clever is it not?
So how did this happen? When did it begin? Here is a quick sketch. You are welcome to do your own detailed research too.
eBay wanted to get into China. China had it’s own auction sites. eBay tried very hard to break in. Getting nowhere they offered free listing fees and no final auction fees. In reviewing some of the sales, we’ve noticed older id’s paying so little compared to others and this could explain why. They could be under the old rules and privileges. This went on and on. In the end eBay had to buy into the old Chinese auction site, we have been told.
Opportunity knocked. Future profit in the wind. Based on what we have seen over the months, those who traffic in fake flash selling are far from stupid. They are clever. They understand human nature. They are skilled. They are also very patient. As a result hundreds of ids, perhaps thousands were set up on eBay. A little bidding was done, the id’s established, then put to bed. It didn’t cost anything to do this, no listing fees, no final fees.
No one knows just how many “Sleeper id’s” there are. Observing sellers over the months indicates this is not a theory but very much a fact. If one id is clobbered by angry eBayers or suspended, soon, a new id appears to continue selling to sell exactly the same thing. There is always a new rabbit to pull out of the fake flash hat. Sellers of fake mp players, usb flash drives and memory cards prefer to use very public email – for example, hotmail, yahoo and the most favorite of all, gmail. They are careful and know how to cover their tracks.
So if you wonder how they manage to just keep coming back, now you know why.
Will eBay address this? Good question.
They know about it. They don’t do a lot of research on seller names and addresses over there. They don’t check for incomplete information. They have become so automated and rely on it. Remember – it is all about keeping costs down and profits up. People can make connections computer systems can not. In July 2008, eBay said it has 2,000 people on staff to address counterfeiting and fraud : EBay Ordered to Pay $61 Million in Sale of Counterfeit Goods
We don’t believe this. Do you?
Our experience does not support 2,000 people working full time to deal with these problems. In October 2008, they laid off over 1200+ employee’s.
There are many genuine sellers on eBay, why do they have to suffer for the actions of these fake flash sellers? We can tell you that anyone who has been a victim of a fake flash purchase on eBay either deregisters or decreases buying. eBayers also spread the word to others. Instead of recommending eBay or Paypal they do the opposite. So eBay is not likely to grow. Can you imagine just how frustrated people are when they get a fake, try to tell eBay and PayPal, write tons of emails and receive nothing? Not a penny back? Don’t believe us?
See what one eBayer, tedfthis had to say .
129 pieces of correspondance? No solution? No refund? No Apology? It is a very real story. The sellers and item numbers are there. There are many in tedfthis’s shoes. Only eBay and PayPal know for sure just how many eBayers have been made victims – THEY HAVE ALL THE RECORDS. Being automated, they have the databases and we are sure they do back ups. Do you think they are interested in researching their records to 2003?
The odd thing, 2004 was the year eBay entered China. Since 2007 fake flash items are showing up all over the eBay world, you can buy it locally from an eBay seller. It is estimated that at least 50% don’t know they are selling fakes. Just got a cheap deal and thought to make some spare money on eBay. These sellers get the book thrown at them by eBay when buyers complain…not a tap on the wrist. So, exactly WHAT is going on?
SOSFakeFlash would like to warn you to NOT buy any usb flash drives, MP Players or memory cards for sellers based in Hong Kong or China as it is not safe. Unfortuantely as we mentioned, the fraudulent sellers are clever. They are now disguising their origins, parading as sellers in local countries. Only when the item arrives does the buyer discover it was shipped from overseas.
If you want to buy any of these items, please test it immediately upon arrival to make sure you received the advertised capacity. Do not leave postive feedback until you can confirm you got the true capacity. If you find you received a fake, leave negative and prepare to do battle.
You probably won’t have to write 100′s of emails anymore – eBay knows the story is out. eBay Member Reveals Latest Information As eBay Struggles To Address Issue of Fake USB Flash Drives, MP Players and Memory Cards being sold
While eBay is zapping sellers into suspensions – it is likely only to be temporary. By deregistering sellers, don’t have too much joy over it. It is good that people are being spared from a fake flash experience at the moment, but you need to know that in deregistering the id:
1) eBay gets to remove all the listings
2) Buyers can no longer leave a negative
3) Victims often think because the listing information is gone they can not claim
4) The truth about the problem is covered up
In a few months many of these sellers, especially powersellers will be back, their scored cooled off and another round will begin. We’ve seen it before. You can research this site to see such cases. On some occasions a seller will just change his id name (you can check for this fortunately). And for others, if they have an urgency to continue soon, will just pull another id out of their fake flash magic hat – they have plenty of spares and we’ve explained how it seems that came to be.