How NOT to get ripped off buying/selling Pinball & Games

Training instructions, photos and videos to help everyone with learning pinball repair.
MrVid
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:47 pm

How NOT to get ripped off buying/selling Pinball & Games

Postby MrVid » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:58 pm

How NOT to get ripped off buying/selling Pinball, Arcade Games & more

Content provided by Mr Vid.

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Avoiding Professional Con Artists
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These cons are really professionals. They make part or all of their living ripping people just like you & me off.
They use the very roots of human nature to steal from you. Their tools are your weaknesses of:
    1. Greed,
    2. False Beliefs and
    3. CONfidence.
Professionals have NO shame in taking your money. They believe that you are rich, they are poor & they deserve your money at any cost to you.
Now let's begin our story:

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You are selling your Addam's Family pinball machine on Craigslist, local paper or here.
You have it listed for $7,000. It's a high price, but you left a wiggle room in there so you can haggle if needed.
You get a bunch of emails. Tire kickers are offering you $3,500, people wanting a bunch of close up pics, people asking very technical questions, - but then one email stands out to you because they have just 1 simple question "Do you still have the item?" . This looks like the path of least resistance, so you answer this email first, and start the downhill process of you getting scammed.
—————————————————————————————————————————————

    Let's pause the story here to look at what is going on in the background.
    The email you received likely came from Nigeria, Romania or Ireland. This is where many professional "boiler room" scam operations are located.
    These Boiler Rooms send out millions of emails each day.
    They need to be efficient in sorting out likely victims over other people who are going to wise up during the process and waste their time.
    Read the above sentence again.
    You have passed the "likely victim" test. You answered an email that no normal person would ever answer. You answered an email that does not even name the title of the item for sale.
    They asked about "THE ITEM". Not the Adams Family, not pinball table, not even "the game".
    They asked about "THE ITEM"; and you, like an idiot, replied to them.
    The people working in the boiler rooms **could** just put the name of the item into the email, and that, of course, would draw in more responses . But they don't want more responses, they want responses from the dumbest people. And the dumbest people will be the ones who answer someone inquiring about "The Item". See how you passed the test? You have been pre-qualified to be scammed.
    Back to our story.
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So in a few hours the "buyer" has sent you a reply to your email.
He says that he is satisfied with the condition of the item and feels the price is fair at the agreed upon $7000 USD.
He would like to buy it!
He is currently traveling abroad on business, so his agent will pick up the game once the payment clears your bank.
He asks for your name and address to make the Cashier's Check or Money Order out to.
He signs the email with a "God Bless" and his name is "Dr Richard Smith".
You call out to your wife with joy "Honey, the guy is going to buy the game and is not even coming out to look at it!!!
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    ok... ok... let's pause 1 more time.
    At this point, any intelligent person would see so many red flags that they would never reply to that email. But not you, you are blinded by greed. You are going to get top dollar for your game!
    Let's look at why that email is toxic to people of normal intellect:
    1. He says he is satisfied with the condition of the game.
      Did he ever ask you any questions about the game's condition? No.
      Did he ever ask for more pictures? No.
      Would any real person buy something for $7000 and not ask a few questions about its condition? No.
      But you just "figure" the guy is rich and too busy to ask normal questions.
    2. Agreed upon $7,000 USD.
      Have you EVER used the term "United States Dollars" in a normal transaction? No.
      This would tell you that the sender of the email is very unfamiliar with the way US citizens converse about currency.
      "Agreed Upon" Did you guys ever discuss the price? No.
    3. Price is FAIR.
      Your price is high. There are 20,000 TAFs in the world and this guy found you, and your high price, and now wants it without seeing it? You believe this? Really?
    4. He is currently traveling on business.
      If you were traveling, would that be the time you were also shopping for a major purchase like a $7,000 used pinball machine?
      Would that be the ideal time in your life to get Cashier's Checks made up? When you are in another country, far from your bank?
      It's not like he was traveling in your neighborhood and saw it at your garage sale.
      A suspicious person might think it was a convent situational set up to scam you. But not you, you are going to get top dollar for your game!
    5. His "agent" is going to pick up the game.
      His agent? What is he a famous author or a rock star?
      Again, normal Americans would say a shipper will pick up the game, never their agent.
    6. The payment has to clear your bank first.
      Here is the CONfidence part of the con.
      How could it be a scam, if the payment is going to clear your bank first?
      He can't take the money back once the check clears, right?
      He is actually trusting YOU that you won't just keep the money and the machine. He has confidence in you! You like that.
    7. Cashier's Check or Money Order.
      Here is where the False Beliefs part of the scam comes in.
      We all know that Cashier's Checks are "as good as cash", right? (NO!)
      We all know that Money Orders clear the bank in two days, right? (NO!)
      We all know that as soon as your bank statement shows the funds are available, the Check has cleared, right? (NO! How friggin' stupid can you be ????)
      If you only come away from this guide with one idea in your head, make it this one:
      PERSONAL CHECKS, CASHIER'S CHECKS AND MONEY ORDERS ALL TAKE 3-4 WEEKS TO CLEAR YOUR BANK !!!!!
      Got it?
      Your bank is not special.
      The teller at the bank knows nothing about the length of time a check takes to clear. Tellers are minimum wage workers who cash your payroll checks - same as Rocco at the party store.
    8. He is a Doctor and says "God Bless".
      Here is the CONfidence game again.
      He is a Doctor. We like to "trust" doctors. We often trust doctors with our very lives.
      He says "God Bless". He is a religious man. We often feel more trust towards people who are deeply religious. Thou Shall Not Steal, and all that…..
    Back to our story.
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So you have sent this good Doctor your name and address. He has now OVERNIGHTED you the check.
Wow, you are impressed. He must REALLY want your game, because overnighting anything costs real money!
Look at that, instead of $7,000 he made the check out for $8,700 !!!!!
Wow, this guy has so much money, he does not know what he is doing with it. No wonder he is paying top dollar for your game.
You email the Doctor and he emails back gushing with embarrassment and apologies. He got your check amount mixed up with a different one he was sending. Or his bank made out the check & "they" accidentally included the Taxes or Duty. Oh my, it could happen to anyone, right?
He asks that you go ahead and deposit that check. He trusts you.
So just send him back $1,500 and keep the extra $200 for your inconvenience. And he stresses, don't send him the money until your bank says the money has been deposited.
—————————————————————————————————————————————

    Quick break (I promise).
    OK, I've got to ask, have you EVER, even a single time in your life, accidentally overpaid anybody by $1700 ?? No?
    How about by $100? No? It does not really happen, does it?

—————————————————————————————————————————————
You take the check directly to the bank.
The check looks good. Thick paper, red, white & blue logo, the payable amount embossed in a rainbow of ink. This check certainly was not printed on some scammers ink jet printer with all that embossing!
The teller dutifully takes the check and gives you back a deposit ticket.
You ask how long it takes for this check to clear and she says, "Funds are generally available in 48 hours".
Nice. You will know if that check is good in 2 days!
On the 1st day you check your account balance online & the $8,700 is not in your account yet. No problem, 1 more day.
On the 2nd day it's there! The $8,700 is in your account.
You tell your wife, who was suspicious about the whole transaction, that you were right, the check was good.
You send an email to the good Doctor and tell him the check has cleared.
He sends you back an email apologizing that he is embarrassed to tell you, but he has been robbed while traveling! They took his Wallet, Credit Cards, and his Passport. He is in great peril.

He needs you to Western Union that $1500 to him right away so he can pay his hotel bill! Otherwise the police are holding him for non-payment!
You of course, feel really bad that this happened to the Doctor, so you rush out and send him back his overpayment. You feel so bad you send him the entire $1700 overpayment back.
He thanks you for your kind help. He lets you know that his agent will be in contact with you the moment the Doctor can get everything straightened out in his life.

You go out and buy a NIB game with your $7,000.
Four weeks later, your wife calls you at work.
A letter came from the bank.
That check from the Doctor was fake!
You got a chargeback for $8700, a $30 bounced check fee. And you sent him $1700 of your own money.
Hopefully you didn't ship your Addam's Family pin to him already.

Ouch, my good friends. Ouch.

scam-1.jpg
scam-1.jpg (188.66 KiB) Viewed 3018 times
Last edited by MrVid on Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:35 pm, edited 7 times in total.

MrVid
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:47 pm

Re: How NOT to get ripped off

Postby MrVid » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:58 pm

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Personal Checks, Cashier's Checks, Certified Checks & Money Orders
ALL TAKE 3 to 4 WEEKS TO CLEAR YOUR BANK

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    There is a Federal Law that states that banks have to make deposited funds available to you in 48 hours (with a few exceptions).
    That does not mean that the funds have cleared!
    Funds Available ≠ Funds Cleared <------- These are two totally different things!!!!!!
    -
    Banks don't cash checks directly from other banks.
    When you take my check from Bank of America and deposit it in your Chase Bank account, Chase does not get the cash directly from BOA.
    Instead, Chase cashes the check through a Clearing House that takes checks from many different banks. The Clearing House gets the money from BOA and then it is placed in a Chase account.
    So when scammers put odd routing numbers or international numbers onto fake checks, it can take weeks for the depositing bank to finally get the returned check stamped as the dreaded AIFI - Altered Item / Fictitious Item.
    You have probably taken a check from somebody, and then said you would ship the item as soon as the funds clear. Often the person will watch their account like a hawk and email you the moment the money is deducted from their account: "Hey, I just checked and that check cleared at 1pm today. Have you sent my package????".
    Just because the money was deducted by the clearing house, does not mean it has been cleared by the Clearing House to your bank, so don't let people rush you.
Last edited by MrVid on Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MrVid
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:47 pm

Re: How NOT to get ripped off

Postby MrVid » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:59 pm

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PAYPAL
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    Well, if Checks and Money Orders are fraught with dangers, Paypal must be safe right?
    Paypal is good if you are a BUYER, but you should never accept it as a seller.
    Of course if someone rips you off for $50 on a display glass you sold them, you are not going to lose much sleep, but if someone rips you off for $7000, that's a different story.
    Don't accept Paypal for payment on large items.
    There are 1000s of Paypal scams on the net, but the two that probably apply the most to Pinheads is Chargeback and Counterfeit.
    CHARGEBACK - a Chargeback is where someone files a dispute with Paypal.
    If you are a regular Paypal user, you have probably found out that it is simply the flip of a coin as to whether Paypal sides with you or not. Sometimes they ask for evidence, sometimes they don't. Sometimes it takes 2 days and sometimes 2 weeks, but however they rule, the ruling is final. There is no appeals process, no submitting more evidence, it's just a crap shoot.
    IF SOMEONE PAYS ME AS A "GIFT" THEY CAN'T FILE A DISPUTE, RIGHT?
    Ah, here is another False Belief that is exploited by scammers to steal from you.
    Paypal says that if you pay someone by "Gift" there is no disputing of the transaction through Paypal allowed. So people get the idea into their heads that this must the only safe way to accept money from Paypal.
    What Paypal does not tell you is that all the buyer has to do is file a dispute directly with their Credit Card company and then the Credit Card company will chargeback Paypal, who will then Chargeback you, the seller.
    And as a super bonus, although Paypal's dispute period is 45 days (180 days for some items), most Credit Card companies allow chargebacks for 6 months. So even months latter, you can be chargedback from Paypal.
    If you have already removed the money from your Paypal account, Paypal will try to take the chargeback amount from any bank account or credit card you have attached to your Paypal account.
    If they can't get that money from any of those sources, they sell the debt immediately to a collection agency.
    COUNTERFEIT - Another great scam is the buyer files a dispute with Paypal that the item or a substantial part of the item is Counterfeit.
    Under Paypal's rules, Counterfeit items can not be returned to the seller - they must be destroyed by the buyer in order for Paypal to refund the purchase price.
    No one at Paypal is a expert on Pinball authenticity, so they simply request the buyer send photo evidence that the machine indeed has been destroyed, and the money is refunded to the buyer.
    You are out the machine, the shipping costs and the payment at this point.
    ---------------------------------------
    Here is the $2,500 150 year old violin that Paypal made the buyer smash in order to get a refund:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/01 ... 83687.html
Last edited by MrVid on Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MrVid
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:47 pm

Re: How NOT to get ripped off

Postby MrVid » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:01 pm

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MONEY WIRING SCAM
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    Another favorite of the CONfidence part of the game is the Money Wiring Scam.
    Everyone **knows** that if someone wires money to your bank account, they can't take it back. So you are confident that wired money must be a safe transaction.
    But of course, that is not the case.
    Here the scam works by the buyer saying he want's to wire money to you "because it's safer for both of us".
    You give him your bank account number, your address, your bank's address and wait for the money to be wired over.
    Of course the scammer has a different plan:
    1. He overnights a check made out to you, directly to your bank's branch.
    2. The bank receives the check with your name, address and account number on it, and deposits it into your account.
    3. You check your balance and see that a deposit has been made for $7,000
    4. You believe that the money was WIRED, so you are CONfident that the funds are good.
    5. You ship or allow pick up of the item.
    6. 3-4 weeks latter, the bank gives you a Chargeback for $7,000 + a $30 Bounce Check Fee.
    -
    In the USA, most banks charge a fee of $30-50 to accept a wired money transfer. If you see your account received the $7,000 without the transfer fee - be very afraid!
    In Europe the wired money fee is often only .60 cents for the same service, so it is harder to notice such a small fee.


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POSTAL MONEY ORDER SCAM
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    Scammers tend to "know" how things work in real life vs. how everyone "understands" they should work and they exploit that gap in knowledge.
    US Postal Money Orders would seem on the surface to be a great solution:.
    You cash them in at the Post Office, so no Chargeback weeks latter from your own bank account.
    Watermarks on them to prevent forgery that anyone can see for themselves.
    Post Offices are everywhere to cash them.
    Since you are already at the Post Office cashing the check, you can ship the package at the same time.
    -
    The Scammers will say, "Cash that check at the Post Office, and send my package at the same time".
    But the Scammers know something you don't: The Post Office will almost never cash a check for more than $100. Even if you call ahead and ask them to have money on hand to cash a big check, when you get there, the employees will always say they don't have enough funds to cash it.
    So you box up the item, you drive to the Post Office, you pay for parking, you stand in line 25 minutes, you get to the desk expecting to cash the Money Order and the employee says they don't have enough funds on hand. You ask what are you supposed to do, and they tell you to simply deposit it in your own bank account (exactly what you did not want to do).
    Even though there are 30 people in line behind you, a lightbulb turns on in your head and you ask "Hey, can you at least check if it is real?". The employee begrudgingly takes the check back a second time from you and scans the check into the computer. The number comes back as a valid check in the system, so the employee says "Yep, it's real".
    With this reassurance from the employee, you decide to to ship the package as you have already drove, paid for parking and stood in line.
    The next day, you deposit the check at your bank. 3-4 weeks latter it bounces back. WTF? The check, although it was "real", was purchased as a $1 instrument. The scammers reprinted the amount on it, and passed it onto you, knowing you could not cash it on the spot at the Post Office.
    -
    No Postal Money Order is ever issued for more than $1000 - if you get one for a larger amount, it's fake.
    All PMOs have the amount printed twice - if you have one with a single dollar amount, it's fake.
    Although there are about 30 countries that accept PMOs, they are only issued from the USA. So a US PMO sent from Romania is always fake.
    -
    So if you get a Postal Money Order for more than $100, you are likely going to have to deposit it into your bank account, just like any other check. Give it a month to clear before you ship anything.

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PAYPAL LOCAL PICK UP SCAMS
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    A guy calls and after a bit of conversation, he says he will buy your pinball machine!
    He allows you to share his excitement and hey, that was easy, you say to yourself.
    But just before heading over to your place, he calls and says he wants to pay you with Paypal.
    He **really** needs to pay with Paypal because:
    1. He has a lot of money in his Paypal account, and wants to get rid of it, or....
    2. He wants to use his credit card so he gets some points, or....
    3. He needs to use his credit card, and because you are not a merchant, he can only use Paypal to buy from you.
    Hmmmm.....you say to yourself; everything involving Paypal is stupidly risky to an intelligent seller....
    "Hey! Tell you what, I'll even pay you the 3% Paypal fee ! I don't want you to have to be inconvenienced because of me. " he says, interrupting your thought. "In fact, I'll Paypal GIFT the money to you. No fees or anything!", he adds.
    Alright, you reluctantly agree. At least he is buying the game and he has not even seen it yet.
    -
    Your wife is of course skeptical, but you tell her that you are going to take down the guy's driver's license and his license plate; **just in case**.
    -
    Guy shows up, is excited about the game. He pokes at his phone paying you by Paypal.
    You check your phone, you have funds!
    You: Hey guy, can I see your driver's license, you know, just in case?
    Guy: Really??? I don't know if I'm comfortable with that. Well..I guess.... (hands you his license reluctantly ).
    You: Great, you know, can't be too careful...
    Guy: Yep, a lot of crazy people in this world, that's for sure.
    You: And....can you sign this paper stating you picked up the game?
    Guy: Wow, I did not have to provide this much documentation when I bought my house...heh heh....
    The gent leaves and you tell your wife that he was a nice guy.
    -
    Of course a day later, Paypal gives you a charge-back for the entire price of the game.
    You tell them that you have a signed receipt that the guy picked up the game, but it falls on deaf ears - Paypal does not accept non-digital tracking delivery verification.
    You call the cops and they tell you that even though the amount of money is a felony, because of the way it went down, it is a civil matter - you need to take him to court.
    Because he Paypal Gifted the money to you, his address does not appear in your Paypal account statement. Good thing you wrote down his driver's license info.
    You send registered letters to his address and they come back unsigned. You pay $50 for a name lookup and find out that they guy who came and got the game is not the guy at that address! You always though that only college kids had those fake IDs....
    -
    Paypal accounts are Phished all the time.
    People file Paypal charge-backs all the time.
    Professional con men are ten steps ahead of you all the time.
    -
    If you take one thing away from this entire guide:
    DO NOT ACCEPT PAYPAL AS PAYMENT FOR EXPENSIVE ITEMS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

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Internet Escrow Service
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    OK, if there are so many ways to get ripped off, how do you do a remote transaction and NOT get your ass ripped?
    Internet Escrow Service.
    An IES protects the Buyer AND the Seller of a pinball machine.
    1. The Buyer sends payment to the IES and the IES cashes the check for you. They verify it's good money whether it's a Check, Money Order, Credit Card, Wire Transfer..... all the worries about money scams are now the responsibility of the IES. Any currency conversions are handled automatically for overseas sales.
    2. You ship the game to the Buyer.
    3. The Buyer examines the game and makes sure it is exactly what was expected.
    4. The Buyer signs off on the game.
    5. The IES releases the money to the Seller.
    WOW, you say, that's a great service! I bet it costs a fortune ?
    Nope, even on an expensive $7,000 game, the fees are only about $100 to $160 (depending on the IES).
    Think about this, $160 to have a worry free transaction? That's a friggin' bargain!
    -----------------------------------
    Question:
    Is there any way I can get ripped off by an IES?

    Answer:
    Only if you use a fake IES. As a seller, only use 1 of the big 2:
    https://escrow.com
    http://safefunds.com
    NEVER let the buyer talk you into using a different Escrow Service. They will say things like "Hey, I get a discount from fakescrow.com because I use them so much....I'll even pay the fee.", tell them you ONLY use escrow.com and if they balk, you know it was a scam.
    -------------------------------------
    Question:
    Who pays the Escrow fee?

    Answer:
    Either party can pay the fee, or you can split it between you.
    -------------------------------------
    Question:
    I'm really tempted to use a different IES because the fees are so low.....

    Answer:
    Sounds like a bad idea, but check:
    1. Do they have a street mailing address on their web site?
    2. When you look up that address on BBB.org is it a legit Escrow business?
    3. Do they have a toll free number?
    4. When you call that number does somebody instantly answer, or does it go to voicemail?
    5. When you run a WHOIS on their web address, was it recently registered?
    6. Does the WHOIS resolve to their street mailing address?
Last edited by MrVid on Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MrVid
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:47 pm

Re: How NOT to get ripped off

Postby MrVid » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:02 pm

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PROOF OF GAME CONDITION
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    Up until now we have been talking about all out fraud.
    Another way to get ripped off in pinball is game condition.
    A game may be described as "restored", "shopped", "great condition", "Home Use Only" or even "Mint" condition. What do those terms mean to a buyer? NOTHING. None of those terms would let you know the physical conditon of the game.
    Restored? To what level? Could mean anything from working condition to HEP condition.
    Shopped? Does that mean waxed? Cleaned? New balls?
    Home Use Only? A game that has had rusty balls rolling through it for 1 month in somebody's basement might look worse than a well cared for game that has been on route for 20 years.
    Mint? The US Mint does not make pinball games, only coins.
    The only thing that actually matters is the actual condition of the game, and to determine that, you are going to need good pictures.
    ------------------------------------
    Be VERY suspicious of:
    POSTAGE STAMP SIZED PICTURES - I'm writing this in 2015. Cell phones have been taking 2 to 10 megapixel pictures for 10 years. Even those "grandma" phones that flip open and have dedicated dial pads take 5mp pics nowadays. There is no real excuse for not being able to produce detailed, quality pictures.
    If the seller claims they just can't seem to send full size photos, remind them that Flickr, Picasa, Dropbox, Imgur and a hundred other websites offer free photo hosting. Hell, they could post them to here if they wanted to.
    PICTURES TAKEN WITH THE PLAYFIELD GLASS ON - One of the best ways to obscure detail is to take the pictures through the playfield glass. The camera will tend to focus on the glass reflections, ensuring that the playfield itself is out of focus. This could also signal that the seller does not actually own the game, and is just taking pictures of a game he does not have the keys to get into.

MrVid
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:47 pm

Re: How NOT to get ripped off

Postby MrVid » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:07 pm

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Q & A
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    Question:
    Why should I have to pay because someone else gave me a bum check?

    Answer:
    Because they are a bank. Just like the "Overdraft Protection" scam.
    The bank charges you $39 to take your own money out of your own savings account and move it to your own Debit Card account to cover an overdraft.
    A computer does this automatically, it does not require any human intervention.
    It might cost the bank .000001 cents worth of electricity to cover your overdraft.
    If you make 8 purchases that day on your Debit Card, your bank will charge you $312 in fees.
    It is obviously better to NEVER SIGN UP FOR OVERDRAFT PROTECTION.
    If you should run your Debit Card account down to $0 without the bank's "protection", it will simply be refused by the merchant. (and that refusal would alert you to the $0 balance in your account)

    =================================

    Question:
    What happens if you withdraw the cash from the account when the funds are available? Do the banks chase you?

    Answer:
    They turn you over to a collection agency.
    In some states, you would be charged with fraud over $1500, too.

    =================================

    Question:
    Is a certified check the same as any of these?

    Answer:
    A Certified Check just means that the bank has "certified" that the customer has the issued amount in his account.
    A Cashier's Check is a little better, because the bank itself is issuing the check.
    Both kinds of checks are forged by the millions every day; so give 'em both a month to clear - but if offered a choice, take the Cashier's Check.

    =================================

    Question:
    How about the ads themselves, any way you can tell if its a scam or way you can verify the seller?

    Answer:
    1. Search any of their pics using Tineye.com or even Google to see if they stole the pics from the web.
    2. Ask for a close up pic of some detail unlikely to be pictured on Google, like the serial number tag.
    3. Ask about other pins in the pictures. If you recognize the side art of Embryon, ask about other "Classic Bally" they own. If they don't know what other games they own by name, that might be a bad sign....
    4. Go voice and actually speak with them. Are they pinheads? They will talk your ear off. Operator? They will be gruff and answer most of your questions with "Hey, this thing was in a bar for 40 years, not kept in a museum". Nigerian? They will have a heavy accent and there will be long pauses while they look up answers on the web. Widowed? "I don't think I have the key. Don't you have one?"
    If they constantly have excuses for not going voice, it's a scam.
    5. Are they asking to be paid by Western Union? Always a scam.
    6. Pretend that you are traveling to wherever they are, and see if they balk. "Detroit???? I'm going there on business day after tomorrow! Any problem with me stopping by and seeing the game?"
    7. Ask a trick question that will trip up a con man. "Just to be sure this is a genuine Xenon, all the circuit boards are red, right?". A con man will agree with you, a honest person will say "Uhh, I think they are all green....?"
    8. Google their phone number and/or email address.
    9. Always pay using an Escrow service.

MrVid
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:47 pm

Re: How NOT to get ripped off buying Pinball & Games

Postby MrVid » Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:48 pm

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Buying a Pinball Machine or Arcade Video Game
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Here's some tips when putting a Want To Buy (WTB) ad out there or when responding to someone's For Sale ad.
Be careful of the pictures of the machine they provide. Are they dark, blurry or missing certain sections of the machine?
How is the machine described? And is that description open to interpretation by anyone? For example:
    NIB - New in Box - How old is it? Might have battery damage on the MPU electronics board. Is there water damage to the box/pin? Was it ever stored in a non-climate controlled environment (storage shed, garage, outside, trailer, ...) Was it ever out of the box & put back in? Any holes or damage to the box? Get pix.
    HUO - Home Use Only - usually this also means, the Seller had it in the home, but prior to that, who knows where this thing has been.
    Player's Condition / Routed - Probably a more honest description, if stated this way. Get lots of pictures of outside cabinet, playfield, backglass, electronics & underside of playfield. Look for rust or water stains/damage on underside of playfield.
    Complete as Found (aka: non-working) - may not be anything complete about it. get all the same pictures. Ask them to plug in & take pix of it on too.
    Project - non-working. might even be missing parts, often has water/flood damage. still get pix. Ask what's missing. It only takes a few minutes. You'll probably pay more for shipping than the machine itself.

Get pix that all 4 legs actually match (same style/model/color).
Are all the leg bolts there? Are all the backbox-to-lower-cabinet bolts there (if this pin uses them).
Does it come with the working keys for the coin door & also for the backbox? (are they the same key or different) ?

Playfield - Check for the following:
    Large areas of wear spots down to the wood.
    Ball swirl marks everywhere.
    Packing tape over wear areas.
    Ramp tube cracked.
    Mold or dried liquid stains.
    Light strips broken.
    Flipper bats laying loose on playfield.
    Different flipper types.
    Manufacturer flipper bats match the actual pin they supposed to be in.
    Flipper linkage missing on flippers.

Does game power up & show lights?
Is there correct & clean sound?
Are the photos provided original or stolen from another website like someone else's ebay auction. Go check.

When making payments:
If you are paying with a Paypal account, always use a Credit Card with the Chargeback capability. This will allow you to dispute the charges.

Here are organizations' websites that can help if you've been scammed by a Seller.


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