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Archive 2016 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!
  
 
diablo2112
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


Friends here on FM:

Many of you may be interested to hear about a stolen Nikon 500mm and its tale through eBay, paypal, and right here on FM. If you don't want to read the details, below, then take away this simple message: NEVER use paypal gift! Ever! As paypal merchandise transactions were used both times, below, both my buyer and myself *should* come out ok. Details below.

Note: in the story below, the Nikon 500mm lens was stolen. I become aware of this fact a few days ago.

Here goes...

On July 31, I won an eBay auction for a pristine Nikon 500mm lens, and paid through the eBay system via Paypal. Here's the link.

eBay Nikon 500mm auction

The lens arrived a week later, in great shape. Shortly after, I recieved a large, unexpected medical bill. I placed the lens for sale here on FM. Here's the link to the sale ad. (note, I fully disclosed the eBay purchase, condition, and items I added to make a complete lens).

FM Sale ad

I found a buyer here, a regular FM member who's been super cooperative and nice. I shipped him the lens immediately, and this transaction went flawlessly. I insisted - and he agreed - to pay via paypal merchandise. I do NOT accept gift payments, period.

This week, I had a note from the buyer that the serial number of this lens was on a database of stolen items. Long story short, he contacted the local police, and confirmed this was reported as stolen in mid-July. He opened a paypal claim against my sale. I replied to the claim, stating I agreed with the finding this was stolen. I also opened a claim via paypal against my original eBay seller. My buyer - the fellow FM member - has been in contact with police, and awaiting instructions to return the lens to either the police or the insurance company.

I tried to open a claim on eBay, but eBay said I was outside the 30-day purchase protection window, and there was nothing they could do. Side note: eBay is worthless here, and honestly, has actively helped perpetuate a fraud in this case. They had NO interest in learning that a stolen item was sold via there site. So much for eBay.

Paypal investigated and closed the claim made against me within 24 hours. They sent me a note stating that since the item was stolen, it would not be returned to me. They debitted my account for the purchase price, over $4000. I currently have a negative $4000 balance on my account, which has also been frozen. This part is unfortunate.

I called paypal, and asked why my claim against the eBay seller has also not been resolved. They stated that because my original seller had not replied, they couldn't close the claim until 14 days had passed. I asked why they would resolve one claim and not the other, and they basically said its 2 separate claims. That's silly, IMHO. Because I've been honest and cooperative, I'm left holding the bag, so to speak.

Note: the difference in eBay sale price and my FM ad was due to the extra items I procurred to make this a complete kit (the lens hood, a soft case, etc.). I've offered to my FM buyer to take these items back, as I didn't want him to be out anything as a result of this, he did nothing wrong. That buyer has been exceptionally gracious, he's considering keeping these items and refunding me the difference in price.

So, this is a cautionary tale with a few lessons:

1) eBay is useless here. Unhelpful at best.
2) Paypal has been more helpful. Had I used gift payments at any point, this would have been a mess
2a) despite this, paypal still left me holding the bag, at least temporarily (I hope). It would have been better for them to resolve these claims as a package, but that makes too much sense, I suppose.
3) don't use paypal gift! Ever! Even if you think everything's ok, sometimes sh*t happens.
4) my FM buyer has been super, an unbelievably quality individual. For this, I'm grateful. We've worked together to resolve this.
5) for the last week, this has basically been my hobby. I've spent many hours trying to resolve this. I'll be glad when its done.

Don't use paypal gift!



Oct 15, 2016 at 02:09 PM
Fred Amico
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


Hope that eventually you get this resolved to your satisfaction, and no money is lost.

What amazes me is that almost daily we read stories about the pitfall of using PP gift, and almost every B&S forum out there either outright bans its use, or very strongly cautions against using it. Yet, I still see here, and on other forums, multiple FS listings that want to use the gift option. Some buyers apparently don't do their homework, as some do buy via this method.



Oct 15, 2016 at 09:12 PM
anthonysemone
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


couldn't agree more with you Fred. I pass on sales of items I'm wanting to buy when I read two phrases: a) "net to me"; and b) PP gift (or Friends and Family as it is reported to be called now.)

OP, I sure as hell hope this works out positively for you.. You might want to PM long time member <danpbphoto> for experiences he's had that might assist you. Dan is absolutely good to go. HTH



Oct 15, 2016 at 11:10 PM
DanBrown
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


Fred Amico wrote:
What amazes me is that almost daily we read stories about the pitfall of using PP gift,


The story didn't involve the use of PayPal gift, but your point is well taken.




Oct 16, 2016 at 03:36 AM
Danpbphoto
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


PM responded to.....


Oct 16, 2016 at 01:52 PM
jancohen
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


A bit late to this (I've been ill), but just some additional info to help folks avoid going through what the OP has experienced.

As per the OP and the referenced eBay listing, the lens was purchased on July 31st of this year. Pictures of the lens in the auction reflect the stolen's item serial number;

A lens of the same make/model with that same serial number was listed as stolen on July 10th in photo.net's stolen gear registry.

Given the relatively short span of time between the time the lens was reported stolen and the time the OP purchased the lens, search engines may or may not have had enough time to index the report in question. If the latter was the case, searching for such info might not have been helpful (best to check known stolen item registries when dealing with big ticket items).

I should note that though search engines can be very quick to pick up new information and index it, doing so is really a matter of a number of factors and is site/page dependent.

Also, it took me a few searches to come across the report, using different combinations of the make, model, and/or serial number to locate the report. Those not overly experienced using search engines to find specific information (e.g., like what's being discussed here), might miss what they're looking for if they're not aware of this.

Lastly, I don't have any recommendations to provide in addition to what's already been said here and elsewhere on FM by others (FM does have an outstanding community regarding stuff like this), but I might suggest that if one doesn't already exist, a comprehensive list of links to stolen item registries where one might check for "lost"/stolen items would be a handy addition to any site like FM.

To the OP: good luck with Paypal, I hope you're able to resolve the issue and get your money back.

Added: to others attempting to knowingly sell stolen gear, you can and will be found, if at all possible. Note, I said knowingly. The eBay seller who sold the lens may have gotten it from someone else (or that seller's account may have been compromised).

Additional edit:

A shortlist (there may be more, feel free to make edits) of useful, registry links:

http://stolen911.com/stolen-property/electronics-theft/camera-theft/
http://photo.net/registry/
https://www.facebook.com/StolenCameraFinder
http://www.stolenlostfound.org/report-stolen-camera

Additionally, both of the following use exif info to track images uploaded from the cameras:

http://www.cameratrace.com/
http://www.stolencamerafinder.com/



Oct 16, 2016 at 03:27 PM
anthonysemone
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


Jan, super job, Sir.


Oct 16, 2016 at 04:14 PM
diablo2112
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


Great info, thanks for the post. I did search the serial number prior to my eBay purchase, I didn't find any pre-purchase info that this was stolen. The ebay seller had stellar 700 feedback as well. Thank goodness I paid via PayPal merchandise. I should come out ok.

Another point. I fully disclosed my eBay purchase 2 weeks prior in my FM for sale ad. This may seem a minor point - and its uncommon in sales ads here to reveal prior purchases - but it really made dealing with this easier in both the subsequent PayPal claims. It's crystal clear that the lens sold here was the same one sold on ebay. That's a critical fact to resolve my claim with PayPal. Lesson: transparency and honesty pays off when there's a problem.



Oct 16, 2016 at 04:16 PM
Fred Amico
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


DanBrown wrote:
The story didn't involve the use of PayPal gift, but your point is well taken.



Correct, Dan, just that reading the OP and mention of PP gift made me think of the issue with using it.




Oct 16, 2016 at 05:02 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



TMaG82
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


This is unfortunate to hear and just shows that you never truly know the whereabouts of an item, even one that claims to have original receipt. Only ones from the original buyer and an original receipt.

I hope everything works out for you in the end. Good to hear that everyone is being cooperative so far for the most part (outside of the eBay seller).

eBay tends to be unhelpful either. My wife bought something off eBay recently, sent payment using the Pay Now icon via eBay. The seller apparently hasn't claimed the funds yet and already listed as unpaid. A call to eBay resulted in them telling me my issue was with PayPal, even despite using the Pay Now button on eBay.



Oct 17, 2016 at 07:53 PM
diablo2112
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


Just to update this thread, I'm still waiting on paypal resolution of my claim. The hold-up is getting a response from my ebay seller, which Paypal says they need before they proceed. If they haven't heard from my ebay seller after 10 days, they will then move forward.

My eBay seller has been notified on multiple occasions of my claim; they have still not responded after nearly 4 days, to anyone including myself and paypal. FYI.



Oct 17, 2016 at 10:51 PM
anthonysemone
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


Joe, sorry I didn't ask this earlier: did you use a credit card as the funding source for your purchase? If you did, you can certainly file a charge back through your card company.


Oct 18, 2016 at 02:18 AM
mmurph
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


I agree 150% about filing a credit card claim!

eBay and PayPal quickly closed my claims for patently bogus/ absurd reasons, without even waiting for my response (with a $300 professional appraisal.) I filed a claim with Chase.

They stood behind me and made PayPal reverse their decision. Chase refunded $4,000+ for my purchase.

Moral here: Use Regular PayPal, and use a credit card! Never use direct account transfer (which PayPal tries to "force"/ coerce you to do, to save them money.)

Good luck with this claim.



Oct 20, 2016 at 11:58 PM
diablo2112
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


I paid for this via direct-bank transfer. I usually don't use credit cards, but may just pick one up for these kind of purchases.


Edited on Oct 21, 2016 at 02:46 PM · View previous versions



Oct 21, 2016 at 03:51 AM
kwilliam8
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


I am the buyer that bought the lens from Joe (i.e., diablo2112). Joe has been exceedingly helpful to me, and hopefully I have been the same for him. To be clear about one point, I had provided PayPal (and Joe) the police report information a week ago. This morning, when I was talking to a PayPal claim supervisor, they finally realized that I had already provided that information to PayPal. The PP employee told me that they would give that information to Joe so that he could give it to PP for his claim. There has been some confusion at PayPal about these linked cases, apparently.

Please don't get me wrong here. I have my refund from PayPal, and I believe that Joe will get his refund eventually. I am grateful that I used PayPal and grateful that PayPal will back me (and eventually Joe) on these purchases. I will continue to use regular PayPal moving forward.

Keith W.



Oct 21, 2016 at 04:08 AM
kwilliam8
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


And to clarify one other point (if anyone is still reading this)... In Joe's most recent post above, he says that he didn't have a police report. I just said that I gave Joe the police report information a week ago. There is no contradiction here - both Joe and I are telling the truth. I don't have the police report either (but I do know the report number). I asked the police station for the police report, and they told me that they could not give me the report because the case is still open and I am not the original victim of the theft. Makes sense to me. What I do have, after speaking to the police officer in charge of this case, is the police report case number and verbal confirmation from the officer that the serial number of the lens (that I still have) matches the stolen lens. This is the police report information that I gave Joe and PayPal one week ago (that information included the police report case number, police station, phone numbers, and case officer contact information). When PayPal settled my case last week, I had assumed that PayPal contacted the police station to confirm the information that I had given them was correct.
I have no idea whether they did that. Finally, I am fully cooperating with the police department and will ship the lens back to whomever the police station tells me. I don't think most people really want all these details. But, I thought it was important to clarify that both Joe and I have been fully cooperating with everyone (each other, paypal, and the police). I don't want anyone to question either of our reputations here.

Sincerely, Keith W.



Oct 21, 2016 at 06:03 AM
anthonysemone
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Stolen Nikon 500mm, eBay, Paypal, FM, and a warning!


Keith, if I understand this tale of woe, you're a helluva lot more generous toward PP than I would be under similar circumstances. Glad it's worked out for you. And, Joe, I sure as hell hope you get a similar outcome. Quick question: have either of you kept a tally of the amount of your time you've spent on getting this rectified? And, if so, have you multiplied it by you $hourly rate?



Oct 21, 2016 at 11:53 AM







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