Thursday, September 9, 2010

Anatomy of a Craigslist Rip-Off

These posts were collected in the space of just over one month for the city of Vancouver. For your reference, the city of Vancouver is about 580,000. The surrounding metro area is about 2.1 million people. We have a very affluent community here, so one of these posts is entirely possible. You be the judge if six different people in the space of one month are really trying to unload  D700's for suspiciously similar reasons...(Underlined emphasis is mine)

Date: 2010-09-09, 10:47PM PDT
"I am selling a brand new in box *sealed* Nikon d700 body.
It was bought locally and comes with 2 years extended warranty and original receipt.
I received it as a gift, the reason for sale is I am using pentax no point to switch to nikon."

Date: 2010-09-05, 10:40PM PDT
"Brand new nikon d700 + 24-120mm VR lens kit. This kit sells for over $3600 with taxes at bestbuy. I'm asking for $2700 only. My friend bought t for my as a wedding gift but I do not need dlsr camera. Price for body only: $2350 firm." (Around here, Best Buy does not sell the D700...)

Date: 2010-08-26, 9:35PM PDT
"Received a brand new nikon d700 2 months ago as a birthday present, only used a couple time at home, I don't think I'm able to handle those types of cameras. The camera is in brand new perfect condition. Come with receipt(july 2nd, 2010), and remaining of the manufacture warranty from canada nikon. Also have original box and everything.  Also comes with nikon d700 tutorial dvd set(2 dvd disks)!  Everything for just $2300, please feel free to email me if interested. thanks!"

Date: 2010-08-22, 11:29PM PDT
"Selling my new condition D700 with very few clicks(Shutter is good for 150,000 clicks). Only used 3 times in door. Received as a gift a month ago, LIKE NEW SELDOM USED. It comes with everything in the box and receipt for warranty."

Date: 2010-08-16, 7:25PM PDT
"Hi all, I have a brand new sealed nikon d700 body for sale. It comes with original receipt and 2 years nikon warranty. This was an unwanted gift because I already have a dslr camera. Please email me if interested, thanks."

Date: 2010-08-08, 11:54AM PDT
"Brand new never opened nikon d700 body. Got it as a gift, already have a d300 and I see no point of upgrading. Comes with original receipt, original warranty card for 2 year nikon canada warranty. Priced to sell."

To be honest, I've learned to unconsciously block posts like these because they show up so often here. The only thing that has changed is that used prices for the D700's have come down somewhat in the last quarter of a year. These scam posts used to put up asking prices that were significantly lower than used market value, but since the new and used market has come down, it's been a little harder to spot the glaring scam posts.
  1. Nobody in their right mind gives a D700 as a gift. Vancouver has a lot of affluent people, but they still have more sense than to through around $2,400 camera. (That's the current CDN retail. We have 12% tax on top of that)
  2. It makes more sense to return an unwanted gift with a gift receipt than to Craigslist it.
  3. Anybody proficient enough to use a  D700 will know that Nikon warranties are not transferable.
Like I said, at best one or two of these is legitimate. Aside from the same flimsy excuse for selling, all of these posts have one thing in common - they have to paint a background picture to draw you in. A real post doesn't need to lay it on thick like this. It bears saying again, if it's too good to be true then it is. You can get yourself into real trouble dealing with people selling stolen goods. The one thing these five posts have in common is that they are likely the work of one person, or one group of people. That means that they make a living off of stolen goods. Stay well away.

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