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Dec 8, 2023 - 5:20:02 AM
92 posts since 12/9/2018

I recently posted a for sale ad on BHO. The first response that I received was thru the Banjo Buyer site. The gentleman asked a simple but reasonable question and also asked me to give him an estimate for the shipping cost to a zip code in Washington. I wasn't able to get a UPS estimate without providing them a city within that zipcode (which he had not given me). At that point, I replied to his e-mail to give him the answer to his question and to ask him for a city in order to get the shipping cost estimate that he had requested. My reply was reported back to me as undeliverable. I tried one more time and got the same response.

Today, I got another message from the same buyer asking another less logical question. I've never sold an instrument on BHO before so I am uncertain about how to proceed. I understand that I can report it to BHO as a scam, but in fairness, I'm reluctant to jump to that conclusion yet.

I am less tech savy than most. Is there some way to confirm my suspicions. Normally, as a BHO member I can access the member profile information for clarification but I don't see that option on the Banjo Buyer site. I would appreciate some more experienced advise.

Dec 8, 2023 - 5:30:43 AM
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101 posts since 4/19/2014

When in doubt, trust your instincts.

I’ve sold a bunch of instruments online and never been burned, and I’m convinced it’s because I’m patient. If I start getting questions that don’t make sense, I just start ignoring the buyer. Another one will come along soon enough.

Dec 8, 2023 - 5:32:47 AM
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Players Union Member

plars

USA

255 posts since 11/26/2007

Ask to talk on the phone before making a deal. You can tell within 2min if a person is legitimate while talking to them. I have done 50ish deals on BHO and they have never been scams. The banjo buyer site is has initiated some of the sales/purchases I have completed and they have been smooth as well. If you’re involved in a high dollar transaction, the other party should be happy to chat with you.

Dec 8, 2023 - 5:33:02 AM

KCJones

USA

2860 posts since 8/30/2012

Even with the small amount of information we have, I bet it's a check overpayment scam.

Once you learn to recognize the signs they become very obvious. Nearly every ad I post on BHO, Facebook, or Craigslist, there's generally a response within 24hrs of posting, and it's always a check overpayment scammer.

If you really want to confirm, just ask them outright. Scammers are looking for easy targets, their method is volume not effort. So if you give any indication you're suspicious of them, they will likely give up and move on to an easier mark. 


FTC link on check scams:
consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-...eck-scams

Edited by - KCJones on 12/08/2023 05:35:14

Dec 8, 2023 - 5:52:05 AM

3519 posts since 12/31/2005

Not trustworthy enough, but why would a scammer use a bad email? The scam requires constant connection. Some that I have seen are bots, which is why the language is so poor. We teased one for awhile at the office, and noticed that the replies came at lightning speed. That told us that it was some bot farm that probably flagged a real person to jump on if the conversation went enough rounds to signal that they had chump. I did catch someone once using the "let's get on the phone, what's your number" line. They can't give you a U.S. area code most of the time, and are not using hard lines that can be traced. Also, simply Google the person by name and town. Very few people have no Internet footprint at all. At a minimum, those companies selling people searches will give you a little bit of a return (to get you to buy more info). But remember that people can spoof accounts and identities as well. So you can't rely on just one technique.

Dec 8, 2023 - 6:13:14 AM

92 posts since 12/9/2018

Thanks everyone for the rapid fire responses. I know that everyone needs to learn the ropes when selling. My goal is simple; don't get caught hanging upside down one one of them. Thanks for sharing.

Dec 8, 2023 - 9:01:25 AM

2331 posts since 5/19/2018

I will add in, the least amount of suspicion, kill the deal.

If they won’t talk on the phone, kill the deal.

If you can’t find one person you know in common, or they don’t know or are familiar with at least one Bluegrass, Irish, Old time musician, kill the deal.

If you live really close to the instrument, and they won’t meet you in a public place, kill the deal.

Payment method has any snags or aspects other than basic transaction, kill the deal.

Shipping is different than payment address, kill the deal.

Been doing deals on the BHO and internet for years, with a little due diligence and Some help from the music angels, I have never been burned.

Dec 8, 2023 - 9:14:36 AM

92 posts since 12/9/2018

Thanks Alvin. Helpful and concise. My potential buyer seems to be a three time loser based on your list. I've been a buyer here for years and I know that sellers have a high wide antenna searching for input from every possible source about potential buyers. Once they're comfortable, the shields unsually come down and most purchases are an opportunity to meet new banjo folks and share experiences.

Dec 8, 2023 - 9:18:11 AM

135 posts since 11/30/2021

Every time I have sold an instrument online, the buyer asked questions which gave me confidence they were a musician, or at least that they were concerned about the condition and playability before buying. Most scammers address the money first. They'll ask if it's still available, and then say they will pay your listed price no questions asked. That's usually a red flag. I always sell locally though, so I don't have to deal with shipping. I'd imagine it's even tougher when shipping across the country, not being able to set up a time and place to meet. It's always good to be cautious. I wish you well!

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