This is a scam where you purchase pre-release date boxes and cases of unopened sports cards. Be sure you know who you are dealing with when buying unopened material before the release date. With the release of 2007 Topps Heritage near, I am reminded of this, and thought now was a good time to re-post this in hopes that it will find somebody who is unaware of this type of scam before it's too late for them.
About 2 years ago, I was involved in one of these types of scams. I was fortunate enough to get my money back. The following is what happened to me, and many other buyers who were not as fortunate as I.
I was in the market for 2 unopened factory cases of 2005 Topps Heritage baseball cards. Topps set a release date of February 16, 2005. The pre sell auctions began to appear on eBay in mid to late December of 2004. I purchased 2 cases from the same seller, and immediate payment was required through PayPal. So, I paid immediately. A few days after I had made my purchases, the seller began getting negative feedbacks from different buyers about non delivery of presell items of football card boxes. The negatives were for auctions that were over 2 months old, far too late to file for your money back with PayPal considering they only allow 45 days.
So, I contacted the seller about it, and all he told me was that my payment was received and my cases would be shipped ASAP. I didn't hear another word from him. At the end of January 2005, I checked for more negatives, and noticed the seller had been suspended from eBay. I immediately filed for my money back from PayPal, as it was nearing the end of my 45 day time limit to do so. I also sent an email to the seller that I had filed for my money back, and got a nasty response. He assured me that the police would be knocking at my door, and I would be suspended from eBay and PayPal. He tried to make me feel guilty. Needless to say, the police never arrived here, and I am still registered on eBay and PayPal. Anyhow, I got my money back from PayPal, and moved on.
I received an email from another buyer of this sellers, asking me if I had any luck with this seller. He also was getting no contact from the seller, and was a little concerned. It was on February 17, that I received the email from the buyer. One day after the release date. Then on February 23, 2005, he received an email from the seller that the cards were going to be released late, and he should have them by February 26, 2005. They would then be shipped to the buyers, and the buyers should email the seller for a tracking number. Why the buyer should have to ask for a tracking number is beyond me, the seller should just send it to the buyer. Anyway, then later in the day on February 23, 2005 this other buyer received a second email from this seller, stating that if his dealer does not get the cases to him by Monday February 28, 2005 refunds will be issued. The refund never came.
What happened here, is this seller needed some money and fast. I had heard of several different sellers doing this after this happened to me. They pre-sell cases of cards more than 45 days ahead of the release date. They sell them dirt cheap, so they move fast. Then, since the buyer is aware that the cards are not going to be released to the sellers until the release date, this gives the seller enough time that he/she does not have to worry about PayPal chargebacks, as PayPal only allows you 45 days from date of payment to file a claim. By the time the buyer realizes his/her cards are not coming, and no refund will be given it is too late.
The seller then fills the buyer with empty promises and excuses as to why they have not shipped the cards yet. Usual excuse is, "My supplier has not received his shipment yet, therefore I do not have the cards yet to send. As soon as my supplier releases these cards to me, I will send them right away to you. I will advise when the cards are coming." Or, "If we do not receive the cards from our supplier by xx/xx/xxxx, we will issue you a full refund. We are sorry for any inconveniences this may cause you." Something to the effect of that anyhow.
Then, they either dissappear completely, and you never hear from them again. Or a few weeks of empty promises and excuses later, you receive a full refund. I believe what they are doing, is borrowing money from buyers to pay bills. Or, they are borrowing money to order these products early, and then when they get the product they sell it for a much higher rate and send the buyers a refund. Only, they are not letting the buyer in on the secret, that they are actually the sellers interest free bank.
Either way, it is not fair to the buyer in either circumstance. When the buyer orders a product, they obviously expect it to show up at their door. It is very disappointing when it does not, I know first hand, and many of you probably know first hand how that feels.
eBay does not allow pre-sale items, unless they meet the following guidelines ; "eBay permits Pre-sale listings only on a limited basis. The seller must guarantee that the item will be available for shipping within 30 days from the date of purchase (i.e., the day the listing ends or the date the item is purchased from a store front listing). The seller must also clearly indicate within the listing the fact that the item is a pre-sale item with a delivery date that indicates the item will be shipped by the 30th day from the end date of the listing. Additionally, this text must be no less than the default font size of the eBay Sell-Your-Item form. Currently, the default font size is HTML font size 3." Typing in bold is taken right from eBay's policy on pre-sale items.
As of right now, there are 4 different auctions on eBay of pre-sale 2007 Topps Heritage cards. Today is December 24, 2006. This product is not due to be released until mid to late February 2007. That is more than the required 30 days per eBay, and against eBay policy to be listed. They have all been reported, yet eBay allows them to run. So, please be careful when purchasing pre-sale sports cards on eBay. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to do something about it, if the seller doesn't make good on their end of the deal.
Just thought I should add this to the list of scams to watch out for. There are probably many very good sellers of unopened material, but please be sure of who you are dealing with when you are shelling out several hundred dollars way before the release date. Always check the feedback, but that is not always a guarantee either. The seller I got burned by had over 900 positive feedbacks, with only one negative feedback at the time of my purchases. He was also a Power Seller. He went downhill fast.