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Thread: Am I getting nervous or is it a scam?

  1. #1
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    Am I getting nervous or is it a scam?

    Hey guys I really meed your help to evaluate this listing.

    flippa.com/2969661-ebay-store-and-website-2-business-in-1-auction

    Basically, it's an e-commerce website selling hair straighteners. There is also an eBay top seller that comes with it.

    Website: hair-straighteners.biz

    eBay: stores.ebay.com/Hair-Straighteners-Royale-USA?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

    The good
    The eBay top seller has 296 reviews, which of around 20 comes from the last month. I've had access to the eBay account and last 30 days generated around 3300$ in revenue. I spoke with the supplier who gave me his pricing and there is a 50% margins (shipping included) on the products.

    The bad

    The seller claims it's making between 3000 and 3500 in profits per months. Looking at his paypal report I can justify only 1500 of it. His explanation his that it's because a couple of big orders are paid on delivery. I never saw a proof of that. But the supplier told me she was ordering around 3 to 5 products daily which would fill the gap.

    My biggest concern is that the supplier to whom I spoke with has a gmail address, don't have any website and when I call it goes on his cell phone. I asked him the name of his business, he gave it to me with full address. It matches what I've found on the New York business registry and his business his registered as Domestic Business Corporation. But again it's easy to find a business with an address and claim it's yours...

    I don't know if I'm only starting to get nervous but this supplier thing makes me think of a scam...

  2. #2
    Top Contributor Dave McM is a Premium Member
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    It looks from a whois search as if you've bought it, Bruno - is that right? In that case, it looks as if you got the domain OK, at least.

    However, it sounds as if your real concern is about the product supplier. Is there any way you can get someone in the NY area to check them out on your behalf?

  3. #3
    Top Contributor crabfoot is a Premium Member
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    If the Gmail address is also associated with the eBay account, that inspires some confidence. eBay don't allow Gmail addresses any more, so it shows that the email has history.

    I sold a domain to a man who was working as an agent for a large corporation. He was secretive about the process (he was an employee of an agency), he removed his details from the company website (too late, I'd found him), he used a gmail address and a disposable phone to talk to me. Lord only knows what he thought I might do! Whatever, he paid me with no problems via Sedo escrow.

    Sometimes people just want to be private and "remote" from a deal. That can be tricky when Gargyl is watching over the web, and they use gmail. Wish they had an obligation to tell all ...

    Whatever, you get people who just want to make a fast turnover, and don't want to mess around with the internet. They know that their customers are making money from www trade, but they don't want to go into that themselves. That would mean having employees and offices and a business, when they are happy to do a few hours a week and run the company from a cellphone. I'm going to meet one on Sunday, he's a friend. He sells bargains, but that is how he gets a high turnover. If he held out for more money, he wouldn't be able to store the stuff he has coming in. And at 70, he doesn't think about using the internet - he's happy to get along without it.
    Last edited by crabfoot; 25 September 2013 at 3:06 pm.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to crabfoot For This Useful Post:

    Chabrenas (26 September 2013)

  5. #4
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    I was almost burnt on a transaction with Flippa, so I would continue to search the profits and proof - and not take their word for it. Could be legit, but I would double-triple check everything. I see that the auction closed at Flippa, and the highest bid (which did not hit the reserve) was for $1250. They listed profit at $6533 (3 month average). If the profit was correct, I am very surprised the highest bid was just $1250. This was also the seller's first website on Flippa. Looks fishy - IMO. Best wishes.

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    We are in Escrow, I sent the money and the seller sent me the domain name plus the access to eBay account, that's why I can see it made like 3300$ in sales last 30 days.

    I've made some very very weird discrovery that makes me think it is a scam... This f****g supplier with a gmail address. Now he has a website, or at least a domain name. I can reach him at [email address removed]. Looking at who.is this domain name was registered the 20 september 2013, the same day I raised my concern about the gmail address.

    I'm so sick and pissed off about this... I only can't understand where all the eBay sales and reviews are coming?!?!?!?

    I hope this Escrow service is safe for real or else I'm in big trouble.
    Last edited by Kay; 25 September 2013 at 11:16 pm. Reason: Rule 7 violation - email address removed

  7. #6
    aka "meathead1234" Thomas is a Premium Member
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    Without looking at any other information, you can usually figure out pretty quickly if something is a scam by how much they agreed to sell it for. If we assume the monthly revenue is actually $3300 and net on that around $1600 - you should be paying at least $20k for an eBay business like that. If you've paid much less, then I'd bet my house it's a scam.

    I wouldn't say it is a scam just because the supplier suddenly registered a domain after you raised it as an issue. If a client of mine had a concern and I felt it was valid I would also do whatever I could to ensure they felt comfortable (such as registering a domain name).

    If it were me, the first thing I would be doing if buying a business with only one supplier would be finding at least 1 back up supplier - as otherwise, regardless of whether the first supplier is legit or not, you don't have a very safe business.

    Also, with all due respect, you don't sound mature enough to be buying a business in the 5 figure range. Swearing, posting all details on a public forum and generally being in a panic are not conducive to making sound business purchase decisions.

  8. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Thomas For This Useful Post:

    Bryan (26 September 2013), Chabrenas (26 September 2013), Kay (26 September 2013)

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