December 2009, SOSFakeFlash has 72 countries where members have been frauded with false capacity flash memory items purchased on eBay. This report covers 2008 through 2009 and five continents are affected.
Can eBay Stop The Sale Of Fake And Counterfeit Memory? A Frauded Buyers Simple Insight To Solving The Problem For Fraudulent eBay Listings.
Why does eBay allow listings for fake memory cards, usb flash drives and mp players? Every year buyers around the world receive false capacity flash memory items. Is there a simple solution to put a stop to it? A buyer thinks so. His solution is amazingly simple. Will eBay do it?
Some facts about the fraud for flash memory on eBay:
The recent Q2 report from SOSFakeFlash reveals 80 eBay member countries affected:
The problem now in it’s ninth year on eBay.
What percentage of eBay listings are for fakes?
SOSFakeFlash – eBay Fraud Flash Memory Upgraded Digitally Altered Capacity. Status Report November 2010. Best eBay Prices For USB Pen sticks, Memory Cards, MP Players. Warning – 95% Of eBay Listings Are For Fake Memory.
A recent eBay victim, renamed ClearFlash revealed his personal insights to SOSFakeFlash based on his own experience of being frauded. Here is what he had to say about his seller(s) and the issue on eBay. It is interesting:
a) Even if a lot of buyers complained, ebay still doesn’t shut down this seller.
b) All together: since ebay doesn’t shut down this seller, the overall result for this fraudulent seller and ebay and paypal still may be positive: First only a maximum 20% notice within 45 days that this USB flash drive is faked / manipulated. Most let a positive feedback. 80% pay, ebay gets its fees and paypal and the seller too.
c) It would be necessary to file a case against ebay and paypal because of supporting fraud _in_not_warning_buyers_ of USB-sticks and memory cards after this since years ongoing frauds to first of all test them with h2testw before leaving a feedback. There are a lot of examples, where ebay warns sellers / buyers in case of problematic items (weapons, autographs, alcohol, tobacco, hard disk drives, drugs and so on).
It should be simple to implement an automatic messaging system or pop up window in case somebody bids or wins a auction in relation with an usb-memory-device that first of all he/she should test it seriously before leaving a feedback. This automated message should contain a link to a place where h2testw can easily be downloaded for free. To test a 256 GB device it takes hours and hours until the test is finished. This should be mentioned. Most buyers just copy “for test” a comparatively small file to the flash drive – and this works of course.
Furthermore ebay should be obliged to email all buyers of such devices as soon as the first fraud was detected, that all buyers till then are strongly advised to test their sticks bought from the same seller. The data-loss is the greatest loss, not the 30 € or so.
Both cases where settled from paypal and I will get my money back – but it took me such an amount of time not only to report the case to ebay and paypal but also to warn other buyers and answer their questions (I can supply a lot of examples) what they should do now that all together it would have been cheaper for me just to do nothing and waste no more time on thinking about the lost money.
A) eBay not shutting a seller down
Some times they do, if there are enough complaints but mostly they do not. It depends a lot in which eBay country the seller is located.
B) Buyers not noticing in the 45 day claim window
This is also true, part of the problem is buyers do not test properly, instead they take the quick route and verify what the operating system reports. The operating system often fooled reports the advertised capacity and as a result buyers leave positive feedback. Positive feedback can not be rescinded or taken back. So yes, eBay, Paypal get to keep most of the fees they charge and the seller his sales.
C) Filing a dispute for fake memory items
According to FrankenFlash project sites, filing a dispute is a problem for a lot of buyers, most have never needed to file one before. That is, until they bought fake flash memory products. Originally frauded buyers had to file with PayPal but now with eBay. eBay has put up even more road blocks to filing then PayPal ever did. It takes a very determined person to file a dispute.
So could eBay fix the problem, well as ClearFlash pointed out:
There are a lot of examples, where ebay warns sellers / buyers in case of problematic items (weapons, autographs, alcohol, tobacco, hard disk drives, drugs and so on).
So eBay already does this for some item categories.
Is it simple to implement an automatic messaging system pop window if somebody bids and buys usb flash drives, memory cards or MP Players on eBay?
Yes, any web programmer will tell you it is possible and not difficult. Since they already do it for other categories, they already have a blueprint on how to program it.
But there is one thing….
If you were buying these items on eBay what would your reaction be to receiving a warning pop up informing you to be sure to test the flash memory capacity upon arrival?
Given the accumulated evidence reported by FrankenFlash project sites and others in the internet about 95% of eBay listings in these categories are for fakes and counterfeits, what would happen to all the sales, the fees, the money these listings generate for eBay, PayPal and seller?
Sure the pop up warnings would educate buyers in a hurry and it would easily clean up the fraudulent listings. It would even allow the real sellers of true capacity flash memory to be seen, once the fraudulent ones were removed. Honest flash memory sellers on eBay are frustrated and having trouble staying in business, too much competition from the fakes.
Yes eBay should be obliged to send out automatic warning messages to all buyers when a fake flash memory seller is caught. Sometimes they do, but mostly they do not. If they do send a warning message it is almost always for an eBay seller registered in Asia. eBay is cautious, it is safer to go after fraudulent sellers in Asia as the sellers are unable to complain back.
So the answer to the original question:
Can eBay Stop The Sale Of Fake And Counterfeit Memory?
It means eBay listings for mp players, memory cards and usb flash drives are going to shrink down to 5% of what they are now.
Do you think eBay can live with that?
It means honest sellers will start to do well and have a decent income selling flash memory on eBay. It means brand name manufacturers will not have to continue threatening eBay with legal action. It means less people who buy flash memory will lose their important information. They might even make eBay the regular purchase source for flash memory products.
The easiest and most cost effective way for eBay to reduce and stop the sale of fake flash memory is by introducing the pop up windows. They do it for other product categories sold on eBay. So why don’t they really live up to the “Buyer Protection” they promote and do the same thing here?
Is it the easy money?
An eBay Member LukeDoctorFlash recently wrote to SOSFakeFlash to share his experience on Buying a fake capacity MP Player on eBay.
I would like to share my experience with a counterfeit MP3 reader.
I ordered it on Ebay, as follows:
Item number: XXXXXXXXXX (confidential)
Ebay seller id: hubert4605
My id: (confidential)
Output from H2testw 1.4:
The media is likely to be defective.
1.8 GByte OK (3930025 sectors)
2.0 GByte DATA LOST (12783703 sectors)
Details:2.0 GByte overwritten (12783616 sectors)
0 KByte slightly changed (< 8 bit/sector, 0 sectors)
43.5 KByte corrupted (87 sectors)
1 MByte aliased memory (2048 sectors)
First error at offset: 0x0000000007f43028
Writing speed: 1.65 MByte/s
Reading speed: 2.0 MByte/s
Item description: 1.8″ LCD Shakable MP3 MP4 FM 4th Gen Player 4GB w/Ebook
First name: Yan
last name: Zou
street: Room 307,
DingXin Building, XiLi
zip code: 518000
phone number: +86 159 1417 1281
Seller email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Seller name: Gary HUBERT
I have received the item directly from Germany, from mr. Hubert, the shipping back address was in any case in China.
I opened a file on Paypal and received an answer to ship the item back with registered mail. Since from Italy this is very expansive (about 8 EUR), I called Paypal explaining my problem and got the authorisation to ship back the item by standard, non registered mail (4 EUR), since the value of the item was less than 25 EUR.
I did that and put on Paypal “Priority mail” in the registration number field.
After a couple of days, I got a full refund from Paypal!.
By the way, I was able to fix the reader partitioning the memory to 2 GB. To do that, I used the “Windows Enabler” utility, that even with a removable disk, allows to delete the original 4GB partition and to create a smaller, safe 2 GB partition.
I hope my experience is useful for other fake MP3 reader buyers.
Fixing Fake Memory:
Those Fake USB Leather Pen Thumb Memory Flash Stick Drives Being Sold On eBay “Made In Japan”. The Fraud Does Not Stop. It Is The Oldest Documented Fake Pen Stick Sold On eBay. Over 1000 Buyers For Just One eBay Seller This Time Registered In France. Lowest Price For 256GB? Only $24.99 AU
Most “USB Leather Pen Thumb Memory Flash Stick Drives” sold on eBay these days originate with eBay sellers in Singapore. They are also sold by many small eBay sellers in the United States.
Recently FlashDriveFacts published this report and recommendation:
Changing Trends In The Sale Of Fake Memory On eBay For USB Flash Drives, Memory Cards And MP Players. SOSFakeFlash Advises Do Not Buy From eBay Sellers With Low FeedBack Scores. Avoid Sellers with Scores Under 300+ To Protect Yourself From Potential Fraud. Learn Why.
The information comes two sites most actively engaged in exposing eBay flash memory fraud. It is hard to keep up with their alerts and warning to protect buyers. Is it doing any good? Read more…
Safe2Star Addressing And Background Information On Fraudulent eBay Flash Memory Seller – The New Don Of eBay Fake Flash Memory In The Orient.
Safe2Star currently holds the record for frauding eBay members. This power seller has surpassed 3ToTrade – Don Of Fake USB Flash Drives In The Orient and according to SOSFakeFlash is now the new Don Of fake memory items being sold on eBay. This power seller is very skilled in deception and is able to avoid eBay. Safe2Star has frauded for over 20 months. This id uses the might of a feedback score of over 50,000+
In interviewing KittyFireFlash at SOSFakeFlash, it was revealed that eBay is afraid of this id. They don’t know why. They sent us amazing detailed information Safe2Star. Negative feedback is starting to increase for Safe2Star and they report the seller is preparing for a hibernation.
Mailing addresses on file for Safe2Star at SOSFakeFlash
eBay Counterfeit Ring Association
eBay Seller Id’s in counterfeit rings with Safe2Star
Internet Articles On Safe2Star
Checking Safe2Star current negative feedback score
Recent Articles On Fighting eBay Flash Memory Fraud Read more…
One of the most difficult problems facing eBay members purchasing fake flash memory is proving the item(s) are false capacity and if branded – Counterfeit. If a buyer claims the item is counterfeit, eBay frequently demands the buyer prove it. SOSFakeFlash received an interesting story from one buyer and how Kingston Technologies was willing to help out. His story is documented here. Read more…
Why Buyers Are Frauded For Kingston DT200 USB Flash Drives Advertised In 32 GB 128 GB 256 GB Capacity? The Sad Story On eBay Flash Memory.
In the winter of 2010, fake Kingston DT200 usb flash drives began appearing on eBay. The number of listings grew and peaked in April 2010. A new site was created to combat the number of listings, FakeFlashSentinel also known as ” Fake Flash Memory – Internet Watchdog”. Instead of individual listings, the “Buy Now” listing offering hundreds of item units appeared on eBay. Read more…
Is eBay Removing Your Negative And Neutral Feedback For A Seller Who Sells Fake MP3 MP4 MP5 Players, USB Flash Drives or Memory Cards?
Recently SOSFakeFlash has received reports from eBay members who left negative and neutral feed back for a seller of fake and false capacity flash memory, that their feedback disappeared! Is this true? Read more…