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Watch - ?Miraphone for sale?

Postby harold » Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:06 pm

I've been watching this horn on E-Bay.

My concerns are the method of payment and that the high bidder's ID is hidden.

This looks remarkably similar to the Kalison fiasco of late. I buy a fair number of horns, but something about this one doesn't seem right. I would advise everyone to stay away unless someone out there knows something about the seller.


http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 34327&rd=1
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Postby Joe Baker » Fri Dec 17, 2004 12:34 am

The "no escrow none of the time" clause makes my radar go 'ping'. The only way I would pay this guy is with the money order or cashier's check -- IN PERSON, AT HIS RESIDENCE, as I'm picking up the horn. And I'd try to determine whether it's stolen beforehand. For that matter, did Miraphone seral numbers reach the 11000's as early as the 70's? A doctored serial number would also be something to be on the lookout for.

The guy might very well be on the level; but he's raised plenty of cause to be suspicious.
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Miraphone

Postby Mitch » Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:25 am

I live 15 minutes from the seller and have asked for an opportunity to try the horn. Beside the questionable nature of his auction for this horn is that he also has "for sale" another instrument, the pictures for which are curiously identical (in every possible way) to an instrument for sale by seller "mrstregs." I'll let you know if I get to try the horn...
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Miraphones on eBay

Postby Mitch » Sat Dec 18, 2004 12:13 am

I heard back from seller "mrstregs" after alerting him to an apparent duplicate of his auction. He's in touch with the eBay security folks now, as he has no doubt those are, in fact, the pictures from his auction. He also related a recent experience regarding someone trying to pay through Western Union via what turned out to be a non-existent account; his curiosity was piqued when the person wanted to send him a $2500 Western Union wire transfer for a $700 item, asking, of course, for the difference in cash.

I've not heard back from the dubious seller regarding an opportunity to try the horn (CC)in person. Hmmm...let's see...someone is selling two instruments on eBay, one of which is certainly questionable...(item 3769835640 vs. 3768657081 legit)..but...surely the other one (3769834327)...would be...? :roll:
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Postby Chen » Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:27 pm

I placed a bid on this Miraphone 186-4U CC tuba. The "buy it now" optioin was used, and I was the second highest bidder. The seller then e-mailed me and offered the tuba to me at my bidding price ($1,600 including shipping). I was interested but also alerted by the price and the whole second-chance thing, fearing that it might be a fraud. The guy kept asking me for my name and address saying that so he can proceed, no matter what questions I ask him, or what I write in the e-mail, basically. Then I got this e-mail from "ebay.com" that asked me to pay through western union.
There were a few things in dealing with this person that made me really uncomfortable.

First, on the auction site it says the tuba is Nebraska, but the seller says the horn is actually in Chicago. (Is this designed to prevent a personal trial, so that if someone is actually in Nebraska won't be able to try the horn?)

Second, when I asked this guy (quite a few times, repeatedly, because he would just reply my e-mail and say "please give me your name and address" and nothing else) to make the tuba available for a play-test, but he said that his phone number was not working at the time (what a coincidence). What I had in mind was that I'd call Rex Martin to see if he can arrange for maybe one of his graduate student to play this tuba or even better Rex Martin himself play it, with me paying for his/her time.

Third, when asked why the high bidder did not buy the tuba, he replied that the guy had financial difficulties, his daughter being sick. I thought it was pretty lame for a lie, however if it were true I wish her recover soon.

I remember the last e-mail I sent this guy was saying that I will not buy the tuba unless I can have someone prove it, and thus prove its existence.
I never heard from this guy again.

It was also ofen stressed by him that, to paraphrase, "if you want to buy the tuba you must follow eBay rules," or "if you follow eBay rules there will be no problem." Basically that's the equav. of saying "just pay me the money and shut up." and he also refued to use paypal. I don't know what kind of protection eBay offers, but escrow happen to not offer service in Arizona.

Finally, when Rex Martin and Brian Frederisken were mentioned, the seller replied that he doesn't know them. Ok, I know not every tuba player in Chicago should know the names, but chances are, they do. But of course this is not an absolute need for someone who just play the tuba for fun or does not involve in the tuba world enough, or simply does not play the tuba.

I also checked the seller's eBay rating, apparently he bought a couple of second-hand Play Station games to boost his rating.
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Postby Tubaryan12 » Sun Dec 19, 2004 8:10 pm

same thing happened to me back in November...I called the store that was actually selling the horn and he said that it was a fraud....he offered no second chance on the horn (the horn didnt sell because the reserve wasnt met). I guess there has been a lot of this going on and i suspect its because tubas are high end products and if you can get away with fooling one person its a pretty good payday.
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Similar shady profile of other tuba for sale at same time!

Postby ValiantTuba » Tue Dec 21, 2004 1:09 pm

Thanks to all for contributions about suspects on eBay. I have just received a shady offer to be a Second Chance buyer for item # 3769315310, which was a Mirafone 186 that also included bag, hard case and sheet music. This item was for sale at the same time as the other horn.

The eBay message I have received has been enclosed by two comments, both inviting me to not use eBay, but to reply directly to an eMail address. Of course, I'm not going to do this, because I always want to leverage any protection I might be able to get from eBay.

This seller appeared to be different from the other horn. But, does anyone recognize this eMail address? ... campionii_2005@yahoo.com

"ValiantTuba"
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New to this community, wishing to resurrect old brass skills on a CC tuba, and to be a responsible member of the community.
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Postby cc_tuba_guy » Tue Dec 21, 2004 1:40 pm

I don't, but I think a spamming is in order... :twisted:
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Postby Joe Baker » Tue Dec 21, 2004 2:53 pm

cc_tuba_guy wrote:I don't, but I think a spamming is in order... :twisted:

Your homework, class, is to go to at least one crappy rip-off website and register for as much stuff to be sent to you as possible -- at campionii_2005@yahoo.com.
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Re: Similar shady profile of other tuba for sale at same tim

Postby bruce hamilton » Tue Dec 21, 2004 3:29 pm

[quote="ValiantTuba"]Thanks to all for contributions about suspects on eBay. I have just received a shady offer to be a Second Chance buyer for item # 3769315310, which was a Mirafone 186 that also included bag, hard case and sheet music. This item was for sale at the same time as the other horn.

Avoid those second chance offers like the plague. They typically offer the same item "new" for several hundred dollars less than what a used item would go for. What little bidding I do on ebay is always followed up by these offers, especially when I am not the winning bidder. One guy was overseas and was IM'ing me constantly with instructions on how to wire money. PayPal seems the safest way to do transactions on ebay.

I have bought 2 tubas on ebay with excellent results but I was always a little nervous until I received the horn.
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More follow up

Postby ValiantTuba » Tue Dec 21, 2004 5:03 pm

Just so you all know, I have no evidence that the original eBay transaction was in any way fraudulent. Looks like someone got a nice package deal.

I have heard from eBay, identifying user "usterhh" as a suspect. The "second chance offer" I received was fraudulent, as was obvious by the inserted instruction to bypass eBay!

Thanks for your feedback and attention.

ValiantTuba,
who needs to identify the least expensive way to get into a decent (e.g., Mirafone or above) CC horn.
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