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jonoslack

ebay - a cautionary tale

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Guest guy_mancuso

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Sorry to hear this Jono.

 

I hope this legitimate dealer can work something out, and pay you back in a satisfactory manner.

 

Maybe Guy, or someone else who is close to Leica could send an e-mail to clear your name over there, if needed.

 

They only have to track your several hundred postings to verify you don't deserve to be on any #%&!# list.

 

Cheers,

 

Peter

 

 

Jono does not need to verify himself with Leica, it has already been done through other channels, ME. LOL

 

But i do recommend he send a e-mail and see what can be done.

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Sorry to hear this.

 

You said you paid with PayPal. Well did you use a credit card? Or did you have PP take it out of your checking account.

 

I never let PP take money out of my listed checking account for just this reason, I aways pay for items bought on eBay with a credit card through PayPal. That way if I have a problem I go back to my CC company and let them fight it out with PayPal and or the seller.

 

Next question is just how do you register a lens as stolen with Leica?

I've never seen any reference to it on there website.

 

Was this a fairly new lens? IE a NEW model.

 

Hi Ed

It was the Asph model - serial number around 39 something - around 2002 I think. Of course, the guy had registered his lenses with Leica UK, so that when they found out they just sent it back to him. I'm glad he has it back of course - just rather that I hadn't financed the crooks in between!

 

I did pay with a credit card, and the seller may come good as well, so all is not yet lost!

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Before we villify the seller too much is it not worth remembering that he, like Jono, took it on face value. I agree, there really should be more due dilgience on behalf of retailers on ebay but look at the volume of sales fo some of these powersellers, htey're just working on volume. As we can see from the post above, neither ebay nor paypal do an adequate job of policing, there is so little equity in much of their supposed arbitration.

 

Let's face it, ebay is just a glorified flea market, there is no regulation either from within or without, items are misrepresented, some are over priced and to confuse things some are even under priced. Just because it's on the www it doesn't have any more security (and I would suggest a lot less) than the local flea market.

Hi Gareth

Quite right

When I'm given the go-ahead by the nice policeman I'll contact them (gently) and suggest that as we had a discussion about this and he said he'd give the money back . . . .

 

You'll notice that I certainly haven't posted his name about this - Hopefully he will simply give me back my money - although, of course, this doesn't help me with the cost of the lens hood, and the shipping of the lens back to leica, or the fact that I actually wanted the lens, and don't have it!

 

I haven't condemned him (yet, anyway)

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Jono does not need to verify himself with Leica, it has already been done through other channels, ME. LOL

 

But i do recommend he send a e-mail and see what can be done.

Hi Guy

Well, this is Leica UK and not Solms - but they're a nice bunch, and I'll give them a call in the morning - they did, apparently, say to the police that they were very surprised as I was a good and reliable customer.

 

I think that pointing them to the ebay auction (which has the serial number against it) should at least clear me from the point of view of honesty.

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I had the same experience two years ago, except the police tracked me down from the seller's email account. There is no way the police will pursue you.

 

A dealer in second hand goods is protected from prosecution and he will keep your money unless he chooses to give you a refund.

 

Eventually, the Court awarded me the full price I'd paid after confiscating the thief's funds.

 

One thing you need to do is register the loss within one month with eBay who will refund £115 from their insurance programme.

 

One thing that troubles me is that Leica took the initiative to return the lens to the original owner. What authorises them to do this ? Whilst the lens may have been reported stolen (insurace scam etc) you might be the rightful owner and Leica have jeopordised your position. I'm not suggesting that they should not inform the police or give it to them for safe keeping, but passing on your property to someone on a database listing ain't right.

 

Also, check the credit card terms as suggested above. I would receive a refund from my card supplier.

 

Hope you get the lens back, or a full refund.

 

Rolo

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Guest Olof
Jono,

 

First sympathy.

 

Second -- this isn't right if Leica doesn't maintain a list on the website of stolen serial numbers!

 

In the US we would be able to show a loss on our income tax as a result of this. Dunno what you are able to do. Still no fun,t ho.

 

Its German law, if you buy a stolen thing you NEVER will be the legal owner, Leica had to do it (Buy the way ROLEX does the same, and send stolen watches back to their owners).

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Sadly, ebay and paypal are a breeding ground for fraud and while the great majority of transactions are fine, a proportion will go bad. Buyer or seller, it's a cost to be built into the trading you do.

 

It would be interesting to know if the original owner of the lens is now going to own up to his insurance company that his lens has turned up...

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snip.......................................................................

 

 

One thing that troubles me is that Leica took the initiative to return the lens to the original owner. What authorises them to do this ? Whilst the lens may have been reported stolen (insurace scam etc) you might be the rightful owner and Leica have jeopordised your position. I'm not suggesting that they should not inform the police or give it to them for safe keeping, but passing on your property to someone on a database listing ain't right.

 

............................................................................................snip

 

 

Correct. I am surprised Leica do this in the UK.

 

As an innocent purchaser (which jonoslack is in these circumstances) you acquire good title to the goods. That is not to say that the original owner does not still have good title as well, but it is for a court to decide, not Leica.

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Its German law, if you buy a stolen thing you NEVER will be the legal owner, Leica had to do it (Buy the way ROLEX does the same, and send stolen watches back to their owners).

 

It is, of course, a problem as to which law applies in international commerce. However, that doesn't lessen Leica's obligation to share stolen serial numbers with us all.

 

If they had done that, all this might have been prevented. The "highly regarded" eBay seller might even have done the proper homework before listing the lens. We don't in fact know if the eBay seller owned the lens or was selling it on consignment.

 

My own (mortar and brick) dealer sold a lens for me on eBay, while I still owned it. He held it, he took the money, he shipped it, and he paid me.

 

This deal needs to be made whole by the dealer *who vouched* for the previous owner.

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Jono my friend,

sorry to read of your miss fortune, I'm sure the dealer will do the honorable thing and refund you in full seeing as it came from one of his "trusted sources".

 

A lesson for all who frequent evil-bay, and we're not talking small amounts of money for M equipment, so be careful folks.

 

Sorry again Jono!

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Hi Ed

It was the Asph model - serial number around 39 something - around 2002 I think. Of course, the guy had registered his lenses with Leica UK, so that when they found out they just sent it back to him. I'm glad he has it back of course - just rather that I hadn't financed the crooks in between!

 

I did pay with a credit card, and the seller may come good as well, so all is not yet lost!

 

Who is to say that the original owner didn't sell the lens to the company you bought it from or to the person that sold it to that company.

Just because I register a lens with Leica NJ USA and then decide to sell it to whomever I choose doesn't make the lens stolen if they in turn sell it to someone else and then it get sent in to Leica NJ, for whatever reason.

That is why I asked "Just how do you register a lens or camera with Leica as stolen".

 

This all sounds a little fishy, Not on your part.

And what right does Leica have to just arbitrarily send the lens to someone other then the person that sent it in. If anything they should hold that lens until the case is cleared up. Possession is 9/10 of the law and as far as I can see you were in possession of the lens.

 

Hopefully this will all work out for you.

If I was the company that sold it to you I would be giving the NAME and ADDRESS of the person I bought it from to the police and also looking to reclaim the money I paid that person.

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Hi There

I bought a 35mm 'cron on ebay from a dealer with a rating of over 5000, and 99.99% satisfaction. (it was £700). I spoke to them on the phone - charming and helpful - we even discussed the fact that there was no box, but that based on who they had bought it from it couldn't possibly be stolen.

I sent it to Leica for coding.

It was stolen - the police rang this evening, Leica have sent the lens back to the rightful owner, I'm in their doghouse, I could (but won't) be prosecuted, and I have absolutely NO RIGHT to any money back.

Damn!

 

I'm not quite sure what this has to do with e-bay. The same risk exists with all pre-owned goods, whether bought from brick and mortar or on-line only shops/market places.

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I would assume with that many transactions and the payment through paypal, they are covered un the fairtrade program ebay has.

 

It might not be fun to get things straight, but eventually you will achieve it.

 

Sorry it had to happen. It sucks

 

DBK

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When the police came to my house to take a statement and collect the lens to hand in to the court (not to return it to the original owner, in the UK that is the court's job), I asked a simple question - what is the serial number of the lens that has been stolen ?

 

They said there was too much coincidence that the lens I received from the seller and the report of the theft, that it was obvious a stolen lens I had. I told them there were thousands of lenses made to this specification and each had a unique serial number.

 

I told them they could only take the lens if they gave me the serial number, or agreed to pay for a rental lens in the event that the lens wasn't stolen. They came back with a serial number that wasn't the same as the one I had. They came back again with the right number and agreed to put a claim into court for a share the seized assets of the thief.

 

Leica were right to raise the red flag, but not t make a judgement. My 2p.

 

Rolo

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A dealer in second hand goods is protected from prosecution and he will keep your money unless he chooses to give you a refund.

 

This may depend on the location, but second hand dealers are usually required to see ID and keep records. Failure to do this may result in a loss of trading license.

 

Good to hear that the police contacted the ebay seller. He will have to account for where he got the lens. Unfortunately, there could have been several people in the chain of events after the thief himself.

 

I agree that Leica should not have sent the lens to the person they 'assumed' was the owner. Retaining it and notifying the police would have been the correct course of action.

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One thing that troubles me is that Leica took the initiative to return the lens to the original owner. What authorises them to do this ? Whilst the lens may have been reported stolen (insurace scam etc) you might be the rightful owner and Leica have jeopordised your position. I'm not suggesting that they should not inform the police or give it to them for safe keeping, but passing on your property to someone on a database listing ain't right.

 

 

 

Rolo

 

Quite right Rolo. It is up to the courts, not Leica UK, to decide who is the legal owner of an item, if the buyer bought it in all good faith, as in this case. If Jonathan cannot get his money back from his credit card company as he should, albeit after a large number of letters, phone calls etc, as they go out of their way to make it difficult, he could sue Leica UK. Ebay are the world's worst at evading responsibility and resolving disputes. They felt I was being unreasonable when I asked for my money back from a seller, when he sold me a Minox C, which had a cracked lens and had been immersed in salt water. It was described as "seems in good condition".

 

I also hope that the dealer, who can write it off against tax, will shoulder his responsibilities and give you a full refund, irrespective of the legalities, as a matter of commercial good sense.

 

Leica used to post a register of stolen items - don't they do this any longer? I had my Digilux 4.3 posted on it after it was stolen in Edinburgh in 2001. I was contacted from Belarus and asked if I wanted to sell the charger, case and leads! My name and address was in UV ink on the camera.

 

Wilson

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As far as I see, the logical way is that the seller gives your money back, and then turns toward the guy who sold to him to claim his money back too and so on, back to the thief.

 

The one who cannot keep tracing the origin will lose his money, but that's fair as he did not ask for original invoices etc.

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Possession is 9/10 of the law and as far as I can see you were in possession of the lens.

.

 

Problem is Leica was in possesion of the lens

 

A few years ago a local dealer told me the same type of story regarding Leica service returning stolen items to the original owners. He had a R4 and lenses stolen out of a vehicle in the 1980's and about fifteen years later, these stolen items went in for service and Leica shipped them back to his store, since they were stolen from that store.

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Hi There

I'd like to thank everyone who's responded here - It would be nice to reply personally, but there are so many great replies.

 

One thing I would say, is that I don't see a problem with Leica sending the lens back - it was stolen from their house only 10 days before I bought it, and reported to the police (who have caught the burglar).

 

It's early days, and the dealer may easily come up with the goods (Robert, your logic is unnering!). At the moment I don't have anyone to complain about (except the thief!). As someone else pointed out, this isn't a specific ebay issue - it could be a problem with any secondhand gear.

 

I've spent weeks in the past arguing the toss with paypal, and don't want to do it again!

 

I think the interesting thing about this one is that there really weren't any grounds to be suspicious (except that the lens didn't have a box).

 

Anyway, a BIIIG thank you - and of course I'll keep you posted with further developments

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Guest guy_mancuso

Actually i would think legally Leica would have to return to the orginal owner. If you think about it aside from the nice guy like Jono it would be a blanket decision to do that just return to orginal owner this also keeps Leica or any company out of a legal issue. Really that is not the real issue here. It is a dealer got scammed probably not knowing it or worse never looked it up as stolen and bought from a thief. Now what there should be is something required by law that a dealer, retailer or manufactuer should have to look up stolen goods in a registar that is setup. Problem is there is probably not a common place were this is setup say like interpol ( spelling) or someplace of that nature for the whole general public to list there stolen articles. Leica apparently has theirs and maybe some other manufactuer has one but something governed by the police would be the best way and globally .

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