Jump to content
  • 0

Paying "Stupid Tax" - Need Advice

Question

So before Christmas someone sent me a link to a Facebook ad for Harry Potter LEGO on sale. I followed the link and it looked legit, so I took a chance against my better judgement and ordered what I thought was going to be 75954: Hogwarts Great Hall, and 71043: Hogwarts Castle. After not receiving my order (or getting any communication from the vendor) for over a month, I filed a claim with my bank. In the time it took them to process the claim I received the order... shipped directly from China. We all know what that means: bogus bricks... So, I tried to contact the seller, but the website was gone and the phone number disconnected. I fell for their scam (hence the "stupid tax" payment). Since the items were received (even though I proved that they were counterfeit) and the seller can't be contacted, the bank has denied the claim. I've been advised to go to the Better Business Bureau to file a claim with them, but I'm pretty sure that won't do any good.

I think at this point the only way I have to recover any of my money is to try to sell the bogus bricks locally. I will be up-front about what I'm selling as I have no interest in hoodwinking anyone. My question to all of you is this: Would it be better to leave the bricks sealed as they came, take pictures of the sealed product (and laughably awful manuals), and try to sell them that way? Or would it be better to actually build the things to make sure that all of the pieces are there, and then take pictures of the completed "models" and manuals to post? I'm not looking to make any profit, but I would like to try to recover at least some of my money. Any thoughts from the community would be appreciated. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 1

What's wrong with selling it to someone else as long as you are honest and up front with what you are selling? There are some losers out there that actually prefer this knock off crap because it's cheap, and so are they. I'd keep it sealed and list on a local Facebook buy/sell page. Again, be overly descriptive of what these are and only accept cash. I'd try to dump them for 1/3 to 1/2 of what I paid and consider it a lesson learned. Once the sale is complete wash your hands, and anything else that came into contact with that trash thoroughly. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1

Not to be rude or insensitive, but....In life, there are some things you just suck it up and deal with it.  This is an example of one of them.  The OP bought these at a discount looking for some great deal.  The OP got scammed.  It happens.  You get what you pay for.  Move on and don't sell this trash to some other person.  Just my two cents...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1
1 hour ago, Chormeister said:

Thanks for your honest feedback. Just to be clear, I am not looking for sympathy. I realize I made a mistake and I’m dealing with it the best I can. I even made fun of it a bit in the title of the thread. That said, there’s really no reason to kick a person when they’re down, or to lecture people about ethics or “life lessons,” particularly when you have no idea about that person’s ethical standards. When responding to others, it is always my goal to respond with grace and understanding. That’s clearly not everyone’s approach to things. I’m not upset or surprised by your reaction, or other similar responses that I’ve read in this thread. You hate bogus bricks. I get it. I don’t like them either, and I won’t waste my time getting into an argument about what to do, or not do, about it. As I stated in the original post, I’m not trying to do anything dishonest, simply trying to move forward. You can believe that or not, doesn’t matter to me. Another thing that I have learned from this is not to look for help on this forum. Thanks for teaching me lesson #2. And thanks to those who responded more kindly than the post above. I think this will be my last post for a while. Grace and peace, folks.

Chormeister, any way you spin it, you would be reselling a product that is in violation of United States trademark and copyright laws.  In my neck of the woods, the Feds don't like reselling fake anything and people get arrested all the time.  I'm doing you favor by telling you to eat it and move on.  Peace and love...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

you can't recover any money from this bad decision without sacrificing your ethics.  no one is going to say its ok to pass on the bogus bricks to someone else.

if it makes you feel better, i paid $1000 for a used real taj mahal in 2016 and i won't see that money ever again either.

Edited by cladner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Better Business Bureau is just a private company and a bit pointless. The items were not received. Better to make that argument next time, but a bit late now. If you were received an elephant, you did not receive the LEGO you ordered. If you received bogus bricks or worse, a bad quality knockoff, you did not receive the LEGO you ordered. The other thing that concerns me is you mentioning your bank. If you did not use a credit card, use a credit card next time you buy something online. Avoid using bank account funds or paypal balance, if you can. Better and easier protections. Hindsight 20/20...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Build the sets and put them in a glass coffee table or cabinet display as a monument and reminder that if a deal looks too good to be true then it probably is.

File a claim with the FTC and FBI, not that it'll go anywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
6 minutes ago, Ed Mack said:

Build it, burn it and make a YouTube video of it.

Having a toxicity background...I would caution burning anything that can be described as counterfeit toys from China...at least not without the proper PPE

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
14 hours ago, terrymc4677 said:

What's wrong with selling it to someone else as long as you are honest and up front with what you are selling? There are some losers out there that actually prefer this knock off crap because it's cheap, and so are they. I'd keep it sealed and list on a local Facebook buy/sell page. Again, be overly descriptive of what these are and only accept cash. I'd try to dump them for 1/3 to 1/2 of what I paid and consider it a lesson learned. Once the sale is complete wash your hands, and anything else that came into contact with that trash thoroughly. 

so what happens when that person doesn't tell the person they sell them to that they are bogus then a 2024 brickpicker gets burned.

its tantamount to taking a pi$$ in our pool.

i have zero tolerance for this crap bs brickz. 

this is america and you can do what you want.

build it, spoof your friends, but if you sell it, it will end up back in our circulation.  who cares someone else's problem never turns out well at least for the future of collectible lego when there end up being thousands of fakes in circulation and your regular collector can't tell the difference and is unwilling to pay up .

 

Edited by cladner
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
20 hours ago, Chormeister said:

So before Christmas someone sent me a link to a Facebook ad for Harry Potter LEGO on sale. I followed the link and it looked legit, so I took a chance against my better judgement and ordered what I thought was going to be 75954: Hogwarts Great Hall, and 71043: Hogwarts Castle. After not receiving my order (or getting any communication from the vendor) for over a month, I filed a claim with my bank. In the time it took them to process the claim I received the order... shipped directly from China. We all know what that means: bogus bricks... So, I tried to contact the seller, but the website was gone and the phone number disconnected. I fell for their scam (hence the "stupid tax" payment). Since the items were received (even though I proved that they were counterfeit) and the seller can't be contacted, the bank has denied the claim. I've been advised to go to the Better Business Bureau to file a claim with them, but I'm pretty sure that won't do any good.

I think at this point the only way I have to recover any of my money is to try to sell the bogus bricks locally. I will be up-front about what I'm selling as I have no interest in hoodwinking anyone. My question to all of you is this: Would it be better to leave the bricks sealed as they came, take pictures of the sealed product (and laughably awful manuals), and try to sell them that way? Or would it be better to actually build the things to make sure that all of the pieces are there, and then take pictures of the completed "models" and manuals to post? I'm not looking to make any profit, but I would like to try to recover at least some of my money. Any thoughts from the community would be appreciated. Thanks.

Always buy this kind of stuff with a credit card. Period. Credit cards provide better protection then debit cards or bank transfers. I once got ripped off by using a debit card with PayPal. PayPal denied the claim, but I could have gone to my credit card company and gotten it back that way if I had a CC and used it. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 hour ago, cladner said:

so what happens when that person doesn't tell the person they sell them to that they are bogus then a 2024 brickpicker gets burned.

its tantamount to taking a pi$$ in our pool.

i have zero tolerance for this crap bs brickz. 

this is america and you can do what you want.

build it, spoof your friends, but if you sell it, it will end up back in our circulation.  who cares someone else's problem never turns out well at least for the future of collectible lego when there end up being thousands of fakes in circulation and your regular collector can't tell the difference and is unwilling to pay up .

 

I agree with you, but the reality is you can't prevent it, assuming it hasn't happened already. It's the same issue with Magic the Gathering, but collectors and even the general enthusiast inevitably learn to be better to be able to discern the fakes from the real.

You should only try to buy sealed sets through mail, and used sets in person where possible (so you can check before handing over cash). That's really all one can do regarding LEGO.
That, and never put in any amount you're not comfortable losing if you do get scammed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 minutes ago, Ed Mack said:

Not to be rude or insensitive, but....In life, there are some things you just suck it up and deal with it.  This is an example of one of them.  The OP bought these at a discount looking for some great deal.  The OP got scammed.  It happens.  You get what you pay for.  Move on and don't sell this trash to some other person.  Just my two cents...

This sums it up. Very well said Ed.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Don’t feel too bad. I fell for the same scam from the same company. However I was able to get the charges cancelled. The company and invoice I received was a different name and company than the one who charged my card.  I disputed the charges as fraud because I never agreed to do business with the company that charged my card and I just emailed my bank the invoice I had showing company I ordered from.  

I don’t know if the same thing occurred in your circumstances but if it did I would try that route for refund. 

As for the fake bricks, you are probably stuck with them, unless you know someone who wants to buy fake Lego. I would recommend donating to toys for tots or some charity. That way you at least have a tax write off and hopefully some kid who just likes building things/Harry Potter May be able to build a cool set at an affordable price that they might have otherwise not had access too. 

Edited by Porvida
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I got scamed via ebay twice.  Once using bank. the using cc.  Guess which one i got my money back with?

As others have said, i always use cc when making purchase online for that very reason.  Even if i have the funds in the bank. I'd rather pay off a cc card then possibly lose money.

As for selling them, i know ppl who don't care if they are lego, bogus bricks, or whatever.  The key is honesty.  

I typically collect all the megablock from lots i buy and sell them as one big lot around christmas.  It always makes someone happy and my wife is glad another pile of... stuff is gone.  Just food for thought. 

Edited by exracer327
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, Ed Mack said:

Not to be rude or insensitive, but....In life, there are some things you just suck it up and deal with it.  This is an example of one of them.  The OP bought these at a discount looking for some great deal.  The OP got scammed.  It happens.  You get what you pay for.  Move on and don't sell this trash to some other person.  Just my two cents...

Thanks for your honest feedback. Just to be clear, I am not looking for sympathy. I realize I made a mistake and I’m dealing with it the best I can. I even made fun of it a bit in the title of the thread. That said, there’s really no reason to kick a person when they’re down, or to lecture people about ethics or “life lessons,” particularly when you have no idea about that person’s ethical standards. When responding to others, it is always my goal to respond with grace and understanding. That’s clearly not everyone’s approach to things. I’m not upset or surprised by your reaction, or other similar responses that I’ve read in this thread. You hate bogus bricks. I get it. I don’t like them either, and I won’t waste my time getting into an argument about what to do, or not do, about it. As I stated in the original post, I’m not trying to do anything dishonest, simply trying to move forward. You can believe that or not, doesn’t matter to me. Another thing that I have learned from this is not to look for help on this forum. Thanks for teaching me lesson #2. And thanks to those who responded more kindly than the post above. I think this will be my last post for a while. Grace and peace, folks.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

This is just a good reminder to really consider where you're purchasing items.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but only the large retailers get exclusives, so the idea that an unknown store would have the Harry Potter Castle on discount, just doesn't make sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I'm curious are their any posts ( permanent stickies) on the site for new collectors that outline some of the pitfalls many of us fall into, i. e. Fake bricks, paying with CC, etc.

I know when I purchased the fake bricks, I emailed the company and they responded that they were real and that they were liquidating their store and that was the reason they were selling below retail.  I was not yet a member here so I didn't know about the forums to ask for advice. 

Edited by Porvida

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
34 minutes ago, Porvida said:

I'm curious are their any posts ( permanent stickies) on the site for new collectors that outline some of the pitfalls many of us fall into, i. e. Fake bricks, paying with CC, etc.

I know when I purchased the fake bricks, I emailed the company and they responded that they were real and that they were liquidating their store and that was the reason they were selling below retail.  I was not yet a member here so I didn't know about the forums to ask for advice. 

When I got started on BP a few months back...I found it difficult to manuever (still do).  Basically lots of dead-end links...like entering a massive house...and then finding that 90% of the rooms are empty and most everybody just hangs out in 2 or 3 rooms.

There's isn't a "Sticky" for newbs that was obvious to me...so helpful posts eventually get buried in 10+ page threads. The main forum page has all the key categories...but again...lots of empty rooms and occasional skeletons.

 

I've found personal story threads like Phil's especially helpful and comprehensive; but simply put...Lego reselling is simple in theory but also infinitely nuanced and complex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...