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Devils advocate again. Aren't user names "confidential" when we bid on items on Ebay? How do you know it is people registered on this site? Are we "peeping" in on people? Are we sure the "suspected" memebers of this site are intentionally doing it? Shouldn't this have been a one on one PM with the "suspected" members?

I accidentally ordered something from an illegal auction about 2 years ago (before I knew what it was). I called Ebay and Toys R Us (TRU is where it was shipped from). Ebay told me it was a Toys R Us problem and Toys R Us told me it was an Ebay problem. Say What? Way to look out for the consumer.

You can see the eBay names of the people who leave feedback. Some people like mentioned above use the same name for their BP account as well. There is no way on earth someone with over 1000 sets on their brickfolio and has made numerous posts in this forum bought the item an did not know.

This is really unfortunate because the more we post about this and state that users with 1000+ sets don't care it shows newer users that no one is doing anything about this and you can get away with it as a buyer.

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You can buy it from a third party, such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble marketplace. The source doesn't matter since the auctioneer isn't paying for anything out of pocket, so sky's the limit when it comes to cost/shipping. If the set arrives damaged or in less than mint condition than tell the customer to keep it for their trouble and ship them another one.

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If you're buying any current big, exclusive sets on eBay with Buy It Now for less than retail, including shipping, they're stolen, whether they're drop shipped or not. Even if it's at retail price, the seller is only going to come out about even at best, assuming he got the set at 20-25% off, which is the best you can ever get exclusives. I think we can all agree that makes absolutely no sense. You have to remember there are many other ways to steal sets other than drop shipping. There are countless shoplifting operations around the country that solely steal massive amounts of lego in various ways and sell it on eBay.

I personally think just about all *current* sets for sale on eBay are stolen (with a few exceptions based on time of year and specific sets). I would never buy a currently available set on eBay. Not only is it likely stolen, but I can always legitimately find it cheaper at some other point anyway.

Well, in many ways this works and could help avoid drop shippers. Many of us buy sets from Amazon which has often sales of 20+% off on different sets. If you just wait for the Amazon price to go back up to or close to the regular MSRP price, then sell it for regular (or slightly increased/decreased) price, the seller is not a drop shipper. They are rather acting as the middle man. For example: I buy the SW DS 10188 for $358.00, which is the current price on Amazon. Then, I wait for it to go EOL (haha, joke) or for it to go back up to regular price. Then I sell it on eBay for say, $398 + Free Shipping. Did I steal a credit card or use a false ID? No. Am I still selling below the going retail? Yes.
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I think many people overestimate illegal drop shipping. Many deals are legit. Maybe the items were bought by a Walmart employee on clearance. They would get an in store discount of 10% plus the clearance, which if they worked in the store, might have some inside info to when sales will start. This could apply to Target and TRU employees as well, or any large retail chain that sells LEGO. Where do you think most eBay items come from? Employees of retail stores. Some are stolen no doubt, but if you can consistently get 30-40^% off quality sets, why steal?

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There are countless shoplifting operations around the country that solely steal massive amounts of lego in various ways and sell it on eBay.

How do you know this?

I personally think just about all *current* sets for sale on eBay are stolen (with a few exceptions based on time of year and specific sets).

"About all"? Do you have a reliable source to confirm that?

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I personally think just about all *current* sets for sale on eBay are stolen (with a few exceptions based on time of year and specific sets).

I strongly disagree with this. Most listings I think are legit. Its just dishonest and desperate people who are drop shipping. If this is true, can you give a source that is reliable?
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I strongly disagree with this. Most listings I think are legit. Its just dishonest and desperate people who are drop shipping. If this is true, can you give a source that is reliable? I totally agree with you...

I agree. This statement is completely silly. If most sets for sale on eBay were stolen then they would be doing something about it. There are millions of LEGO auctions on eBay. So even if a tiny fraction aren't legit that is still a lot of auctions but saying just about all are stolen is just silly. People get sets at a discount for many reasons. I could put up 10 sets on eBay right now out of my own collection at a discount much less than retail and with free shipping and still make a profit on them. Sets that are new and still available at retailers today. Did I steal them, no. Did I buy them from a drop shipper, no. So if I list these then I am listing stolen goods or an illegal drop shipper in some of your minds?

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I strongly disagree with this. Most listings I think are legit. Its just dishonest and desperate people who are drop shipping. If this is true, can you give a source that is reliable? I totally agree with you...

I agree. This statement is completely silly. If most sets for sale on eBay were stolen then they would be doing something about it. There are millions of LEGO auctions on eBay. So even if a tiny fraction aren't legit that is still a lot of auctions but saying just about all are stolen is just silly. People get sets at a discount for many reasons. I could put up 10 sets on eBay right now out of my own collection at a discount much less than retail and with free shipping and still make a profit on them. Sets that are new and still available at retailers today. Did I steal them, no. Did I buy them from a drop shipper, no. So if I list these then I am listing stolen goods or an illegal drop shipper in some of your minds?

Nicely said Lego Dog, nicely said...

+1

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Besides the many sets being sold on eBay by retail workers who get deals and employee discounts, you have the economy factor playing a part. There are multitudes of people who must sell sets at a discount to pay bills due to job losses and other issues. One person's loss is another person's gain.

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Well, in many ways this works and could help avoid drop shippers. Many of us buy sets from Amazon which has often sales of 20+% off on different sets. If you just wait for the Amazon price to go back up to or close to the regular MSRP price, then sell it for regular (or slightly increased/decreased) price, the seller is not a drop shipper. They are rather acting as the middle man. For example: I buy the SW DS 10188 for $358.00, which is the current price on Amazon. Then, I wait for it to go EOL (haha, joke) or for it to go back up to regular price. Then I sell it on eBay for say, $398 + Free Shipping. Did I steal a credit card or use a false ID? No. Am I still selling below the going retail? Yes.

If you buy a 10188 for $358 and sell it on eBay or amazon for $399 with free shipping, you will be losing your shirt.

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How do you know this?

I personally think just about all *current* sets for sale on eBay are stolen (with a few exceptions based on time of year and specific sets).

"About all"? Do you have a reliable source to confirm that?

I usually come across 3 or 4 mainstream news stories a year about scumbags stealing lego. For every one that's caught, how many aren't? 10? 100? 1000? You'd be naive to think this isn't a major problem.

Would you like some links?

Most infamous story from last year:

http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/05/sap_legoland/

2nd most infamous:

http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/08/14/toys-r-us-scam-mother-and-son-steal-2-million-in-toys/

And

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-08-13/news/fl-toy-theft-ring-20120810_1_rossman-tamarac-man-big-box

Another:

http://archives.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=234944

An oldie but goodie:

This was one of bricklink's biggest sellers years ago.

http://news.lugnet.com/mediawatch/?******=1968

And here's a random post that came up on my search from some scumbag forum where people apparently talk about how to steal stuff:

http://www.zoklet.net/bbs/showthread.php?t=163986

Why do I think most current lego for sale on eBay is stolen? Because it just doesn't make sense for most of the sets for sale. You basically have to buy at 30% off and sell at retail (if including free shipping) to even break even. So for all these new sets: Chima, tmnt, galaxy squad, hobbit, SW, etc, how are people selling these? None of these have ever generally been available for more than 30% off. There is just no way they're making a profit at all. So why would they be doing this? There's only one answer.

That's my opinion anyway. The only worse than the stolen lego trade on eBay is the stolen gift card trade/scam on eBay.

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indeed you would......but you said all currents sets on ebay with the exeption a few are stolen, which is the farthest thing from the truth that I have ever heard on this site.

You can believe what you want. That would be your opinion, which you're seemingly stating as fact here. If you have some proof that a large percentage of current lego on ebay isn't stolen, do tell. But when people sell stuff for what is most obviously a loss on their part (assuming they bought legitimately), something stinks.

Here's an exercise. Chima set 70006 was available from amazon for $57 a while ago. I don't think it's been cheaper anywhere else ever. Scanning through the completed auctions for that set on eBay, I don't see one auction where, even if bought at this floor of $57, any seller likely made any money. Exchange 70006 with almost any set, and it's the same story. What are all these people doing? Some are auctions, which I suppose I could chalk up to the sellers being idiots and thinking they'd somehow make money (but not likely), but many are buy it nows, where they're clearly losing money with the buy it now price. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck.

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Well, in many ways this works and could help avoid drop shippers. Many of us buy sets from Amazon which has often sales of 20+% off on different sets. If you just wait for the Amazon price to go back up to or close to the regular MSRP price, then sell it for regular (or slightly increased/decreased) price, the seller is not a drop shipper. They are rather acting as the middle man. For example: I buy the SW DS 10188 for $358.00, which is the current price on Amazon. Then, I wait for it to go EOL (haha, joke) or for it to go back up to regular price. Then I sell it on eBay for say, $398 + Free Shipping. Did I steal a credit card or use a false ID? No. Am I still selling below the going retail? Yes.

If you buy a 10188 for $358 and sell it on eBay or amazon for $399 with free shipping, you will be losing your shirt.

I thought the same thing. If I bought 10188 at $358 and sold it on eBay for $398 with free shipping, I'd lose about $33.14. If anyone is able to buy 10188 for $358 and sell it on eBay for $398 and make a profit, please tell me how.

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I'm not aware of any retail business where you can get more than a 20% employee discount. You'd then have to factor in state sales tax, ebay/paypal fees, and shipping/packaging. I think you'd be hard pressed to make a profit on most of the current sets selling on ebay, which leads me to support Pirate's view that many of these sets are likely stolen. Thomas Langenbach, the exec featured in one of the quoted stories, was caught switching barcodes at Target. It sounds like he stole thousands of Lego sets doing this before he was caught. How many people a likely doing the same? I'd bet this type of crime is almost impossible for store security to stop since its practically invisible, and regular everyday people may be tempted to do it given the low probability of being caught and the ability to plead ignorance if they do get questioned. If indeed all these current sets are being sold at prices that, even assuming favorable circumstances, must result in losses for the seller then I smell a rat (I'm not sifting through thousands of auctions to confirm this, I'll take Pirate's word for it). They can't all be from people who got sweetheart deals, failed investors, or the mathematically challenged. The simplest explanation is usually the truth, and in this case its probably an ugly one.

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Well, in many ways this works and could help avoid drop shippers. Many of us buy sets from Amazon which has often sales of 20+% off on different sets. If you just wait for the Amazon price to go back up to or close to the regular MSRP price, then sell it for regular (or slightly increased/decreased) price, the seller is not a drop shipper. They are rather acting as the middle man. For example: I buy the SW DS 10188 for $358.00, which is the current price on Amazon. Then, I wait for it to go EOL (haha, joke) or for it to go back up to regular price. Then I sell it on eBay for say, $398 + Free Shipping. Did I steal a credit card or use a false ID? No. Am I still selling below the going retail? Yes.

If you buy a 10188 for $358 and sell it on eBay or amazon for $399 with free shipping, you will be losing your shirt.

I thought the same thing. If I bought 10188 at $358 and sold it on eBay for $398 with free shipping, I'd lose about $33.14. If anyone is able to buy 10188 for $358 and sell it on eBay for $398 and make a profit, please tell me how.

I am not saying that it works, but I was just using as an example that you can buy stuff on sale from Amazon and then sell it later for profit when the sale ends.
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Also, sometimes sellers sell their stuff for low prices because they need fast cash. If they don't have patience or are willing to go through a litle trouble and sell for a decent price, you would only see decent prices on eBay. Unfortunately, this is not how many people function and they sell once they "need" the money.

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Selling at a loss happens ALLLLLL the time with investments. People sell stuff at a loss all the time to free up cash for a better investment or b/c they are in a hard place. There isn't a single serious investors that has not sold something at a lose at one time or another.

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You can believe what you want. That would be your opinion, which you're seemingly stating as fact here. If you have some proof that a large percentage of current lego on ebay isn't stolen, do tell. But when people sell stuff for what is most obviously a loss on their part (assuming they bought legitimately), something stinks.

Here's an exercise. Chima set 70006 was available from amazon for $57 a while ago. I don't think it's been cheaper anywhere else ever. Scanning through the completed auctions for that set on eBay, I don't see one auction where, even if bought at this floor of $57, any seller likely made any money. Exchange 70006 with almost any set, and it's the same story. What are all these people doing? Some are auctions, which I suppose I could chalk up to the sellers being idiots and thinking they'd somehow make money (but not likely), but many are buy it nows, where they're clearly losing money with the buy it now price. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck.

I can go out today and get the Chima set you mentioned for $46. I can't say how or else I would be giving away my best kept secret. But I can tell you I'm not stealing it or doing anything illegal. Another example is I just used my Amazon points to get 2X Lego Friends Heatlake Stables for less than $8 each. Now it wouldn't be smart of me to turn around and sell them for less than what they retail for but some people might be doing this. I could go sell it for $30 and make a profit. From the outside you would be looking at the auctions saying this guy must have stolen them and that is the only way he could be making a profit. But that wouldn't be true in this case.

Don't get me wrong, I do agree with you that there is corruption on eBay everywhere. I am only trying to state some of my own examples on why you may see sets sell for so cheap on eBay.

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One more post and then I think I will stay out of this thread. I believe that it is up the end user (buyer in this case) to make their own judgment on whether or not they should bid on any auction. All we can do is provide them with info here and it is up to them to make the right call. You are never going to stop people from buying something when you put it in front of them for such a great deal. Someone will buy it. Maybe not a member of this site but someone will buy it. When it comes down to it only LEGO, other retailers and eBay can try to stop this type of activity. Or at least put some effort in to trying to stop it. Also remember a lot of people have life altering events or other occurrences in which they might have to get rid of sets below what they paid to get cash quick. I have had times like this in my life when I had to sell something for less than what I paid for it for a number of reasons. Here are a few examples. Lets say tomorrow I died. What is my wife going to do with the $20k worth of LEGO sets that I have? Sell them. And probably way below what I paid for them or they are worth. Lets say I lose my job and have to move out of my house in to an apartment. What do I do with 460 sets in a short period of time. I sell them. Also remember the ones selling these sets may not be the person with this tragedy or whatever in their life. They may be someone who picked it up from someone who has for next to nothing and now they are reselling it. I could go on and on but you get the point. I know the auctions you are referencing and using common sense we all know this most likely isn't what is going on in these cases but I am just trying to broaden your thinking on the subject.

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