The Sad Decline in the Caliber of Craigslist Sellers

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by RJM62, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    #bandozer
    As a buyer, it can be useful and I do occasionally buy things on there, but I try to avoid it and use Amazon.

    As a seller, I absolutely hate eBay (and that's why I normally try to avoid buying things there, too). Their fees are exorbitant, around 10% these days. If a buyer files a dispute, he/she essentially always wins. Great for buyers, but that means you can send an item to a buyer, the buyer say "You said in your ad it was purple, but I wanted a red one. It's not as described," win the dispute, and then you have to pay for their return shipping. Had more or less that exact scenario happen to me a few times.

    The thing is depending on what you're selling (such as used airplane parts with a very small market), it's the only game in town.
     
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  2. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    I've sold a couple of low priced (<$2500) used cars in the last four years. I'm guessing your Kia falls into that category. In both cases I placed the ad on Friday evening and the car was gone by Saturday noon. There's a lot of demand for cash cars and if you see one that's been on CL for a while odds are there's something wrong with either the vehicle or the seller.

    I suspect what you're looking for is pretty rare at this time. If you keep looking and can act pretty much as soon as the ad shows up, you may very well find what you want. I wouldn't say the process will be easy or pleasant.
     
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  3. Gav1n

    Gav1n Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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  4. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's it. I give up.

    I drove all the way to Poughkeepsie today to look at a car that seemed perfect for my needs, and whose seller was very knowledgeable. He described everything about the car, what work was done, when, at what mileage, and why (failure or preventative). His schedule was flexible, and he even offered to follow me home in the car if I bought it.

    The car had just passed inspection last month, he said, but he'd removed the sticker (which is really what you're supposed to do when you sell a car). Everything was in perfect working order, he said.

    The only problem was that he was full of ****. When I showed up with OBD2 scanner in hand, he told me that it would read "Not Ready" because someone in his family had removed the battery yesterday to start another car. So I asked him if he had the report from the last inspection. No, he said. It had been in the glove box, he told me, but his wife had removed it, presumably along with the receipts for all that work he claimed had been done.

    I politely walked away. I've bought cars with codes in the past when I knew what they were and had some idea of the cost to fix them, but I won't buy a car whose codes have been cleared. And unlike the last guy who did this, this guy was smart enough about cars that he had to know that clearing the codes was a no-no. If I were selling a car and someone had removed the battery and inadvertently cleared the system, I'd be out there doing drive cycles day and night until all the OBD2 subsystems were ready again before I'd offer it for sale.

    As I walked away, I muttered the words "I give up." Craigslist is a cesspool. I've driven hundreds of miles to look at cars that were nothing like how they were described, and a few of which were fiddled with in ways that hid potential problems, whether intentionally or unintentionally. And all this for a car that I don't even need.

    I set the GPS for the West Point branch of Navy FCU to have a cup of coffee, use the head, and put the money in the credit union. I'm done with this. It's not just the time, money, and gas. It's just too disheartening. I feel like Diogenes walking around with his lamp looking for an honest man.

    Rich
     
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  5. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Rich, I sympathize with your plight. That said, I think your expectations are ultimately too high. You're dealing with used cars that are on the whole undesirable to the market (and were undesirable when new), even if they have a cult following of loyal enthusiasts today. The guy probably didn't realize that you would see through the BS and didn't realize that you knew enough about cars that you could accept issues if they were known and understood. Not saying that what he was doing was right, but on a cheap car, sorta how things go. Plus you're dealing with NYS and its draconian inspection laws.

    A number of the past few vehicles I've bought have come from used car dealers. I've actually been happy with how it goes, on the whole happier than vehicles I've bought from individuals. Their motivation is getting the cars out of the door, so I've typically been able to negotiate well and easily with them and get out of there. I know there's BS involved, but know how to see through it. Been happy overall. I've actually found that personal owners have typically tried to BS me more than dealers on the whole. Or at least, it's more bipolar. Some sellers are really honest. Most of them seem to know enough and be hiding some of it. Most dealers got these things on trade or at auction and don't know enough to be able to tell you much.
     
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  6. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Actually, I've only looked at one Sportage. The lead in Connecticut is still up in the air because of some drama involving the car itself, my lady friend, and my mechanic's less-than-wonderful appraisal of the pictures the seller sent me. The mechanic has concerns about the rust on the frame, but he can't say for sure without touching the car. It looks like surface rust to me, but the mechanic is taking the most cautious and pessimistic tack -- which is exactly what he should do seeing as how I asked for his advice. And my lady friend, of course, wants nothing short of perfection (which begs the question of why she's still with me, but that's another story).

    The rest of the scam artists were selling different cars. Yesterday's adventure was to look at a Suzuki. Another odd little car; but well-balanced, 4x4, and with a 3,000-pound towing capacity. It would have done the job; and for the price that the seller was asking, I would have considered it with some easily-fixable codes. I've been farting around with cars so long that I could probably build one, so I'm not afraid of having to put some work into it. I've bought cars with known problems before. But I won't lay down money on a mystery.

    It's hard to believe, but I've actually come around to agreeing with you about used-car dealers. They used to be barely a notch above politicians in my dregs hierarchy. But having dealt with so many scam artists on CL, dealers are looking better to me these days.

    Rich
     
  7. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Rich,
    Thank you for validating that I have not been doing it wrong all these years. I gave up trying to buy or sell my cars from strangers myself years ago. It just wasn't worth the hassle.

    About every 10 or 12 years, I take my car to what is considered a "reputable dealer" and negotiate a trade in for a new vehicle. Last car I bought was a dealer's executive car, so it was never titled to anyone and therefore I got a substantial discount and a new car warranty on a two year old car. I do my research and I know what to expect. I might have to visit two or three car lots, but I usually strike a mutually acceptable deal. The few times I wanted a second car (for the beach, or for hunting/fishing), I would also buy that from a reputable dealer and have a qualified mechanic perform and inspection.

    I may have spent a little more money that way, but I have rarely suffered the frustrations that I used to when I tried to deal with individuals. That made it worth it to me.
     
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  8. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I used to think similarly about used car dealers. And to be fair, I've caught a few of them doing some shady, outright disreputable things. On the whole, though, that was some time ago. I think that the rise of internet ratings has made it harder for many to get away with that. Whatever the reasons are, I've been pretty pleased with my used car dealer experiences over the past few years. Bought my E55, Z4, Excursion, and GL550 from used car dealers. I've been happy with the price, experience, and end result from all 4 purchases. Sure, a few little things with all of them, but nothing unexpected.

    That's more or less what I've been finding with my vehicles. As you may know from my "No thinking required" thread, I broke down and bought a new Ram last year, no regrets on any aspect of it. Jesse's experience buying his F-150 brand new was similarly positive.

    The luxury cars we have we've bought used and I expect will continue to do so, just because they depreciate so quickly. For example, my wife's GL550 was about a $80k vehicle new. We bought it for $19k with 94k miles on it, and then they gave me what I thought was a generous trade-in value on my trades. So far we've put another 20k miles on it and while I've had to put some maintenance dollars into it, it's on the whole been a dependable car and still a much better value than new. However for "normal" vehicles, I'm inclined to agree that I've come around to the prospect of buying them new if they're going to be kept for a long time.

    The other thing I've noticed is that I'm less interested in swapping vehicles all the time like I used to be. I'm happy having daily drivers that are dependable, and then I can put my time into wrenching on the Cobra.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  9. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    I sold our flat bed trailer last night, very nice young man, contacted me via Craig's list e-mail, came looked at the trailer, said I'll be right back with cash.
    sale went down just like had he seen it in the news paper.

    People are people, you'll find the stupid ones all over.
     
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  10. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou Final Approach

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    You're not the only one wondering where all the smart people went. The problem is that them Ynterwebs allowed also dumb people to come out of the woodworks and make their presence known to the world. So now we all are suffering.

    At least you're not getting scammed out of your money or something.
    I just sold a motor on fleaBay. I was very nice to mail it to the desperate buyer very fast (I'm a nice guy). He received the motor and messaged me several times that he has a problem. Obviously, the motor turns the wrong way for his application. Which is out of my power. That's how these are manufactured. He admitted he made a mistake and bought the wrong item. Asked for his money back. Before I could figure out a polite way to say no, he filed a claim with fleaBay for defective item. And with PayPal who now says I won't get paid because the funds are held due to fraud investigation.
    So I have no motor and am out a few hundred dollars.

    Now .... still feel bad about dumbazz CraigsListers? :)
    (this should have made you feel better!)
     
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  11. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I will never again do commerce through Ebay or PayPal. They're simply conduits through which thieves can steal your money.
     
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  12. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    I have a hard time identifying a P2P commerce channel short of escrow that isn't a conduit for theives. And even then escrow isn't perfect.
     
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  13. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Unfortunately all to common... Especially when I was trying to sell my recycled auto parts via eBay. Before concluding the sale and shipping, I would also obtain their VIN# to make sure the item was correct and proper for their vehicle. Most often it was. But that still wasn't enough evidence for eBay.

    It is bad enough eBay's fee's are very expensive. But now they won't defend the sellers. And that market place has become a cesspool of bottom price feeders.

    The same customer personalities also appear at my brick/mortar store. I'll share those stories when I see you guys face to face and we're swapping stories over good food and beverage.
     
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  14. chartbundle

    chartbundle Cleared for Takeoff

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    eBay started their slide to hell when they stopped letting Sellers leave negative feeback for Buyers. I still sell there from time to time, but most of the low value stuff I want to sell these days(old tablets, phones, whatever) I just donate somewhere instead, or sometimes sell on Amazon.
     
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  15. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've never had a problem with PayPal. I've been using them to send and receive money for close to 20 years, and as my credit card processor for about 10 years. I run thousands of dollars in charges through them every month and not once has there been a mistake or glitch. I've also been promptly reimbursed the one time I filed a dispute (well, actually two, but I withdrew the first one when I realized it was my mistake) and when my debit card number was stolen and a counterfeit card printed up. So I have no gripes with PayPal except that their merchant fees are a bit high. (But on the other hand, the money is available immediately; so you take the bad with the good.)

    The one dispute, by the way, was against Sears Parts Direct, not an individual. I ordered a part that was listed in stock, but which wasn't, and they ignored three requests to cancel the order. But I wound up making money on that one because once Sears finally did cancel the order, they refunded me after PayPal already had; and PayPal told me to consider it a gift.

    eBay, on the other hand, is only okay if you're a smart-enough buyer to know exactly what you need and to evaluate sellers (which is pretty easy to do with little more than the reviews), but is a horrible place for sellers. I used to auction off a lot of old computers and computer parts on eBay, and managed to maintain a 100 percent positive feedback record. I was also an eBay certified consultant and helped others get started selling. But when eBay stopped letting sellers leave negative feedback on buyers, the system went to ****. I got out of the selling end immediately. I did make an exception about a year ago when I sold a used smartphone, and that auction went down okay; but I haven't sold anything on eBay since.

    I still use them as a buyer, however, and have never been scammed. I've received the occasional broken item, but the sellers always made it right without my having to create a case. I'd also consider bidding on a car, plane, ultralight, or other high-value item using eBay if it were local enough for me to check it out first. But it's definitely a caveat emptor situation.

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  16. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The thing that really bothers me about my recent Craigslist adventures is that I've always been into cars (and machines in general), so I come prepared to thoroughly inspect the vehicle before parting with any money. That's why I've never bought a lemon. When I bought cars with problems, I knew about them and factored them into my offers. But what about young kids looking to buy their first cheap car, or people down on their luck who are looking for a daily driver rather than a spare / winter / hobby car, and who don't have my sophistication and tools? Don't these sellers care at all that they're screwing people who really can't afford it?

    So no, I wasn't scammed. But I easily could have been, and people will be when these sellers find buyers stupid enough to buy their problem vehicles.

    My friend also commented that I show up for these meetings in a car with Veteran plates, so the sellers have no qualms about screwing a veteran, either. Not that my service was exactly Medal of Honor worthy, but the sellers don't know that.

    When I sell on Craigslist, my listings are so thorough and honest that people have thanked me for being so up-front about the condition of whatever it was I was selling. One lady who was down on her luck actually hugged me when I sold her a decently-running car at a low price because I was running out of driveway space. I always shrugged. I didn't think I was all that exceptional as a seller. Now I know that I was.

    I also was disappointed to find so many scam artists up here in the boonies. Down in The City, I almost always met honest people. I thought they'd be even more so up here. Another myth shattered. Sigh.

    Rich
     
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  17. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    #bandozer
    And this is exactly why I avoid selling on eBay whenever possible. However if he admitted his fault and you have that documented that should help your case. Chances are they'll side with the buyer and make you pay for return shipping.

    Michael, while I'll agree that eBay has its faults, I was thinking about the fact that NOBODY has successfully scammed me since the advent of PayPal and paying using it. Yes, I've had people try - they've sold me defective items and/or counterfeit items, items not as described, etc. However you end up having essentially three layers of protection if you use PayPal properly, which is to say always ALWAYS pay using your credit card.

    1) eBay technically has a buyer's protection program, which generally sides with the buyer.
    2) If that fails, PayPal has its own similar program. PayPal and eBay are no longer the same company.
    3) Your credit card has its own fraud protection program. American Express has been very, very good.

    As an example, when my beautiful bride (to be at the time) and I were planning our wedding, she ordered a wedding dress off of eBay. When it showed up, it was suffed in an "if it fits it ships" padded envelope. Yeah, a wedding dress. It came out awful, and even if it had been properly packaged, the quality was horrific. She took pictures, filed claims.

    eBay/PayPal (I forget which role each one had what role) was going to give a 65% refund. Then she called AmEx and 100% refund, instantly. No need to return the item.

    You hit the nail on the head there. At that point, they were saying "It doesn't matter how bad of a buyer this person is and how much they're trying to screw the vendors, we will always side with them."
     
  18. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    2 years ago I sold a set of used studded tires on Craigslist. First guy to contact me came to look at them and bought them.

    I have no idea why someone needs studded tires in the desert.....
     
  19. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Those of you who haven’t been scammed through EBay or PayPal should add a word to your protestations:”yet”. The hackers who got to me went through both, and my password protection was esoteric to say the least.

    What really got me steamed was the reaction of these companies. I responded the moment I saw the fraudulent purchase. Ebay hadn’t the means to even report identity theft. PayPal accused me of lying about it. Your time will come, you can bank on it.

    I’m still getting extortion Emails over this.
     
  20. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Amazon is driving me nutz now, getting e-mails thanking me for reviewing items I have not. I have tried several times to delete the account... not able to do that.
     
  21. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Old Subaru Outback.
     
  22. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've sold old tires on CL. They usually go pretty quickly if they have good pictures.

    That's on my list, too. I have one lady who's been holding out for three weeks on a very nicely-maintained one because she thinks the car is worth about $400.00 more than it really is. I sent her a detailed explanation of why it wasn't, along with my advice that she try to get her price for another few weeks, but call me back when she doesn't. If I haven't found something else by then, I'll buy it at my last offer price. It's still listed last time I checked.

    I also have another lead on an old Sportage. It's being sold by a mechanic and small-time dealer in PA. It has 135,000 miles and supposedly is a "Southern car." Ten-to-one it was owned by a snowbird who didn't change the timing belt, and it snapped in PA. I may or may not make the trip. I haven't decided yet. I'll call the dealer Tuesday if I'm still leaning that way. A rust-free first-gen Sportage would be a nice find. But I'd still want to talk to the guy first.

    Rich
     
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  23. bcool

    bcool Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Where would you recommend selling old avionics? I just replaced my vacuum AI & King HSI with Garmin G5s. I was going to go the eBay route but after all the comments here I'm looking for other options.
     
  24. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The classified section here and on other aviation-related sites would be good starts. Or maybe Amazon.

    Don't get me wrong: I've never been scammed by an eBay buyer. But many, many other sellers have, and eBay will always take the buyer's side in a dispute. Also, you can slightly reduce the chances of getting scammed by setting standards in the "Buyer Requirements* page of your account. But you're still taking a chance.

    Another option would be an eBay classified ad, without a "Buy Now" button. Sales set up that way are settled outside of eBay, so you get to talk to the potential buyer first. You're just paying for the ad, and nothing more.

    Rich
     
  25. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The only thing I can think of is that the fraudulent purchase was made through your computer using some sort of remote-access malware. That would make it look like you'd made the purchase. I haven't had any experience with eBay's fraud department, but my experience with PayPal's has been superb.

    On the other hand, I'm a long-time (almost 20-year) business customer who processes thousand of dollars in plastic every month, pays hundreds of dollars in merchant fees every month for the privilege, and has NEVER had a complaint, dispute, or chargeback filed against me. That makes me an attractive customer: I generate a modest, but reliable revenue stream, and do so with no drama. So it would be smart business for PayPal to resolve my rare disputes quickly. There's no shortage of merchant service providers who'd be happy to take my money. Maybe it's different for personal accounts.

    Rich
     
  26. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    What have you tried? Granted they don't make it as easy as you might like, but I do see a "close my account" option that you need to dig a little to find.
     
  27. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds like you've been hacked. I'd give them a call.

    Rich
     
  28. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    did, requested they delete the account, Amazon would't.
     
  29. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    How many additional miles have you driven in your 'quest for the perfect rat' since you turned down the 'overpriced'' outback ?
     
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  30. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Amazon took their dear sweet time closing mine. Took a month I think.
     
  31. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    I'll buy off E-Bay, but I won't sell
     
  32. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Cleared for Takeoff

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    You're driving hundreds of miles to look at, what, $2000 cars? I really must question your sanity.
     
  33. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Probably about 500 to 600.

    Rich
     
  34. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's the thrill of the hunt.

    Rich
     
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  35. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Did Craigslist ever allow for any calibers? I thought weapons were prohibited?
     
  36. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    here is their response

    Hello,

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    International customers: 1-206-266-2992

    Please ask to be transferred to the Account Change department for help.

    Once you regain access to your account, you will need to:

    -- Re-enter your complete payment method information the next time that you place an order.

    -- Re-enter any addresses that you recently added to your account.

    -- Check your subscriptions, if you have any. You may need to update them.

    We do not know how this person got your sign-in information because that happened away from our websites. Some techniques include using malicious software to capture a user's keystrokes and sending fraudulent emails that request account information (known as "phishing").

    To learn more about safe online shopping, visit the "Security & Privacy" section of our Help pages.

    Sincerely,

    Account Specialist

    Amazon.com

    IOWs they did not delete my account.
     
  37. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Spun Out
    In that case, what I would do would be to sign on to the account, change the payment info to something bogus and change the password to about a 20 character string of random digits.
    If they don't accept bogus payment info, then just don't enter any.
     
  38. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    asicer
    Then this "sad decline" that you speak of should make it even more thrilling.
     
    Groundpounder and RJM62 like this.
  39. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    And then I'd get all the emails to my address
    Wouldn't it be better to just not log in
     
  40. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Spun Out
    Yeah, I guess you're right.