If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Every once in a while the eRelyx staff trolls through Craigslist to see what watches are for sale. The process helps us understand things like supply, demand, and pricing. The other day we came across a deal that seemed too good to be true. Check out the listing:
An IWC Big Pilot for $4200?!?! When I saw that, I looked at one of my marketing associates and said, “If this watch is real, I’ll drive to ‘Springfield’ to pick it up tonight.”
Of course I was skeptical, so I emailed the seller and asked the following questions:
1. Is the watch 100% authentic – all parts, band, etc.?
2. How did you acquire it?
3. Do you know where it was originally purchased?
4. Would you be willing to meet at an authorized dealer to conduct the transaction?
Here is her response:
It’s still for sale but before i start answering your questions, i`ll have to let you know that i left town a few days ago because i have to help my daughter organize her wedding, and i may stay here a while, but this is no problem because i`ll sell it through Co-Op services. I guess you used Co-Op before, if you didn`t let me know because i met people that never used it and i will explain how it works in detail. I want to sell it now because i need the money for my daughters wedding so if you are interested in buying it now let me know. Also let me know if you have other questions. Thank you
The old sob story!! I love it. Because the best way to raise money for your daughter’s wedding is to drop a brand new $10K+ watch off at Co-Op Services and hope they sell it.
I played along, responded to her email with a hearty, “Congratulations!” and reiterated my questions. Here is her response:
The watch is 100% authentic, all the parts everything is 100% authentic. It is in new condition because it was never worn. I purchased it from eBay new.
I’m glad you are still interested. No problem, I’ll explain how CoOp works, their website is (www.cooperative-yardsales.com). They are a chain of ebay drop off stores and they offer their services for craigslist users too. I left the item in their possession when I left and intended to sell it when I got back but the wedding costs more than we expected and i need to sell it now to help my daughter get married. They will handle the shipping and the payment. If you want to purchase this, you must register on their website, they send you an invoice with the transaction details and payment instructions and you send the payment to one of their agents. They receive the payment and start the shipping process. You receive the item and you have 10 days to inspect it and see if it’s exactly as described. If you decide to keep it, you let them know and they will transfer the payment to me, if you decide to return it, they will give you a full refund back and return the item on my cost. So you can be sure the item is exactly as described because i wouldn’t sell something that i know it will be returned and loose extra money. The shipping cost is already included in the price listed on craigslist so you don’t have to worry about that. The process is very simple, it probably looks a little complicated from what i explained but it’s not and for a better understanding of how their service works you can check out their “Selling on eBay and Craigslist” page. I would advise you to read the Selling on eBay and Craigslist page before you register so you can be sure you understand how the process works. Let me know if you are still interested and if you have questions please ask, no problem. Also, if you don’t want to register on their website for any reason, you can send me your full name and shipping address and i will forward it to them, but it’s better if you register yourself.
PS: I am sorry for the long email but i couldn’t explain the process in less words.
The Cooperative Yardsales site actually looks legitimate. See a screenshot below:
I was STILL very skeptical, so I did little digging on Cooperative Yardsales. 50% of the reviews are positive and 50% of the reviews are negative, indicating that it’s a scam. At this point, I’m not really sure what to believe. It could certainly be a legitimate service. BUT, I know that at $4200 IWC Big Pilot is too good to be true. So I did the following: I copied and pasted an excerpt from the seller’s email and Googled it. The excerpt was, “I left the item in their possession when I left and intended to sell it when I got back but the wedding costs more than we expected and i need to sell it now”
BOOM! Multiple hits with the same text. And people sharing war stories about the SCAM.
This is exactly why a service like eRelyx is needed. Unfortunately there are a number of scammers out there trying to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals. Here are a few things that should tip you off on scams (and you could probably add a dozen more to the list):
1. The price is too good to be true.
2. The seller makes an excuse or gives you a sob story.
3. You need to jump through hoops to complete the purchase.
4. The emails seemed canned / scripted / generic.
I think the moral of the story is that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. And just to save you some time, this Rolex Milgauss is almost certainly a scam
Finally, does anyone else feel bad for this woman’s daughter? She may not get the wedding of her dreams. Although hopefully she is able to live a wonderful, happy life with her Nigerian Prince husband.