Buying and Selling Guide - Please read before buying/selling

Jun 22, 2000
The Department of Justice defines Internet Fraud as:

[table][tr][td]"Any instance in which any one or more components of the Internet, such as the Web sites, the chat rooms, e-mail ... play a significant role in offering nonexistent goods or services to customers, in communicating false or fraudulent representations about schemes to consumers, in transmitting victims' funds or any other items of value to the control of the schemes' perpetrator."[/td][/tr][/table]​

Being defrauded should be easy enough to avoid, but as we've seen it still happens to many of us. "Use common sense" is obviously the best way to avoid being defrauded, but what exactly is common sense when it comes to buying shoes from another member of NikeTalk or an on-line retailer?

That's what we need to find out here. We already have a guide to help us out after we've been defrauded and now we need tips to avoid it.[h3]If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.[/h3]
A Louis Vuitton bag simply doesn't cost $20 ($200, more like it). A fire sale should be a major red flag.

In the case of shoes, we're an excellent resource when it comes to finding out how much a particular pair of shoes should run you.

Not only can the price be too good to be true, but the availability of a particular pair of shoes as well.

If a website is willing to deal in bulk, 99% of the time that website sells fakes. The logic behind this is simple. When you're dealing with shoes that are out of production, you're dealing with a finite supply. How could anyone, then, offer to sell you literally hundreds of pair of AJ IV, for instance, unless they're still being manufactured?

The same holds true for sites offering wide size ranges on every Air Jordan ever made, including rare or unreleased colors, for prices near or below retail. Those sites sell fakes.[h3]If you aren't familiar with the online retailer, always review the site's general appearance first.[/h3]
If it looks unprofessional, has no returns policy prominently posted, or lacks the seller's physical address, those are warning signs. Also, make sure the company's phone number is listed and working before making your purchase.

If the website also happens to sell watches, jerseys, etc. and other frequently counterfeited products at prices far below retail - the site almost certainly sells fakes.[h3]Don't be afraid to ask the seller questions, just as you would in a brick-and-mortar store.[/h3]
Online-auction buyers have a right to know just how long the seller has had the item they're interested in and how he got it, says Prince. If a poster, dating to 1964, looks like new after hanging in its owner's garage for 40 years, it's probably not genuine. Also, if you're buying an especially valuable item, like jewelry, it's perfectly all right to ask the seller for a copy of an appraisal report. Many legitimate sellers would have those handy anyway, says Prince.

INSIST on pictures of the item with the seller's name hand written in plain view near the item. There should be NO excuses on this point (I don't have a digital camera, it's broken, etc.) anyone can take a picture and get it scanned, even if you need to use a disposable camera. It's better to wait and make SURE.

Often, frauds try to sell products they don't have. Merely by insisting on pictures we can cut down on fraud.[h3]Do your homework before buying.[/h3]
If you're bidding for golf clubs, check out the original manufacturer's site for info on where special stamps and numbers should be located. If you're buying collectible items, such as stamps or coins, eBay recommends that users visit one of its specialized online discussion groups, where they can ask other collectors for advice.

If the site sells Air Jordans or Air Force 1s with Gucci, Burberry, or other designer prints - the site sells fakes.

If the site sells Air Jordan XIIIs that lack holograms - or with pictures that intentionally obscure the hologram area, the site sells fakes.

We have a few guides to finding fakes in the Jordan Brand forum and in the Archives. and are also excellent resources to use as a references.[h3]Check the seller's rating.[/h3]
It's a good idea to do a search for the site's name or the company name to look for comments from disgruntled customers or buyers in discussion groups.

When someone uses feedback accumulated through their eBay account as proof of legitimacy, make sure you can contact them using the e-mail address and phone number they have registered with eBay. The more information a person is willing to disclose, the less likely that person is out to get you. Further, the more information you have about a person - the easier it will be to report them if something goes wrong.[h3]Look for clues about security.[/h3]
When you provide payment information, the "http" at the beginning of the address bar should change to "https" or "shttp." Your browser may show whether the information is being encrypted, or scrambled, as it is being sent. See what Web sites say about how they safeguard your information in transmission and storage. Don't provide sensitive information by email.[h3]When buying expensive items, say, over $500, consider using an escrow account to complete the transaction.[/h3], the only U.S. escrow site approved by eBay, will hold your payment and not transfer it to the seller until you receive your purchase, compare it to the photograph of the item you bid for, and confirm its authenticity.'s commission typically add up to less than 6% of the purchase price, and buyers and sellers often split the fee.[h3]Pay with a credit card.[/h3]
Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly. There are new technologies, such as substitute credit card numbers and password programs, that can offer extra measures of protection from someone else using your credit card.

Be aware that there are differences between sales by an individual and sales by a business. Your legal rights may differ based on whether the seller is an individual or a business. You may have difficulty pursuing your complaint against an individual if the merchandise was misrepresented, broken (defective) or never delivered.[h3] Keep proof handy.[/h3]
Users should have evidence of a transaction. If you're sending an item, use delivery confirmation or some other method where someone MUST sign for it. That way, someone can't simply claim, "I never got it." Purchase shipping insurance if necessary to cover the value of the item or items sent. If you're worried, request a shipping service that offers tracking -and insist on obtaining the tracking number.

Users should consider setting up a private auction through ebay simply to have a record of their transaction. Just taking someone's word over IM isn't good enough. If you're willing to take someone's word - remember that you ARE taking a risk.

Make screenshots of anything and everything (read: e-mails, payment history pages, posts, IMs, etc.) you can that is related to your transaction.

Print and file any information you gather in case you need proof later.

This is something we will require of you if you're going to claim that someone on or off of NikeTalk is a fraud.

We're no longer going to entertain arguments that consist solely of one person's word against another. If it's simply one person's word against another's, it's nearly impossible for NikeTalk to help you without PROOF that one party is telling the truth and the other is lying.[h3]Report frauds.[/h3]
Making buyers aware of frauds on NikeTalk helps the community, but it does little to stop the fraud from changing their user name and e-mail address to continue their illicit activities. So, after exposing them here with the proof you've collected, move onto the Internet Fraud Complaint Center to make sure frauds suffer the appropriate consequence for their action.

Fraud is a serious crime and not something that we should treat lightly.
I doubt we'll see the Spectacular Kobe now that he has been "liberated" from O'Neal. I think it will be the Steady Kobe, the Wise Kobe, the one who plays the type of ball that produces more W's than oohs and ahhs...Traditionally, whenever he had to play the right way, he did. That's why the Lakers won championships their first three years in Staples Center. Last year, for the first time in the playoffs, he didn't. And it cost them. Perhaps he tried to do it all his way this once because of the possibility that it could be his last chance to do it at all.
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