Thursday, August 4, 2011

When something is too good to be true...

...it's often simply NOT. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this advert


As you can see, it's a pretty good deal €1,650 for about €5,000 of ex-demo bike. I was so excited that I didn't even notice until much later the laughably bad Spanish in the advert (Giant Trinity Advanced was translated literally as "Gigante Avancado de Trinidad"). I was sure it must have sold already at that price and I was kicking myself for not having googled "giant advanced trinity madrid" or "gigante avancado de trinidad" for that matter. You can imagine my delight when I got an email to say that it was still on offer but he didn't answer my question about whether the seat post had already been cut, instead saying it had only ever been used on asphalt roads... This got me very suspicious - who would ride such a beauty on anything but an asphalted road? So I googled his email address (joseluisjimenez1974@hotmail.com) and a number of forum topics popped up in everything from saxophones to mountain bikes, all of which were warning of a con. Amazingly he hadn't bothered to change his email address. It's actually just possible that he is really called José Luis Jiménez and was born in 1974 although I would expect his Spanish to be much better.

So then I got this reply, which was identical to the ones that had appeared on the forums:

hola, mi novia es inglesa y vivimos aqui en inglaterra. quiero vender la bicicleta en espana porque la tengo desde alli, fue comprada en espana y tengo los documentos y la garantia desde alli. si quieres comprar yo te la puedo enviar con una mensajeria pero no voy a hacer contrembolso porque hace unas semanas antes, un comprador me dijo que me va a comprar la bicicleta y que solo va a usar contrembolso, yo acepte porque soy una persona de palabra, he enviado la bicicleta a el pero cuando la empresa fue en su direccion para entregarlo, sorpresa, nadie abrio la puerta y su telefono fue siempre cerrado, la empresa ha intentado durante varios dias pero nada. y asi yo he pagado los gastos de envio para mandar la bicicleta y tambien para recibirla devuelta. yo soy un hombre serio, tengo 37 anos, un hermoso restaurante aqui en londres y creame que para mi el tiempo es muy precioso. te digo del principio que la bicicleta no tiene ningun defecto ocultado ( se puede ver en las fotos del anuncio), lo compre nueva, fue usado solo varias veces, tengo factura de compra, creame que la vendo solo porque no la uso mas, trabajo mucho y no tengo tiempo. si quieres comprarla vamos a utilizar una empresa de envios que yo he utilizado antes y creo que es bastante buena para envios internationales porque tienen gastos de envio muy aceptable. ellos tienen un servicio muy practico para las compra-ventas por internet que yo he usado antes y fue muy satisfecho. ellos trabajan asi:
- yo te voy a enviar la bicicleta como usted quieres, envios normal (7-10 dias) o envios express (3-4 dias) cuando usted estas listo para comprarla;
- despues la paqueteria se pondra en contacto con usted con los detalles sobre envio y sobre como debes hacer el pago;
- usted vas a hacer el pago a la empresa de envio;
- despues, usted vas a recibir la bicicleta y tienes 3 dias para comprobarla y decidir si vas a guardarla;
- si estas contento y quieres guardarla entonces usted vas a mandar la confimacion la empresa, yo voy a recibir el pago y todo esta hecho.
- en en caso que por algun razon no quieres guardar la bicicleta, no te gusta o por cualquier otro razon, usted vas a recibir el pago devuelta inmediatamente y yo tambien la bicicleta, pero yo conosco mi bici y estoy seguro vas a guardarla.
asi mi companero, si estas deacuerdo con todo por favor mandame los datos para el envio, nombre, direccion, ciudad, codigo postal, numero de telefono y si estas preparado manana mismo voy a preparar la bicicleta para el envio. tambien necesito saber como quieres el envio, por express o envios normal. si prefieres el envio normal, yo voy a pagar los gastos de envio. lo siento que te escribo tanto, pero necesito un cliente serio para vender la bicicleta. espero requesta. gracias


The sheer length of it would have been enough to ring a few warning bells. As I can't be bothered to translate it myself and it is Googlespanish anyway, here it is Google translated back into English:

hello, my girlfriend is English and live here in England. I want to sell the bike in spain because I have from there, was purchased in Spain and I have the documents and the guarantee from there. if you buy me I can send you the courier with but I will not do because it contrembolso few weeks ago, a buyer told me that I will buy the bike and will only use contrembolso, I accepted because I am a man of my word I sent the bike to him but when the company was in the delivery address, surprise, no one opened the door and his phone was always closed, the company has tried for several days but nothing. and so I paid the cost of shipping the bike and also to receive back. I am a serious man, I have 37 years, a fine restaurant here in London and believe me that my time is very precious. I say the principle that the bike has no hidden defect (seen in photos of the ad), buy it new, it was used only several times, I have proof of purchase, believe that the band just because they use it more, work and I have much time. if you want to buy we will use a shipping company I have used before and I think it's good enough for shipping internationales shipping because they are very acceptable. they have a very practical service for buying and selling online that I've used before and was very satisfied. They work like this:- I'm going to send the bike as you want, normal delivery (7-10 days) or express shipping (3-4 days) when you're ready to buy;- After the parcel will contact you with details on shipping and how you make the payment;- You're going to make payment to the shipping company;- Then you're going to get the bike and you have 3 days to check and decide whether to keep it;- If you are happy and want to save then you'll send the confimacion the company, I'm going to get paid and everything is done.- On if for some reason do not want to put your bike, you do not like or any other reason, you'll get paid immediately and I also returned the bike, but I conosco my bike and I'm sure you save it.so my companion, if they agree with all please send me the data for shipping, name, address, city, zip code, telephone number and your readiness tomorrow I'm going to prepare the bike for shipping. also need to know how you want the shipment by express or regular delivery. if you prefer the normal shipping, I'll pay the shipping. I'm sorry I write so much, but I need a serious customer to sell the bike. I hope request. thanks

If you can't be bothered to read that either - and I don't blame you - the point is that the bike isn't in Madrid after all. If you stop and think for a minute, you would probably never have responded to a second hand advert in another country (unless it was via some website of international repute like ebay). Here's the rub: you pay a (what turns out to be bogus) shipping company to ship the bike to you and then you can track your delivery on a (bogus) website... What I'm not clear about is whether you get conned for just the shipping charge or for the price of the bike (plus the shipping). I guess he has two versions of the con, one for really desperate and gullible people and another for the more wary. Even if he just gets €75 a pop, it's not bad business considering he has very low overheads. Also it's too small an amount for anyone to really bother about trying to claw back - I expect most people would be too embarrassed even to try. 

I gave him the following address but evidently his Spanish was better than I had been expecting because I didn't hear from him again...

          Calle Atomarporculo, 34
          Gilipollasdemierda 28667
          Madrid
          Spain 

In his message he says that he is a very busy man and that his time is very precious - it's a shame that he has no respect for anyone else's time (or money). Being a good upstanding citizen and all that, I sent an email to the website which had published the advert to warn them that it was a con and that there were likely many others by the same person. Of course I didn't hear anything back from them.

7 comments:

  1. Hello Rob,

    Your post save me to be in business with Joseluisjimenez1974!

    This time he is in the astronomical telescopes marke.


    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rob,

    I just google his name and I found your post.

    He keep doing business with bikes, this time its a nice Niner bike.

    He change to gmail.com

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. http://www.segundamano.es/vi/29601029.htm

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post, this guy (joseluisjimenez1974@gmail.com) is trying to sell a 4 wheels Motorcycle in Mexico, he argued, that he is living in London but acquired the motorcycle in Mexico in his last vacations. he is using another e-mail (juancarlostorr1981@hotmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
  5. He keeps doing the same fraud (juancarlostorr1981@hotmail.com), now he is selling a jeep buggy in Mexico... Hope some one kick his ass son!!!

    ReplyDelete
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