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Thread: DEALS GONE BAD, SNAKE OIL, RIP OFFS, Tell us your funny or not so funny stories..

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Sydney Australia

    DEALS GONE BAD, SNAKE OIL, RIP OFFS, Tell us your funny or not so funny stories..

    Thought id make a thread where people could share their stories about deals gone bad, hoping it might generate a few good stories.
    I suppose time eases pain and things can look a bit funny when looking back.

    Ive actually never had a bad deal, but i read a story about a guy years ago that listed many things for sale, many people jumped at it, including many old timers, i think it might have been on one of the old now defunct SW forums.
    So this guy collected heaps of money for his supposed kenner vintage ships, playsets ets.
    When he sent them out all at the same time, everybody recieved a small video cassette box in the mail, to everybodies horror, he had sent them micro machines LOL instead of full size kenner pieces, there was some serious uproar about this, and it was a very funny story, i dont have the link, but maybe somebody could put the link up, it would not have been funny then, but it sure was funny reading about it in hindsight.

    EDIT, The story above is known as the Ren Hoeck affair, brilliantly and humorously written up buy Paul Levesque on, if you google 'Ren Hoeck feature' you will find the link, or go to the feature section on 12back, if you havnt read it you should have a read, you will get a great laugh out of it, im very computer illiterate, hopefully one of you guys will be able to put a link up to the feature.

    So has anybody got any horror stories about bad sellers or deals gone wrong they might like to share.

    Mods i thought i would put this here and not in the watch out section, because this isnt a watch out thread, just a thread to share a few stories.


    EDIT, i dont find it humorous at all that somebody has been ripped off, but the lengths some people will go to pull a scam, and in the case above you couldnt make that stuff up, its beyond silly that somebody would send out micro machines in place of the real kenner deal, please im not looking to offend anybody, guess its just an Aussie trait to try and find humour in even the worst situation, but its certainly not funny for the guy thats been ripped off.
    Last edited by AussieFortuna; 11-22-2013 at 07:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Nothing really funny about it at all. Bunch of collectors were intentionally misled and lost some serious money in the process.
    Last edited by MZimmerman; 11-22-2013 at 11:13 AM.

  3. #3 please check this out!

    It's so rare it wasn't even in the movie.- Rick Springfield, Chivecast 46

  4. #4
    It's not vintage Star Wars related, but on boards that focus on 1/6 scale figures, you often get people offering to make custom heads, outfits, or even entire figures. There have been a lot of problems with this, as even people with good intentions can get in over their head, and not everybody has good intentions.

    One issue I had about 5 years ago was with Chris Howes, a sculptor whose main claim to fame is that his father invented the Easy Bake Oven. He appeared on several forums offering to sculpt heads for a lot of different properties, everything from Batman to Star Trek, and I think he did deliver on one or two projects. He seemed really friendly and responsive at first, but it eventually became painfully clear that he was accepting orders (and payments) for way more than one person could reasonably complete. When questioned about it, he got defensive and eventually accused people of ganging up on him or trying to smear his name. He took thousands of dollars in orders (including $80 from me) and then disappeared. Here's a page from someone trying to coordinate some legal or police action against him, although I doubt it went anywhere. It's frustrating since at the time he seemed about as legit as they come, so it's hard to know what to do to avoid this kind of thing.

  5. #5
    Buying expensive things off the internet in those days seems like a SCARY world to be a part of. I don't think I even used the internet in 1996.
    Last edited by captainpiett; 11-22-2013 at 12:40 PM.

  6. #6
    I really don't think being scammed in this hobby is funny at all. No matter the amount of time that has passed or how the scam was pulled off.

    In fact, there's a lot that are still out there that are unresolved... with people still being out a large sum of money. Roger, BillyBoy, Green Harvest, just to name a few. There's countless others like Ren, Mario and the bootlegs, Shaun N. and all the nastiness he brought onto the community. Then if you want to dig deeper into other areas, there's fake Harrison Ford autographs that totally divided and tore apart the autograph collecting community. I think if you were to ask these people if they found it funny or find it funny now, I think you would get quite a different reply back.

    If you think being ripped off of hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars is funny... then I guess we just have a totally different outlook on life.

    But I can tell you this much, having been a part of the Roger fiasco, it's not a laughing matter. Especially when you confront said scammer on a personal scale, only to be met with more excuses. All the while knowing that you have to report back to people that are out hundreds of dollars that there is literally nothing you can do or that can be done to recoup their costs. I will tell you that is not fun nor funny on any level.
    Looking for: Rebel Commando & Endor Forest Ranger pre-production items, vintage Star Wars toothbrushes, and, yes, Jar Jar pre-production items.
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  7. #7
    Google Aero Fighters 3 AES English and you'll pull up a thread that's like 150 pages long. In a nutshell, two guys conspired to rip off 6 collectors for a combined 180 THOUSAND dollars. That is not a typo. As far as I know it's the largest scam ever pulled using the internet and collectibles. But I gotta agree, not exactly funny.

  8. #8
    Not funny so far but nonetheless interesting for those of us who didn't know about this incidents. Quite a read.

    And who knows, perhaps somebody really has a funny anecdote...
    Last edited by Mosh; 11-22-2013 at 05:11 PM.

  9. #9
    Captain khan5902's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada

    It may not be funny but it is definitely a good educational tool for a newbie like me.

  10. #10
    I could totally understand laughing at old scams if they had been fully resolved for all involved and refunds given, however to my knowledge not one single large scale scam was EVER put to bed.

    Pablo, BillyBoy, McWilliams, Ren Hoeck, Roger "Mr Acrylic" and co all got away with thousands of dollars of collectors money. What's worse is that many people involved in these scams felt duty bound to do the right thing and reimburse people when they had sold on fakes that they bought in good faith from the scam artists. Pretty sure John A refunded people which in turn meant he was massively out of pocket, Ebon did similar when he sold on fakes he bought from BillyBoy.

    You can look at some of these scams as ingenious (Ren), well executed (McWilliams) or incredibly ballsy (when people just flat out cheat others out of money by not sending items they had for sale) but you can't really ever laugh at them unless the people involved were fully compensated.

    That's my take on it, perhaps you should have reworded your post or something - a lot of these scams are still very fresh so to speak and the people that lost their money are still active in the hobby and will most likely be reading this, so it's best to remember how they might be feeling when people want to laugh at scammers and the way they ran away with other peoples money (the ones that aren't reading have probably left the hobby due to being scammed..Marc comes to mind but I am sure there are others that chucked the towel in after being involved in one too many scams).
    Last edited by Joe_O; 11-22-2013 at 06:19 PM.
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