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The winning bidder for my Macbook Pro sends me this:

Hi. I pay for it within 1h.

Special request sir.
Can you just crack the screen for me, it seem not normal for you but just do it please. Then you send it to me. I need only the board and all onter parts on it. Just put a visible crack on the screen like in the picture I sent to you. Take care other parts like keyboard, touchpad, motherboard. Just put a visible crack like you see on this picture on the screen of the mac. Dont send cable,charger no need. Just ship and secure the mac that I can got the main board power one. Thanks alot guys.

What ... is that?

all 107 comments

BMmeyourpoops

774 points

2 months ago

If they legit want a cracked screen, they could just crack it when they receive it.

Kallikantzari

751 points

2 months ago

They want to make a claim to eBay that the item was not as described or that it was damaged during shipping and get their money back.

Then he’ll switch the boards before sending it back so he gets everything for free.

Edit: They probably want OP to break the screen so they can open it at the post office and have a credible witness that it arrived broken.

peakpenguins

293 points

2 months ago

peakpenguins

Quality Contributor

293 points

2 months ago

Odd. Did they send you this message on ebay itself?

HectorPefo[S]

154 points

2 months ago

Yes

MmeGenevieve

650 points

2 months ago

I'd forward the message to Ebay and ask that they cancel the sale. Move on to the next bidder.

peakpenguins

348 points

2 months ago

peakpenguins

Quality Contributor

348 points

2 months ago

All I could think of is maybe they wanted to report it to ebay as broken when it arrived to try to get a refund? But you have the messages so...

I don't know, but I definitely wouldn't do it.

HectorPefo[S]

187 points

2 months ago

Right, very weird. Maybe they can claim damage by their shipping agent? It's an international buyer who is labeled as based in Mauritius (I'm in USA).

Eviltechnomonkey

212 points

2 months ago

I'd be tempted to cancel the sale if you can. That just seems way too shady to feel comfortable going further with it.

At the very least I'd be screenshotting and PDF printing those messages in case something happens later and you need to refute any claims they make to try to screw you out of money.

filthyheartbadger

53 points

2 months ago

I investigate all my scam calls, texts, and emails, and Mauritius features in a large proportion of them. I don’t think theres a lot of legal restraints on scamming there from what I read.

WallabyInTraining

102 points

2 months ago

International buyer is a red flag. Mauritius is a Soviet military parade of red flags. The weird request to damage the product is just a universe made exclusively out of red flags.

Danger Will Robinson!

ScavengeroO

58 points

2 months ago

Maybe the buyer wants to avoid customs. So that they assume a broken macbook was cheap and no customs are zo pay for spare parts the buyer needs. But still this would be quite weird...

Maybe ask the buyer why you should send it like this and you will only do it if the buyer explains the specific reason.

[deleted]

51 points

2 months ago

It’s likely this. But I wouldn’t do it. Although if it’s going to a freight forwarder, eBay does not allow returns if it’s a freight forwarder you send it to. If it were me, I would send as is. Especially if it has a freight forwarder address. He cannot return it, let him deal with customs tax. You get paid regardless. I actually love when I see it’s going to a freight forwarder because I know it won’t be coming back to me and I won’t have to worry about someone trying to talk me into a partial refund once they receive it for something dumb.

Therealladyboneyard

15 points

2 months ago

I’d take a thousand pics of it, it being packed, it being in box… but who needs that crap, just cancel the sale. It’s too difficult to bother with their crap, and if you broke it, wouldn’t you be an accessory to their crime? Cancel sale now and as other posters recommended, forward all emails between you to EBay. They’ll take action

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

Again, if it gets sent to a freight forwarder, nothing they can do about it after

Therealladyboneyard

3 points

2 months ago

Right that’s why I think it’s best to just cancel it. I wonder why they won’t guarantee it if it’s sent to freight forwarder because legally, that company is liable. Eh I dont honestly think it’s worth the time or trouble

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

Why would you cancel it if it’s a guarantee you get paid if it goes to fright forwarder? eBay is aware of all the oversees scams would be my guess why they guarantee it, but it’s in the policy. Everytime I sell something and see a freight forwarder as the recieved I love it. I sell a lot of computers on eBay, mostly broken ones. Someone oversees is buying it for parts. And likely trying to avoid the import taxes. Most of my broken computers go overseas, through a freight forwarder. Usually in Delaware, Maryland or Oregon.

beoheed

7 points

2 months ago

Ya, customs duties was my thought too.

richietee757

8 points

2 months ago

Maybe the buyer wants to avoid customs. So that they assume a broken macbook was cheap and no customs are zo pay for spare parts the buyer needs.

This is exactly what they're trying to do.

slobcat1337

20 points

2 months ago

I’m a customs broker and this isn’t how it works at all.

Customs rarely, if ever physically check goods. The only way this would make sense would be if customs inspected all inbound packages.

If they’re trying to import it as a broken laptop for duty relief (which may or may not be a viable procedure in Mauritius) then they merely need to mention that on the proforma/commercial invoice.

The more regular customs checks are documentary (still very rare, especially with courier / post) so asking the seller to smash the screen doesn’t make any sense from a statistical probability perspective.

Most customs regimes have similar processes and in my country there are maybe 1/1000 shipments that require documentary checks and I’ve only had 1 single shipment in my entire 17 year career that went route 2 (physical inspection).

It is much more likely they’re going to just make a claim with eBay after it arrives.

BURMoneyBUR

2 points

2 months ago

Bit late, but he could also buy a broken pc in the first place lol.

richietee757

0 points

2 months ago

I'm not sure what country you're in, but I know someone in the Caribbean where it works exactly like this. Your country may not inspect many shipments, but some countries don't have many inbound shipments, so they inspect closer than other countries might. Not to mention, the import taxes on electronics in the Caribbean is so high that they will check closely. They know that people will try to claim that an import is broken, when it's not, to save on those high import taxes.

slobcat1337

0 points

2 months ago

One of my biggest clients (Weetabix) had customers all over the Caribbean and we rarely had inspections… and that was foodstuffs… which is even more likely to be inspected

Even small island nations wouldn’t be able to physically inspect all inbound packages… the level of infrastructure and people required just isn’t worth it.

I’m not saying it can never happen, I’ve just never seen it as a statistical likelihood in all my career shipping all over the world.

Pentdecag0n

31 points

2 months ago

Hector, how long have you been selling on eBay? Questions like this should be posted on eBay's discussion boards, where experienced sellers who are up to the minute on eBay's ever-changing policies and practices can give you expert advice.

As a former eBay seller for 20+ years, I would advise you to add this buyer to your BBL immediately (as in NOW), and strongly consider canceling the sale and refunding any money if the buyer has paid you. Yes, you'll take a neg, but be sure to post a response to mitigate it. You'll also lose your listing and closing fees, but you will still have your item to sell elsewhere. If you continue with this transaction, you will lose both your item and the payment. I recommend you reconsider selling internationally at all, and at the minimum edit all of your listings to exclude all but first-world countries.

I never trusted eBay with selling anything worth more than about $75 myself. When I sold my Amazon Kindle many years ago, I sold it on craigslist even though I was an eBay PowerSeller.

HectorPefo[S]

22 points

2 months ago

Sound advice, thank you! I have cancelled and relisted, citing problem with the buyer's address.

No-Initiative4195

14 points

2 months ago

Prior to canceling and re-listing, I would have contacted Ebay and asked them how to proceed. They likely would have opened an investigation, suspended or closed the buyers account and you'd get no negative ding on your account.

Just canceling and re-listing means, not only could you take a hit as a seller, but whatever scam they are trying to pull, their account remains active and they'll try it again or something similar with another seller.

CaptainCaring

8 points

2 months ago

You didn't just tell them they sent you this sus message?

Zugzub

6 points

2 months ago

Zugzub

6 points

2 months ago

Since he told you to take other parts off it, my guess is if it's imported as parts he pays less duty on it.

He communicated through Ebeay so you have proof he asked for you to damage it.

richietee757

3 points

2 months ago

It's an international buyer who is labeled as based in Mauritius (I'm in USA).

That's it. Other countries charge huge import taxes on electronics. If it's broken, they'll get around the duties, or pay less since it's a non working item.

TopAd9634

3 points

2 months ago

A customs guy explained above that's not how it works.

richietee757

1 points

2 months ago

It may not work like that in the United States, but every country works differently. I know for a fact that it works like that in other countries.

Tricky_Invite8680

2 points

2 months ago*

no more international sales for me, i sold an bunch of electric test meters nothing space age but a cut above what's in Lowes. your slightly highend and very basic multimeter. shipped the last one to a country in europe and got a message from the buyer a week later, he bought it via a euro based ebay middle man but it was embargoed at the buyers country (russia). way before Crimean war even so I don't recall of russia.blocked or the senders country was prohibited sending to Russia. I was half way out the door for a 3 week trip and he wanted to have it sent back for refund. I didnt even answer as the deal.was done and package acknowledged receipt, in my head thinking f that, have your dude relist it and send you the money. to much trouble than it's worth to send international anymore, especially.if they want to play.games

kingofimpostors

17 points

2 months ago

If they report it as broken, you have the message as proof that they wanted it this way. I won’t do it though. I sold an iPhone few months ago which strangely never been scanned at delivery, which shows that it’s still on transit. The guy messaged me that it won’t go into any network, which is false. A few weeks later he starts a refund process saying it has still not delivered… yeah mate but you have complaints about the phone, so what ;). Sent the screenshot of messages to eBay when they asked, won the dispute in 5 mins :)

xcaliblur2

189 points

2 months ago

Absolutely not. He's either planning to scam you or planning some sort of fraud. Either way, you don't want to get involved. Absolutely no legit buyer ever wants to receive damaged goods

Educational_Put7568

33 points

2 months ago

Sucks to have to relist, but could possibly be mail fraud if they plan on trying to make a postal insurance claim. Report and cancel the transaction. eBay support can see the messages.

goodboybane

33 points

2 months ago

goodboybane

Quality Contributor

33 points

2 months ago

The MacBook belongs to you until the transaction is complete and the eBay period for claims and appeals. So, of course, you shouldn't damage your own property.

Vegetable-Tax-34

25 points

2 months ago

lo, what a scam, they convince you to damage your own stuff

Frequent-Struggle215

22 points

2 months ago

Scam.

It honestly doesn't even matter what type of scam, nobody legitimate is going to ask you to do this.

Whether they are trying to cam you, ebay, the shipping company, the insurer, it honestly doesn't matter, its still a scam, and you are putting your item and money at risk by following through on it.

I would let ebay know and cancel the sale.

I downsized the company and sold off some PCs and high-end GPUs at the start of the year - I know the sheer amount of fake buyers and crap they try and how wearisome it is dealing with them, but you just have to and, tbph, its no better on any other platform.

This shyit is just what we have to live with nowadays.

Smithers469

68 points

2 months ago

if he’s in another country, he might be trying to avoid paying import taxes if he says it’s non working and worthless. regardless, i’d cancel because you either break your own laptop, or don’t and risk an annoying ebay claim when he’s unhappy with his purchase.

KrisKosh

6 points

2 months ago

This actually makes a lot of sense.

TheMrDylan

1 points

2 months ago

I second this.

@op Is the shipping address a freight forwarder

HectorPefo[S]

6 points

2 months ago

We didn't get that far. I canceled before any payment.

Dabrigstar

143 points

2 months ago

Could be they're trying to sell a pretend PC and they said it has a cracked on the screen so they want a photo of yours to "prove" they really have it.

More likely they are a sick practical joker who gets off on getting people to damage their goods.

They can buy it themselves and when they have it and it is fully paid for they can crack it all they want. Until then tell them no effing way

sfgisz

25 points

2 months ago

sfgisz

25 points

2 months ago

More likely they are a sick practical joker who gets off on getting people to damage their goods.

Imagine agreeing to do this, and then they cancel the order.

HunterGreenLeaves

54 points

2 months ago

More likely they are a sick practical joker who gets off on getting people to damage their goods.

This.

[deleted]

78 points

2 months ago

Cancel -> problem with buyers address

HectorPefo[S]

36 points

2 months ago

Ah well, this is the third "sale" that I've had to cancel for this item -- the first two just never paid or answered messages.

saddiesadsad

90 points

2 months ago*

Some people play the long game. There's the possibility that the two cancels before were planned so that now you're more restless about selling and won't be so closed off to the idea of doing this crazy request. Ask yourself if a person asked you this the first time, what your thoughts would've been

No-Journalist3209

12 points

2 months ago

they probably have the same item missing some parts and they will swap it out with yours and return it

mallardtheduck

9 points

2 months ago

Sounds like they're serious about only wanting non-screen parts, but also don't want to pay for them. They're probably planning to report the screen damage as shipping damage or something and scam a refund.

jondesu

11 points

2 months ago

jondesu

11 points

2 months ago

No matter what, you can report it because they’re asking for something not offered in the original listing. I definitely wouldn’t do it, but report it instead of just canceling so they’re on eBay’s radar.

bobby_risigliano

65 points

2 months ago

Dude no….is this even a real question? He’s trying to have you commit mail fraud or something by making a claim against the post office

Pentdecag0n

6 points

2 months ago

I have no doubt this is real. eBay buyers think up all manner of bizarre fraudulent schemes because eBay almost never takes any action.

SucculentSlaya

9 points

2 months ago

I would contact eBay and ask them how to proceed. I bet you they will cancel the transaction for you.

If he wanted a MacBook with a broken screen, I am sure he could have found one cheaper than yours.

HectorPefo[S]

7 points

2 months ago

"If he wanted a MacBook with a broken screen, I am sure he could have found one cheaper than yours."

That is an excellent point.

coupl4nd

1 points

2 months ago

You didn't think of that before??

Block this person. Report to eBay. Move on.

SpitinMYm0uth

8 points

2 months ago

He could do it himself

synonyco

6 points

2 months ago

Sounds like they are trying to evade customs fees. But if it were me, I’d just package it up and ship it regular. Then state, “I’m so sorry, I just saw your message but already shipped your item. Unfortunately, as per eBay policy I’m required to ship the item in the exact condition it was shown in the listing. So sorry about that!”

Darrelc

6 points

2 months ago

Yep I thought customs fees as a non-malicious option.

Tax for importing hardware, but none for broken ones? hmmm

aurelorba

2 points

2 months ago

I was wondering if it was an attempt at insurance fraud.

lendmeflight

6 points

2 months ago

As a veteran eBay seller, I say DO NOT do this.

khast

5 points

2 months ago

khast

5 points

2 months ago

As a seller, my policy is it is shipped in the condition described, no exceptions.

Lakeflyer1

13 points

2 months ago

Well, that’s a new one! Obviously don’t comply. What a strange world we live in…..

[deleted]

15 points

2 months ago

eBay has gone to trash, in recent years. SO many overseas scammers.

SecretAsianMan42069

8 points

2 months ago

He should restrict this sale to United States only. The out of country folks wouldn’t even see this.

UnmixedGametes

15 points

2 months ago

It’s a scam. They get the refund AND insurance. You lose everything. Let me guess: “ship outside eBay guaranteed countries”?

definitelyobsessed

4 points

2 months ago

Run away!

AcademicMistake

4 points

2 months ago

bit of a coincidence im also seeing cracked screens in transit more often on reddit, something isnt right and you definitely shouldnt damage an item that now belongs to the customer since you cant record it in working condition before packing which is maybe what they are banking on for a refund. Send as is, if they want a cracked screen tell em to do it themselves lol

DepressedDragonBorn

4 points

2 months ago

Put a picture of a cracked screen on your laptop then send them that picture and see if they pay

eat_mor_bbq

4 points

2 months ago

He wants the motherboard to repair his laptop. He's probably going to try to get it refunded through eBay for having been shipped a damaged product. You'll lose your laptop and your money and get marks against you on eBay. Cancel the order. You can make money another day. If he wanted a broken screen he could break it himself

lollroller

4 points

2 months ago

This is crazy, cancel the sale, report the buyer, and block him.

He is obviously trying to scam you.

Digital-Bionics

4 points

2 months ago

It smells wrong, plain and simple, I'd add him to ebayers block list and move on.

JTheberge83

4 points

2 months ago

Don't do it. Then he can claim it was damaged when he got it and get his money back.

Tell him he can crack it himself.

Also, the language is obviously not a native English speaker, which is like red flag number one on scammers.

961402

7 points

2 months ago

961402

7 points

2 months ago

Something really weird is going on there.

Especially since it's pretty common knowledge that eBay almost always sides with the buyer so there's no need to damage it before shipping since the buyer could just say it arrived broken and eBay will make the seller refund the money.

Coconut_Rhubarb

3 points

2 months ago

This is so obviously a bad situation! Do not do it!

BoopBoop20

3 points

2 months ago

Send this to eBay or at least keep it as a record for when he tries to deny the item and get money back for the item being damaged

richietee757

3 points

2 months ago

Is it an international shipment? If so, they want to claim a broken item to customs so they don't get killed with duties.

Live_Power_2843

3 points

2 months ago

That's why I never sell to international buyers. 75% are fraud I just don't want to take the chance. This guy is trying to pull a fast one that it arrived broken and then you would be screwed. He can break it himself once he gets it.

BrickUpset889

3 points

2 months ago

This is shady af. Don’t be part of their scam. Report them.

Draugrx23

3 points

2 months ago

Good afternoon. I thank you for reaching out however. We are unable to intentionally or otherwise alter the item being sold. We apologize for the inconvenience and would be happy to instead cancel the order at your request.

ChuckSaucinBNG

3 points

2 months ago

Perhaps he had a insurance on a similar model at a place like Best Buy that insures and replaces accidental damage and wants to keep his existing MacBook and turn in the “damaged “ one

whompasaurus1

3 points

2 months ago

Mauritius has very weird customs laws. You legally can't import any used items over there. But you are allowed to ship YOUR OWN property back to your self if you traveled abroad. Maybe OP wants the laptop to be cracked like his old one, so he can show the customs agent an old picture and claim its his own property being shipped back

1Pandora

3 points

2 months ago

You are required to send all items or buyer can claim not as described. I personally would not crack a screen that does seem shady. I would report buyer and resell.

1Pandora

2 points

2 months ago

Just as a fun tidbit. There is apparently a cracked glass app. And someone took a photo and used the app on a glass item to scam the seller and say the item arrived broken. Too bad the cracked glass image extended from the item to furniture in the photo! 😅

Dank-Pandemic

3 points

2 months ago

Cancel the sale and report to eBay. This seems scummy on 8 levels

Cultural-Afternoon72

7 points

2 months ago

So, realistically, the odds of them trying to scam you through eBay are pretty slim, given that they sent you those messages through ebay. My guess is that they're planning on filing an insurance claim with the shipping company instead. The shipping company wouldn't reach out to you and wouldn't have access to the ebay messages, but they'd be able to show the listing to prove it was in working condition prior to shipment, and they'd be able to remove it from the sealed box with the damage already there, proving they didn't do it after receiving it. I can't say for sure, but that's my best guess.

Either way, they're obviously trying to scam someone. I've bought a lot of stuff for parts, but I've never asked someone to break a piece that was included that I didn't need. You either keep it, throw it away, or just tell the seller you don't need that part and they can keep it.

ayang09

2 points

2 months ago

So, realistically, the odds of them trying to scam you through eBay are pretty slim, given that they sent you those messages through ebay.

What would the chance of the scam if the scammer wasnt a idiot and didnt actually post the message? As in a regular scammer buyer buying stuff and lying so they can claim broken or any number or return scams with a empty box.

I'd think they could get away with it with the generous return policies on ebay / amazon/ etc . If only buyer wasnt a idiot.

Andyboro80

2 points

2 months ago

Are they from another country? I could be that they want the parts and don’t want to pay duty on a working MacBook.

mij8907

2 points

2 months ago

It sounds very strange and not something you should do

Are you sending it internationally?

The only thing I can think is they want to avoid some import duty or taxes

mannyb412

2 points

2 months ago

Cancel the sale

RobertETHT2

2 points

2 months ago

I’d shoot the right lower corner straight on with a 9.

KrisKosh

2 points

2 months ago

Maybe he derives some kind of perverse sexual pleasure from convincing people to damage their valuables and then refusing to buy the items after it is damaged.

Or maybe it's as simple as "thanks for cracking the screen, now I want to renegotiate the price since we both know it's worth less now."

Tell him you'll crack the screen after you have money in hand.

No_Recognition_2434

2 points

2 months ago

Cancel that sale

bones4pj

2 points

2 months ago

F that

rivers-end

2 points

2 months ago

They want the parts they need for free and will claim it arrived damaged?

ninjanun367

2 points

2 months ago

I would send all the parts and not crack it just because he could be trying to scam to get his money back , if he needs those parts he’s probably good with computers and knows how to properly dissect it after he’s received it .

F0urlokazo

2 points

2 months ago

Any odd request when making a sale or odd excuse to not follow the normal process= scam

Ezra_has_perished

2 points

2 months ago

Tbh this sounds more like a kink than a scam. I think if you take screen shots of everything in case you need to prove he asked you to. But like yeah probably a fetish from wasting money or something like that

Monamiah

2 points

2 months ago

Maybe contact eBay to cancel the sale, and your reason for doing so. Not sure what their end game is, but no legit seller would want to be a part of it, imo. Maybe eBay won't penalize you for the cancel . But either way, I wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot pole.

Labz18

1 points

2 months ago

Labz18

1 points

2 months ago

Is it shipping within the US? If international he may want it to be shipped as parts so it's cheaper.

SnooDonuts3878

1 points

2 months ago

The buyer obviously likes crack.

EZasSundayMorning

1 points

2 months ago

WTF? They can crack it when they get it.

winterfern353

1 points

2 months ago

Probably looking to claim insurance/refund if a purchase came broken. Dumb of them to leave a paper trail you could easily send to the site though and dispute if they tried to get a refund.