The Wholesale List Scam

Visit an online auction site these days and you can find just about anything listed for sale.

You can even find wholesale lists for just about any item too.

Have you noticed how a lot of these “list sales” are cleverly worded and have pictures so as to appear as if they are selling products rather than information?

The scammer will also go as far as to start the auction at a penny to entice bidders, whilst at the same time putting on a hefty fee for postage and packing.

The latter not only places the suggestion that the item is bulky and weighty but is also a form of fee avoidance as the auction sites don’t take a percentage of shipping costs.

Often too, the fact that the item on offer is a list is only mentioned in small text somewhere obscure on the page, or worse, merely implied.

The kind of items offered this way differ and vary but popular choices are laptops, ipods, etc.

If you saw an advert entitled “ipods at wholesale prices” and it was only a penny would you not be tempted to bid?

I’ve seen several of these list sales over the years and whilst many are taken for what they are and sell for next to nothing, others have worked, making hundreds of pounds each for the seller.

Of course, after buying, the victim is asked to pay the ending price and huge shipping costs (its a free download Рwhy  is there a shipping cost anyway??).

Expecting to receive their laptop or ipod or whatever they are then disappointed to get an email listing wholesalers instead!

If they try and complain they are politely referred to that tiny bit of print in the listing that stated it was a list.

That it was deliberately hidden underneath all the product specifications and pictures doesn’t matter.

After all, it was there and so the item is “as described”.

The moral of this story – always read the fine print before buying anything, especially online.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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