Have you ever been scammed or felt cheated?

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by revhtree, Mar 11, 2019.

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  1. Yes (tell us about it in the thread)

    177 vote(s)
    39.1%
  2. No

    276 vote(s)
    60.9%
  1. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Cyber Monday Sponsor

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    Ok let me preface this question with this statement. We do not want to know who it was that you feel like cheated you or scammed you. (we will remove names to keep this thread on track) But I do think it's important to discuss a few things about this issue so please share some of your responses to my questions.

    It's inevitable in life that at some point or another you will be taken advantage of, scammed, cheated or just plain stole from. BUT that doesn't mean it should be happening in our hobby and we want to do our best to make sure it happens less and less here at R2R! So help me out here..

    1. Have you ever felt scammed or cheated and what are some details? (no names please)

    2. What are some good tips to keep from being scammed or cheated?

    PS. While I have your attention I have some one of a kind polyps to sell you!

    Crazy Fale Polps.jpg
     
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  2. Neo Jeo

    Neo Jeo Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Secret Santa Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    I feel a lot of people in this hobby mean good!

    I get more worried when meeting someone on Craigslist then from fish social media forms.

    I just once had a guy say he's leaving his home and then 2hrs later I still was waiting for him. I skipped my dinner plans bc I did not want him to drive 2hrs and me not be there but he just blew me off.... I waisted half a day to be nice for him...
     
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  3. siggy

    siggy Gone Fishing Again R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Bought a chunky 1.25" Rainbow Chalice on a live sale and received a Facebook frag of 3/8" and complementary frag. I think they realized it was TOO good of a deal. Never received a return email on that occasion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  4. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Fins up since 1993 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    It's only happened once in all my years in the hobby. Bought a return pump from a LFS that was used. This was decades ago. The owner said it worked perfectly, but to his credit, it was a cash sale, as is with no returns.

    As you can see where this is headed, once home and installed it rattled and overheated quickly, so hot it nearly burnt my hands. When I called them about it, I was reminded it was "as is" and "no returns" sale.

    From that point on with anything used, I request to see it work. If they can't show me a tank full of water with no leaks, a pump that works as it should under water....etc. you get the idea, I don't buy or waste my time.
     
  5. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Hospitality Award Expert Contributor

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    That polyp photo has more filters than a Keurig!
     
  6. MrObscura

    MrObscura Active Member

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    I don't know if I was scammed, it could have been simple incompetence, but a well regarded coral shop in the Chicago area sold me a nudi infected monti and on retrospect the circumstances seem suspect.

    They story goes.. .I'm in the shop and I ask if they have any Starburst caps, he had no idea what that was, and asked me to describe it. Turned out he had a whole colony. He offered to frag a piece off. There was another monti with a large white patch next to it and he said it got flipped over and stung by a nearby coral. After he fragged my piece he spent a long time inspecting it. I was a noob(still am, but more knowledgeable now) and figured he was just Checking the cut or something.

    Anyway I get home and dip it and notice small bumps on the underside. I though it was just part of the coral(again noob). Now I know they were nudi eggs. Fortunately, I only had a few monti frags and was able to clear it up with a couple weeks of dipping every few days.

    In the end, it was my fault for allowing it into my tank, but for a so called reputable seller to either miss it completely or sell it to me anyway is inexcusable. One thing Ive learned is even the most highly regarded LFSs don't know what the heck they are talking about. Another, again highly regarded, said the stock 100gph return in a nuvo 10 would be enough flow for sps. I've since given up on LFSs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  7. GlassMunky

    GlassMunky Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I once ordered a "pick your own frag pack" of acans from a "reputable" online vendor. they showed you photos of 10 different varieties and said pick 5. we picked 5.
    once they arrived at the house, i couldn't pick a single frag that looked like any of the photos they posted.
    when asked about it, i was told the photo is just of part f the colony they were cut from..... my mistake.
    they basically took photos of a section of the colony that had new growth (acans new growth tend to be more colorful then adult polyps) and then chopped up the older parts so none of the frags looked like the parent colony :(
    Needless to say, i no longer support that company and have been very weary of ANYTHING for sale online that isnt a WYSIWYG
     
  8. Bouncingsoul39

    Bouncingsoul39 Well-Known Member

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    In Southern California, we used to have quite a few people in the hobby we referred to as "flippers". Not many around these days, probably moved onto better hustles. They'd buy used equipment of questionable quality cheap and flip it for a quick profit on the forums and Craig's List. A few years ago, I made the mistake of buying a TekLight T5HO light fixture from a flipper. The light ended up having some ballast and wiring issues. The seller refused to take it back or refund me, partially or otherwise. Blamed me for the issues, implying I somehow damaged the fixture between pickup and bringing it home.
    From a fellow hobbyist familiar with it, I learned more history of the fixture and discovered that the seller had lied to me about the age of it, and how he got it, etc. It was actually a tester unit one of the local lighting manufacturer's had used for their own R&D and was sold on the cheap by another hobbyist to the flipper so he was like the third or fourth owner.

    Good tips to avoid being taken advantage of: if you're going to buy used, try to buy from someone who's got a good rep that you can verify. Pay with Paypal instead of cash to get Paypal's buyer protection when possible. I've had nothing but back luck with used lighting equipment, so I almost want to say, just avoid it, period. But there is probably some good used lighting stuff out there. Maybe discuss a return agreement with the seller before money changes hands. Like "Hey, if I have any issues with it, will you take it back for a refund? If you're going to buy used equipment on eBAY, make sure the terms say "returns allowed within X time". If the seller noted no returns on the item, there may be a reason why.
     
  9. Chukthunder

    Chukthunder Member

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    I was told that a particular mushroom species in the discount rack had spots, not worms. Guess the rest.
     
  10. Bubblebass

    Bubblebass Active Member

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    I’ve had more great people by far than lower morality types.
    1: Bought an Apex lite and received an Apex Jr. I believe the seller was just mistaken but did not offer a price reduction or refund.

    2: Dealing with this now.
    Bought a coral from a seller on this site. Seller says he can’t ship due to weather (Milwaukee). I say no big deal and take your time. I find a better peice at a better price locally. I ask for a refund minus 25% for his time and backing out. Seller gets irate. I tell him to not be upset and just send me the coral when he can. Seller changes the deal, adds another $50 and says he forgot to add shipping when I originally paid. So now he has my money and won’t ship the coral. It blows my mind that he wouldn’t just take my offer of 25% less and just sell the coral again. Going on for 3 months now. I see him continue to sell things all the time on here. If I leave him negative feedback, he’ll do the same to me and that’s not worth it. And the forum takes the stance to not get involved (which I understand).

    Lesson: I won’t be using Venmo to pay for an item that isn’t in my hands again. I have no way to file a claim against him with a bank or cc.
     
  11. Huff747

    Huff747 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Owned a Kessil H150 Magenta Fuge light on first tank. Purchased a used Kessil H150 Magenta Fuge light for 2nd tank. The used one I got says it's Magenta but the color it puts out is red. Really think somebody may have switched the guts or something in the LEDs was blown out.

    Hard to tell from the picture but in person they are very different colors despite being labeled as the same.

    E13A59FE-1E75-4425-B8A4-50F0109BDF3E.jpeg
     
  12. Greybeard

    Greybeard Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    Not sure I would consider it a scam or cheat... more of a 'snake oil' type of thing, but I've purchased several 'miracle cure' products over the years. No, they don't work. Waste of money.
     
  13. siggy

    siggy Gone Fishing Again R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    I would take the hit and not buy coral off the site from small vendors.
     
  14. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 North Alabama Reef Club Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    @Battlecorals put together a post that made me really question buying corals online. It was based on how you can use camera settings to be able to honestly say that a picture was taken with no post-processing.

    You can see his entire post here....
    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/e...ics-with-your-dslr-or-you-are-exposed.213126/
    This post got me looking hard at the color of the coralline and frag plugs to see how "true" the pictures are.

    But for the quick and dirty. Here are two pictures of the exact same coral, no post photo editing. The first is what the coral actually looks like, the 2nd photo is with crazy custom white balance settings. How much would you pay for the second coral? How upset would you be if you got looked like the top coral instead?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Stephen Petruzzo

    Stephen Petruzzo Active Member

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    I bought a small Electus shroom from a FB group known for high end shrooms and zoas for $360. Was supposed to ship out in a week, they then tell me that the corals aren't looking too hot and want to wait a while before they ship it. A month goes by of back and forth and they still say the coral is still looking bad. They then say instead of the Electrus we can give you a GMK (Grand Master Krak) for an additional $250. That comes out to be $610 total for a GMK...which is a steal considering they sell for $1k+. Anyway, I took the bait and sent the money, asking them when to ship and then they go on vacation, come back, and say oh the zoars aren't looking good. Wait another month of back and forth and still no sign of them shipping the GMK. Finally, I just ask for a complete refund for both transactions, I have been promised a full refund for a couple of weeks now but have not received anything. Last week I finally decided to contact paypal and will give them another week before I escalate my complain to a claim - I am positive I will be getting my money back and I sent it all through PayPal.

    With that being said, I don't want anyone to think that all sellers on forums or FB are scams. I've bought from FB and on the forums dozens of times with no incident. Just make sure they are reputable, have good pics, and always make sure to pay with PayPal for goods or services.
     
  16. Crabs McJones

    Crabs McJones Millepora Maniac Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Hospitality Award

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    I have not done a whole lot of transactions on here, but thankfully the ones I have done have all gone smoothly and without issue. I'm sure my day is coming......
     
  17. MnFish1

    MnFish1 Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    1. Have you ever felt scammed or cheated and what are some details? (no names please)

    I was looking for a 6 foot 210 gallon and stand which looked 'contemporary'. I mentioned this to an LFS here (which I no longer use) and the owner said - he just upgraded a tank for another user - and he would sell stand, mahogany canopy and the tank with plumbing for $1000. He said he would help me move it into the house, etc. It was at his house about 75 miles away. We drove out - looked at the tank was fine - there was a sticker on the front of the tank he said - we can remove that once we get it to your house. There was a problem with the base of the stand also - but I was told 'we can adjust it once its at your place'. Long story short - got the tank all set up - and very few of the 'pegs' in the stand were glued - and thus the stand was unstable. we fixed as many as possible - but it was still not great. I thought well there is no way im going to lug this thing back to his house and back - I had 13 large discus in buckets (yes - the other tank had already been taken away). The next day - I peeled the sticker off and there was a 6 inch gouge in the stand veneer.
    His response - "I said it 'might' come off". Within 2 months the stand was so unstable that I was afraid it would break (turns out there were 2 braces missing from the bottom of the stand). I went with a Red Sea Reefer. Never been happier.
    2. What are some good tips to keep from being scammed or cheated?
    If it sounds too good to be true - it probably is. And - Even the most trustworthy looking nicest person can scam you. Lastly - look before you leap!
     
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  18. MnFish1

    MnFish1 Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    1. Have you ever felt scammed or cheated and what are some details? (no names please)
    Here is another one. I bought a 5 pack of coral from a reputable dealer (large size SPS) - couple hundred dollars/piece. There was a 4 week delay in shipping from when I was told I would receive it. Got the shipment. 1 coral matched the picture - and did fine. the 4 others were at least 1/2 the size quoted. Additionally 3 of the bags contained smelly, cloudy water with clear RTN (one coral was completely white). (I think that the guy got his coral shipment in - and just sent them in the original bags - ie. they were in transit a long time). I took pictures of the coral in the bags - and emailed the owner of this place. Called multiple times (left messages - no response. finally got a return email saying He would send a replacement when his next shipment came in. Never came. Called, emailed, etc - no response. Finally another email - person had medical issues - will send next week. Never did. I said - can you just give me a refund - I'm going to go with another source... No response (again).
    2. What are some good tips to keep from being scammed or cheated?
    Know the company you're buying from. Though online reviews never tell the whole story - in googling it - this particular company had multiple issues with the same types of problems I had. Again - if it sounds too good to be true - it probably is.
     
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  19. sfin52

    sfin52 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    as a noob I was told that I could house some fish in my tank. I questioned them as to what LA said. They said that LA over states what fish can actually be housed in and I would be fine.
    I now never trust anybody with out putting in research first.
     
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  20. webmanny

    webmanny Active Member

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    I want 3 polyps of the one on your picture above. I just sent you the $3,000 via "Peypal". I expect those very soon. :)
     
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