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ARMSLIST: PRETTY MUCH A TOTAL SCAM

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by semperfi68to70, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. semperfi68to70

    semperfi68to70 South Salem, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I have been debating with myself about posting this as it may already be common knowledge. However, if I can warn one person off of this website then it will be worthwhile.

    I started looking for a nice over and under skeet gun about two or three months ago. Items like that are hard to find locally so I started looking on Gunbroker and other websites popped up including Armslist. I saw some shotguns that interested me, so I established an account and attempted to make contact with six different ads over a two week period. The ads were pretty cleverly done; not such a good deal that anyone would realize they were "too good to be true", but a good deal and with photos obviously not downloaded from Beretta or Browning's website.

    I received scam warnings from Armslist on four of the contacts and the other two responded to me but disappeared when the found out I wasn't going to mail them hundred dollar bills or a cashier's check without going through a third party such as PayPal or my bank. In the case of one of the "sellers" in Illinois I found the same pictures he had posted of the shotgun on an ad in Gunbroker from a pawn shop in South Carolina.

    I looked at Armslist's forums and they have a separate section about scammers. There must have been 30,000 posts. I would estimate 50% of the ads on that website are phony.
     
  2. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Try running a "want to buy" ad on some local gun forums, and let the gun come to you.
     
  3. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I have no doubt that there are a ton of scammers on armslist or Craigslist for that matter.

    I do use both for local pickup only buys.

    99% of the time the prices are higher then market but there are those 1% that are very good deals.

    I've bought a few guns from people on there and have bought a few lots of ammo that included .22lr's for a reasonable price.


    I would not deal with anyone outside of the local area though.
     
    Loptr, etrain16, Mongo1 and 2 others like this.
  4. semperfi68to70

    semperfi68to70 South Salem, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Probably good advice although I have to tell you, I have never had a problem with Craigslist. I think the key here is stay local. That is probably great advice.

    As it ended up I purchased the shotgun new. I got a very good deal on it and I got exactly what I wanted with no compromise for barrel length or anything else. I spent a bit more than I wanted to, but it was still a very good deal. I researched the crap out of it before I purchased.
     
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  5. Nightshade

    Nightshade vancouver,WA Well-Known Member

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    I have done many ads on arms list and always put local only Vancouver will not travel and I don't. many have come to Vancouver from Seattle and beyond. If I get a hinky feeling about some one I just don't deal with them. all has gone well.
     
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  6. Qjay

    Qjay Vancouver, not BC, Washington, not DC Active Member

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    I haven't had any problems, but I only deal FTF. There are a lot of flakey people out there, so always get a phone number and confirm the meet that day.
     
    etrain16 likes this.
  7. Outrider

    Outrider Oregon Active Member

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    I don't doubt your claim of some ads being the work of scammers, but I wouldn't use a person's refusal to go through Paypal for a gun related transaction as proof that the person is a scammer.

    Paypal has anti-gun policies. Paypal does lock accounts and seize funds when it believes they were involved in a transaction that violates its own policies. There is little recourse when this happens. You can search online for horror stories from private individuals and vendors but the bottom line is using Paypal for guns can be a total loss.
     
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  8. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I saw a pristine made in Japan Charles Daly over under 12 gauge here some months ago.. $400.. I almost bought it but don't do/have never had a double.
    I like to do a straight across trade for guns on those rare occasions that I buy one.. dollars for gun.
     
  9. Mongo1

    Mongo1 Santiam Canyon Active Member

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    I also refuse to use paypal in any transaction. Look at no paypal.com-------
     
  10. NoFlinch

    NoFlinch In a van down by the river Owner of Cocaine addicted dog.

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    About 10 years ago, I sold a book I wrote using PP.
    Buyer claimed I didn't deliver book.
    My PO Box was 1 row below his.
    Transaction never left the Post office.
    Pay Pal still has $19.95 of my money, as they "locked my acct".

    Haven't used them since, and I think I caused PP to go BK, or maybe not............:)
     
  11. semperfi68to70

    semperfi68to70 South Salem, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    No one refused to use PayPal, it was just one of four payment options I gave them that would create a traceable paper trail and to some degree or another let me know who I was dealing with. No form of payment is going to be completely safe, so what I was trying to do was to find out exactly who I was dealing with. I also offered to have them call my bank with their banking information and have the money deposited, go to a local business and have them do the transaction or even go to an escrow firm.

    The point is, as soon as I suggested a payment manner other than me sending cash or a cashier's check to an unknown person I never heard from them again. Not even a refusal. Legit sellers will at least do more than give you a Hotmail or yahoo address. All I was trying to do is to find out who I was dealing with.
     
  12. semperfi68to70

    semperfi68to70 South Salem, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    And when someone suggests using PayPal do you politely refuse and suggest an alternative method of payment or do you just disappear never to be heard from again? See my point?
     
  13. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I don't think it's fair to title this "Armslist: Pretty much a total scam". While it's not my favorite site, it's as legitimate as Craigslist, Ebay or any other site where private parties can post their ads. Scams aren't limited to Armslist, it's just one more place where some morons try to take advantage of others. I've seen posts on NWFA where they were scammed on an ad here as well.

    The advice already given here is very good: buy/sell local - in person, retain the right to refuse a transaction, inspect before you buy, cash only transaction and if anything looks sketchy at the meeting, move on. I've never been scammed on Armslist as either a buyer or a seller, though I did pass on one purchase when the guy I contacted misrepresented himself as an Oregon resident, when he really was a Washington resident. In that case, it turned out he was very ignorant of the law and said he'd never heard of a restriction on interstate transactions. I briefly informed him and cancelled the deal. I do still use them from time to time, just to get more exposure for an item I'm trying to sell or trade. Plus I can't always find what I'm looking for on NWFA. I've posted WTB ads here before and had no responses, but did get legitimate responses on Armslist. If an offer comes through from NWFA though, I at least have the opportunity to see some trading stats on the other person, and that does help.

    So I don't think it's fair to say that Armslist itself is a scam. It's more accurate to say there are scammers on Armslist and being cautious in every transaction, regardless of what site it was listed on, is always a good idea.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
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  14. Norm0931

    Norm0931 Hillsboro, OR Sgt. Sheep Silver Vendor 2016 Volunteer

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    I've never had a problem on armslist however, I am generally the seller.
     
  15. aflineman

    aflineman Both South of Eugene and East of Portland. Active Member

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    Many times I will. I hate PayPal that much. Which is why I prefer to do business locally.
     
  16. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    Armslists TOS...terms of service....plainly state that the are not set up to be anything but a face to face advertising board.They offer no buyer or seller protection and plainly say that too,so for what they are set up to be,they are a good place to find stuff locally.
     
    etrain16 likes this.
  17. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I agree with etrain 16's posting.
    My experience with Armslist as a buyer/seller has been rather good.
    One guy back East sent me a USPS money order for over a $1,000.00 after only one short phone call.
    He just asked where to send payment and how much extra to ship to his FFL.
    Another guy from the Midwest called me at least twenty times before he sent payment.
    I always give the phone # of a local FFL gunsmith who will vouch for me and confirm the condition of the gun is correct, and that helps calm their nervousness I guess.
    The only time I was burned on Armslist was on a to good to be true .300 Blackout ammo deal for around $250.00, but I used my Visa card for payment and Visa reimbursed me after filing a complaint.
    The strange thing was that it was an FFL gun shop in Michigan that tried to rip me off.
    Found out later, the owners son was the scammer (druggie) and he caused a world of hurt to his dads business.
     
  18. gunfreak

    gunfreak Boise Well-Known Member

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    I have bought and sold items on armslist and outdoortrader and always deal with a local individual and require cash only. I am more trusting on this forum.
     
    Qjay likes this.
  19. Mongo1

    Mongo1 Santiam Canyon Active Member

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    I put cash only, no checks or paypal in my ads. With that, I've never had anyone try to use paypal. I haven't had any problems with FTF sales. I have had some potential buyers disappear when the realize I do a background/transfer or no sale.
     
  20. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Another FTF buyer. One simple rule for me. I handle and inspect any gun that I buy, so it's never "generally had good luck with XYZ". It's everything's fine because it's sitting in my hand! My generality is I buy from fellow members!
    Ditto on placing a WTB post. SRG