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Old 04-14-2004, 02:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
who?
 
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Location: the phoenix metro
a question regarding "miraculous" ebay auctions

okay, so for shits and giggles i hop onto ebay, looking around at computers and such to see what prices are running... and i run into this:

Quote:
Cheap Alienware Area-51 Extreme 3.0 GHZ

Please read the entire description and ask all questions before bidding! Non-paying bidders will be punished!
Want an Alienware Area 51 Extreme Laptop for Cheap? fOR $150!!!!

If so, then this is the auction you致e been looking for! This auction is for the information on where you can get this awesome Area 51 Extreme Laptop for cheap money.



Specifications Of The Laptops :


* Brand new AlienWare Notebook Computer


* Exclusive Alienware Design and Colors - Magnesium Alloy Chassis


* Intelョ Pentiumョ 4 Processor 3.0GHz 800MHz FSB w/ 512KB Cache


* 512MB DDR PC-3200 - 2x256 SO-DIMMs


* Hitachi 60GB 7200 RPM ATA100 with 8MB Cache NEW!


* 16.1" UltraXGA 1600x1200 LCD Display


* AREA-51M ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Module with 128MB DDR


* Sound-Blaster Pro Compatible 3D Audio


* Integrated 10/100Mb Ethernet NIC


* 24x10x24 CD-RW / 8X DVD Combo w/Software


* 56K Modem with V.92 Technology


* Aliencare Toll-Free 1-Year 24/7 Depot Warranty

YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE THE COMPUTER IMMEDIATELY; IT GENERALLY TAKES BETWEEN AT LEAST 30 AND 50 DAYS TO SHIP. BUT FOR $150 YOU SHOULD CERTAINLY FIND IT WORTH THE WAIT. WHY SO CHEAP? I WANT EVERYONE TO BE ABLE TO GET COMPUTERS FOR A MINIMUM AMOUNT OF MONEY.

Also The Same Site/Method That Gives You The Alienware Laptop For 275, You Can Also Get The Following For A Great Price/SAvings: Apple iPod 40GB (115.00$) Microsoft XBOX (40.00$) Sony Digital Camera (100.00$) And Much Much More (Nokia N Gage, PS2, Gamecube, Gameboy Advance, And So Much More!!!!!!

Bonus: With This Auction I Will Also Throw In 10 More Sites To Get The Alienware Laptops For The Prices Of 160, And 275. All 11 Are Fully Working And Legit. BID WITH CONFIDANCE!!!
now i've seen other auctions that basically sell the same thing... you pay a nominal amount (between 5 and 10 dollars, normally) and the seller passes on instructions on how to get high-ticket items rediculously cheap.

the sixty-four thousand dollar question is, how does this work? has anyone ever done this before? has anyone ever gotten boned by this kind of thing before? is this a scam, or is there some massive secret to buying big-ticket items that i've been missing all my life?
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't trust it personally. Look at their rating and read about how others felt about it; chances are you'll find people's reactions. Watch out for fake entries though.
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Frankly I'm curious as well. I've run across these and always wondered. I wonder if its something like buying wholesale, you can get them for 150 apiece but you have to buy like 30? That or its from somewhere with limited supplies (read: 1) and there's a disclaimer in the 'information' saying you're not guarenteed to get it.

I'd just think if these people could get stuff so cheap they'd be getting it themselves and reselling the items on ebay for a profit, not the information on how to get them.
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: the phoenix metro
another one, just for example:

Quote:
THIS IS NOT A SCAM IN TWO MONTHS I GOT Playstation 2 Video Game System PICTURE DOWN BELOW SHOWS I RECEIVE PS2, I JUST RECEIVE IT. YOU CAN GET Xbox Video Game System SAME WAY AND MANY OTHERS .Get a BRAND NEW Xbox Video Game System game for only $10 - $20 with free shipping! Note: You are not purchasing the system directly from me. You're bidding on easy-to-follow instructions that tell you how to get the products. This whole set of entertainment can be yours for a mere $10 - $20 with FREE shipping by a large legit retailers such as Best Buy or Amazon.com. ALL BRAND NEW!!! You are not bidding on the system itself, you are bidding on an easy method to get all this! STEP BY STEP EASY TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS I have the information on how you can get it for only $10 - $20 plus you do NOT have to pay for shipping!!!! This is NOT a scam, it is 100% LEGAL!!! I received my Playstation 2 console!! The only hard part of this is time, it might take you about 3 - 5 hours to complete this process, but every second will be worth it because you will be saving over hundreds of dollars on video games and systems!!!!! You can also pass this information on friends or family and let them join in on the free console!!! This method requires ONLY three items: 1. A Credit Card or Debit Card (Master Card or Visa) 2. A Home or Business Address. NO P.O. Boxes 3. You must be living in The United States. THAT IS ALL YOU NEED!!! With this method you can obtain all these items BRAND NEW, UNOPENED, and with FULL WARRANTY: Playstation 2, Xbox Video Game System, GameCube System, Game Boy Advance and TONS OF VIDEO GAMES!! After you have won the auction and paid, I will email you the easy-to-follow step by step information for you to complete to receive your Playstation 2, Xbox Video Game System, GameCube System, Game Boy Advance !! I will e-mail within 24 hours, so bid with confidence. I am a great seller and have great feedback, this is a deal you can't miss!!!
(he's worse than me at sentence structure)
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It is a scam. You basically tell the company you wish to "test" the product out for a magazine or for a company you work for. They send your a model to test and sometimes let you keep it.
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: the phoenix metro
so what happens if they ask for it back and you don't give it back?
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Those you just send back. The idea is eventually, you will have a company that won't ask for it back. Or they won't ask for a back for a long time so you get the use of the product anyways. Like with a video card or something.

Someone I know runs a computer hardware site and gets free products all the time. His is legit though as he really does give them a rating and a review. Usually the video card or whatever company lets him keep the product. Sometimes they give him 3 months or so then they want to back.
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: the phoenix metro
so i pay 150 or whatever, get my "test laptop", and then have to give it back when alienware comes calling?

what happens if i just refuse to give it back?
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Depends on the company. Most probably won't give a shit since it would be cheaper just let you keep it then to get all legal on you ass. Though, they very well could call someone out there to get it back from you if you agreed originally that you would send it back after "reviewing it". Then there is the whole matter of fruad. Usually these instructions tell you to send a letter, stating what your company does and explaining why you want to try or have a sample of their product.
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: the phoenix metro
hm. it's hard for me to beleive a company will just give away their machines like that. has anyone else had experience with this?
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The other way I can see this working since this is a bigger item then most of the scams for the other way, is to send in a broken alienware laptop for a brand new one. You buy a broken one at low cost and make them send you out a new, upgraded one. I donno though.
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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There's another scam that I know goes around for iPods.

You get a link to a site that claims to be able to get you what you want for 1/10th or some other fraction of the price. Paying this money adds you to the bottom of the list.

When x people join the list, the person on top gets an ipod. So the people who join early get cool stuff cheap and the bottom people get screwed. And the people running the site get money in the process too.

EDIT: here's a link with links to such sites and a longer explanation: http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,...w=wn_tophead_1

Last edited by lordjeebus; 04-14-2004 at 02:32 PM..
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Old 04-14-2004, 02:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It's a scam based on a lie. In order to get these companies to send you a "sample", you need to represent yourself as a major purchaser. The instructions give you lots of advice on how to make it seem like you are a major wholesale purchaser, from ways to trademark your "company" name, to links to getting cheap stationary with your company logo, even services that give you a phone number answered by a secretary that is sorry you aren't in, but would love to take a message for Mr Phred Green, company president. Build enough of an illusion, and companies will send you plenty of samples in hopes you'll buy many.

That's the lie. You are tricking companies into sending you samples of a product that you have no intention of buying in bulk.
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Old 04-14-2004, 03:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think lordjebus is right -- this looks like just another pyramid scam to me.
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Old 04-14-2004, 04:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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yea, he is right, a while ago i saw one that was selling instructions on how to get phones for some low price, i was curious just because the dude was selling the instructions for so much money, and all it was was a link to a site, he made like 1000's of dollars just by selling this link
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Old 04-14-2004, 05:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
Quote:
Originally posted by Peetster
It's a scam based on a lie. In order to get these companies to send you a "sample", you need to represent yourself as a major purchaser. The instructions give you lots of advice on how to make it seem like you are a major wholesale purchaser, from ways to trademark your "company" name, to links to getting cheap stationary with your company logo, even services that give you a phone number answered by a secretary that is sorry you aren't in, but would love to take a message for Mr Phred Green, company president. Build enough of an illusion, and companies will send you plenty of samples in hopes you'll buy many.

That's the lie. You are tricking companies into sending you samples of a product that you have no intention of buying in bulk.
Heh, I've been doing that to get jobs for years. "Do you have experience?" I do now that I have a fake business. Call it up, my dad will tell you all about it.
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Old 04-14-2004, 05:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Location: Down South
I have seen these scams all over the place. The situation that Alethia describes is a 'best-case' scenario. In most cases, you get nothing because they make you wait beyond the 30 day recovery period and by the time you complain, they are off the hook and have sharked hundreds of others.

If it sounds too good to be true...
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Old 04-14-2004, 09:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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http://www.thephonematrix.co.uk/how_it_works.htm

Total Crap. Most of the time, a gullible person who bought it will leave the URL in feedback for the scammer.
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Old 04-15-2004, 02:12 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by phredgreen
so i pay 150 or whatever, get my "test laptop", and then have to give it back when alienware comes calling?

what happens if i just refuse to give it back?
I'm assuming if you refuse to give it back, the company will send you a bill for the actual full price of the Laptop. And if you don't pay it, your credit goes down the toilet when the account goes to a collection agency.
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Old 04-15-2004, 02:21 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Sounds fishy... but then again..I don't trust anything.
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Old 04-15-2004, 03:15 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kaos
I'm assuming if you refuse to give it back, the company will send you a bill for the actual full price of the Laptop. And if you don't pay it, your credit goes down the toilet when the account goes to a collection agency.
probably the most logical thing i have heard all day.

hey phred, how's about this i'll mail you a dollar and if you can get another 1500 board members to send you a dollar, you can get a new laptop

i am dead serious, i WILL mail you a dollar, (if you PM me with your address).
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Old 04-15-2004, 04:28 PM   #22 (permalink)
Still fighting it.
 
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I know we at our paper can sometimes lay our hands on some pretty pricey shit if we sweet talk em right. Like one reporter on our paper got hold of a Nivea press release. We promised to give them a page of editorial and a picture (which was going to happen anyway) and they sent us a whole box of cosmetic products, and not like free samples, proper commercial size bottles of the stuff. I mean, cosmetics aren't a laptop, but the principle is the same.

If you say you work for PC Gamer or something, and you have the credentials to back it up, I'm sure you would have little problem getting hold of an alienware pc for free. The question is, how are you supposed to convince them who you aren't?
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