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Old 12 February 2012, 03:26   #1
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To good to be true, is it a scam?

I'll try and keep this short, I have my boat up for sale on a classified ad on Ebay, it's in dry storage in Salcombe, I'm in Essex 265 miles away, a guy in Germany wants it for his holiday home near Budapest.
At first he was going to come and view but now he wants to meet at Dover.
I have said no as it would be best part of 4 days work and over a 1000 mile trip should he not buy it once at Dover.
He has now offered to pay into my bank a £1000 non returnable deposit should he not go through with the sale.
I have yet to ask how intends to pay the balance, the boat value is just under £15k.
Is this a scam?? it's not one I've heard of.
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Old 12 February 2012, 04:15   #2
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Umm. A difficult one. I suppose if you think it's worth a grand for the round trip you have nothing to lose
The only way I can see a scam here is if he tries to bargain you down or gives you counterfeit money
Send him as many pics as you can and tell him to pay for it up front
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Old 12 February 2012, 04:19   #3
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A 'non-refundable' deposit from a foreign bank transfer into a UK bank is anything but...

The whole scenario smells as fishy as a bag of festering prawns...
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Old 12 February 2012, 04:23   #4
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£1000 deposit? I'd want the money for the tow as well on top of the purchase price.
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Old 12 February 2012, 04:23   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max... View Post
A 'non-refundable' deposit from a foreign bank transfer into a UK bank is anything but...

The whole scenario smells as fishy as a bag of festering prawns...
Even if it's via CHAPS? (do they use CHAPS abroad?)
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Old 12 February 2012, 04:33   #6
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It could be a scam which you need to draw your own conclusions (as could any UK buyer wanting the same deal) on but what I would say is we sell a lot of boats/outboards to Germany & Holland. I've had a lot of Germans come over after paying fully by bank transfer and taking the boats. Generally they are very easy to deal with and a pleasure in fact to sell to. more so than the Brits sometimes

I get a sale, they re-sell and make good profits. That's what your guy will be doing. PM me his details I may know of him, you never know

With me they are happy to pay in advance due to us being in the trade. I'd guess they don't want to wire over the full balance as your a private seller, so it's a bigger risk of you disappearing.

I never offer delivery though until the boats been inspected in person unless it's agreed that I take a reasonable non-refundable deposit! I've had it both ways recently where I agreed a delivery with COD (driving 12 hor round trip) and the buyer was delighted to complete and one where it started to get concerning (on both sides) prior to delivery so I refunded rather than take the risk of an issue arriving upon delivery.

In any case if he's wired £1,000 over and come all the way over from Germany he would have to have some serious concerns not to complete so if your honest with the condition and confident in the boat it should be fine. If your aware of possible obstacles then you need to let him know now!

My advice is get a good deposit and try to make him come to you. Do the deal in GBP notes (which he will need to order) and do the deal during banking hours so you can go pay it into your account. If they are happy release the boat!

Failing that, do the same in Dover but take a larger non-refundable deposit which your happy with covering your time should he fail to show. Only give your iban and swift codes out, not your full banking details.

If I can be of any help just let me know via PM. I'd be happy to act as broker for you ?

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Old 12 February 2012, 04:36   #7
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Too slow, Peter have it all well covered....
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Old 12 February 2012, 04:38   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max...
A 'non-refundable' deposit from a foreign bank transfer into a UK bank is anything but...

The whole scenario smells as fishy as a bag of festering prawns...
Once the funds are clear in the account for 1 working day following the transfer it's the same risk as any UK transfer. The transfer cannot be cancelled his end but is still open to any fraudulent claim of it being somebody else's account. Unlikely but it can happen!

Seriously you would not believe how many Honda/Yamaha Outboards leave this Country for Holland - and you wonder why there's not many on the market. I know of at least 5 UK main dealers who ship out every one they take in to one Guy in Holland. I've tried tapping into it but you just cannot get close to what they can pay!

Like I said it could be a scam - but don't rule out a genuine sale either.

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Old 12 February 2012, 04:40   #9
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How about this? You request the buyer to pay full amount by bank transfer, whereof £1000 (or higher amount)non returnable deposit should he not go through with the sale. The balance amount would be returnable. The deposit has nothing to do with the bank, its an agreement between You and the Buyer. This to be documented on written contract but details may be added on the transfer remarks field also.

A bank transfer( SWIFT or similar), ones the money is on Your account is safe. Both of You can be identified later on, much more controlled than paypal. The buyer though takes a risk but thats life.

I paid my SR in advance by bank transfer, but we had a lot of communication and information exchange before the deal.
Would you wire £15,000 to a private guy in Germany ? I would not! Think of it from the buyers side in Germany too

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Old 12 February 2012, 04:55   #10
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Originally Posted by Boats&Outboards View Post
Would you wire £15,000 to a private guy in Germany ? I would not! Think of it from the buyers side in Germany too

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It depends a lot on the background of the story. If i can get recommendations, and can positively confirm identity, maybe.

Guess buying a rib from a well established RIBnet'ter having a condition check done, proper contract, why not? But using a broker might be smarter, agree.
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Old 12 February 2012, 05:15   #11
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It depends a lot on the background of the story. If i can get recommendations, and can positively confirm identity, maybe.

Guess buying a rib from a well established RIBnet'ter having a condition check done, proper contract, why not? But using a broker might be smarter, agree.
But this is a seller the buyer found on eBay. I'd not transfer it but I get your points. Most UK buyers want to inspect the goods before full payment so to expect an overseas buyer to fully complete is not always easy.

I guess the OP needs to consider his options. If the boat has generated enough interest within the UK not to take the risk then that will help with his decision. If however this is the best chance of securing a sale then he needs to do some more thinking.

Only he will know his circumstances

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Old 12 February 2012, 05:15   #12
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Don't do a deal in Dover, you don't know anything about the buyer, and all this transfer part-funds malarkey is a disaster waiting to happen.

Assuming the buyer is genuine, then if he's prepared to come all the way from Germany for a £15k boat, then what's a few more miles to the final destination at the dry storage yard.

If it were me, progress the sale with plenty pictures and a comprehensive description so he's under no illusion as to what he's buying, look out your own paperwork, and draft a receipt to be signed by both parties.

The buyer comes from Germany, pays cash which is transferred into the bank before the release of the boat. Hell, you could even book him to a Travel Lodge before the return journey! Good luck with the sale and let us know the outcome.
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Old 12 February 2012, 05:16   #13
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Once the funds are clear in the account for 1 working day following the transfer it's the same risk as any UK transfer. The transfer cannot be cancelled his end but is still open to any fraudulent claim of it being somebody else's account. Unlikely but it can happen!
I won't argue the point without all the facts to hand but just to say beware, from previous conversations with our business bank I'm not 100% sure this is the case - foreign transfers are not the same as UK BACS transfers. Beware if you do go ahead that unless he pays all charges including receiving charges you may be liable for a fee.
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Old 12 February 2012, 05:50   #14
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Richard,

The problem comes from you offering delivery in the actual advert (assuming ive dug correctly). Personally I'd take the sale but in Salcombe with a smaller deposit of £500 wired over and quick completion. That way you have little to lose but could secure a sale! Do the cash completion on a banking day and release when in your account having been checked. If he did manage to get the transfer refunded its a smaller hit.

If you do go through with Dover it's a bigger risk on all fronts but still these could be reduced. That's your call.

The Flyers had issues with the hull fading/wobbling which could prevent a sale so make sure he knows if yours is affected. Things like that will create issues.

Or sell the boat to me for 10k and there's no risk just give me his contact details

Let us know how you get on

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Old 12 February 2012, 06:13   #15
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I sold my Targa 30 for £80k to a norwegian bloke who never even saw it, there was a yacht being delivered to the UK and he had it put on the return journey.
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Old 12 February 2012, 15:39   #16
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My understanding is that we have an odd way of doing things here with our banks. I had a scammer trying to buy my skiff that got quite complicated. Upshot is we got to keep his fake cheque that he had paid money to buy and kept the skiff. Our banks will credit your account before the funds have cleared. If you then release your boat and it turns out to be a fake account that the funds are coming from, (it can take up to 6 months from some countries) the bank will take the money back out of your account and you're left high and dry. I think the only way you can guarantee funds is if he pays cash into a bank payable to your account, which is then credited in a couple of hours.
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Old 13 February 2012, 03:49   #17
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When a guy came to buy my Porsche we went to his bank and I watched him draw a banker's draft out. Then we paid it into my bank which was across the road.
Same thing when I sold my Ferrari.
It was the only way I was prepared to do it. Too many scams about, which is very sad, but true.
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Old 13 February 2012, 03:56   #18
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There is a good link on Honest John's website here to safe/unsafe payment advice:

Frequently Asked Questions | Honest John
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Old 13 February 2012, 13:00   #19
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When a guy came to buy my Porsche we went to his bank and I watched him draw a banker's draft out. Then we paid it into my bank which was across the road.
Same thing when I sold my Ferrari.
It was the only way I was prepared to do it. Too many scams about, which is very sad, but true.
Did the payments clear ok, with no repercussions afterwards?
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Old 13 February 2012, 13:04   #20
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When a guy came to buy my Porsche we went to his bank and I watched him draw a banker's draft out. Then we paid it into my bank which was across the road.
Same thing when I sold my Ferrari.
Same when I sold my Yugo Zastava and Wartburg Knight.
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