From: David Ross (ross_at_math.hawaii.edu)
Date: Wed Apr 19 2000 - 18:45:34 EDT
"That may be the very best reason not to bid in the first place, but I
don't see how it's a reason to bid but not to pay."
I'm inclined to agree. While this is almost certainly a scam, the time
to do homework on something like this is *before* bidding. If Donald
backs out now - even if he uncovers compelling evidence that the auction
is a scam - he is open to some attack, possibly even litigation. (Of
course, this doesn't mean that he *should* send the money if he's sure
it is a scam, merely that he is now in a situation of
having to weigh the risk of being scammed against the risk of being
I hesitate to express an opinion about online auctions - last time I did
so on this list, I was slammed
personally - but if I *were* to offer an opinion, I would say that this
is another problem with the things.
Unlike a live auction - where you have probably checked the auction
house's bona fides before entering the door, and in any event have the
merchandise in front of you, with ebay and Yahoo and their ilk the
gravitas of the hosting site can lull you into a false sense of security
w/r to the actual seller, and
you are liable to bid while your brain is powered down into websurf
mode, which as we all know is a state not dissimilar to sleep:-)
I'm sure we all wish Donald good luck in extricating himself gracefully
(and legally) from this one.
- David R.
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