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Buying from Phantom Pilots Members

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Monkeyleg, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. Monkeyleg

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    I've been buying things online since online selling began in the very early 1990's. I've had very few problems, and I buy things almost daily.

    Since joining Phantom Pilots, I've purchased three items from members through the Classifieds, and have been burned each time.

    The first time I bought a P2V+ that had been crashed. The seller listed a few minor parts that had been damaged, but left out the expensive parts that had been completely destroyed: wifi module, GPS module, Naza flight controller, etc. I screwed up royally and paid the guy through Paypal, but did so as a gift to save him the 3%. So, I had no way of filing a complaint, and he never responded to my emails. He took a whole bunch of broken parts from different crashed Phantoms and put them in a single box. Stupid me.

    The second time was just a few weeks ago. I bought a gimbal main circuit board from a member who said it worked perfectly. It didn't work at all. I stopped payment on my credit card, and haven't heard a word from him.

    Recently I purchased a P2V+ version 3 from a respected member. I got it last Friday. It has v3 2312 motors, but v2.0 or possibly even v1.x ESC's. It has a v2 gimbal (that had JB Weld or something smeared on the front of the roll motor housing). It has a wifi module with a perforated v3 case bottom, a sold v2 case top, and who-knows-what version boards in it. At first glance the wires running from the gimbal main board up to the wifi module and other terminals appeared to have the proper black cloth sheath. Upon closer look, I discovered the wires were just wrapped in black electrical tape. I'd return it, except that all of the body screws were torqued down unbelievably tight, and I had to drill one to get it out. I'm not going to try to return something I damaged.

    Has anyone else here had problems buying from members? I'm reluctant to do it again.
     
    yorlik and Waylander like this.
  2. rockhoundrob

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    If anything, I think there needs to be a way to rate members on the way they sell things on classifieds (similar to EBay).
     
    Larry L likes this.
  3. vgt

    vgt

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    Don't buy anything without highly detailed pictures, and never, EVER pay someone as a gift.
     
  4. snerd

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    Sorry about the bad luck. It shouldn't happen, but it does. I've bought camera gear off of forum members at photography forums, but the aircraft in this particular forum is just way too likely to have had crash problems. I did buy a used remote control with the FPVLR mod from Hutch, very smooth deal and was as advertised.
     
  5. N017RW

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    What establishes a member as 'respected'?
     
    dirkclod likes this.
  6. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
    Staff Member

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    PM me with details of the member. Let's see if we can work it out.
     
  7. Monkeyleg

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    Someone who's obviously respected by everyone else. ;)
     
  8. JKDSensei

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    That blows that you got burned.
    You really have to CYA. When you buy through practically any forum, without financial recourse, you're totally at their mercy. And like you've found, there are some real low lifes out there.

    My policy is, if it's more $ than I care to throw in the wind, not to buy unless I can put my hands on it first. That means local only for big $ items. Never be in a hurry or desperate. Even if they send you all the pics in the world doesn't mean that's what they'll send you.
     
    Jaime Ray Vaughn likes this.
  9. Ti22

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    Over on RCGroups they’ve got a lively buy/sale section and they use trader ratings.

    Bought a plane (T28) from a local and it was so refreshing dealing with cash in hand and someone willing to help setup TX/RX.

    That group obviously does a lot more LPU (local pickup) since fixed wing hard to ship but I’ve also bought radio and some tidbits using shipping and no problems.

    It probably sucks to implement but I think a trader rating is probably a good thing.
     
  10. hunch

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    Dick,
    i was out this weekend. Just got the msg from you and replied. i will call you tonight.
    PM me your number please.
     
  11. snerd

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    Yeah, I discovered that some of the individuals that sell actually have a life, and don't live on the computer 24/7 like some of us. I had to adjust my wait-time patience accordingly! :D
     
    yorlik likes this.
  12. cheebs

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    I've only bought new items from forum members, never used. All my purchases have been straightforward and without issues. It really depends on the seller and the item advertised.
     
  13. kenjancef

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    I've made numerous high $$ purchases on camera forums, and ALMOST got burned once, for about $1,200. My rule of thumb is:

    1. See how many posts the user has... the higher the better. Read some of those posts, see how they act, how they react, and their general demeanor, as best you can.

    2. ALWAYS pay in some kind of way that if the transaction does go south, you can recover.

    3. PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES!!!!

    I do admit that their is a huge amount of trust involved. Don't be in a rush to make the purchase. If the seller sells to someone else, then it probably wasn't meant to be...

    Sad to see you get burned, it sucks...
     
  14. Colorado68

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    When I buy on line for major items, I like to talk to the person selling beforehand and ask questions. Pictures dont tell everything. a few minute, live conversation, will usually reveal if its a good or bad deal.
     
    kenjancef likes this.
  15. Monkeyleg

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    I do online retail sales for a living (if you can call it a living), and I get a lot of calls on my toll-free number from people just looking for reassurance that it's a real business. I'm surprised how many online retail businesses don't have phone numbers.
     
  16. Chirp

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    There's a forum called helifreak.com that has a function to rate members you have dealt with. The only way to stop this is to name names, in my opinion.
     
    Buckaye likes this.
  17. Monkeyleg

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    A little update to this saga. When I bought the P2V+ from the seller, he was about a week late in shipping it. He said that he had a small issue with it, that the wifi unit was "sketchy", and he needed to test it with another unit to see if he could get it working. He said he needed another day or two because he might have to get a new v3 wifi unit that's perforated and doesn't overheat.

    Two days after I had the P2V+ in hand, the "v2 upper/v3 lower" wifi module died, or looked like it did. I was getting telemetry, but no video. I ran some gimbal cables that I knew worked, just to see if maybe it was the black-taped wires in the P2V+. Just to be absolutely certain it wasn't the gimbal, I bought one that was practically new on Ebay, and tested that. Still no video.

    I called the seller on Wednesday about this, and he said that he had no idea that the wifi module was half-V2 and half-V3, or that the ribbon cables were wrapped in black plastic instead of fabric. He said that the bird was so clean that he didn't even open it up.

    I thought that was odd, since that directly contradicted what he told me when I was waiting to receive it.

    I'm careful with wifi modules, as I learned the hard way not to keep them on for long when the bird is sitting. I do whatever I have to do with the P2V+ on, then turn it off. There was nothing I did that should have overheated it. When I flew it, temps were in the 70's.

    I called last night to see if he had a wifi module he could sell at a reasonable price, considering the circumstances. I left two voicemails, but never got a call back. So I went ahead and and bought what is supposed to be a new wifi module on Ebay for $170. I told the seller not to ship it if it wasn't brand new.

    Caveat emptor.
     
    Ti22 likes this.
  18. snerd

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    Thanks for the update.
     
  19. Ti22

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    Thanks. I hit like only because I "like" that you returned to provide an update. Sorry about the way things went down...
     
  20. Monkeyleg

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    Another update. The member who sold me the nun-functional gimbal control board---Atyler34---is fighting the chargeback (reversal of charges). His argument seems to be that I agreed to buy the board. He's never replied to any of my posts or PM's about the board being no good.

    I took a look at his profile. He has a decent number of posts here on PP since joining in September, but they're all for selling things. Draw your own conclusions.

    I've now been ripped off for about $1200 from purchases on PP. Ticks me off something fierce.