Be careful when advertising golf gear online

ThinBullet

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There's not a day goes by where I don't see a post about someone being scammed out of the golf gear they were selling. I know some folk are savvy, but not all are. I've sold and traded probably more than my local pro shop in the last 3 years, not to make money, but to try different gear, and here's a few things, I've noticed.

  • Paying via PayPal

PayPal Friends and Family is a one way transaction.
If you're the buyer, you cannot guarantee something will be sent. The best advice is to not trust a random stranger with goods on the internet. Happens a lot with lake balls.
If the store doesn't have a proper shop protected by HTTPS, then leave it alone.

Standard PayPal payment
This has stung a few. Everything looks legit, and you send the goods, and receive payment, but a few weeks later, the buyer can ask for the money back via PayPal buyer protection, saying the goods are damaged, and you won't get your goods back, or the money.

  • Paying by Bank Transfer

Only do and accept this when buying/selling in person. It's also a one way transaction, and NEVER send anything other than an Account Number or Sort Code. I'm not 100% sold on this practice personally, as people can set up direct debits for goods using your details, so be very careful.

  • Gumtree Scams

The popular scam around just now is when they message you to say the pictures aren't clear, and to send originals to their email address.
Do not do this. It's informing them of a live email address to launch further attacks, and it's not monitored by Gumtree. The focus of scammers here is to steer you away from Gumtree and into an alternative form of communication.

  • Facebook Marketplace

FB can be quite good as there can be more transparency on who is buying/selling, but keep in mind that some accounts can be hacked and controlled by a scammer. Password reuse is a strong attack vector online, and people can gain access to a FB account from a reused password from another hacked service they use.
The browser version of Messenger won't give you access to the persons profile, but the mobile application version does, so you can look into their account to see whether they really are from the town they claim to be. Usually protects against a long winded conversation too about postage, if you can halt the conversation early, knowing where they are from.

  • GolfClubs4Cash (GC4C) annoyance

This is less of a scam, but more of an annoyance. GC4C offer a service where you can upload pictures of your gear, and they'll reply pretty quickly, with a valuation of it's worth. Low ballers looking to make money on your gear, will use this service, and upload your pictures on their account, and use the lower end quote against you. Once they work their magic in demoralising you to the point where you accept the much lower price, they sell the gear on at a much higher price on another platform. Usually, they float around FB, buy the gear, then sell it on Gumtree.
Key here is to put your name and date in every picture if possible.

  • Aftermarket shafts and Mizuno blades

Sadly, the rise in aftermarket driver/wood shafts has increased the likelihood of fakes. If you search Ali Express for this type of thing, you'll see thousands of sellers. Ebay is the main middle ground for selling this stuff. Graphite Design shafts, and Fujikura Ventus are the most counterfeited shafts going. Mizuno MP irons are also very much a target for counterfeiters, as they are easily cast by huge factories.
Graphite Design have a site where you can compare shafts. https://proschoicegolfshafts.com/counterfeit-shaft-warning-2/.

Fujikura have an email service where you can send them the serial number printed under the grip that they can use to tell you if the shaft is real or not. Graphite Design have a hologram under the grip too, and newer shafts have "Accuracy and Design" printed near the hosel, where the fake shafts don't.

Overall Summary

Scamming, information gathering and theft is on a serious population rise.
  • Trust no one (Sadly)
  • Due diligence checks on who your are selling to and buying from
  • Don't send money to strangers for anything.
  • In person meet up is advised.
  • Don't use PayPal for personal transactions with strangers.
  • Ask for as much information as you can with equipment, especially aftermarket shafts, Scotty Cameron putters, and modern blades.
 

PJ87

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Have to admit I've never been scammed selling or buying off this forum

Bought a wedge. 2 driver heads and sold a couple driver heads / clubs and watches
 

steveb55

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Watch out for payment by bank transfer scams at the doorstep.

A friend of mine got scammed out of a laptop he sold on FB marketplaces. A guy came to the door to collect and offered to make a bank transfer for the laptop amount, something in the region of £500 I think. Friend gives the guy his bank account number and sort-code and watches as the buyer uses his mobile phone to make the bank transfer. Buyer shows him a “transfer complete” screen and hands over the laptop. The money never arrives in his account though and the buyer has the laptop. He goes back onto FB to message the buyer and lo and behold, the buyers FB account is now deactivated.

It appears that there’s a scam where buyers will use a fake mobile banking app to complete a fake transfer. In this case, never release the goods until the money hits your account. In most cases this should happen immediately.
 

BiMGuy

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Watch out for payment by bank transfer scams at the doorstep.

A friend of mine got scammed out of a laptop he sold on FB marketplaces. A guy came to the door to collect and offered to make a bank transfer for the laptop amount, something in the region of £500 I think. Friend gives the guy his bank account number and sort-code and watches as the buyer uses his mobile phone to make the bank transfer. Buyer shows him a “transfer complete” screen and hands over the laptop. The money never arrives in his account though and the buyer has the laptop. He goes back onto FB to message the buyer and lo and behold, the buyers FB account is now deactivated.

It appears that there’s a scam where buyers will use a fake mobile banking app to complete a fake transfer. In this case, never release the goods until the money hits your account. In most cases this should happen immediately.
Why on earth would you not check your own account to see if the money was there?

Bank transfer is my preferred way of being paid.
 
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