How To Warn Others On eBay As A Fake Flash Angel – Fight Back Against Fake MP Players, Memory Cards, USB Flash Drives – A Guide
Posted by KittyFireFlash on September 11, 2009
As an eBay member it is your RIGHT to share your “buying experience” with others and ask them about theirs. If you bought a fake mp player, usb flash drive or memory card you should warn others for the seller. People do not test the capacity properly, they discover the truth much later after leaving positive feedback. Many lose important information.
These sellers on eBay hurt a lot of people and they make a great deal of money. The only way to stop them and shorten their eBay lives is to warn others. eBay only allows a member to send up to 5 messages a day. This quota means one victim can not be effective against a seller, it needs more victims to compensate for the 5 a day message limit.
In 2008, one eBay member asked other buyers about the usb flash drives they purchased. The usb flash drives were fakes. These eBayers also started to contact others.
Soon a full scale war to rid eBay of these items began. There have been many battles and there will be more. The only thing preventing a return to the old days on eBay is YOU!
So how do you warn others? Here is a guide that shows you how. The things to do. The thing’s you should not do. It’s not hard being a fake flash angel, it can take less then 15 minutes a day of your time. Will it make a difference? Yes. Learn why.
One way to help is to be a Fake Flash Angel. This action a gentle, traditional one from the early days of fighting the issue on eBay. It is the basic one, our grass roots. It also best reflects the noble spirit of the Project.
To be an Angel you contact people who bought from a fake flash seller and send them a warning message, to test! It is search and rescue. It also becomes your opportunity to recruit troops to join you in your struggle to put an end to the seller.
If people respond confirming a fake you ask them to report in to us using the Report A Fake Tab. Then have them break down the doors at PayPal filing disputes. It sends the red lights flashing at PayPal. If the seller is still listing the items, you can all begin reporting them to eBay to make their red lights flash too. If we have published an alert, victims can leave comments on the article(s) and share their progress and insights. SOSFakeFlash requires evidence of a seller’s guilt to issue a public alert on the internet.
Will contacting others make a difference? Yes. Read: How Contacting eBay Buyers OF Fake Memory Purchases Saves Others – A Victim’s Thank You!
- Choosing Your Fake Flash Seller
- Creating Your Message
- Preparing And Sending your message
- Trouble Shooting
- Exceeding Your Quota
- eBay Member Has Been Flagged
- Miscellaneous – Random Tracking
Choosing Your Fake Flash Seller
Most people chose their own fake flash seller. If you have finished your battle with your seller, you can help on another seller. See the alerts, the battle plan or the current fake flash seller lists. You can even chose to send for suspended sellers.
You can also patrol on eBay for listings that look suspect or fishy for sellers not yet on our list. Your guide for potential false capacity sizes is the What Are The Real Costs For Flash Chips In China? Guide 2009. No seller sells to lose money. Flash memory chips have been increasing in cost, not decreasing in the last nine months.
Who do you send to? You look at the feedback for the seller, you can chose as far back as 20 days and work forward, randomly select in the 20 days, or the most recent feedback. It is your choice. Unless you have formed a secret group, there is no organized pattern to chose who you might send a message to. The reason for the 20 day window is the claim period the buyer has. You can go back further if you like.
Never send by the eBayer’s country as a guide. It is not an indicator a person will or will not test. You would be surprised who reads English well or not.
If the comment is in another language and you know that language, please concentrate there.
Concentrate on one seller at a time. Otherwise if people respond to you, you might get confused about which seller they are referring too.
Creating Your Message
- You should compose a standard message in notepad and save as a text file. Keep it within the character limit for an eBay message. Make sure to mention the seller id (some victims buy from a lot of sellers in a short period of time, a bidding spree).
- Do not use aggressive words or what you would like to do in your wild phantasies to a fake flash seller.
- Keep the wording simple, English is not everyone’s first language.
- Just state facts and ask them to test.
- Do not past in long url web addresses, they get flagged. You can put in the keyword “H2testw” to help them find the testing software.
- How you word is up to you. Everyone has their own personal style.
Preparing And Sending your message
- You are only allowed to send up to 5 messages a day under an eBay id. Never exceed the limit!
- You should chose a time of day that is best for you. Stick to that time of day, plus 10 minutes later each day. This makes sure that your allowance is always reset.
- Select the member and the send a message options.
- Copy paste your text message.
- Untick the hide your id box. People often suspect other members who hide their identity.
- Repeat till you used your allowance.
- Keep track of the id’s you sent messages to, so you don’t send to the same people again.
- With a little practice it takes less then 15 minutes a day, often as little as 10!
- Tomorrow you would repeat the same actions, only 10 minutes later
1. Exceeding Your Quota
If you don’t send your messages at the same time of day +10 minutes you could get confused by your remaining allowance. Remember eBay only gives you a maximum of 5 a day. If you exceed your quota you will get nasty messages from eBay.
2. eBay Member Has Been Flagged
Sometimes you could get this message or something like this:
We have determined you are trying to contact an eBay member with whom you are not currently involved in an open transaction. For the protection of the eBay community, we sometimes block these types of communication. To prevent this occurrence from happening in the future, we recommend the following:
If you are a seller, respond to all bidder questions before the auction ends.
If you are trying to contact the seller of an item that has not yet ended go to the item page and click the “Ask seller a question” link.
If you are the winning buyer of an item go to your My eBay page under the items I’ve Won section. Click the action drop down menu and choose the “contact seller” action.
If you are a seller trying to contact your winning buyer, go to My eBay and under the Items I’ve Sold section, click the action drop down menu. Choose the “contact buyer” action.
Reply to seller/bidder through personal email provider (if the sender has not hidden their email address).
Thank you for your understanding
eBay randomly flags buyer id’s. It usually means that the eBay member you are trying to warn has been flagged for the moment. Horrible. It is that eBay member’s unlucky day. eBay has prevented you from warning him. So you need to continue to the next id, skip this one. If it is blocked too, on to the next. Sometimes you might have to skip up to five id’s. So long as you are in your allowance you should be able to continue. It is not advised to return to those eBay member id’s for a week. If you work in a group, you could send them to somebody else who is far away from you geographically. We have noticed that often eBay members on a different continent are not blocked from reaching the members.
3) Miscellaneous – Random Tracking
On occasion, you might find yourself unable to send. If you have another machine in your home, use it to complete the assignment for the day.
eBay leaves files on your machine. Cookies and other files. You do not want to know the level of invasion or tracking eBay can employ on a user’s PC. The average person does not have their machines or network clanking about in suits of armour and extreme security filtering. If you are one of the rare people with multiple OS Partitions or subscribe to several ISP providers switch to complete the work for the day.
If you rely on your browser history or cookies or even save your passwords (a big security mistake!) or you are uncomfortable with PC’s do NOT attempt the following!
PC Internet Cache Clean Up
Clear your browser cache. That includes history, cookies, files and offline files. Repeat a second time as some browsers do not do a full clean up without the second repeat.
- On your C drive, right mouse click properties, disk clean up and clean up.
- Try again to complete your 5 a day message allowance.
- If the block persists, repeat 1-3 and move your PC clock time forward or even backward.
Periodically cleaning your internet cache is a good practice. You will be amazed at how much disk space can be consumed unnecessarily. It’s a good practice.
There are a few additional things one can do to get around this occasional road block, unfortunately we can not publish this information. You can expect eBay to snoop in this article so we will not provide them with all the doors they need to close. The purpose of this article is to help you, not to have eBay defeat those who intend to exercise their eBay right to share the buying experience.
Does eBay persecute eBay members who warn others? On occasion, yes. It happens randomly, there is no pattern or intelligence. It is not a common occurrence.
Not all eBay members you contact are smart. A few unfortunately have the intelligence of a peanut. Sound harsh, but it is true. If a person insists there is nothing wrong with the item, do not attempt to argue with them. Move on. You did your duty. Leave them to their fate. They can be foolish and report you as a spammer. If they do, or eBay tried to pin this on you, you will have to fight back and remind them of the right to share buyer experiences. You got a fake, you asked if they did as well. Period. This is why you need to be careful in your wording and not call the seller names or state what you would like to do to the seller in a dark alley. You message should be calm, rational and simply state facts.
In fighting against fake flash, you can expect sword cuts from eBay over time. We all have scars. Oddly we are PROUD of them and they have made us even more determined! It only provided to us, how eBay is implicated and how they stubbornly refuse to address the problem. The actions against us should have been used on these fraudsters! That they instead chose to harm those who do good and are against fraud, instead of being a good corporate citizen and living up to what they promote in a safe buying experience, put steel in our veins.
If eBay gets nasty with you and tries to persecute you, please make sure to post all email information from them to you in a comment on this article! Let their behavior receive the full exposure of the internet! Globally. Publicly! It needs to be seen. It needs to be on record.
In general persecution is rare. eBay does not have the time and the manpower to stop every person from warning others about the fake flash sellers. This is why it is so important to have MANY people being fake flash angels. If you chose to be one, we advise that you do not pester them with many emails about their involvement in this fraud. It just puts the spotlight on you as a trouble maker. You can be most effective by by keeping a low profile. Think like a person assigned to a covert mission. Objective rescue. Objective keep eBay from spotting you.
The best successes against come from two different approaches:
- When many people operate independently.
- When victims group against a seller. If a group is formed, make sure to take your communication channels offline outside of eBay, away from their prying eyes. Have a leader (usually the one who first starts contact) who receives communications and emails all with updates and actions to undertake. Groups need to be covert, operate in stealth mode. Prior to our internet presence we operated this way for over 6 months. Fake flash sellers, eBay and PayPal had no clue what was going on. For the first time since this problem appeared on eBay (over 5 years ago), the sh*t was hitting the fan. Fake flash sellers for the first time received negative after negative, often on the same day (by design).
It is also very important to share your information with everyone on seller responses. They love to cry crocodile tears. Beware of this. Also watch out for them asking or demanding that people change their feedback for a refund. If they do, they are violating eBay policy. Beware of eBay Sellers Who Demand You Withdraw Negative feedback Make sure that any victim who receives such communications sends the emails to eBay.
If a seller marked the item as a gift, you have them for customs fraud! Ebay & International Law – Listings And Transactions – Dealing With Counterfeit Fake USB Flash Drives, MP Players, Memory Cards
The most important action of a fake flash angel is to alert others. Search and rescue. It is doing a good deed. Often it is a kindness returned. Or a “thank you” appreciation for finding this site.
A fake flash angel’s tour of duty, is up to the person. Some have short careers. Some long. Others are off and on. The most important thing is to pace yourself. Do not expect that everyone will respond to you. Some will just check the internet with the information you provided on testing and go from there. Others will ignore you until they have problems. Then they search the internet and find us. Those who respond to you with confirmation will usually hug you, a few will be outraged and will want to fight the issue. They are the next generation of fake flash angels.
Everyone can help. How is up to the person.
SOSFakeFlash will not dictate how a person chooses to fight.
Some actions can not be mentioned, why is should be obvious. It is up to victim to decide according to their conscience. In fighting you might receive a few battle scars. If you do, wear them as a badge of honour.
Everything helps. It does not matter if it is a small action or a large one.
After one year of internet presence: The Fight Against False Capacity MP Players, Memory Cards, USB Memory Sticks Continues On The Internet – SOSFakeFlash Celebrates First Year Of Operation Assisting Victims and studying the data, one thing is very clear. To address the problem on eBay, we must return to our origins.
Fake Flash Angels need to operate inside of eBay, fight where the problem is. Help to save fellow members from data loss and have them reclaim the money they lost to this fraud. Do not expect eBay to clean up the mess. They have ignored the issue for 5 long years. The reason is basic, the revenue they enjoy from fake flash sellers is too important.
eBay’s attitude is being forced to change. How? By people like you who refuse to let them protect fake flash sellers and the harm they do to eBay members. They will not suspend the sellers unless you chose to take action. The objective of SOSFakeFlash is to kick these sellers off Bay for good and to force eBay to change their listing policies for mp players, usb flash drives and memory cards. If they don’t, eventually they could face a class action suit. Something a lot of victims would be happy to see. They know who the sellers are. Do they contact the eBay members who bought from the seller? No. They do not warn them of data loss pending, they do not automatically refund buyers, they do not apologize for the incedent. They will use any opportunity to remove the sellers listings so that it appears, nothing occurred. They are good at hiding the truth. We exist to prevent their attempts to erase the information. It is difficult and very time consuming.
We need YOU to help, to sign on for a short duty as a fake flash angel.
PayPal could also face similar action
People who perform a tour of duty as a Fake Flash Angel find it rewarding. It is therapeutic. It is an opportunity to do good and a chance to fight back against fraud. Saving another person from the potential of data loss, is a wonderful feeling.