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Abusive and threatening eBay seller. Report to police?

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As part of my hobby I buy faulty electronics and repair them or break them for parts to resell them to friends at cost price (oddball I know but I enjoy repairing things even if I have no need for the item and I'm not interested in making a profit out of my friends)

Recently saw a radio on eBay which was very tatty, up as 'spares/repairs' 'no returns/warranty' etc. and was obviously missing a few bits.

It was listed for sale at about 5x the price of what a known good and complete radio in far better condition would sell for.

I kind of assumed it must be a typo on their part so I used 'make offer', leaving a bit of wiggle room for some negotiation over price/P&P

What happened next was a first for me (and I've been using eBay for a *long* time).

I got a rude, insulting email from the seller to which I replied explaining why I'd sent a low offer, turns out that was a bad move as he then started threatening me, telling me he has my address and that my family was in danger, quoted my postcode back at me as well. 

Reported to eBay, as far as I can see, absolutely nothing has happened. 

Reckon it's worth reporting to the police as well?

Comments

  • RFW
    RFW Posts: 10,040 Forumite
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    If you haven't had an offer accepted they won't have your address.
    That said if someone's threatening you then keep all the messages and report to the police, especially as they seem to be quite strong threats. Even if the threats are hollow, which they are almost certain to be, there's no reason for them and the seller needs to know that they shouldn't be sending them.
    Chances are it's a kid pretending to be a tough guy, I can't see why anyone would see any point in making threats. You're hardly going to say "well as you threatened my family I'll up my offer".



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  • JWM
    JWM Posts: 457 Forumite
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    ceeej said:
    As part of my hobby I buy faulty electronics and repair them or break them for parts to resell them to friends at cost price (oddball I know but I enjoy repairing things even if I have no need for the item and I'm not interested in making a profit out of my friends)

    Recently saw a radio on eBay which was very tatty, up as 'spares/repairs' 'no returns/warranty' etc. and was obviously missing a few bits.

    It was listed for sale at about 5x the price of what a known good and complete radio in far better condition would sell for.

    I kind of assumed it must be a typo on their part so I used 'make offer', leaving a bit of wiggle room for some negotiation over price/P&P

    What happened next was a first for me (and I've been using eBay for a *long* time).

    I got a rude, insulting email from the seller to which I replied explaining why I'd sent a low offer, turns out that was a bad move as he then started threatening me, telling me he has my address and that my family was in danger, quoted my postcode back at me as well. 

    Reported to eBay, as far as I can see, absolutely nothing has happened. 

    Reckon it's worth reporting to the police as well?
    A good rule for life is 'Never Engage With Nutters'. As soon as you received the first rude email you should have blocked the user and ignored them.
    As has been said, almost certainly a bored kid, but not worth debating with.
    You can try thr police but I suspect they won't be interested.
    I have been on eBay over 20 years and only once had any dodgy comms. The seller saw I lived in Scotland and started sending long emails about how dangerous Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP were. I just blocked him - didn't bother to say that I had voted SNP, and what did he care as he was in England anyway. Some people are just desperate for attention.
  • RFW
    RFW Posts: 10,040 Forumite
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    JWM said:
    You can try thr police but I suspect they won't be interested.
    I have been on eBay over 20 years and only once had any dodgy comms. The seller saw I lived in Scotland and started sending long emails about how dangerous Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP were. I just blocked him - didn't bother to say that I had voted SNP, and what did he care as he was in England anyway. Some people are just desperate for attention.

    I had one years ago. I can't remember what the problem was. What I do remember is abusive emails, an exceedingly libelous feedback comment (which to their credit Ebay removed immediately (It was that bad!)). About a week later I received a message with an apology. The message was said to be from the man's girlfriend and she was apologising for him and asking if I could withdraw my complaint so they could get their Ebay account back. I deleted and moved on. Even though you know there's nothing to worry about, it's quite frightening at the time.

    I've never heard of any of these types of threats actually being carried out. Not that that takes anything away from a rational fear from a threat.
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  • Thrugelmir
    Thrugelmir Posts: 89,546 Forumite
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    ceeej said:

    I got a rude, insulting email from the seller to which I replied explaining why I'd sent a low offer,
    I doubt the seller had any desire to get into a discussion with you.  Best to keep your views to yourself. 
  • TripleH
    TripleH Posts: 3,019 Forumite
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    Unless you've done business with them before I can't see how they'd have your address so as above, I wouldn't worry.
    I once had an error in my listing where I'd ticked free P&P in error. I got a cheeky low offer on item quite early after listing which would have given me a big loss on sale so rejected offer and ended listing as having an error. Wasn't angry with buyer as they did me a favour.
    May you find your sister soon Helli.
    Sleep well.
  • Mistral001
    Mistral001 Posts: 5,362 Forumite
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    edited 12 May 2022 at 2:45PM
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    When they were able to quote your post code back to you, it is a bit creepy, but presumably they do not have you house number as well, which means that they cannot come to your house.  As indicated above, never argue with an idiot.  Ignore and move on.  BTW I like fixing things as well including electronic equipment.  There is no money in it, but it is satisfying to see something working that would otherwise go into landfill or shipped off other countries.  
  • TripleH
    TripleH Posts: 3,019 Forumite
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    I'm good at mirror fixing.
    I take something that works, open it up, tinker around and hey presto it's broken.
    My mother now has a 3 mile exclusion zone around her sewing machines as a result.
    May you find your sister soon Helli.
    Sleep well.
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    If you have communicated solely through the eBay messaging system then you can just report them to eBay and move on. You've reported them anyway and you don't know what eBay may have done in the background, hopefully deleted them!  

    As JWM said above, don't engage with *ahem* 'nutters' (not a term I use but it seems appropriate in this scenario).

    A few weeks ago I was invited by eBay to make an offer on an item I'd looked at and popped into my basket (value £5.99). I did make an offer 50p lower but the seller rejected it. No offensive comments, no messages or anything. The item's still for sale but if eBay is encouraging people to make offers and then sellers are being abusive, that's really not on. If sellers don't want to haggle then they have the option not to include it in their ad. Sorry that happened to you. 
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    TripleH said:
    I'm good at mirror fixing.
    I take something that works, open it up, tinker around and hey presto it's broken.
    My mother now has a 3 mile exclusion zone around her sewing machines as a result.
    Thank you, that made me laugh! Reminded me of my brother who, when he was small, used to dismantle anything he could get his hands on, just to see how it worked. The things so dismantled never worked again. My parents despaired and had to put most things on high shelves. Didn't outwit him, though as he'd just drag a chair underneath the shelves and climb up. He once smashed a large and very pretty glass bowl with a hammer. Just to see what would happen. Hmmm. He grew up to become a civil servant. I don't know if there's any connection and would definitely not like to speculate.  :) 
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
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