A few months back I received an instant message from a local guy marketing his new auction website: pickacity.com.
Eventhough I hate instant message marketers, I thought I would give him the benefit of the doubt since he was local.
[WARNING: DO NOT VISIT THIS SITE! It is adware & spyware filled and is a multi-level marketing scam]
He sent an unsolicited instant message. (Called SPIM)
Apparently, this guy was going through the local Yahoo Member Directory seeing who was online and just phishing for interested victims .... errr ummm ... people.
I stated from the start of the conversation that I was not interested in his offer and to please take me off any marketing list.
This guy proceeded to jump immediately on to a sales pitch and offensive.
Here's that conversation [editted for repetitiveness & obscenities] from May 2005:
danmurphy95: I'm local to Greenville and see that you sell on ebay. I'm launching a new type of Live Online Auction. We want to get to where we put buyers and sellers together in their local communites. For right now we are holding Auctions that anyone can attend as the items will be shipped.
danmurphy95: Our new auction dates have not been uploaded. But you can see our site at www.pickacity.com
I immediately noticed an LCD monitor that was up for auction on the site, that started at a $219.99 opening bid, and had this exhange with him through instant message:
adzoox: I noticed this on your site: Tatung 15" display: MSRP: 349.99 USD Retails Online: 299.99 USD
adzoox: http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=AS-1503SG and that's before I can apply a 10% discount.
danmurphy95: I'll check out your link.
adzoox: Computer Geeks regularly has Tatung displays (15 inch) for $150.00 or less
adzoox: Doesn't look like there's any bargains or any advantage over eBay
danmurphy95: I'm just testing a way to get our auctions started with Yahoo contacts.
adzoox: I can get a 15" LCD NEW for $140.00 + $8.00 shipping that is better quality than a Tatung (especially refurbed) and wouldn't you have to charge local sales tax?
danmurphy95:I don't care. I'm just doing some testing. Buy from Ebay then. They can use your money as well.
adzoox: Sorry, but I can get better prices than that and it doesn't seem to provide me with any advantage - trustworthiness - pricing - vs eBay - vs selling locally - vs buying at retail
adzoox: just trying to give you feedback - the site design is awkward as well
danmurphy95: We are promoting Live Local Autions. I'm just selling dropship items to get the momentum going.
danmurphy95: After we get enough bidders we may try a No Reserve Auction. I would be happy with break-even if necessary just to get the auctions started.
danmurphy95: We will be Radio Advertising in the areas we want to open. We are starting in Sioux City, Iowa. So when the Sioux City people come to the auctions there will be bidding doing on.
danmurphy95: How I got your contact info....
danmurphy95: I'm experimenting with adding people to my contact list through the chat rooms and through the Yahoo search. Friday I will do a mass invite to everyone in the folder. Life isn't easy for innovators sometimes.
danmurphy95: So anyway. With that said. You can go back to your beloved Ebay and I will do my thing. Goodbye.
adzoox: ok, but it still is not appealing to ME - I was just trying to give you some constructive critique - I could post your site on Spamhaus for IM abuse and report you to yahoo for the same, but I wanted to talk to you first.
adzoox: glad you understand glad you understand
Now, here is another conversation from Today, July 27, 2005 [editted for repitiveness & obscenity]:
danmurphy95: Hello. You've been on my contact list for awhile and I see you online quite often. Do you work from home?
danmurphy95: Where do you live?
adzoox: you emailed me before and I told you TWICE to take me off your marketing list - I won't ask you again!
danmurphy95: You dim wit. I was going to show you how to make some money on the net. But you keep doing whatever worthless *bleep* you do and I will take you off my list now.
adzoox: With that attitude I'm glad
adzoox: You were 50% higher on LCD monitors last time you sent your scam auction site
danmurphy95: You are one of those people that think everything is a scam. I've made over $100,000 a year on the net for the last 3 years. This year I will probably make over $400,000. You probably play Solitaire and play with your *bleep* all day long. Bye *bleep*.
adzoox: I'm reporting you to Yahoo and reporting your site to the BBB
danmurphy95: LOL... If you knew how stupid you really are you would sit down and cry like a baby.
"I've made over $100,000 a year on the net for the last 3 years. This year I will probably make over $400,000. "
Does that sound familiar?
Company Name: DVForge, Inc.
Business Type: Tennessee "C" Corp.
Date Founded: October 2002
2003 Growth Rate: 378%
2004 Growth Rate: 660%
Projected 2005 Growth: 800%
LoadPod: the nation's leader in iPod loading services
I would like all of my local clients and anyone reading this on the internet to know who this arrogant scammer is and how to avoid him:
Registrant of www.pickacity.com:
Registered through: GoDaddy.com
Domain Name: PICKACITY.COM
Created on: 17-Nov-02
Expires on: 17-Nov-05
Last Updated on: 21-Mar-05
*** ***** **
Greer, South Carolina 29651
[editted to be considerate]
You gotta love whois information. It's one of the main research tools I use at Jackwhispers.
Here's a little more interesting information about this "company" and the site. It seems that a majority of the items up for sale (currently) are owned or for sale by Dan Murphy ... this detail in the "about section" looks like a couple of loopholes and conflict of interest to me.
Dispute Settlement Policy
Disputes between Buyers and Sellers are normally handled quite easily by the PickaCity.com Arbitrators. Once an Arbitration Case has been submitted by either Buyer or Seller an Arbitrator will call each party to determine which party defaulted. Sellers can potentially Default by either misrepresentation or omitting important information. Buyers can Default by not showing up to pay for and take delivery of the items purchased at Auction. Once an Arbitrator determines the defaulting party PickaCity will resolve the dispute as follows:
Seller Defaulted... If it is determined that the Seller defaulted the Auction Fee paid by the Buyer will be immediately refunded in full. The Seller will be required to correct the problem if they want to sell the item at a future PickaCity.com Auction. The Auction Fee paid by the Seller will not be refunded.
Buyer Defaulted... If the Buyer was determined to be in default then the Seller can sell the item again at any PickaCity Auction of their choosing at no additional cost to the Seller. The Auction Fee paid by the Buyer will not be refunded.
eBay is becoming the defacto standard for auctions. I have been very pleased with the security measures they have implemented over the last two years in conjunction with Paypal. Yahoo auctions have become the haven for fraudulent auctions. eBay's feedback system and the fact that they are a publicly traded company really helps them to be a safer place than any other to buy or sell online.
[UPDATE] Yahoo reported on story this week about the elderly losing millions to fake auction sites and phishing scam /MLM auction sites.
See these related Jackwhispers stories:
How To Avoid An Auction Scam Without Really Trying
Yahoo Becoming Sin City?