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Editorial – How to avoid being scammed: Don’t buy new Stuff from eBay

The recent announcement of the Raspberry Pi 5’s availability excites me as a long-time lover of single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi. And I preordered mine right after the information was announced, and I am waiting for a shipping notice.  However, it has come to my attention that some people and businesses also buy for more nefarious reasons: taking advantage of people’s wants.

Last week, we discussed this story during our weekly podcast, The iTechGear Weekly, where people are selling the Raspberry Pi 5 for up to 109 percent above the device’s MSRP when buying them from approved resellers.  However, this practice is now escalating to even higher levels.  Today, I found this listing where someone sells a complete kit, including the cooler, case, and power supply, for $400.  Ordering it from a reseller like this only costs 107 dollars, plus shipping.  That is over 300 percent higher than it costs to buy it from an authorized reseller.

It’s obvious why people are doing this.  It happens with many highly anticipated products, like the PlayStation 5 or any hot and in-demand electronic product.  Some scalpers are now buying from approved resellers and putting them up on eBay at highly over-inflated prices to make a fast buck.  However, there’s making a quick buck, and then there is taking advantage of people and charging outrageous prices.  Not only that, but the people buying these have no intention of even opening the box.  They get it and put it BACK on eBay.  This makes the device take that much longer to get to legitimate buyers, and eBay allows this.

Now, is this truly allowed on eBay?  Not according to eBay.  The official policy states: “Offering items at a price higher than is considered fair or reasonable is not allowed on eBay.” I was even able to find instructions on how to report this to eBay, but when you attempt to do this, the option for price gouging isn’t even there.

This policy appears to be just lip service.  It will be allowed unless they provide a way to report this to them.  I found multiple links where they are not just charging more to make a little money but a LOT more, the worst being the one I mentioned above.  These sales ALL violate eBay policy.  However, the options to report this to eBay are crippled.

So if you want to get the latest electronics, be it the Raspberry Pi 5 or the latest hot toy or game console, don’t buy it on eBay.  Doing so only encourages price gouging by unethical resellers.  Yes, I know your kid wants the new hotness, but sometimes it’s better to wait and buy from someone who isn’t trying to rape your wallet.

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