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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I recently had a really bad experience buying my 78 Bronco from eBay and I wanted to explain our story, and hopefully it will prevent other people from falling into the same problems we did.

We won the eBay auction on 9/7/16 and immediately contacted the seller to arrange everything. He required us to make a full payment by noon that same day via wire transfer. He was adamant about paying in full and wouldn't accept any other payment but a wire transfer. We paid the price in full plus an extra $200 so he could arrange the shipping.

After more than a week with no shipping arrangements made, we contacted the seller and asked him if it would be ok if we flew to Idaho and drive it back to LA. He said there wouldn't be any problem, but he recommended to change the tires. He also told us that he wasn't going to be there so he asked if he could leave it at the airport with the keys in the car. That sounded dodgy so instead we arranged for him to leave it at a mechanic in Lewiston so they could do a full inspection and switch the tires.

We flew from LA to Lewiston, ID and arrived 9/17/16.

We arrived at the mechanic and immediately noticed a giant crack on the windshield that was not disclosed in the original ad, in neither the text nor the photos. I test drove the truck and almost got into an accident because the throttle spring came off and the gas pedal got stuck. Thankfully we were still at the mechanic and they fixed it, but that was the first of many dangers we faced. Upon further inspection we also noticed the steering wheel was out of alignment and was hard to drive, the rear left window was broken, none of the turning signals worked and the brake lights were not working, as well as the undercarriage having significantly more rust than expected.

I contacted the seller immediately and he very rudely refused to refund. After lots of back and forth (we were at the mechanics for at over 2 hours because we were scared to drive it back) he gave us two options: 1. To leave the car there so he could put it back on eBay under his account because he was confident he could sell it for more and then he would pay us back or 2. to take it and he promised he would cover the undisclosed damages. Both options were bad. We were considering option 1 but said no because a) we didn't trust that he would make an effort to sell the car as he has already proven to be untrustworthy b) we didn't want someone else to be conned by this man and c) the soonest flight out of there was Monday evening which meant we would have been stranded there for 2 days. After speaking with the mechanic they told us driving it back would be the lesser of two evils. Because of the seller's untrustworthiness and because we had already paid for the car in full we really had NO other option but to take it and figure out a solution amongst ourselves and the seller to fix the undisclosed damage and problems.

With all the chaos we still hadn't even noticed that the Bronco was not even a 1979 at all, and is in fact it a 78. There was no proper bill of sale and the title was left blank. On top of that the tires on the truck were in really bad shape (despite him telling us they were great and valuable) so we weren't able to trade them for new ones. The mechanic only gave us $200 for them and the new ones cost us $1,080. It was a total nightmare and not only were we shellshocked and fatigued from traveling we could not even talk to the seller in person so we truly had no other option except to collect the car and get home.

On our way back to California, while driving through Weiser, ID at around 9pm, the police stopped us because of the brake lights not working. We explained the situation and luckily the officers were so nice and understanding but they still had to do their job so upon further inspection they noticed the truck had a plate from Washington in the front and a plate from Idaho in the back. In our extreme state of distress and confusion earlier at the pick up we did not even notice nor were we disclosed this! The officer told us that was a red flag for a stolen car. My wife was terrified and we had to get out of the vehicle and were questioned further. It was both terrifying and humiliating as we both have clean driving records and have never had a run in with the law. He checked the VIN number and thankfully verified that the car was clean but he had to remove the plates because they had come from completely different vehicles registered to different people. He let us go with a warning but at that point we were left with no plates, non working turning signals and brake lights, a misaligned steering wheel and we were still 900 miles away from our destination. We contacted the seller immediately but we got no response. We are so fortunate that the officers were kind and understanding and did not throw us in jail.

After not hearing back at all from the seller, we had no choice but to continue our trip home and by Sunday evening the car broke down in the middle of nowhere in Nevada near the California border. We were so lucky again that a couple stopped and helped us. We managed to get to the closest town driving 20 miles per hour on the only road available- a freeway where the speed limit was 70, talk about dangerous. Because we arrived on a Sunday night there was no mechanic available so we had to pay for a hotel and stay overnight. When we took it to the mechanic Monday morning they told us that one of the axles was worn out. They also had to change the oil filter, re-grease everything and change all the fluids again. They told us it was safe enough to drive to LA but that the truck needs immediate attention when we arrive. We also had them do a complete vehicle inspection and they told us that in the state it's in the seller way overcharged us. We contacted the seller again and again heard nothing back.

We finally made it back to LA and immediately took it to our longtime mechanic. He quoted us $1,118 for the undisclosed repairs we originally detected (windshield, rear window, electrical and steering wheel) and on top of that an extra $2,156 for rebuilding the rear shaft, replacing the exhaust from headers to back, replacing the brake lines and fixing all the leaks and other minor repairs that were not disclosed in the original ad. That is a total of $3,274 for undisclosed damages. And he was being cheap in his quote because we have known each other for a long time.

We contacted the seller again, still hoping that we could work it out without having to involve a third party or go to court. We asked him first for $1,500, but he refused to give us more than $428. We lowered to $1,000 but he wouldn't change his mind. To clarify, out of the $428, $100 was a partial refund for the $200 shipping that he never arranged and refused to refund in full.

So in fact, he was only offering us $328 to fix all the undisclosed damages. We couldn't even replace the windshield for what he was offering us!

We called him to discuss and he became very belligerent and defensive very fast. It was impossible to maintain proper communication with him. He would promise us something over the telephone and placate us with comforting lies but then when we asked him for it in writing he never agreed to what he spoke about over the phone. At that point we decided that our communication with him should be entirely thru text for our records. He often was rude and defensive and accused us of threatening him when we were only trying to find a solution that would satisfy all parties.

During this time, we finally found the bill of sale, a crumpled up and torn half piece of notebook paper written by hand and left blank for us to fill in. I realized at that moment that the truck in fact was a 1978 instead of a 1979. Which is a big deal because it completely changes the smog process and adds a lot more money to the conversion in order for it to pass the smog test in CA.

When we told the seller this, he claimed that we knew all along- another lie! He listed it as a 79 and there was absolutely no way we could have known otherwise. After much back and forth with the seller and getting nowhere we contacted eBay and they told us that because the seller misrepresented the year we were eligible for a full refund but we had to start a claim.

However, the eBay agent encourage us to give the seller one last chance to work it out to avoid the difficult process of filing a claim. So I asked him to at least meet us halfway at $1,000. The seller's response was that he was going to sue us for extortion. He was completely irrational and threatening. At that point we decided not to communicate with the seller anymore and contacted eBay again to explain the situation.

We've had much patience with the seller and tried everything, but in the end we got nothing. All we have now is a truck with a series of undisclosed damages, a truck that wasn't even the year we paid for, a truck with no valid bill of sale and a truck that we can't even drive because there are no plates and a series of mechanical problems. And on top of all of that we were put in a series of dangerous situations that could have put us in jail or worse caused an accident.

Since all of this has happened we did some research on the seller which we could not do initially because his name was not disclosed to us until after we had already purchased the car. We found in our research that the seller has criminal records of fraud and theft in similar situations. You can check this by simply googling his name Adam Largent and his eBay user name ccr_05.

We seriously can not believe how a person like this is allowed to sell cars on eBay.

After we filed the claim and gave him a bad review on eBay, he promptly responded to the review that we tried to extort him, what a great way to respond to a customer, I feel that says it all.

The bad news is that after all this crap it turns out we are not eligible for a refund. The eBay agent totally misled us on this. We can only apply for a reimbursement for difference between the 78 and the 79 model. So we might not even get anything. I still haven't heard back from the investigator, so let's hope it will be good news.

I apologize if the story was long, I just wish there wasn't people like this. Hopefully if you ever stumble into this person at least you have some red flags and can make your own decisions knowing what you might get into.

Thanks for reading,
Hugo
 

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Premium Member
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7,432 Posts
I totally get it, been there. I rarely deal with Ebay for this reason and always view large purchases before proceeding with a buy. I always assume the worst case scenerio before i deal with someone i do not know unless the person is from a group like this that has their reputation to loose buy doing a dirty deal. On the forums i belong to I never have had a bad transaction but Evilbay many times screwed.
 

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4,063 Posts
should of paid through paypal too. Something that old, really needs a shit ton of work anyway. Should of just had a shipper pick it up for you, don't need anyone do anything for you. You can get a decent windshield here for about $150.
 

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Registered
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1,088 Posts
sorry to hear your story.. im curious, how could you drive a vehicle that isn't registered to you with your plates? How could you insure it?

and lets see some pictures!!
 

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Ford Hoarder
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6,411 Posts
The plate thing is also weird to me, In Indiana you can use another plate for something you have as a temporary plate. Especially if you were going to transfer it over. I have also been told better to not have a plate in that situation then the "wrong" plate.
On the insurance thing, I have put insurance on 2 vehicles with out owning them, that must be on a state by state basis. They just needed the VIN# and my insurance company was able to do it, no problem.

I would rather have a 78 then a 79. The reason is because they emissions controls are different between the 2. The 78's could have been bought with none, no cats, no fuel vapor stuff, etc... In 79 they would have all that stuff. However I agree it is bad that you did not get what you thought you were paying for.
 

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Resident Nice Guy
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What an absolute horror story! I've used eBay since it became a thing and have been lucky not to have ever had a negative experience. I would say that when you hear the alarm bells(strict payment arrangement that can't protect both of you, won't be there for pickup, etc.), it's best to walk away. It's hard to do sometimes but I consider it mandatory to protect yourself, especially with deals as large as this.

Escrow is a great way to handle something like a vehicle sale. I've used it a couple times to sell a website and the money wasn't released to the seller until both parties stated we were happy with the deal.

Also, I'd look into reporting the whole thing to the BBB. There may be some recourse via that channel.
 

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Anything i buy i bring a trailer, i learned the hard way when i bought a tractor at a local auction. It sounded healthy when i left the auction about 5 miles from the farm, about a mile down the road i was looking at a big hole in the side of the block and standing in a puddle of 90 weight oil the seller poured in the engine.
 

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Super Moderator
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23,672 Posts
Yo Hugo,
Sorry that you were deceived by a fraudulent seller!
Fraudulent buyers also prey on folks too.
Many creep E bay sellers have methods to eliminate negative feedback; despite numerous complaints to E bay about the ratings from different buyers, it takes time to get e bay to to take action, if ever.

Good luck with your Bronco!
 

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Addicted to Junk
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10,823 Posts
Damn. Shitty story man. The first red flag was requiring full payment immediately.

I bought mine off eBay 2 years ago from two hours away. I only made a 500$ down payment. I never test drove it even lol. The ad had some errors, has a 4" lift, not six, and has 456 gears, not 411.

Just gotta be super careful and diligent on eBay or Craigslist.
 

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Escrow is a great way to handle something like a vehicle sale. I've used it a couple times to sell a website and the money wasn't released to the seller until both parties stated we were happy with the deal.
If its a long distance sale, for example.. if u sold me your truck and we put money in escrow.. and i get your truck and have problems with it, I won't release the money..you would be ok with that? You don't have your truck or your money and someone else has control of YOUR vehicle. So you have no control. I"ll say take $2,000 off for the misc items that need to be corrected and if you say no? I'll say ok, come get your truck. So you have to pay to ship it back to yourself?
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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345 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
should of paid through paypal too. Something that old, really needs a shit ton of work anyway. Should of just had a shipper pick it up for you, don't need anyone do anything for you. You can get a decent windshield here for about $150.
He wouldn't accept a Paypal payment, we had to wire transfer the money and it had to be done before noon otherwise he was going to offer it to the next bidder. That is was he told us. The shipping was costing over $1,000, this why we decided to pick it up ourselves since it was cheaper and it was also more fun (or at least that is what we thought). Unfortunately, in California parts and labor are more expensive so the windshield will cost us more than that. I have been trying to do part of the work myself to save some money (I managed to fix the turning signals and rear brake light :) ) but the big stuff like the shafts I wont be able to do.

sorry to hear your story.. im curious, how could you drive a vehicle that isn't registered to you with your plates? How could you insure it?

and lets see some pictures!!
Exactly! Imagine how desperate and lost we were that we were left with no other option but to drive it in that condition. We had our Allsate insurance from our other vehicles and we also had AAA and we prayed that it would be fine. We just were very lucky.

The plate thing is also weird to me, In Indiana you can use another plate for something you have as a temporary plate. Especially if you were going to transfer it over. I have also been told better to not have a plate in that situation then the "wrong" plate.
On the insurance thing, I have put insurance on 2 vehicles with out owning them, that must be on a state by state basis. They just needed the VIN# and my insurance company was able to do it, no problem.

I would rather have a 78 then a 79. The reason is because they emissions controls are different between the 2. The 78's could have been bought with none, no cats, no fuel vapor stuff, etc... In 79 they would have all that stuff. However I agree it is bad that you did not get what you thought you were paying for.
About the plates I am sure it changes from state to state, but the seller should have explained the situation and should have given us options and never should have left 2 illegal plates on it. About the 78 vs 79, I agree that in the end it might be a good thing since it is a Federal truck and even tho I am in California now, technically they require you to have it stock as much as possible, and those were non-catalysts. But that will depend on my Smog referee.

What an absolute horror story! I've used eBay since it became a thing and have been lucky not to have ever had a negative experience. I would say that when you hear the alarm bells(strict payment arrangement that can't protect both of you, won't be there for pickup, etc.), it's best to walk away. It's hard to do sometimes but I consider it mandatory to protect yourself, especially with deals as large as this.

Escrow is a great way to handle something like a vehicle sale. I've used it a couple times to sell a website and the money wasn't released to the seller until both parties stated we were happy with the deal.

Also, I'd look into reporting the whole thing to the BBB. There may be some recourse via that channel.
Thanks Jason! Unfortunately the alarm bells came too late, but yes when he was so adamant on getting the payment so quick I should have probably stopped it. I even remember that I asked him for the vin number or the vin plate at some point while we were waiting for him to arrange a shipping and he sent me a shitty video where you couldn't see a thing. Thanks for the BBB suggestion! If anything this whole thing is a huge life lesson. I still remember one of your first comments when I first won the auction and you told me that this might not be the one I was looking for, I have to admit you were right.

if you paid with paypal you would of had buyer protection to an extent.
If he had accepted it it would have been better as a method of payment per se, but eBay doesn't offer buyer protection for vehicles 10 old or older.

Anything i buy i bring a trailer, i learned the hard way when i bought a tractor at a local auction. It sounded healthy when i left the auction about 5 miles from the farm, about a mile down the road i was looking at a big hole in the side of the block and standing in a puddle of 90 weight oil the seller poured in the engine.
Sorry to hear that. That just proves that even being there to see it before buying an old vehicle can have problems down the road.

Yo Hugo,
Sorry that you were deceived by a fraudulent seller!
Fraudulent buyers also prey on folks too.
Many creep E bay sellers have methods to eliminate negative feedback; despite numerous complaints to E bay about the ratings from different buyers, it takes time to get e bay to to take action, if ever.

Good luck with your Bronco!
Thank you miesk5, I am going to contact eBay to see if they can remove his response because its very offensive. On the bright size, I am trying to stay positive and I am learning a lot as I am fixing things myself here and there. My wife is really pissed and wants to get rid of it, so I am not sure what will happen. As of now we need to pass the Smog so we can complete the registration and then we can have the option of keeping it or selling it.

Damn. Shitty story man. The first red flag was requiring full payment immediately.

I bought mine off eBay 2 years ago from two hours away. I only made a 500$ down payment. I never test drove it even lol. The ad had some errors, has a 4" lift, not six, and has 456 gears, not 411.

Just gotta be super careful and diligent on eBay or Craigslist.
Thanks BigBlue and sorry to hear about your experience. I am always honest and nice to people and always make the mistake that not everybody is like this. This is a big life lesson.

Thank you all for your support and responses!
 

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Addicted to Junk
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Honestly, I had a good experience. The seller was a lot that got it on trade from the original owners so I don't blame him. It's also got lockers front and rear that weren't mentioned. The lift difference was no issue for me and the gears and lockers were a bonus in my opinion. They even paid the sales tax!

I realize this is not the norm and consider myself lucky.

Good luck in your long journey
 

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Firstly, if you haven't already, save the listing info. Every bit of information that was wrong, every picture showing the condition to be vastly different than what was sold to you, and any communications involved between yourselves and eBay. Even if you don't go through and see about taking legal action against him, it is always better to have that stuff sitting for your own records in case he decides to go batshit crazy and sue you...which would save you a lot of trouble as you wouldn't have to fly all the way back out there if you decided to take him to court over it as you would just included the counterclaim in your answer. At the very least, I would consider consulting a lawyer to see what your options are, since you have the obvious damage that wasn't disclosed, wrong year, the tires, and whatever else, may even be enough to be considered fraud, but again, the consult a lawyer path would be the best way to go.
 

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Premium Member
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35,058 Posts
damn! I hate scammin' a-holes. sorry to hear about the misadventure.
Just think, years down the road and you'll look back on this...


...and be pissed off all over again. :banghead

Hopefully you can save the rig and re-coop some of the cash blown.
I'm not sure I could keep a rig with a start like that... but if you're good at taking lemons and making lemonade, this would be the time to get that groove on. :thumbup
Good luck with it and while I'll never buy a rig off eBay, we appreciate the warning. :beer
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
Joined
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345 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Firstly, if you haven't already, save the listing info. Every bit of information that was wrong, every picture showing the condition to be vastly different than what was sold to you, and any communications involved between yourselves and eBay. Even if you don't go through and see about taking legal action against him, it is always better to have that stuff sitting for your own records in case he decides to go batshit crazy and sue you...which would save you a lot of trouble as you wouldn't have to fly all the way back out there if you decided to take him to court over it as you would just included the counterclaim in your answer. At the very least, I would consider consulting a lawyer to see what your options are, since you have the obvious damage that wasn't disclosed, wrong year, the tires, and whatever else, may even be enough to be considered fraud, but again, the consult a lawyer path would be the best way to go.
I did save everything, original eBay ad, emails, texts... And worst comes to worst I am ready to do whatever it takes. I just don't want to waste more of my energy on this, and the only thing I want is to move on. Thank you so much for the suggestion!
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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345 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
damn! I hate scammin' a-holes. sorry to hear about the misadventure.
Just think, years down the road and you'll look back on this...


...and be pissed off all over again. :banghead

Hopefully you can save the rig and re-coop some of the cash blown.
I'm not sure I could keep a rig with a start like that... but if you're good at taking lemons and making lemonade, this would be the time to get that groove on. :thumbup
Good luck with it and while I'll never buy a rig off eBay, we appreciate the warning. :beer

Thanks for the support Pepe! Hopefully years down the road I will laugh at the experience :)
 

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That's brutal story! I'm glad to see you're keeping the records. Previous posts are right you should do ever thing you can to protect yourself. I would also suggest obtaining a police report from the department where you picked up the vehicle or where you had the wire transfer sent.

It might not turn into anything big, but you never know.

So sorry to hear about this piece of trash! In the end guys like that get what's owed.
 

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Adam Largent is a well known eBay scammer, he has been at this for 15 years. He has nothing to take, no credit to ruin, numerous judgements against him, felony record including many types of theft to domestic violence to child abuse. He has no dealer license to take, he avoids prosecution due to he does delivery the vehicle, so all these complaints fall under civil statutes. I hired a PI to get more info on him, he is basically a 38 year old Jersey Shore reject hooked on steroids with a crappy H2 Hummer (in someone else's name) with no assets. There are several pages dedicated to him on the FTE Ford Forum, a simple google of CCR_05 and his name says it all.

Clarkston man faces charges of cheating eBay bidders

Largent allegedly delivers less than was advertised
Saturday, October 4, 2003

EBay customers from across the country are upset with a Clarkston man they claim is not sticking to his word.
Adam C. Largent, 24, allegedly sold vehicles and engines on the eBay Internet auction block. But many of his buyers claim they have received faulty goods -- if they received anything at all.
Now he is facing three felony counts of first-degree theft charging him with accepting money without filling the orders as promised.

Since May 13, an emerging pattern of crime reports to the Asotin County Sheriff's Office sparked investigations and put county officials on alert, according to Asotin County court documents

"We started getting calls from across the country," said Michael Sanders, deputy prosecuting attorney for Asotin County. "At first we thought it was a civil case from breach of contract, but there's enough there now to say this guy's got some bad intent."

The sales allegedly included a 1979 Ford F-350 pickup truck for $6,000 to a buyer in Placerville, Colo., and an engine for $3,500 sent to a customer in Virginia Beach, Va.

Two buyers claim to have received merchandise in a condition much worse than what was advertised on the auction site.

In addition, two customers claim they are still waiting for goods, including a $2,000 engine sold to a customer in Yuma, Ariz., and another pickup truck for $5,300 to a customer in Wilbur, Neb.

A sheriff's report stated all the unhappy buyers sent money to Largent either by money order or funds transfer. But when some of the buyers tried to contact him, they claimed he was dodging their efforts.

Sanders said this is likely the first case of its kind in Asotin County.

Largent was arrested Monday afternoon at his Clarkston home, and is scheduled to make a plea Monday morning.

Each count has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $20,000.
 
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