Company Proving That Not All eBay Mystery Auctions Are Scams
August 15th, 2006
Mystery Auctions on eBay have been a source of debate for quite some time, but still considered legal and fun by most eBay members. The fact is, though, that most mystery auctions border on legalized gambling. One company aims to change this.
Knoxville, TN (PRWEB) August 15, 2006 -- What started out as simple fun on eBay about two years ago in the form of Mystery Auctions, has some now crying foul. Others say it's still fun and perfectly legitimate.
eBay mystery auctions take their root back in 2004 and they quickly gained in popularity, sometimes garnering bids of up to several thousand dollars. The basic premise was that a seller would put up for auction a box or an envelope. They would then state that the box could contain a "gift", and this gift was the mystery.
According to eBay, this form of auction is completely legal as long as the seller makes it specifically clear that the auction is for something such as a box or envelope. They say it is up to the bidder to decide whether to take the risk or not on receiving anything else, and that it is purely up to the seller whether to give anything in addition to the box.
Over the course of the last two years the mystery auctions have lost popularity, as many people have been burned by mystery auction sellers who have taken advantage of hopeful buyers.
"We have heard horror story after horror story," said James Lackey, a prominent land seller and mystery auction expert on eBay. "We have seen cases where the seller would specifically state that an item such as an Xbox 360 would be in the mystery box, and the buyer would receive an empty box, or one with a picture of an Xbox 360."
Now, as most buyers have become savvy enough to avoid mystery auctions, the mystery auctions have taken on a new face in the form of what Lackey considers "legalized gambling".
"It's horrible," said Lackey. "The mystery sellers are selling envelopes promising that a random amount of money will be in the envelope. The buyers purchase an envelope, and may receive a quarter or even nothing at all. Then you read the seller's feedback, and you see that one won a certain amount of money. This feeds the frenzy. In my opinion it is worse than gambling, because at least in Vegas the odds aren't controlled by a greedy seller."
There is hope, however, in the mystery auction world as Lackey and his team have decided to launch a new legal mystery auction they like to call Mystery Land Auctions. In these auctions they state exactly how much land you will be receiving. The mystery is where the land is located.
They have structured the auction to where everyone who bids wins a prize.
"It's our way of performing an anti-scam mystery auction in which everyone is a winner. They are fun and exciting and nobody gets scammed," said Lackey.
You can see their auctions by going to http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZauc...d-salesQQhtZ-1
or by going to their web-site at www.MysteryLandAuctions.com