Of all the EBay selling scams, Auction Profits, of 4424 South 700 East Ste 190, Salt Lake City, Utah has to rate as the very worst of them all. Owned by principal, Paul Castillo, this outrageous scam operates by hiring telemarketers to contact individuals with little experience selling on EBay, which usually includes many persons out of work or even the elderly hoping to earn a little extra money.
Auction Profits operates a website at www.actionprofitsllc.com that makes extensive unauthorized use of copyrighted EBay and PayPal logos and images to add a phony sense of legitimacy to this scam run out of some rented office space in a building apparently shared by many other businesses including an electronics business and a pizza business. When a telemarketer employee of Auction Profits contacted me recently, he claimed that the business is part of EBay. However, when I contacted EBay's main offices, they informed me that Auction Profits is certainly not part of EBay or even an authorized partner of EBay. The claims of Auction Profits being part of EBay are an outright lie.
Auction Profits claims that they will "mentor" sellers into becoming major "power sellers" at EBay by spending 10 hours with a seller on the telephone training them with a telemarketer agent of Auction Profits. And the telemarketer ask extensive personal questions about the finances of a person and their credit cards. According to online complaints posted by those scammed by Auction Profits, their credit cards are then charged outrageous fees that range from around $6,500 up to $13,000 or more simply to show them how to sell some extra items laying around their house or garage on EBay. However, Auction Profits is very evasive about their fees or service charges, and it is only after a credit card has been billed for thousands of dollars that most victims of Auction Profits realize that they've been scammed big time.
Auction Profits claims to offer market research on what sells on EBay or other secret information about drop shippers. However, this information can usually easily be found for free either on EBay or from using Google search services. And one pie chart at Auction Profits of claimed sales on EBay listed jewelry items such as watches, etc. as major sellers, although the truth is that so many of these items are listed on EBay that few will actually sell. The main items that sell on EBay are bigger ticket items such as homes, classic automobiles, and some antiques. Cheap watches from China or other small junk only sells in small numbers at EBay unless really dirt cheap. Auction Profits claimed inside information is mostly useless.
Auction Profits also claims to offer releases to the press and other major news organizations. However, that's big news news from this company that has even failed to provide the Utah Better Business Bureau with basic up to date information. According to the Utah BBB, the "BBB requested basic information from this company but has not received a response". And further the company only has a dismal C- rating due to some complaints by consumers. Only after the Utah BBB was contacted did Auction Profits resolve two of these complaints in a satisfactory manner with consumers with refunds. Auction Profits is not a member of the Better Business Bureau, however potential customers are displayed a login page with the BBB emblem, intended to give the false impression that this company is a BBB member.
With the bad economy, many persons are attracted to selling goods on EBay. However most of the big sellers on EBay currently are big companies that buy goods very cheap factory direct, get special deals on big bulk lots from China, resale closeouts or customer return merchandise, or sell factory refurbished goods, etc. Unless a seller has thousands of dollars to seriously go into this level of business, then it is very difficult to make large amounts of money on EBay. Smaller sellers generally spend all day at thrift businesses like the Goodwill as-is type stores buying cheap used goods in bulk by the pound and selling these goods on EBay.
The fact of the matter is that Auction Profits charges gullible persons thousands of dollars for a scam that often cannot afford to lose such a big amount of money. This is the real evil of scams like this. They take advantage of persons in bad financial condition and only worsen their problems. This is why law enforcement, consumer watchdogs and the BBB must be very tough with scams like this and shut them down.
Auction Profits could be run ethically if it chooses by stopping all the false claims, hype, and the extensive unauthorized use of copyrighted EBay, PayPal and BBB images, and being upfront with their actual fees. But scams usually only do what is absolutely necessary to avoid doing prison time and that's about all.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!