Easy Yard Sale...One Sign You Want To Avoid

  
     
May 29, 2014

Your Better Business Bureau warns consumers of Easy Yard Sale, an alleged online escrow company with fake credentials.

Lured by attractive prices in online ads, consumers report sellers using Easy Yard Sale as their agent. Customers are asked to register with the business and are contacted by the seller to wire money to the United Kingdom for goods their website claims they have in possession. Easy Yard Sale came to the attention of BBB serving Northeast California on May 7, 2014.  At the time of this announcement, BBB had received 47 inquiries and one complaint.

BBB is concerned that shoppers may be less familiar with this sales model and, therefore, more likely to get caught up in a scam. Easy Yard Sale claims to be an escrow service. A legitimate escrow operates as an intermediary between the buyer and seller and holds the buyer’s money until the seller has fulfilled their part of the bargain.  

In its investigation of Easy Yard Sale, BBB determined the site falsified founders and posted a phony BBB Business Review and rating. In their About Us page, the company copied photos of eBay’s management and changed their names and employment history. eBay denies any affiliation and said, “the executives names have been altered and they are not affiliated with this business.” 

Further, the company touts two founders in London, UK. BBB research found they are from a legitimate company in Vermont, US who deny any affiliation. BBB also believes images and videos used on the company’s website and on other promotional sites have been altered.

Based on the foregoing, BBB is concerned with the accuracy and legitimacy of customer reviews on blogs. One review claimed, “Their simple but effective methods caught my attention in the first place and I was amazed on how quick the transaction went. They most definitely are NOT a scam.”  These also seem to counter the experience of at least one consumer who reported that they failed to receive the trailer they paid for despite multiple promises of delivery.

BBB could not locate any corporate or other registration for this business and the address listed appears to be non-existent.  According to the United States Postal Service, it is a non-deliverable address.

Your BBB advises consumers to investigate all online businesses before doing business with them. Review our tips to help spot a possible fraud.

  • How Smart Online Shoppers Can Avoid Fraud:
  • Contact your Better Business Bureau. Visit bbb.org or contact your local Better Business Bureau for a BBB Business Review, news alerts and trending scams.
  • Investigate the address with an online mapping service. Do a simple Google map search or contact postal authorities to confirm the physical location of the seller. Don’t settle for a shared retail mailbox address.
  • Identify the method of payment before providing information.  Do not use wire transfers or money cards.  If your purchase falls through, it is unlikely you will recover funds.
  • Watch out for unrealistic offers. “Amazing” offers are used to motivate purchasers to make hasty decisions.
  • Verify VIN Numbers if purchasing an auto or trailer.  Research the vehicle identification number for history of ownership, salvage and theft.

ABOUT BBB:

For more than 100 years, BBB has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2013, consumers turned to BBB 132 million times for Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB of South Central Louisiana, Inc. has been serving the local community since 1950 and services the parishes of Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. James, Tangipahoa, West Baton Rouge & West Feliciana.