Somebody please explain this incredibly interesting eBay scam to me.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-pc-4-layers-size-bellow-5cm-5cm-pcb-prototype-sample-produce-fress-shipping/111306503426

Misspellings are theirs:

5 pc 4 layers size bellow 5cm*5cm pcb prototype sample produce fress shipping

$8.50

Please be confident to send us your gerber file to our email box pcbprototypes@gmail.com and tell us the thickness, soldering pad plated,letter color,cooper weight coated. We will quote you a surprice price in two hours during our working time.

So you are paying them $8.50 just to look at your file? Also, the images they show are very simple two layer boards, nothing to inspire confidence in a complex 4 layer job.

I would give them credit for maybe not knowing how they are supposed to sell on eBay and maybe offering a product in a way that they shouldn't, but look at the recent sales of this "product" and their "feedback"!

http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBidsLogin&item=111306503426

http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=yamhf

Page after page after page of what appears to be robot purchases and robot feedback, most of them in the past few days.

Obviously it all stinks, but isn't this a pretty elaborate scam to try to get someone to give them $8.50 and maybe an attempt at more, but with a pretty sophisticated person (e.g. someone who designs PCBs isn't likely to be an idiot)?

What do you think of this? What are they up to exactly?

Scam1.jpg

Scam2.jpg

ScamFeedBack.jpg

ScamSales.jpg

To add to the mystery, it appears to be a legitimate business until 2013-Dec-11.

I'm going with money launderer.

[quote author=Coding Badly link=topic=227694.msg1645398#msg1645398 date=1395466113]

I'm going with money launderer. [/quote]

If it was me wanting to launder a large amount of cash, I would buy a strip club. Much more interesting. :P

For cash, yes. But for credit cards you would quickly end up in jail. ;)

[quote author=Coding Badly link=topic=227694.msg1645410#msg1645410 date=1395467871]

For cash, yes. But for credit cards you would quickly end up in jail. ;)

[/quote]

Ok, I see what you are saying now. I was thinking very narrowly before - cash.

[quote author=Coding Badly link=topic=227694.msg1645398#msg1645398 date=1395466113]

I'm going with money launderer. [/quote]

I've always wondered how much money laundering and criminal activity happens on ebay. I sell a lot of random things, like small PCBs from old TVs. Occasionally i'll see a item that several sellers are failing to sell for $5 with free shipping, yet theres one or two auctions that went for $5,000+, with good feedback.

It'd be a good way to hide illegal sales, since you would have to look up a 10+ digit part number to even figure out what the sale was for, and most of these parts are so obscure it would be difficult to confirm that it wasn't a legitimate sale. A laptop selling for $15,000 would be easy to flag on a ledger, a $15,000 50PC3D ZSUS Board 6871QZH044C? Not so much.

This is starting to sound like the plot for a sequel to Office Space.

On a similar note, I just sent my first order to OSH Park. I won't have a tangible product in my hands until a week or two into April, but so far I'm highly impressed. Dirt cheap and a flawless experience so far.

I'm a big fan of OSH Park. The boards have been flawless.

They even responded to a question within a few hours over a weekend. I didn't read the response at first because I assumed it was a "We got it. We'll get to it later." automated reply. In other words, the complete opposite of what I've come to expect from a vendor.

[quote author=Coding Badly link=topic=227694.msg1650854#msg1650854 date=1395778278]

I'm a big fan of OSH Park. The boards have been flawless.

They even responded to a question within a few hours over a weekend. I didn't read the response at first because I assumed it was a "We got it. We'll get to it later." automated reply. In other words, the complete opposite of what I've come to expect from a vendor.

[/quote]

I've used them and also a company that DipTrace has integrated with for in-application ordering - "Bay Area Circuits". Both do a great job.

Oh yeah... I saw them at the BAMF last year and have been meaning to try them out. I just haven't warmed up to DipTrace yet -- it seems to suffer a lot of the same design quirks as Eagle. At some point I just need to suck it up and get used to the engineer's take on user interfaces.

SirNickity:
Oh yeah… I saw them at the BAMF last year and have been meaning to try them out. I just haven’t warmed up to DipTrace yet – it seems to suffer a lot of the same design quirks as Eagle. At some point I just need to suck it up and get used to the engineer’s take on user interfaces.

It was the first PCB software that I was able to get going and actually do work with. This is the perspective of a hobbyist with formal training in computer science, not electrical engineering. They have a set of very tightly edited / faced paced videos that more or less give you 80% of what you need to know to effectively use the software in well under an hour, and also a more comprehensive PDF tutorial.

http://www.diptrace.com/support/video-guided-tour/

Cheers, man! I'll have a look. That approach worked very well with FreeCAD. Couldn't make much sense of it alone, but after 40 min of 5-10 min videos, I was all set.