PSA: Don't buy speakers out of a White Van / other vehicle

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Destiny

Platinum Member
Jul 6, 2010
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#76
Went to visit my new baby niece this past weekend and I saw my bro-in-law had a new Home Theater with speakers... told me how he bought it... **face palm** $300 down the drain...
 
Jan 23, 2007
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#77
I typically buy my speakers from thrift stores for $20, and only after testing them out there first. The only other time I've bought them was brand name, severely marked down, from places like J&R, where I've shopped before.
 

sm625

Diamond Member
May 6, 2011
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#78
About 15 years ago a couple guys in a white van tried to sell me some "Pinnacle" speakers. I had never heard of the brand so I didnt buy them. Turns out they really were worth $800 and it really would have been a good deal at $60. This was back before we could easily price check something from a parking lot.
 

SnoopKatt

Junior Member
Jun 27, 2012
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#79
About a year ago, I saw a couple clowns at my local community college trying to sell me these. They pointed to the price tag, and as soon as I saw that, I knew something was wrong. I build my own speakers anyways, but I was curious to see what they had. It's a good thing there is a thread here about this.
 

BZeto

Platinum Member
Apr 28, 2002
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#80
Funny I saw this thread. Just yesterday as I was getting gas two guys pulled up in an SUV and asked if I wanted a home theater system for free. The wrong model was shipped to them and they couldn't send it back, yada yada. Already suspicious I asked "why me?" and their response was "Because you look like a cool dude and not like someone who would rip us off". WTF? I declined obviously but I still wonder what their motive was.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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#81
I'm surprised this thread dates back to 2010. Thought this was a rule of thumb like 15 years ago hehe

In general, never buy ANYTHING from anyone that approaches you on the street. If you want to buy something, you will go out and do research/get it on your own.
 
Feb 13, 2001
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#82
I'm surprised this thread dates back to 2010. Thought this was a rule of thumb like 15 years ago hehe

In general, never buy ANYTHING from anyone that approaches you on the street. If you want to buy something, you will go out and do research/get it on your own.
except in many major cities you can score deals on things that fell off the truck.

The white van speakers are an exploitation on that.
 
Feb 29, 2004
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#83
I just had a friend/co-worker hit by this scam. He paid $1000 cash for a "McLaren" HT system and a "Pixcell" projector. The dudes had a real good scam going, called up their "boss" on the telephone and he told them to get rid of it, Googled the product and pulled all sorts of (fake, of course) product listings at $thousands. They were wearing polo shirts embroidered with their fake company name, etc.

Supposedly "MSRP" on the projector is $5300 and the HT system is worth $2 or $3k. I told my buddy, I have never seen any true decent-quality electronic component (not even $200 Sony receivers at Best Buy) with the MSRP printed right on the box.

Supposedly the projector is 1080p. If it is, then maybe he didn't get scammed too bad, but I think the native resolution is probably lower and the projector just accepts 1080p input.

Poor guy, he is a little younger (26 or so) and pretty naive. I felt bad for exposing the scam to him after he is already out a thousand bucks, but he's got to live and learn. The $1000 won't really hit him too hard, although he was planning to flip it on eBay or something and make some cash. He doesn't even have a use for it.
 
May 29, 2003
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#84
I've probably posted it before years ago but I was hit myself by this back around 2002 or 2003 when I was a bit less world wise and had to much disposable income.

Had my best friend with me at the time who happened to also be my co-worker and we were on a lunch break. We stopped by a gas station and while gassing up, some dude that has what looks to be a van someone would use when doing home theater installations walks over.

He approaches my friend and starts in about how they do installs for the rich people that live on the ocean (was living in Ft. Lauderdale, FL at the time and not far from endless mega-million dollar homes). I walk over to hear what they're talking about and he says how they (had another guy with them) just finished a job that had to many speakers delivered for what was needed and since they were a mistake, he'd sell them to me for a fraction of the price.

He shows us the speakers, which are in a box still and pulls them out. They were hot looking shit, I do admit they looked the part.

I have always been pretty cautious about things that sound to good to be true but my friend was so sure they were a great deal that he actually was the only reason I went ahead with it. See, my friend was at the time married (since divorced) and could never spend money on anything without it causing a huge fight with his wife, I was single and making really good money at the time and always had more money than I knew what to do with (hindsight being 20/20, I wish I socked it all away in savings).

So after the dog and pony show, I end up agreeing to pay the guy $500 for a pair of speakers someone could probably get for maybe $50.

After getting them back home and that next weekend having friends over, one friend heard my story of how I got them and broke the news that I had been ripped out.

I was so embarrassed about being taken advantage of like that. I didn't want to believe my other friend was right, so I went online and started searching and found way to many other similar stories that all pointed to it indeed being a scam.

In the end I was only reminded of how I had been duped whenever I'd see the speakers so I just gave them to my friend that was with me when I bought them and replaced them with some "proper" Polk Audio speakers around 2004 that I still have to this day.

I look back at it now and chalk it up to a life lesson that taught me much, so in that regard, perhaps (nah) in the long run it was worth the price...
 
Jul 9, 2000
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#85
Interesting that this scam was going on when I was in college...a long long time ago If I had the money then I would have fell for it. I went to the ATM and saw I was short, luckily the guy was ready to give me an even better deal on the price. :biggrin: He was a clean cut white guy in a nice looking van, so it seemed on the level, but I needed food and gas more than speakers. Plus, $200 in those days was like $20k these days. Still, every one wants to get a deal, which is probably why the scam still works.
 
Feb 13, 2001
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#86
jesus even before the 'real internet', in 1989 I knew about this scam.
 
Jul 15, 2003
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#88
I buy from Amazon.
Even if I get screwed by a private seller they always take care of me. No complaints.
 

Soccerman06

Diamond Member
Jul 29, 2004
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#89
I went to the local pawn shop here and they have a logitech z-5500 in its box. Its supposedly broken, the sticker says the main unit turns on but no audio comes out. What yall say, worth buying for cheap and fix it or skip?
 

MonKENy

Platinum Member
Nov 1, 2007
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#90
I went to the local pawn shop here and they have a logitech z-5500 in its box. Its supposedly broken, the sticker says the main unit turns on but no audio comes out. What yall say, worth buying for cheap and fix it or skip?
how much? anything less than $10 and Id say go for it what the hell.
 
Aug 17, 2004
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#91
Holy cow! Just saw this thread but couldn't believe it. Are they still doing this? I remember back in the early to mid '80s, guys driving around in those white vans trying to sell crappy speakers.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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#92
Holy cow! Just saw this thread but couldn't believe it. Are they still doing this? I remember back in the early to mid '80s, guys driving around in those white vans trying to sell crappy speakers.
Yup, my friends got hit up the other day. Dude pulled up next to them at a light in a van, got their attention, and had them roll down their down. Went on a spiel about how the factory shipped two sets and they wanted to sell it before their boss did or something. Nice unethical propositioning :biggrin:
 

taq8ojh

Golden Member
Mar 2, 2013
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#93
I really can't understand how anyone could be SO stupid to believe such crap, and give random guy in a parking lot money for unknown merchandise, and without a bill.
 

Eureka

Diamond Member
Sep 6, 2005
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#94
This brings back memories. I'm still surprised that in all my years in a big city, being a younger person and driving a somewhat flashier car, I have never been approached by one of these vans.

Kind of disappointed really.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
42,212
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#95
I really can't understand how anyone could be SO stupid to believe such crap, and give random guy in a parking lot money for unknown merchandise, and without a bill.
Well, you know the game, and you're also a smart guy posting on a technical forum, so it makes sense to you, but to most other people, that seems like a pretty good deal. Technically not illegal, just on the unethical side :biggrin:

Same idea as free samples or lottery tickets or cigarettes or anything like that - people prey on human nature's weaker side, and it's popular enough to make a living from it.
 
May 10, 2001
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#96
Is it okay to buy from a different colored vehicle? Or are people just prejudice against white?
 

taq8ojh

Golden Member
Mar 2, 2013
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#98
Is it okay to buy from a different colored vehicle? Or are people just prejudice against white?
If you bought from black van it would be racism. Or the other way around.
 
Feb 26, 2014
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#99
I actually bit the bait back then in 2005. I still have the speakers and I don't regret buying them. They actually sound really good and still kicking as new.
 

Hugo Drax

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2011
5,624
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I remember something similar in 1980 from some guys who were trying to sell BOSS 901 speakers out of a VW van.
 


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