Whew. This isn’t the normal “TAKE” content, but I have a story to tell lol. Here we go.
So as you should know by now, I’ve started getting serious into collecting vinyl records. It’s something that I’ve always been moderately interested in, but once I got back to GA, I figured starting a collection was something that I could get into. It would allow me to have physical versions of my favorite projects, and it could be something could occupy my time, among other things. And I’ve heard time and time again that songs sound better on vinyls, and I can attest that they do sound really good. At the same time, I also joined Reddit a couple of weeks ago. It was something that I’ve never really been interested in until the quarantine; I always thought of it as a pretty toxic and nonsensical place (which is not very far off lol), but it is a good place to get opinions on things and stay updated on stuff that’s happening in the world.
I don’t follow a bunch of subreddits, but one of the first one’s I started following was r/VinylCollectors. It’s a subreddit where folks from all over can talk about their records and collections, post pictures of recent purchases, and buy/sell used or new records to other folks. I’ve also been using it to kind of gauge things that I need to know about becoming a new record player owner (if my record player ever decides to come lol). I wasn’t really intending to ever buy anything from anyone on there, but I wasn’t opposed to it if there was something on there that I really wanted.
One day, whilst scrolling through the posts on there, I saw that someone was selling a Because the Internet (2013) record. And I got very much excited. I had been on the look out for one for a few days at that point and had looked seemingly everywhere online for a copy. The ones that were coming up were in the $300 range, and I was NOT interested in paying that much. For one record? Nawl. So I was excited to see that someone was selling theirs for $40. They posted pictures of it and everything. And of course, I was like “it’s game on!” Because the Internet was a rare find, and I didn’t want to lose my chance to have it. And only for $40!
So I immediately messaged the person who posted it, after seeing a couple of people already reply to the thread. (Un)Lucky, for me the person was still selling it and was willing to sell it to me, with only a $5 shipping cost. And of course, I was like “BET!” $45 was not bad at all. It was then that we entered the scam. He asked me if I used cash app, and if I could pay him there. “I don’t use cash app,” I told him, “I only use Venmo and PayPal, but I can download it right now!” (my first mistake lol really my second mistake because I should have smelled a rat!). And he was like “BET. If you use my link, we can get $5 for the referral, and I’ll knock off $5 on the record, so it would only be $40.”
So, I took my happy behind over to the Google Play store, downloaded the app, and then realized that I had, in fact, used cash app before, so I couldn’t get us the $5. I let him know, he said it was ok, and he proceeded to send me his cash app name. After spending some time changing my cash app username to something cooler than my first and last name, I was about to press send, when I decided that I probably should ask him to send me a picture of the record. I offered that I could give him my email address to make sending the picture easier. He instead, decided to upload it to imgur (that should have been another red flag) and sent me the link. He didn’t send a picture of the whole record, just of the record halfway into the sleeve (another red flag), but it looked good to me at the time, and I said “alright,” and sent him the $45. And then I sent a message asking him to let me know once he got the money. After he said he got it, I sent him my address, and hit a milly rock real quick in my bed because I was so excited to finally have gotten ahold of BTI.
After a couple of minutes, probably because my username on Reddit is flowerboy-t and because I think you can see what subreddits other people have commented on, he asked me if I was interested in buying Tyler the Creator’s IGOR (2019) and Flower Boy (2017) or a signed copy of After Hours (2020). He had “lost his job because of the Rona” and needed a way to make some extra money. I had already purchased the first two a couple of days before and got After Hours the day after it came out (I had received the Tyler one’s in the mail the day before this convo, and the After Hours one is still waiting to be shipped). But I did feel really bad for him. I couldn’t imagine being in a position like that and needing to sell off such amazing albums, including the Gambino one I had just “bought.” So I offered my apologies for him having lost his job and told him that I had already purchased those projects, but I’d send folks his way if I saw anyone asking about them. He said thank you, and that was the end of the conversation. (LOL I’m typing this off of my memory, but I’ll post a pic below of our conversation – I screenshotted it before I blocked him – so there may be some small differences in the sequence of events – EDIT: no, I got it right lol). Soon after, he made another post on the subreddit about the Tyler projects.
Not too long after that, I started wondering if I had gotten scammed. I don’t know why my mind went there, but it was probably a sign LOL. So I went back to our conversation, clicked on his username to go to his profile, and that’s when I saw that both the new Tyler post and the post about the Gambino album were both gone. “Maybe he deleted them because he sold them,” I said to myself, ” but maybe he deleted them because they were a scam.” Usually when people on the subreddit have sold things, they’ll just edit the post to say “SOLD.” I shrugged it off because I didn’t want to get myself worked up and decided that if I got scammed “it is, what it is, and my karma hits tf back.”
About a day or two later, I hadn’t heard anything from him (but I figured it was because our direct business was done until he shipped the project…why’d they let me get a Bachelor’s Degree, y’all???). But I did see the following post on the subreddit:
I had, in fact, gotten scammed.
I kinda started chuckling because I had remembered having that really brief moment of “did I get scammed?” after my conversation with him, but I was also irritated that I had given him $45 and my sympathy (which is way more important to me). I immediately DM’d the person who posted the thread about the scammer and told them I had also gotten played. The funny thing is, after a few exchanges, we realized that the scammer had pretended to sell BOTH OF US Because the Internet, and we BOTH got duped off the same project LOL! All we could do was exchange some LMAOs. We exchanged the information we had on the person (what subreddits he was posting in, what albums he was trying to “sell”), so we could potentially keep it from happening to someone else. We also both decided that we wouldn’t worry about trying to get our money back – it would have been difficult anyway – and that we were extremely lucky to both still have jobs right now and the $45 could be taken on the chin. I now consider the two of us close friends lol
After cutting my losses and moving on, I was looking on the Record Store Day website to see if I could just browse around on some record store websites. I wasn’t looking for Because the Internet, but I figured I could maybe find some other stuff from some local record stores. And lo and behold:
I found and was able to buy the LAST copy of the Because the Internet vinyl from a record store not too far away from where I live LOL. It was $45 on there, too. But I guess I technically spent $90 in total. I looked on a couple of websites before I found that one and HAD to buy it for obvious reasons. I was hoping to find two of them, so I could send the link to my fellow scammed friend, but I only saw the one and had to be a little selfish. But I hope my scammed friend is also able to find a copy.
So in the end, I’m out $90, but I DID get the project I was hoping for, it IS beautiful (I’ll take more pics later), and I WAS able to support a local business. The r/VinylCollectors subreddit has since reminded folks to be careful who they buy from, and I found out that a total of at least 5 people have been scammed by the same guy.
I’ll leave you all with this:
- Be careful who you buy stuff from (online and in person), especially stuff like this
- Do NOT conduct business over cash app, unless it’s with someone you KNOW
- Do NOT be an asshole and scam people out of their hard earned monies
- SUPPORT your local businesses first! If you can’t find it, then look somewhere else. Anywhere except Amazon lol
here’s something else you might like:
After promises and promises, here we are to talk about the greatness that is Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino aka Earn from Atlanta. I think we all know how talented Donald is. He’s a singer, rapper, comedian, screenplay-writer (we canNOT forget about the because the internet screenplay), director, actor, father, and all around fantastic human … Continue reading First Listen #10: Childish Gambino’s ‘3.15.20’