Not Even Horn Mouthpieces Are Safe From Internet Scams

If you’ve done much buying or selling online, then you probably don’t have to be told that there are hundreds of potential scams that you have to watch out for. It turns out that (unsurprisingly) even smaller websites dedicated to selling horn-related material are a target for some scam attempts.

Despite my pretty obvious interest-bordering-on-obsession with horn mouthpieces, I have been trying to streamline my collection. To that end, I’ve sold something like 10-15 mouthpiece cups and about half as many rims over the past few years on the International Horn Society’s classified page.

Until now, I’ve had no real problems with selling and shipping these mouthpieces, and I’ve whittled my ‘for sale’ pile down to just a single cup (if you’re interested, here it is)!

Yesterday, though I got a very interesting email:

From: bernie gardner <>

Subject: Houser ws 90 US$

Message: Sent the me the picture and the asking price

While the poor and awkward English gave me a bit of pause, I decided to respond and answer his questions. He wasted no time in launching into his spiel (I do give him credit for not wasting time). This guy must take his mouthpiece buying really seriously!

Hi once again,

Thanks for your swift message, I’m really sorry for not responding
back to your message earlier, it was due to some works I’ve been busy
with in my Office, but it’s fine now.Yes I’m ready to Purchase this
(Ads) from you, Please Consider it SOLD already to me, Also keep off
all buyers and i don’t know if it is possible for you to delete the
advert from the internet so that other buyers will not contact you for
the item till the arrival of my Local Mover/ Shipper.

I have gone through the content of the advert once again am very
satisfy.Your contact information will be needed so that I can Instruct
my Secretary to made the Payment out to you via a U.S Post Money
Order, Cashier’s Bank Check or Banker Draft, which will be issue to
you for the payment and pick up will be arrange after the Payment is
Fully Cleared by your Bank.

Please email me your contact information for the Payment to you be
delivered such as:

Your Full Name on the Payment#
Your Full Contact Address#
Your Postal Code#
Your State/City #
Your Total Selling Price#
Your Cell Phone Num#
Your Office Phone Num#

I will be here awaiting your quick response asap.

Thank You

I’m about 95% sure that this is how “bernie” looked while emailing me.

At this point, it was pretty clear that I wasn’t going to get rid of my last mouthpiece (at least, not for money), so I cut off contact. Ah, well.

So, no matter what you’re selling online, make sure that you keep your guard up! It goes without saying for something like buying a horn online (recently I’ve seen an eBay horn listing disappear and reappear at least 5 or 6 times in the past month), but also for something relatively small and inexpensive. Stay cautious – and if you’re looking for a Houser WS cup, let me know!