On February 13, 2011, I bid on eBay Real Estate and won a duplex in Cleveland, OH. The seller is Kendal Mason, his eBay user name is Calcap196, his company he calls Pac West Corp, Inc. He described the duplex as: Fantastic investment, large renovated duplex, move-in ready after a little paint, minor fix-up and cleaning, beautiful tile, hardwood floors and carpet, individual furnaces and cooling units, electric and gas meters and breakers, solid exterior doors, newer roof in great condition, renovated and in fantastic shape, plumbing and electrical intact throughout the property, water heaters and furnaces in great shape, etc., rents for $625 to $700 per unit, not one of those cheap junk properties you see advertised, where after purchasing you find out the property is boarded up and looks nothing like the photos.
But this is exactly the case! According to the property manager I hired, who inspected the interior and sent me photos, absolutely nothing has been remodeled or renovated! These are the problems: Peeling wallpaper, paint peels of the ceiling (water damage), all units need painting, carpets need replacing, no sinks in kitchens, no vanities, mirrors or shower units in bathrooms, no water heaters, no working furnaces or ducts, front door and frame broken, several windows broken and boarded up, front porch floor, steps and banister rotten, needs plumbing and electrical wiring, the roof is so bad, the shingles fly off, plus this is not a good neighborhood, and rents are only around $350 for an apartment.
Before I bid on the duplex I asked questions about the amount of work it would need, and Kendal Mason wrote an email saying, that the repairs would come to about $600 to $800. Now my contractors bid is $21,500, and that does not include a new roof! So naturally I feel cheated. I only bid on the place, because it was renovated. I did not want a fixer-upper.
I sent an email to Pac West Corp, Inc., demanding, that he either take the property back and refund the money I paid, or pay for the repairs needed to bring the duplex up to the condition it was advertised at. His answer is: Sorry you are not satisfied with your purchase. We can not be held responsible for any damages which may have occurred two months after your purchase of the building. No fraud has been committed in the sale of the property, and we do not place any value in third part reports as to the condition of the property. The property was sold under these specific terms: Purchaser understands and agrees that she is purchasing this home in "as is, where is, how is" condition, with "No warranty expressed or implied". Any representations of this property are simply the opinion of the seller...
Since February Calcap196 sold 2 more properties on eBay, with nearly identical descriptions, also advertised as renovated, when in reality they are far from. I talked to these buyers, they feel cheated, too. I tried to inform eBay about this scam, but so far got no response. Real Estate is not eligible for eBay purchase protection programs. He now got negative feedback from one of the buyers, and he is trying to blackmail her: Change the feedback, if you want the deed for the property! But if he changes his user name, he could get back in the (scamming) business again. There should be much stricter rules for selling real estate, and the true identity of the seller should be in the listing, too.
So I want to warn others, who might want to invest in real estate, buying properties on eBay. Stay away from properties offered by Kendal Mason, "president" of "Pac West Corp, Inc.", which I found out is not even a legally registered business or corporation, their business address "268 Bush St., San Francisco, CA" is nothing but a UPS Store, the phone number "415-963-4330" is just voicemail.