Grey market for dCS products


I would like some advices based on your experience of buying second hand gear.

I found a guy selling a dCS Bartok, perfect conditions based on the pictures, for 4500€…

Is it too good to be true ?

When I mention I can travel to hear the Bartok playing, he replied something like: I send the gear only when the bank transfer is done upon 10 to 12 days…

It does not give me confidence really… Your opinion ?

As always, buy the seller. Is it an established shop? Someone with lots of good feedback on Audiogon, etc?

This sounds highly suspect though. The price is way below market rates and he’s denying a live demo and requesting wire transfer up front. Almost 100% guaranteed scam.

These fake dCS listings come up all the time.

stay away from it, the money will be gone from this bank account and no Bartok will be sent.

Last year there was a Gryphon Diablo 300 for sale here in Holland (at half the normal price), when asking for an appointment to see and listen to the amp the only answer I got was for my address and when I could send the money.
when checking the pictures that came with the add I could see they were used in numerous adds in another country.

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It’s a scam.

BTW, ask for the serial number. (I’ll bet he doesn’t know it or it will turn out to be bogus) . You can then contact dCS and ask what information hey have about the unit’s history.

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Agreed, it’s definitely a scam. I say this from first hand experience - I was lucky in that I insisted on paying via PayPal for an Accuphase amp that was priced “too good to be true” and the seller agreed. When it finally became clear it was a scam, PayPal refunded me promptly. But I was very anxious for a few weeks……

Thanks for your advice.

I checked the serial number with dCS (they were lightning fast to answer me :slight_smile: ) at least it is an existing serial number and it is not reported as a stolen Bartok…at least until today :laughing:

It might be still a scam, I will try checking if the address I got matches with the name of the seller…not the easiest for a non-police-officer…It is somewhere in Scotland so I guess the guy is guilty not buying Linn stuff and he is trying to get rid of the dCS gear as fast as possible to avoid social problems in his cottage :joy:


I still think it is a scam. The current UK price fro a Bartok without the headphone option is 15,750 gbp ( €17940). The sum requested by the vendor is ludicrously below the value of such a component. Making offers too good to be true is a classic scam technique.

Tell him that you will travel to Scotland to pick it up and only then will you pay him. See what his reaction is.

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It is definitely a scam. A few checks that I normally do when buying are as follows.

  • Insist on PayPal (no F&F) and never use any other method
  • Ask seller to send a fresh photo by placing his passport/DL on top of the item being sold
  • Ask for sale receipt

I would never send a picture copy of my passport if I am selling equipment.


Where did you get the serial number from, pictures or seller himself ?
Did you check if any off the foto’s are used anywhere else on the internet ?

Maybe you can ask a trusted dealer close by the seller to get involved (for a fee offcourse)

I got the serial number from the seller.

He said his father bought the Bartok.
It seems he is Danish and move recently to Scotland…So, it might be difficult involving a dealer.

I think I will tell him that the only way for me to proceed is to meet him and pay the Bartok only after I heard it playing music…Or, alternatively, paying with Paypal…

Chris, this is so obviously a scam that it should come with a SCAM warning in flashing red neon lighting.

I am amazed after all of our advice that you still seem to want to pursue the matter :

Yes Paypal has consumer protection policies but they won’t refund just because you say so. It may take weeks or longer to establish your case e .g. they will need to be satisfied that it hasn’t been mistakenly delivered to a neighbour etc. etc. If this was a bona fide UK transaction there might be protection for you using a credit card under the Consumer Credit Act, Section 75. But this is not likely to apply to you in Belgium ( according to your profile) even if the vendor genuinely is in Scotland (which I doubt).

The vendor will erect barriers to every effort that you make to verify the sale. This type of scam where the goods are excessively cheap relies upon the greed of the purchaser believing that they are getting something for nothing or near.

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So, now the end of the story:

As some of you mentioned I told the guy I will not transfer money on his bank account and that the only way I would proceed is getting the Bartok at his place in Scotland, and pay him at the delivery time. Or alternatively use Paypal in case he would prefer.

He answered with some insult that enriched my english vocabulary :joy:

So, you were all right, it was a scam. I wanted to believe it wasn’t, because a Bartok for 4.500€ was very attractive…

Thanks all of you, it was easier investigating when I had support from you saying the opposite that I wanted to hear. Without you I would not have managed convincing myself it was not a scam.

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I must admit I was slow to understand 🫣.

Merry Christmas :christmas_tree::christmas_tree::pray:

100% a scam , do not buy it or pay anything.

The scammers are using fake pictures and serials of old listings and avoid to use secure payments like Payapal or Ebay, and only want bank transfers.

So be very careful

If the something seems to be to good to be through there is always a hidden agenda to it :white_check_mark:

If you would like, I have a perfectly good used Rossini that I will sell to you for $60k US. This will fund a new Vivaldi for me…

I’m Just Kidding : )

Cheers and happy holidays!


For 6k I buy it :wink:

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It is a scam. I found myself into this kind of lure, and it is very common with DCS products. There is no Bartok on second hand today unless you are lucky enough to know someone who wants to upgrade to a Rossini. And certainly not for 5000…

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I’m joining this conversation somewhat late in the day, but my own experience stems from a company also claiming to be in Scotland.

These guys were selling a huge amount of used, high-end equipment at almost too good to be true prices with a very polished website. They advertised taking Paypal, bitcoin or bank transfer (which was the first alarm bell), but when I enquired they insisted on the latter (at which point I was pretty certain they were up to no good).

A check at Council Tax Info showed they didn’t pay business rates (useful if you want to know if a business address is real).

A check on Google Maps showed their location was a tin shack (hardly where you’d expect some very expensive audio equipment) and more digging showed a connection with an address in Eastern Europe.

Out of morbid interest, I started to unearth the odd review where some unfortunate people had lost up to €50,000 and the ‘retailer’ had blocked their calls once the money had arrived. Needless to say, I didn’t order anything from them, but I can see how someone could get caught out.

Bottom line: Do some background research. If it looks even vaguely possible it’s a scam, go elsewhere.

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PS Their website has now gone, but I have no doubt they simply replaced with another (probably with the same code). These guys are undoubtedly still out there…