If it smells like fish, it might not necessarily BE fish, but it might as well be.
Pre-Approved Buyers Only.
This is Ebay scam lingo for : we plan to screen our suckers before we decide which one we are going to rob.
Money Order/Cashier's Check only.
This means that we will have cashed the sucker before you know we are crooks. While you can certainly cancel a cashier's check with good reason, we STILL will have already cashed it and willbe gone with your money. Remember, we are screening you and if you sound too savvy, then we aren't going to let you be the one "approved bidder".
Pre-Approved Bidders Only.
This is designed for sellers to be able to weed out rifraff on their listings. That way, the seller can figure out who is real and let the list of bidders war it out amongst themselves. It can definitely be used as a scam tool, though (see below).
A BuyItNow Auction WITH PreApproved Bidders AND NO ABILITY TO ENTER A BID, EXCEPT TO EXERCISE THEY BUYITNOW ??
This is major tip off. "Buy It Now" is intended to be used IN CONJUNCTION with a normal auction listing. PreApproved Bidders is a seller's tool but is intended to be used to allow preferred buyers to bid on an item.
Adding in the fact that they have NO start bid and no place for two "approved bidders" to bid against themselves is the third part of the scam.
Pairing the three things together is useful ONLY FOR SCAMMERS. It lets them "target" the "fool".
There is certainly an easy way through this BS.
Once they "approve" you, tell them you will be using an Escrow Service and that you will be paying the fees for it (they are around 2%). This is fair for buyer and seller. The item doesn't ship until the escrow service has received your money, and then the seller doesn't get paid until the buyer has verified that he has recieved the merchandise. Good for everybody. They won't go for it cause they have no motor to sell you - they are crooks. They will tell you to look at their fantastic feedback and accuse you of being silly. Offer them an additional $250 if you can use the Escrow service (a handsome offer for the ten days they will have to wait for their money due to Escrow). Once again, they will decline (or never get back to you). They may even throw in the "free shipping" if you send money directly to them (stating something about their timeframe not allowing them to wait for Escrow).
How do they do this?
They STEAL other people's Ebay accounts. They find an account and a password with good feedback and go in and change the contact emails and passwords and use it as their own. They look for accounts that haven't done much recently and grab them. I don't know if some hoodlum inside Ebay somehow got access to passwords, or if it was from a "teaser" email (like I received) asking for you to update your Ebay account information (Ebay didn't send it but damn it looked just like their stuff and even had an ebay.com mailing domain).
this guy is legit and you just got a raging deal on a sweet motor.