For some time, someone going under various names has been contacting Cdbaby artists and asking them to send a bulk order to strange, far-off destinations.
Well, now he\'s trying it on with me.
A mysterious Mr. \"Powell\" contacted me this morning:
Email from Edward Powell
This is to let you know that am so much interested in your musical cds in cdbaby,but your price is a quite high for $10.00 i don\'t know if you can sell to me at the rate of $8.00each because i will buy them in bulk,like 300 copies,for the shipping i will be shipping to Tonga Island. So get back to me with the total price of all that quantities if you aggree on my price and shippment cost inclusive.
Hope to hear from you soon.
This Email sent from the CD Baby page for The Sinistrals
Quite why the natives of Tonga Island have suddenly decided they like me I don\'t know. Perhaps there\'s a sudden craze for 60\'s-tinged Britpop going on.(PLUG!) However, 300 copies at $8 each is $2400. A tidy sum, if it really exists. Does it exist, we ask ourselves? A brief examination of Eddie baby\'s email says that he comes from
\"www.musicmania.com\". Stick that into samspade.org and you\'ll find that it\'s owned by www.seeq.com, who seem to be a bunch of Cybersquatters who buy up old urls, and then give out free webmail. If alarm bells weren\'t ringing, they certainly should be now.
So I replied :
Thank you for your interest in The Sinistrals. I\'m afraid that at the moment I don\'t have anything like the kind of numbers of my CD available to ship to you.
However, if you are interested in a deal, I would be prepared to have that many CDs manufactured, complete with cases, inlay cards etc, providing that you would be prepared to send me the money up-front.
That\'s $8 x 300 = $2400, converted into Euros 1830.25 - with you paying the conversion surcharge, not me. I\'d also like, in advance, the address you want them sent to, and I\'d like a written contract with you, stating exactly what you wish to do with my records, that you are just a duly-appointed distributor and that no rights to the material are acquired, that all copyright remains with me, and that our contract is limited to just these 300 CDs.
Interested? Then get back in touch with me - but I don\'t lift a finger till I have the money and the contract. As you no doubt realise, the Music Business is a rocky one, and I\'ve been taken for a fool before.\"
Mr. Powell was indeed excited, so much so that he contacted me again:
I just got your mail.I\'ll like to have your full name(that\'ll appear on the check) and the address to send it to.I need to get this over with asap because my customers are getting impatient.A speedy response will be appreciated.I await the info.Take care.
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Oops! In his haste to reply, Eddiebaby forgot to remove his Seeqmail footer. So, not only illiterate, but clumsy as well. Perhaps he\'s a bit rushed, as his customers are getting impatient. I\'d be getting a bit nervy if I had a load of tongans getting impatient with me, furiously demanding their fix of 60\'s-tinged Britpop. (plug! plug!)
So, I decide to turn up the heat.
Sorry Edward, no checks. I want a full payment via wire or by the equivalent of what is called a \"bargeld-check\" in Germany. That\'s a check that is as good as the money. I think that it\'s called a bankers draft in America. I\'m not sure.
I won\'t accept cheques, as they take time to clear, and if there are insufficient funds in your account, it may bounce. As I have said before, I will not order the CD duplicated until I have payment in full from you. I also want a written contract, signed and addressed by you, as I have requested in the previous mail. If you agree to this, then please get one drawn up from below, sign it and send it to me.
My terms are as before.
This contract is between me as originator and copyright owner, and you as distributor. I will need to know in which areas and territories you will be distributing my product as part of this contract.
This contract is non-exclusive, and is not binding. You accrue no rights to the recordings, songs or copyrights in the CD other than as distributor for the 300 copies I send you. You do not receive the right to make more copies. You do not recieve the right to make derivative copies. You accrue no rights as exclusive distributor. Should you fail to sell those 300 CDs, I will not accept them as returns and refund your money. You are stuck with them. I accept no liability in this deal except to manufacture the product as agreed (300 copies of my CD) and send it to you.
Now, as I said, I don\'t do anything until I have a signed piece of paper from you. I do not wish to give out my name, address and bank details via email as it is extremely unsecure. If you wish to get in touch with me, please ring me on
and we can discuss things further.
Now, in case any of you are still thinking that Eddie is legit, let me point out that
- He\'s using a \"drop box\" - a disposable web email account.
- He hasn\'t, in two messages, explained his position, why he wants 300 CDs and why he wants them delivered to Tonga.
- He has offered me a check as payment, which could be fraudulent, forged, stolen and has no guarantee of payment.
- He hasn\'t even told me where he is.
If that doesn\'t start a little red flashing light with a hooter going \"401 scam! 401 scam!\" then I don\'t know what will.
And that is as far as I\'ve got. I was hoping Eddie would play on my greed by ringing me internationally on my rather expensive mobile number, but, scatterbrain that I am, I went and left my handy at work. I\'ll keep you all posted as to what comes next.