The eBay retailer claimed he could buy exclusive Lego sets not yet available in Singapore, and at prices up to 30 per cent cheaper than the suggested retail price.
The catch: A two-month waiting period, with buyers having to pay him first.
For 12 adult Lego fans, including one toy store co-owner, the offer seemed like a good deal.
But now, more than six months after they collectively paid him more than $36,000 for about 200 sets, they claim there is still no sign of the plastic bricks.
The eBay retailer, Mr Gary Tang, 43, who does not deny the delays, said he has not had time to deliver some of the sets.
Student Brian Cheang, 20, claimed to have paid Mr Tang close to $11,000 over four occasions between October and November last year.
Mr Cheang claimed he had received only four Lego sets so far, and that Mr Tang owed him more than 90 more, including an Imperial Shuttle and five R2-D2 models from the premium Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series.
Said Mr Cheang: "In February, he told me the sets were delayed because of bad weather.
"Then in March, he said a lot of sets had arrived at his warehouse, but he didn't have time to go through the boxes and so I'd have to wait. "I even offered to help him go through the boxes, but he said 'no' because there was someone else working at the warehouse who wouldn't like it."
Mr Cheang said attempts to resolve the matter through eBay did not help, because the online retailer has a 45-day refund policy.
By the time anyone tried to contact Mr Tang, more than two months had passed since the transaction.
Also, payment had to be done through bank transfer, instead of Paypal which eBay recommends. Mr Tang's account, sg_dude, has been suspended and can no longer be seen by the public.
For toy store managing director Huang Xinying, what started out as a favour to a friend has meant complications for her business operations, along with nearly $16,000 being paid to Mr Tang.
Mr Tang, who runs a business making acrylic Lego display cases, had been supplying cases to her shop in Bugis Junction since October last year.
In February, he told her he could get sets not yet available in Singapore, and for a slightly lower price.
She claimed he had told her that if they could share the shipment cost, it would make shipping in the sets cheaper for him too. Said Ms Huang: "I thought I wouldn't mind since the prices are comparable to my supplier, and I'd be helping a friend."
But products which were supposed to arrive in April came only in June, and at the rate of one or two boxes a week. Ms Huang claimed she could not remember the full details of her order.
"The worst part was that he would bring the sets down, then tell me he owes someone else a set, and that the person would be coming to take it from my shop. And I allowed him to (do that).
"Maybe I'm soft, but I thought I'd help him out as a friend," she said.
In August, the buyers realised it had been nearly six months and there was still no sign of the Lego sets.
Each of the five members of the group contacted Ms Huang through Facebook, since she was a well-known member of the Lego community, and Mr Tang had said he was a supplier to her shop.
"When all of them contacted me, I was shocked," Ms Huang said. "That's when I knew something far bigger was going on here."
Eleven of the 12 who had paid Mr Tang have made police reports, the group told TNP.
A police spokesman confirmed reports had been lodged, and said investigations were ongoing.
I even offered to help him go through the boxes, but he said 'no' because there was someone else working at the warehouse who wouldn't like it.