Most Ebay scams happen to the sellers rather than the buyers. When a dispute arises, Paypal and Ebay tend to side on the buyer’s side rather than the seller, especially when an investigation has no proof. Before you sell, read the following common Ebay scams, and how you can avoid them.
Offer to Outbid Other Buyers for a Faster Sale – Some Ebay buyers will approach you with a message offering to outbid all other buyers if you can close the sale right now. This is really a test. It’s a test of how easily the seller can be manipulated. If the seller decides to end the auction early, then the buyer will likely ask for more demands. Such demands may paying outside Paypal, being reimbursed for money, and other outrageous demands. Always let the Ebay sale end on its own, or you will have a difficult transaction on your hands.
Ask You to Give Feedback Before Transaction is Complete – This one may seem obvious to not do, but many scammers ask for positive feedback before a transaction is complete. Remember to not leave feedback until items are delivered and money is transferred. If a sale goes bad, negative feedback is one of the only leverages you have. If you already gave that up, then the buyer can go out and scam others, while keeping their 100% positive feedback.
Abuse Buyer Protection – Ebay offers all its users buyer protection. Buyer protection is supposed to protect the buyer from items that were never delivered, weren’t as described, or damaged. When a buyer disputes a transaction, the buyer will likely get their money back if the seller cannot prove that an item was delivered. If you mailed without delivery tracking, you’re out of luck. The buyer can scam you and ask for money back, even if they actually received the item. Not only will you lose the item, you will lose your money too. Make sure you have proof in the form of a tracking number of the item reaching the buyer every step of the way. Never sell digital items online such as virtual currency, which can be disputed without real proof the buyer received them.
Send Delivery Driver to Pick up Item – Sometimes the Ebay buyer will scam the seller into delivering the item before it is paid for. To do this, the Ebay scammer will send a delivery truck to the seller’s house asking to pick up the item. Not realizing that the item is not yet paid for, the seller hands the item over to the delivery driver never to be seen again. Once again, you lose the item and the money, because it was never paid for. Always make sure you receive payment before fulfilling your end of an Ebay order.
Buyer Requests Items to Be Shipped to a Different Address – Do not fall for the story that this item is for a friend or relative. You only ship to the confirmed address listed on the buyers account. If you ship to a different address, the buyer will dispute the transaction saying that the item was not received. When Paypal sees that you shipped the item to a different address, you as the seller will be held liable. The money will get taken out of your Paypal account and returned to the scammer.
Buyer Claims Item is Broken or Damaged – The Ebay scammer may purchase an identical item that you sold, except this one is broken. Then the scammer will open a dispute, saying the item was damaged from shipping. Unfortunately, there is no way to prove that the item was shipped in good condition. To prevent this scam, require the buyer to purchase shipping insurance.
Buyer Offers to Pay Outside Ebay – Paypal is the preferred payment method of Ebay. A scammer may offer you to pay a much higher price for an item if you let them pay with a different form of payment. Making transactions for Ebay listings outside Ebay are against Ebay policy, and for a good reason. If you complete the transaction outside Ebay, the scammer will open a dispute, and you will lose the money and the item. Why? Because Ebay actually has no proof that you fulfilled the transaction.
In the case of a scammer, you can always help your case by having proof of the transaction every step of the way. Always have signed delivery confirmation with a tracking number for deliveries. Do not do local pickup or mail an item without tracking. Require the buyer to purchase shipping insurance. Never fulfill a transaction outside of Ebay. Never give in to buyers unusual demands outside of the listing such as shipping to an alternative address. If you take preventative measures every step of the way, most of your transactions as an Ebay seller will run smoothly.