Anyone been scammed on Ebay?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by brobson, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. brobson macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2004
    Those prices are tempting but surely there is some risk?
    Anyone have good reasons not to purchase on ebay?
    Does one's credit card protect you from fraud or only someone purchasing without your knowledge?
    Also can you get the student applecare if an item has been purchased w/in the year and comes with a receipt?
  2. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    You should read how ebay work on the ebay site. Yes, you can be scammed, but ebay is a user supported site, so buying from people with good feedback usually leads to a good purchase. Also, ebay covers you depending on the item and cost. you will have to do checking on that, because it is based on the price. my friend recently bought a RX7 on ebay was ripped off, because the seller claimed the car was never in a wreck, but it was. The Insurance covered him for the difference of the value and he got the keep the car. This was serveral thousands of dollars.

    as to stealing your credit card, that isn't the case. ebay uses and escrow type services called paypal. paypal is the go between for your credit cards and money transfer and they take a small transaction fee. if you are stupid ebay to just give your credit card number in email to someone that is your own fault.

    but the answer is yes you can get ripped off on, but that is life. however, buying from people with good feedback 99% gets you good results. this is also the insurance as i mentioned.

    to answer your last question on prices, a lot of the items are USED that why they are cheaper. Another reason it is an auction. Smart sellers on ebay put no reverses their auction and sometimes they go for less than retail price, but usually on average they will got for fair market value which is at or more of retail if the item is new.
  3. DrPepper macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2004
    people like me with high ratings would never rip you off

    look for people with 25+ rating # and above a 95% good rating and you will be fine, the horror stories you read in newspapers are idoits that buy from people with 0 rating
  4. Wes macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2001

    Or hacked accounts, look at somebody's feedback. If they have been selling baseball cards only for two years and suddenly are selling a Powerbook G5 at $1000 below retail, I'd get suspicious.
  5. dotnina macrumors 6502a

    Aug 19, 2004
    Personally, I'd go with an Apple refurb before buying a computer off eBay.

    I'd at least want to see the computer in person.
  6. noahsnyc macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2003
    Los Angeles
    PayPayl's the REAL issue...

    I was an avid eBay-er for quite a while. Besides the occasional "useful" purchase, it's quite helpful for collections (I like movie posters and unique Converse All Star sneakers).

    For most of the time, I used PayPal, which is the ubiquitous form of payment on eBay these days. Basically, PayPal is a service that allows you to pay (and receive) moneys through either a bank account or a credit card. It works rather seemlessly, and almost all volume-sellers on eBay prefer, if not require it.

    One day I got an AmEx bill for $2,500 from PayPal. Someone had managed to crack either my eBay or PayPal account and do a little scamming. Well, AmEx took care of it right away. When in doubt, American Express rocks your socks. They're amazing and come as highly regarded as any financial institution could be.

    Unfortunately, the same can not be said for PayPal. They have a little-known policy of freezing accounts and inactivating them if there are disputed charges and not dealt with through PayPal and PayPal alone. In other words, if someone manages to scam you and charge your credit card or bank account through PayPal, PayPal itself wants to deal with it and not even alert your bank or credit card company. They recently settled a serious lawsuit over this and I, along with a few other million folks will get a couple of bucks back.

    In short, all of my experiences with eBay have been fine, but PayPal is an unnecessary evil that should be avoided.

  7. 42gb macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2004
    Germantown, MD
    I tried to buy a clamshell iBook in January from a guy on eBay. I won the auction at a decent price, although there wasn't much competition. That others were sketched out about the seller should have been the first clue I picked up on.

    I had the sense to not send the payment until I could communicate with him. His email was through a cell phone (, which nevertheless didn't work. He wanted payment sent to Florida, but his non-working cell number was from Massachussets. I looked him up in the yellow pages and found two addresses both in what should be an industrial part of the city (I used to live there).

    I tried to get in touch, but it was impossible. Meanwhile he kept requesting payment, and eventually left me bad feedback. At that point I decided to buy my laptop elsewhere. I ended up buying from someone selling one in the Macrumors forums.

    Incidentally, I am now looking to sell it. I wass considering using eBay for that. Anyone know if it's just as risky if you're selling an old iBook? If anyone is interested, it's a 466mhz with 384 MB RAM and 10 GB HDD running 10.3.5. I was hoping to get $400 to help with my job search.
  8. iBook macrumors regular

    May 3, 2004
    On a tugboat
  9. brobson thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2004

    I have bought small stuff through ebay, art supplies etc.
    But I am hesitant on the big stuff.
    No one answered if I could get applecare through apple with a reciept that is less than a year old. ALso can I get the education discount even thought the computer didn't receive the discount. I am thinking yes but I have been surprised before! Sometimes common sense isn't common.
    There is a listing on there now that is suspicious.
    well...I checked and it's gone now.
    It was there at midnight with 11 hours to go.
    It was a fully loaded powerbook only 2 months old with a buy it now for $900.
    But you had to email the buyer to get prequalified.
    I emailed and no response.
    WHen I looked at the sellers history though, they had 4 aliaes. One had ended yesterday. I couldn't find out anything about the other names, it only brought up the current one. THat seems unfair. If there is suspicious activity or a lot of negative comments, a person should know.
    I guess buyer beware.
    Brenda :)
  10. applemacdude macrumors 68040


    Mar 26, 2001
    Over The Rainbow
    I am a ebay buyer and seller and have never been scammed.

    THE REAL SCAM is Paypal, they take a small (yea small) percentage of all my earnings which sucks because i have to pay ebay for the insertion fees and the final fees.
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    PayPal got in trouble, because they didn't live up to their marketing boasts.
  12. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    I've been scammed twice. Both very small items. I try not to spend too much, though there is some protection if you don't receive what you paid for (minus $25). It's all in their FAQ.

    The first time was years ago with a guy that had 100% positive feedback, but very little of it. I bought a ~$20 used video card, and after sending him a money order, and several e-mails, never received the item. Tried calling him, but it turned out to be a business address where no one had ever heard of him. His account was suspended very quickly. They always seem nice in the first couple of e-mails.

    The next was recently. Only $11, but it still makes me mad. 99.something% postive feedback selling similar small items. I sent payment, never received item. Started noticing his ratings going down. No ones was receiving their items after a certain date. His wife said something about him being out of town, but I still haven't received it. I've tried e-mailing him, going to his website, filed reports, even have his phone #. He's been kicked off of eBay, too.

    Nothing you can do.

    I will say though that I also sell on eBay, and have bought many things without incident. Stuff happens, sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't. And sometimes, you get scammed.
  13. Beligerent macrumors regular


    Oct 24, 2003
    Exeter, NH
    A friend of mine bought a Mercedes off eBay and the seller screwed him. The car shows up in worse condition then it was advertised. A car fax report showed that 10 years ago the car had 130,000 miles on it and when it showed up it had 90,000. I remember him telling me the seller wanted $100 to fedex all the paperwork, my buddy paid it and the seller just put the paperwork in an envelope with a 37 cent stamp on it and mailed it. I kinda chuckle cause my buddy is such a moron and this type of crap happens to him all the time.
  14. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    I always get a bit nervous with big ticket items, but I have never been scammed on eBay. The only time I ever thought I might have been, it turned out the guy was called out of town for a funeral. Everything worked out fine.

    I have found eBay not to be the great place to shop that it used to be. Too many people out there now to find any great bargins.
  15. svenr macrumors regular

    May 6, 2003
    After reading that, I think you REALLY should check out this story:
    It's very long, but worth every minute reading! Enjoy!

    And, yes, I got majorly screwed by Paypal, too. Sold an item, shipped it. The buyer claimed he didn't receive it and filed a complaint with Paypal. Paypal took his money back out of my account without even asking me first what I had to say! (There was a tracking number!) Never saw my money again, never saw my item again. I will avoid Paypal like the plague.
  16. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
  17. t300 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2004
  18. DrPepper macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2004
    sorta true
    lol that would be funny, youd be dumb if u bought a g5 pb

    but on the other hand i sell all sorts of stuff on ebay
    like i sell car stickers (the good ones)
    i sell computers pdas
    and now im selling vintages cameras, and digtal micrometers
  19. Cordless_Drill macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2004
    Montgomery, Ala., USA
    I'm still crying from this story. Tears streming down my face. "Who knows?"

  20. LiveForPhysics macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2004
    Santa Cruz
    I've made a couple purchases off ebay (rare PSX games), and thus far I haven't suffered through a scam...yet. Like others have stated previously, the higher the feedback of the seller, the more reliable your purchase will be.
  21. Cordless_Drill macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2004
    Montgomery, Ala., USA
    Oh yea. There's a real point to this thread...

    I just bought an iBook/1.2/superdrive/768 off ebay for $1,100 shipped. I have to admit I was a little worried. That's an insanely low price but dude had good feedback and enough (45) so that I felt he was credible.

    Anyway, it worked out perfectly. Box arrived unopened and as expected.

    I'd just keep an eye on feedback ratings, feedback numbers and what all the seller sells. If you do your homework, you cut your scam rate essentially to zero.

    ONE MORE THING: I took a risk and bought my daughter a 350 MHz iMac this summer from a zero feedback seller. He lived fairly close to me, so I knew skulls could be cracked if necessary. I got it for $155 shipped. No problems.
  22. DrPepper macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2004
    :eek: what time did the auction end at
  23. Cordless_Drill macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2004
    Montgomery, Ala., USA
    The auction ended around 10 p.m. CDT, as I recall.

    The reason people were scared off centered around a really poor item description (inaccurate/incompatible numbers all over the place) and the picture left a lot to be desired. But I was feeling risky -- my best friend works for the FBI in its fraud department -- and I let 'er rip. Ended up with a very nice iBook at a great price.

    I sold it on Thursday to a local buyer for $1,450. He got the friend price.

    Still, it was an easy $350.
  24. smharmon macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2004
    I sold a guy a PowerMac G5 1.8 for around 1800. 2 months after getting the money from paypal, and spending it on a new powerbook, ex. hardrive, and a bunch of other stuff, paypal makes my account negative by 1800 bucks. they say I have to pay, and come to find out he just told his credit card company that he didn't make the purchase. It was sent to a confirmed address, and I even called him. He laughed in my face, and told me how he was "really enjoying his new computer." I told paypal all about it, they swore they would look into it, and here it is three months later, and they say it is my fault, that I didn't send it, and to give them the money. (after I sent the the UPS tracking number.) They said something about the delivery looked fishy....

    Stay away from them... use ebay for very small stuff, and that is it...

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