eBay Buyer Scams

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by gkarris, May 3, 2010.

  1. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #1
    Well, my friend had a buyer scam.

    Even though I said I wouldn't let returns, and because of my friend's nightmare, a buyer said the unit I sent him was "not working right" and wanted a return. I tested the unit before selling it and it worked fine.

    More "buyer's remorse" than a scammer, but still - do I look like Target or Wal-Mart? :rollseyes:

    I said "no returns" as the auction stated and he put in a complaint.

    I ended up giving him the refund AND said he could keep the unit since, researching online, that what normally happens - Paypal/eBay sides with the Buyer on these issues and just pulls the money out of the Seller's PayPal account and leaves it up to the Buyer to return the unit.

    At least I didn't sell anything extremely expensive (the unit was 25 + 10 shipping), but I'm out the unit, 10 shipping, and the eBay fees...

    So, what can I do? There's a ton of scammers out there now?

    What to do to sell more stuff? Craiglist? Other forums?
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Ok lost. Your friend had a "buyer scam" but it was you? And you gave a refund and let the guy/girl keep whatever was supposedly broken?

    There's little you can do to not get scammed on eBay, unfortunately. You can sell via craigslist but you're limiting yourself to local sales of course. You can try here and other forums but you can still get scammed.
     
  3. Synchromesh macrumors 6502a

    Synchromesh

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    SF
    #3
    What you should have done is call up eBay and argued with them. I'm sure if you explained the situation to them they could be understanding.
     
  4. cjmabry macrumors newbie

    cjmabry

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    #4
    Hmmm, I wonder if shipping insurance would cover this? Because technically if it was working before you shipped it, and you insure it for a dollar or two...
     
  5. gkarris thread starter macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #5
    In the listing, I mentioned no returns because of my friend's horrible experience with a buyer scam (and that item was a collectible toy that sold for $425) - so I would't take returns, but then got scammed myself.

    I let him keep it because I might have gotten something back that wasn't originally mine (another scam - people send back a like item that they had instead).

    I forgot to take the s/n down - oh well...

    Doesn't buying only with PayPal also lets the buyer get "protection" - maybe take only MO or Cash and sell on Craigslist?
     
  6. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040

    gadgetgirl85

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #6
    I know all about scams. I bought an ipad from a dude on ebay in the US...got the box yesterday...filled with nothing but newspaper. Luckily I paid with paypal
     
  7. ValSalva macrumors 68040

    ValSalva

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Burpelson AFB
    #7
    What was the feedback of the buyer? I put something on my auctions that says if one's feedback is less that 5 you need to email me before bidding. If I find a bid from someone with less than a feedback score of 5, or any recent negatives, who has bid without emailing I cancel the bid and block this person from further bidding.

    Before doing this I used to get bidders who bid and won on multiple similar items and wouldn't pay. I haven't had any problems since instituting this policy. Of course it won't prevent what the OP has been through but it might lessen the chances.
     
  8. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #8
    This is why I have pretty much stopped using ebay. I sold a first gen iphone to someone on ebay and he paid via payoal. the guy ended up doing a chargeback claiming he didnt buy it. I had all kinds of supporting evidence (emails with the guy mainly), and submitted this to paypal, but they sided with the guy anyway. It seems they side with the person making the claim the majority of the time.

    While there are some legitimate sellers on ebay (those with uber high positive feedback), the number of scammers on ebay has been growing over the past 2-3 years.

    On top of all this apparently ebay now owns paypal, and as a seller you are pretty much required to have a paypal account to sell anything. This stinks to high heaven, and I am surprised it is allowed to happen.

    Plus, when you add in all the ebay fees, the paypal fees, and postage, you really end up losing alot of money.

    Craigslist is just as bad. Ive posted a few things for sale there and either got bombarded by scammers, or got replies from people who wanted to give me next to nothing for my item (even though it was priced at or below its market value).

    When it comes to selling things anymore, I just use forums like the marketplace here.
     
  9. Disc Golfer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #9
    Ebay stinks for sellers. Scammers know this so they buy items and register disputes of all kinds to get their (your) money. Recently I sold my old powerbook on ebay and the minute I gave the buyer the tracking information he filed a paypal dispute saying I never shipped. It took two more weeks and about four hours on the phone with paypal to get my money, even though they assured me I did everything correctly and was doing everything I could the whole time. Never again.
     
  10. ValSalva macrumors 68040

    ValSalva

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    Jun 26, 2009
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    Burpelson AFB
    #10
    That's bleak. I guess the golden days of online auctions are over.
     
  11. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #11
    Sending a package, insuring it and getting a tracking number doesn't help much when you think about it--as the buyer can simply say the box was empty on arrival. They may be telling the truth in some cases, as post office workers have been known to steal packages as well.

    I think craigslist is better as long as you do the transaction in person for cash in a public place (preferably a bank). That's how I sold a powerbook and an iSight once and it worked out well in both cases.
     
  12. Krafty macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #12
    I found for CL, you just have to keep re-listing and dealing with idiots until you've got one. It's worked for me everytime, I've been using it for a few years.

    The only two bad experiences I had was being cut off $40 from my D40 cause the guy wanted a warranty that we never discussed (nor was it mentioned in the ad), and one guy was going to buy my wireless keyboard (perfect, nothing wrong with it)but didnt have change when he arrived, walked to a store to get change, then calls me to say he's going to buy it retail (basically, spending $30 more on the same exact thing I was selling him). Regardless, still sold it to someone the following day.
     
  13. acfusion29 macrumors 68040

    acfusion29

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto
    #13
    If I were you, I would've NOT issued a refund until PayPal did their investigation.
     
  14. cjmabry macrumors newbie

    cjmabry

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    #14
    And also, like others have said, it is crucial that you only sell to people with at least 5 or 10 feedback. Will definitely save you a lot of headaches.

    For any lawyer-types out there, would an e-mail contract work? Like a terms of service saying if you pay for this item you abide by these terms? So PayPal would have to side with you. As for it being DOA (dead on arrival), I usually list that I will only accept returns if the item is DOA. If it actually is, then either (1) It was broken in shipping. If you offered shipping insurance and made it clear that you're not responsible for what happens in shipping if it's not purchased then you should be fine if it was all included in a terms of service you sent to the seller. (2) The buyer broke it or (3) it was malfunctioning before you shipped. Obviously we know it's not (3), and (2) just goes back to the whole "if you don't buy shipping insurance I'm not responsible" thing. If this is clearly displayed to the buyer I don't see how PayPal wouldn't side with you.
     
  15. gkarris thread starter macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #15
    Thanks, everyone, for the replies and advice!

    Yes, things are getting worse overall for us sellers on eBay...

    As I said, I think my buyer simply had "buyers remorse" and if I had disputed, PayPal/eBay just goes ahead and sides with the buyer. I also read online from a post that if you take PayPal, you HAVE TO take returns from an unhappy buyer.

    Looks like selling on marketplace forums is the best bet - and I also think that if you use PayPal, the buyer can do the same thing and still get their money back - so it looks like I'll have to just take Money Orders.

    I have to sell off some old flying gear I'm no longer using so I'm off to find a marketplace to do so.
     
  16. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #16
    It is quite unfortunate, but I think you're right. Another thing I've noticed is how the seller fees have been steadily growing over the years, without any apparent benefit for the seller.
     
  17. quantum003 macrumors 6502a

    quantum003

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Location:
    Superposition
    #17
    You're not the only one getting hosed more and more frequently by unscrupulous buyers on eBay. It took me a while to catch on, but it's gotten to the point where half the time I ship an item out of the U.S., the buyer waits a week or two and then just claims he or she never received the item. I will then check the tracking information online, and it now seems that USPS stops following the package after it leaves the U.S, even though I paid $15 for priority international shipping! So paypal just takes the buyer's money back from my account before I can say a word about the situation, and the buyer enjoys a nice free product and a good laugh at my expense. And hey! We sellers don't even have the opportunity to leave a buyer ANYTHING other than NICE, HAPPY feedback! So if you're hoping that you can at least enjoy burning the unscrupulous buyer with a nice negative feedback rant... well, you can't. Because sellers are only allowed to bend over and take it from the buyers these days...

    It's just not worth the hassle... I'm going to close up shop and call it quits I think. I hate dealing with Craigslist people too... they're all weasels. Even the folks that seem nice and decent, eventually you always come to find out that they too screwed you over knowingly...
     
  18. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

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    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #18
     

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