Precautions to take when selling on eBay?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Phrasikleia, May 12, 2009.

  1. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #1
    I just put up my first item for sale on eBay, and the buyer has just paid me via PayPal. He's in Shanghai, China (I'm in the US), and PayPal included this warning when he paid me:

    "Important note: [the buyer] has provided an unconfirmed address. Please check the Transaction Details page for this payment to find out whether you will be covered by PayPal Seller Protection."

    Is this a common situation? Should it worry me?

    I assume everything will be fine, but I've always wondered why so many people refuse to sell worldwide. What could go wrong?
     
  2. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #2
    Unconfirmed address? Overseas address? Those are two huge red flags that it's a scam.

    Most people, myself included don't ship overseas for a few reasons. First one as noted above, overseas addresses come with a higher risk of fraud. Second one, it's more trouble than it's worth. Having to do all of the customs paperwork is annoying, and the receiver might get stuck having to pay import duties. And shipping overseas is expensive....you have to make sure you charge them enough for shipping because if you don't, you could be paying a lot out of pocket to ship it. It's just a huge pain, I'd rather sell to someone in the US and not have to deal with it.
     
  3. Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #3
    I have an eBay store (which effectively pays all my bills each month), and I still don't sell outside the US and Canada.

    They're not always trouble, but I've heard of many, many bad cases where overseas English, naturally, isn't the first language and misunderstandings are quite common - often leading to dissatisfied buyers who won't accept an explanation and demand a refund (which they have the power to do now through Paypal with no exceptions).

    I'd say browser through a few eBay-related forums and beefs up your blocked bidders list; avoid selling electronics if you can - that's where I've had the most trouble.

    Paypal saying you may be covered by Seller Protection is a joke. To Paypal, the Seller is always right. Unless you're a Power Seller and you have special privileges you're out of luck if the seller gives you trouble.
     
  4. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #4
    I figured out what the shipping charges would be, and they were expensive, but the guy apparently paid in full. It's no big deal for me to fill out the paperwork; I've done it before when sending gifts.

    So, all of that aside, how would a scam of this sort work? Is there some way for him to get his money back from me?

    FWIW, the buyer has about 80 positive feedback ratings (100% positive) as a buyer.
     
  5. ikermalli macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    #5
    They could jack an account (hence the good rating)
    They could jack or make a fake paypal account
    They send you the money
    You receive the money
    You send the item
    They get it, they cancel the account or it is found stolen
    No money for you
     
  6. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #6
    I would not worry about the fact that the address is not confirmed. Paypal is still unable to confirm addresses for most countries of the world, China no exception (at least the last time I checked). You can miss out on a lot of sales on Ebay restricting sales to be only domestic as people abroad are willing to pay more due to their local currency value against the US dollar.
     
  7. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #7
    If they've already sent me the money, then how would I lose the money when they cancel their account??

    Thanks for the reply. I suspected that might be the case.
     
  8. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #8

    They tell eBay that their PayPal account was either hacked into, or they never received the product, or did not receive it in the description described, PayPal will give them back the money and take it from your account. PayPal sides with the buyer 99% of the time in a dispute
     
  9. jecapaga macrumors 601

    jecapaga

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #9
    +1 on this. buyer can claim the item never arrived, you have no proof of delivery and paypal yanks the money out of your account. Then the buyer has his money back and the item you shipped him. win/win
     
  10. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a

    mperkins37

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #10
    I always send signed, & Insured. If it gets "Lost" I get paid for it, If it arrives, it's signed for.
     
  11. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #11
    OK, that's what I'll do. I'm shipping it tomorrow. Thanks for the advice.
     
  12. ZeroCorpse macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Okemos, MI
    #12
    The biggest insult with eBay is that PayPal is now holding payments for 20+ days after you make the sale. As a seller, that means they expect you to ship without access to the funds you took in.

    I absolutely hate that. It's quite unfair to sellers.

    Oh, they do drop it once your feedback is over 100 or something like that.
     
  13. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #13
    Wait...what? If I sell something on eBay, PayPal holds the funds for 20 days? Must be something new. I for one will not be selling on eBay again
     
  14. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #14
    Not for everything... It is only for certain groups of items (mainly electronics) that end about $100 if you have below 100 feedbacks. Also, the hold is lifted after delivery is confirmed or you receive positive feedback. They've been doing that for almost eighteen months; if you haven't noticed it yet, it probably won't affect you.
     
  15. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #15
    I guess everything ended well for me. I shipped out the package from California to Shanghai on Thursday, and today (Monday) the buyer left positive feedback, thanking me for the speedy shipping. It's amazing that he received it already, just a few business days after I sent it. At least I presume he received it and wasn't just responding to my shipping message.

    I ended up sending it regular priority international (not express international), which was supposed to take 6-10 days. It's also the method that provides no tracking number and no option for requiring a signature. Yes, risky, I know. I went this route because it was the only way to ship at the price I had quoted the buyer.

    Anyway, PayPal released the hold on the funds, and I got positive feedback, so presumably this case is closed...and with a happy ending.
     

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