Problems Selling on Ebay - Buyers Not Paying!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by redman042, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. redman042 macrumors 68030


    Jun 13, 2008
    I've upgraded myself and my wife annually to a new iPhone since the 3G model, and always sold the old ones on eBay for a nice price. I have a perfect sellers rating with 21 feedbacks. Never had a problem, until now.

    eBay buyers are no longer paying for winning bids. They just stay silent until I have to file an Unpaid Item Case, wait a total of 8 days (wait 4 days, file unpaid item case, wait 4 more days), then try again. This has now happened 6 times in the last month! I'm selling my brother's iPhone 4, my wife's iPad 2, and my iPhone 4S.

    I don't get it. On all my past sales, I always got payment minutes after the bid closed and shipped the very next morning.

    Through some research I've learned that this is becoming more of a common problem on eBay. eBay does very little enforcement towards buyers, and they rarely bother to ding a buyer's record if they fail to pay. So that means a buyer can win your bid then change their mind and not pay. Or they can bid on many phones at once, win more than one, and only pay for the one they want. No skin off their backs! For sellers, yes you keep your item and can sell again, but it's a hassle and significantly delays the sale.

    I don't really want to deal with Craigslist, and other online sale methods don't get enough money for the device. I've always gotten good prices on eBay.

    So I'm now attempting to sell the iPad with a fixed price (Buy It Now) and see if that brings better success. I priced it a little lower this time. Hopefully I get a motivated buyer.

    Anyone have advice or experience to offer here?
  2. Moshe1010 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    Here's how to avoid that:
    1. List only "Buy Now" sales and check the "Require immediate payment" in the sale listing options (you also pay less fees when you list it as fixed price listing). If you want to know the realistic price for your item, in the sale listing page, above the price, you'll get an option "searching completed listings." There you can make your mind how much the item you want to sell was sold for [look for green color prices, these were sold - comparing to red listing prices that weren't sold).

    2. State in your ad that you will disqualify buyers that have less than 5 detailed feedbacks in their profiles

    3. Close the listing to US costumers only.
  3. Ramio macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2011
    Houston, TeXas
    I'm a power seller with 1285 100% positive and sell thousands of dollars worth of stuff monthly and have had my share of bidders not paying. What I do is if I don't get payment within a day, I write them a message and tell them to let me know by the morning if they plan on paying or I will relist. If you don't get a response, relist it and send them a cancelation request. If they don't reply within 7 days, you can close it and you'll get your fees back. From experience, buyers who don't write or pay within the first 24 hours usually never pay. It's much better than going through filing a non paying claim which could take a very long time.
  4. chrisperro macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2009
    personally i will sell on craigslist ,easier and you get cash right away,with ebay fees and shipping and paypal wait for 21 days to get your money is just too much.ebay always favours the buyer ,seen cases the buyer just claim they got an empty box...
    i mean i sold stuff on ebay before (25 items)all apple stuff but craigslist is better ,make sure you meet in a coffee shop or a public place.
    i just file a claim with canada post because the buyer said he never received the item good thing i had $100 insurance but it could take up to 2 months to get that $100.
  5. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    Not much you can do except re-list it. Last year, I had an iPhone 4 non-payer who changed his mind after the auction ended and he was happy to honor the cancellation request. Re-listed it and it sold successfully for $30 more.
  6. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    You can take advantage of the buyer exclusion options such as disallowing buyers bidding on more than 1 item for feedback below 5, etc.
  7. Hamstring macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2003
  8. ixodes macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    I concur, it's a better system.
  9. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    I'd rather deal with potential non-payers and re-list than get a couple hundred less through Amazon.
  10. dinapea macrumors member


    Sep 14, 2012
    Toronto, ON
    Similar situation

    We posted the iP4 Factory Unlocked (Directly from Apple here in Canada). Buyer insisted because of some web search that the model we sold him was LOCKED to an AT&T network .... We gave him a copy of the original receipt. Explained that the phone was used in USA & Europe (as recently as this summer). Suggested the buyer call Apple support, he recorded the conversation and SENT IT TO US and even though the phone call told him the phone was unlocked. He still insisted it was unlocked.

    He did pay and he did left positive feedback, but still insisted we made a mistake!

    SOrry for your troubles!
  11. redman042 thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jun 13, 2008
    I'm just now trying the Buy Now option and did price it according to recent sale values. I can't do Require Immediate Payment because I don't have an upgraded eBay account.

    As for #2, I can say that, but how do I actually enforce it?

    #3: I always do that too. Don't want to deal with international.


    So you relist before you have resolved the cancellation with the buyer? Do you run the risk of them paying late and then expecting an item?
  12. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. I prefer Craigslist to ebay.
  13. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    One of the best responses above. Ebay used to be easier to sell on, but has changed over the years. Sellers must be a lot smarter to beat the scams and non paying. Been selling since on Ebay since 2000 and have always been paid on literally thousands of items. But I set very clear rules in my auctions. I state all my Terms & Conditions clearly in my auction and I do not let anyone abuse them. That is why they are there. I have been fortunate over the years though and have a regular clientele base to deal with. Watch who is bidding and use their feedback to your advantage. If uncomfortable remove them as a bidder.
  14. Moshe1010 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    I don't know what upgraded account toy need to have the "require immediate payment". I have an account with 65 feedbacks and have this option.
    You don't need to enforce the 5 feedbacks or less rule, they just won't buy it from you because they know that you are not a sucker and can smell their scam from miles away. You can cancel any buyer from purchasing your product, especially if you stated that you are not going to sell to 5 or less feedbacks. In addition, I forgot to mention that there are rules you can establish in your listing to avoid people with negative feedback and # of violations.
  15. iosuser macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2012
    The other benefit of using buy-it-now only is the lower final value fee, which is 7% first $50, then 5% of the remainder up to $1000, if I'm not mistaken. It is much higher doing auction style.
  16. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    There are like >15 bids on a 4s with broken screen >$400 bux! Something is wrong.

    And they bid >$400 even when they are told bad ESN, Water Damaged etc. THEY STILL BID!

    eBay is getting to be a waste of time.
  17. AFDoc macrumors 68030

    Jun 29, 2012
    Colorado Springs USA for now
    I've had 2 non paying bidders on 2 of my i's as of late. Not sure if it's other sellers trying to manipulate sales or what but it's annoying.
  18. 1rottenapple macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2004
    Man I stopped buying on eBay after I lost 2k off a sale. eBay treats the customer as always in the right never mind the fact that there good customers and bad customers.

    I would try the forums, or Craigslist.


    Yup Craigslist fan here. Starbucks is everywhere! So it's a great spot to meet. Bring a buddy along too.
  19. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    I had a few of those too.
    One guy have won a $23 item and when I messaged him next day he said he will send payment 5 days after on Friday when he gets paid.
    Im like really dude? You dont even have $23 and you bid on an auction with no money? He responded saying "really".
    WTF? Many ignorant people there.
  20. thatoneguy82 macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2008
    Beach Cities, CA
    I've only had 1 problem with eBay that landed me in the same situation as you but it was due to my own ignorance of the situation. I was selling my iPhone 4S 64GB, ATT, Black, Unlocked. Last bidder came in and bid a price and was an international bidder (which I allowed) - I stated the international S&H price as well as the long wait before I shipped. Basically I had to get my iPhone 5 before I sent it. The bidder had zero feedback and I knew he was trouble, but I had no clue how to remove his bid. But, I took a leap of faith. Oops. Unpaid case, refund. All's good. I listed again, starting at $399 with a bidding frenzy that went up to $520. Buyer is in Taiwan so S&H is $50 Express USPS. Money was sent within 5 mins of auction end. He's completely fine with the wait; I've reaffirmed this several times.

    In short, I've had nothing but great experience on eBay. I've tried Amazon and it's not as easy to control your selling and it takes WEEKS to get your money and you get shafted in shipping. I've sold about 4-5 iPhones from the first one to the 4S. And have conducted at least $4000 in business. I've had no issues, no tricks, no cons, etc. I suppose it really depends on the luck of the draw?
  21. viewfly macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2009
    I had this OP problem twice. Rejecting <5 feedback doesn't doesn't help because these guys are experienced ebayers.

    I waited 12 hours to have the bidder tell me he was $100 short. 12 hours and I lost the 2nd and 3rd bidders.

    So I cancelled, relisted as auction and his bid as a buy it now price.

    I also stated that you must pay within 1 hour or I offer to the 2nd highest bidder. Period.

    When the bidder won I restated my terms to him. This worked.

    I've noticed that is a certain age group and type of person that are causing these problems

    Here is what I put on my listing:

    USA sales only

    NOTE: I had to relist this item, because the winning bidder, bid without having the money to pay. I lost time and 2nd bidders. Therefore:

    1. Only bid if you have the funds to complete the bid. Bid on 1 phone at a time.
    2. I expect PayPal payment within 1 hour of winning...or a good email explaining why there is a delay.
    3. If I don't get the above, I will cancel your winning bid, after 1 hour, and offer to the next highest bidder.
  22. bruceclay85 macrumors member


    Sep 14, 2012
    This happens to me quite a bit, just yesterday with an iPad. It really puts the seller out.

    I always, always specify terms and conditions in my listing and choose every option to protect myself from low ranking buyers, but it doesn't stop people from non-payment as there is almost no recourse for buyers not paying.

    Ebay has become a pretty sad place as of late unfortunately.
  23. andyx3x macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2011
    Why anyone would sell an iPhone on eBay over Craigslist just befuddles me.
  24. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    This is why I parted company with eBay a long time ago...the same tales of woe as posted above. I now sell privately or here where I have 100% positive feedback, and our market place section is a good one. It's sometimes harder to find UK buyers, but my 4S sold for its asking price within 24 hours of my placing the ad.

    Another source of free, local ( UK ) advertising is Gumtree...if you just want to list an item and don't post pictures, the ads target your local area and work well.

    I just don't trust eBay or PayPal any longer.
  25. viewfly macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2009
    My daughter bought a iPod on Craigslist locally. The guy wanted to meet her in a empty parking lot at night.


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