Someone tried to scam me on ebay

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by puma1552, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    I thought I had sold my MBA on ebay, until I looked at the "Niger St., Nigeria" shipping address.

    I immediately decided absolutely not on shipping the item there since it's surely a scam and even if it's not, I'm not going to feel good about it, PayPal or not.

    So here's what I've done:

    --Deleted the completed auction
    --Sent the buyer a message saying too bad, I am not going to ship/sell it to anyone in Nigeria
    --Relisted the auction as a "second chance" auction, where it goes up for 24 hours as a buy it now auction at the next highest bid, and sends the next highest bidder a message saying it is still available
    --Opened a case with ebay to cancel the transaction, but all this apparently was was another place to send the buyer a message, albeit through the appropriate channels of opening a case (though it doesn't say they are investigating him)

    Is there anything else I need/should/have to do? Am I OK and is it within my rights to cancel the transaction and relist the item?

    This is my first time selling on ebay, and I'm pretty pissed I waited five days for this result. Not happy at all.
  2. CJS7070 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Might be helpful to include in your auction "Will only ship to US" (or wherever you happen to live). It may not eliminate scammers, but it definitely gives you more reason to cancel should something like this happen again.
  3. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Yeah I was definitely hoping to edit the auction in the second chance to reflect something like that, but for some reason editing is disabled on those types of auctions??:confused:
  4. CJS7070 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    That's not surprising, I know that eBay doesn't let you edit an auction once somebody bids on it. That's probably for the better, that way somebody can't edit the entire thing to scam somebody that's already bid on it (or say that it's broken, etc). Since a SCO is offering it to people who have already bid, I guess it makes sense that they've disabled editing.
  5. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Ah ok, that makes sense.

    So I should pretty much be in the clear, correct?

    There's really nothing more I can do, and if someone goes for the buy it now option I should be AOK to sell pending clearing PayPal payment, right?
  6. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    The other irritating thing is that it will take quite a while for that second chance auction to show up in the search results; I assumed it would show up immediately since it's already been through that whole process once, but I can't find it as of yet (been waiting about an hour).
  7. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    UGH, what a nightmare...ebay pulled my listing because someone was bidding on it without the account owner's permission. I tried listing it a third time but now it's FORCING me to verify my phone number, but unfortunately the system is too short-sighted to handle phone numbers outside the USA. Of course I can't speak to a real human being either.

    Ebay is completely not worth the hassle.
  8. ethical macrumors 68000

    Dec 22, 2007
    just list it again....and make the shipping/payment details more specific...

    only paypal, only within the US/UK (whatever) etc etc...
  9. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    May 10, 2009
    As a merchant I deal directly with sales from my own site, I do not use Ebay to sell anything--I once did, I never made much money using Ebay, but I still keep a business account to purchase with occasionally while looking for deals on equippment

    I have specific company policies concerning the sale of goods. For any reason should I decide to cancel a transaction any money is directly refunded through paypal, I give the customer two days as a grace period for cancellation on top of the time for bank transfers when a product is ordered, after that I ship and the sale is final.

    Always be sure to have a clear policy on any selling accounts it's better in bold print to help avoid a major hassle.
  10. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Yeah I wasn't able to relist it unless I was able to verify my identity by phone.

    This required changing my country back to the United States (my permanent address, I am currently living/selling from Japan), and putting in my sister's number, then calling her and having her answer the phone and give me my stupid PIN.

    I did that, and finally got past that, and did relist the auction, which is currently up.

    But, I decided to make another listing for something else, and it told me that I was restricted from selling it because the item wasn't listed as being in the same location as my registered address country. When I went to make the first auction, I had to change my address to Japan to get it to work, but then the phone verification of course didn't work since it can't accept Japanese phone numbers. That worked, but then they forced me to do the phone verification, so I had to change back to the US. For whatever reason, I was allowed to list this auction now for a third time with a US address and with the item location being Japan, but they won't let me sell anything else citing that exact reason.

    So, what does this mean? This means that in 24 hours I'm sure my current auction will be pulled for that exact reason.

    So it's basically like this: I want to sell something from Japan. I put in a Japanese address and cannot get verified because the system is too shortsighted and a MASSIVE oversight was made in that they can't verify me by phone because they can't call a Japanese number (I already did whatever other multiple verification ways there were to avoid the phone, but I no longer can avoid it). So, I switch my address to America so I can get verified by phone, I get verified, and then I get restricted from selling anything since the items are coming from Japan, and it even had the balls to tell me I would only be able to sell it within the country it's registered in.

    Basically it's a big stupid clusterf*ck and a "F*CK YOU" from ebay because ebay has not taken into consideration people living abroad. I can't even talk to a real human being.

    If this ad gets pulled, I'm done with ebay forever and I'll just sell the pile of crap for far less than it's worth to someone here just to unload the damn thing. I'm tired of this. Getting to the point where I'm so frustrated I could nearly cry.
  11. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    I should also note that since I changed my country (twice in the same day, no less) I'm sure they are going to flag/restrict/lock my account for that too.

    I bet even if this auction completes they won't let the transaction go through.

    To hell with ebay and paypal.:mad::mad::mad:
  12. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    yeah, gotta tell you though, just the fact that you're trying to sell a laptop but you're out of the country is going to scare off a whole lot of potential buyers for much the same reason you weren't interested in the buyer from's simply too risky and the potential for a scam is so great that people will avoid a sale like you're trying to do
  13. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Well 22 non-automated bids and 16 watchers seemed to suggest otherwise on the last one.

    Current auction already has 2 bids.

    There's nothing really fishy about it; my auction states exactly where the laptop is coming from, where the laptop was purchased (Osaka Apple), has all documentation in Japanese including receipts, and I will be shipping via Japan Post EMS which provides English tracking and insurance, all clearly stated.

    I see what you're saying, but Japan isn't exactly known for being scammer's paradise on ebay.

    Perhaps people wouldn't have to be so suspicious if ebay relaxed a little on it's phone and address formats--it doesn't even need to relax them--it just needs to realize that not everyone lives in the United States, because even if I put in a Japanese address and try and sell and register exclusively in Japan, I can't. I HAVE to have an American phone number.

    Bottom line, if ebay let me enter a phone number for a different country I could be listed exclusively in Japan, selling from Japan. But ebay's system sucks, so I have to register as an American.

    ebay's problem, not mine.
  14. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    the one that ended up with the nigerian bidder? lol....maybe they were all nigerian bidders ...... JUST KIDDING :D
    don't get me wrong, I wasn't suggesting you're a scammer or anything like that.

    It's just that the "i'm overseas for work now and have the product with me but we can use an escrow service for your protection" is a classic ebay scam

    good luck tho!
  15. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Thanks, no worries.

    Just a little irritated that I've had so many problems trying to do something so simple, and further irritated by the fact I would've had the machine sold for $1100 to the next highest bidder who probably was legit had the last guy not come along...and because of that now I've had endless problems.

    I realize all their measures are to protect people but it really seems excessive at times, and perhaps the most frustrating thing is that I can't just start completely over short of flying overseas and opening a new bank account, and even if I did I'd run into the same verification problems.
  16. ss957916 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2009
    I haven't used eBay for a couple of years now, either to buy or sell. I'd consider myself an intelligent and switced-on chap, but the scammers that crawl eBay and the stupid rules and regs that eBay and PayPal dictate make it a complete minefield.

    Long story short: The last time I used eBay was to sell a 32-inch CRT TV. The chap paid by PayPal, collected and then marked the item as "Not arrived". PP took the money back out of my account and insisted I submitted a proof of postage (which, of course, I couldn't). Even the police didn't get anywhere. He managed to use eBay to steal my TV worth £450.

    I've also bought (amongst other things) two CDs, a DVD and some Sony headphones all of which were fakes.
  17. jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    Ebay's problem is as much as they would like to stop all the scamming they can't without seriously impacting their business. They could require verification of every buyer and seller, similar to what they put you through; perhaps even requiring a bank or credit card for further verification. While some scammers would slip through that would make it a lot harder for the average scammer to get an account. They could also institute shipping address checks and look for suspicious activity and flag it to sellers.
    The problem is that would make it a lot harder for the average buyer as well; many of whom would simply not use ebay. As a result, auction prices would drop , making ebay less attractive to sellers. A death spiral would ensue; competitors would step in as ebay falters further reducing the seller / customer base. As a result, ebay probably has decided it is better (for them) to continue as is rather than institute further protection measures.

    I personally have had good experiences on ebay; although ebay can be frustrating. I had one seller who changed their email address and ebay would not let them change it in their account. As a result, they wanted a PayPal payment at a different email than on the invoice - a sign of potential fraud. When I contacted ebay, they said - don't pay; the seller contacted ebay who said they would send me an email saying it was OK (they never did). the seller eventually just shipped the item and I paid; but is was frustrating for both of us who were trying to honestly complete a transaction.

    My ebay buying is no limited to a handful of sellers whom I've come to trust or for items so cheap that if there are problems i simply don't care how long it takes ebay / paypal to sort it out.
  18. dreary macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2009
    as an ebay seller myself, i never ship internationally. too unsafe, and i always end up scammed. :mad:
  19. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Could you elaborate? I'm curious to hear as to how you've been scammed, as an international seller myself.
  20. yojitani macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    When you list your item, you have a choice of the countries/continents you will ship to. You should take advantage of that feature to prevent things like this happening. You can also place certain restrictions on who can buy from you, although it's hard to see in this case that that would have happened.

    Envy you in Japan. Wish I were there!
  21. Disc Golfer macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2009
    Am I being scammed?
    I sold my old ipod on ebay recently. The paypal payment is "pending" until april 1st or until they give me positive feedback. Normally I wouldn't ship until the paypal had gone through but the paypal wouldn't go through until I get positive feedback on the item so it didn't seem as if I had much choice. The buyer got the ipod about a week ago and hasn't left feedback either way, even though I followed up a couple days after tracking reported it delivered to see if they were happy with it. I've never had paypal hold funds on ebay sales before or since this ipod (I've sold other items since the ipod, and for more money, and the payments have gone through immediately). Is this some kind of paypal chargeback scam that I've fallen for? Or what?
  22. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    I tried selling a notebook on eBay once and even included in the listing that I would ONLY ship to the United States in large, red, font, and every time someone would buy it they were from Nigeria and had 0 feedback.

    I have seen some auctions on eBay that only allow users who have at least 10 feedback bid on your auctions, although I am not sure how to enable that. Until then, a scammer will try and buy your MacBook every time.
  23. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    it's possible that ebay has started putting these holds on certain types of's a link to another thread where somebody was having this problem
  24. Disc Golfer macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2009
    Hm interesting. As long as it isn't something where they're going to yoink the funds back or something I don't specifically have a problem with waiting. Kind of weird how they're selective about what they'll do it for though. Thx.

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