Top 5 eBay Buyer Scams & How to Avoid Them

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Top 5 eBay Buyer Scams & How to Avoid Them

iPhone scam. Scammers find people with 0 feedback selling iPhones and other high value items. They choose 0 feedback sellers because they’re more easily fooled as they don’t know the ins and outs of eBay yet. The buyer will pay for and receive the phone, but when they get it they will open eBay return, claiming the phone doesn’t work. They will then send back a different phone or a phone with all the electronics taken out, ebay will rule in the buyer’s favour because they can’t say who shipped the broken phone, and then the scammer will sell the iPhone they’ve stolen from you. This applies to a lot of expensive electronics.

The item not as described scam. This isn’t necessarily a scam, but it is annoying for sellers. Even if your listing states that returns are not accepted (which is an option available by eBay), a seller can open a returns case for an item that is not as described. They’ll make up some rubbish about it not being big enough, small enough, blue enough etc, open a case and then you’ll have no choice but to accept a return. This leaves a bad mark on a sellers account, and the way the system works, as soon as they return the item their payment is automatically refunded. So without knowing it, you as the seller, are offering free returns on all your items.

The feedback extortion scam. Buyer receives the item and then messages you saying something is wrong with it. They demand a partial refund – and most importantly, if you don’t do it, they’ll leave negative feedback. This is against ebays rules. You’re not allowed to demand a refund threatening negative feedback. If you can work out ebays complicated help system, you might be able to get eBay to help you out – but getting eBay to help you as a seller is a whole different video!

The Nigerian scam. They a buyer may ask you to post to different address than the one in their paypal – it’s called the Nigerian scam because it’s often an address in Nigeria. You should never do this. As soon as the item arrives, they will open an item not received case and eBay will rule in their favour because you didn’t send to the registered postage address. The buyer gets refunded and gets to keep the item. Also, you should always send by recorded post, otherwise even if you send to the registered address the buyer can claim it never arrived

The direct payment scam. sellers have to pay fees to eBay when they sell stuff, and often the price of the item is a little bit higher than it needs to be to factor in that fee. Sometimes innocently, buyers may ask you to be paid directly to your paypel account in exchange for a cheaper price, saving both you and the buyer money – but this is against eBays policies and could lead to you being banned. Also, if something goes wrong with the transaction, you’re in trouble as a seller as you won’t have any protection from eBay – paypal however will protect the transaction for the buyer and you’ll end up out of pocket.

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