How can eBay & PayPal stop sellers being scammed?

This isn’t an unusual situation, but yet again a casual seller has been scammed. Having sold a brand new Apple iPad on eBay and been paid via PayPal it’s no surprise that after the buyer collected it turned out that it was a hijacked eBay/PayPal account and the funds were reversed.

What seemed like a quick way to make a buck has turned into a loss of £599.00 and PayPal aren’t covering the loss as the buyer collected in person. The seller even went so far as to get a signature on collection, but of course that’s no use as the buyer isn’t who they said he were.

Most experienced sellers on eBay are well aware of the requirements to qualify for PayPal seller protection, but casual sellers and this one in particular may not be.

The seller in question is quite rightly angry and upset that they’ve been scammed but ultimately it’s their own fault for not following the rules. Sadly they’ll probably spend the next few years telling everyone they meet about how they got scammed on eBay which leads to the question do eBay and PayPal do enough to protect their customers?

The PayPal user agreement lays out what you need to do to qualify for seller protection but quite honestly have you yourself read the eBay and PayPal user agreements in full? If you have when was the last time you read them? If it’s not since June 1st when the agreement was last updated then you’re not aware of the latest changes.

PayPal’s tag line is “PayPal. Safer. Simpler. Smarter.”, and it is, but only if you know what you’re doing. Most people don’t read the small print, and I guess it’s fair to say we only have ourselves to blame when we don’t. That doesn’t mean we’ll always blame ourselves when things go wrong though, so what should eBay and PayPal do to protect innocent but naive sellers who aren’t as familiar with online trading as ourselves?