What are the scams experienced by eBay sellers?
The vast majority of eBay sales are successful. They must be, because otherwise eBay wouldn’t exist. And it’s true that most online sales are successful too. Amazon, eBay and PayPal have schemes in place that protect people that sell online.
But now I’m dredging here. What are the the scams that eBay et al sellers experience? I have a few ideas but why don’t you help me out with more examples?
The Not Delivered Scam
The seller sends something untracked and then the buyer claims it was never delivered. Often related to low value items, the buyer makes a claim to eBay, Amazon or PayPal and gets the refund and the seller is shouldered with the bill. Obviously, the item was sent. The buyer is trying it on and usually the seller is out of pocket.
The Returns Scam
An item is bought and is declared phoney by the buyer. And then the item returned is not what was sent. That sexy camera that comes back is very much less good than the one sent. But the marketplaces are unable to judge that. Great item comes back as shit product and the seller has to shoulder the cost. How many sellers know that one?
The Dodgy payments scam
An item is bought and the buyer asks it to be sent to anywhere but the official payment address. The buyer is in Birmingham (say) but it must be sent to Nigeria. The seller sends the items and discovers it’s not a protected transaction. Don’t do it.
Can you think of other scams?
I can think of another scan :-
Set up an internet auction site.
Make the sellers pay for everything.
Only allow buyers to leave negative feedback
Always find in the buyers favour in disputes
Tell buyers on every page they can get their money back
Force sellers to use payment service which you (used to) own
Keep cranking up the fees
Start taking a cut of sellers postage charges
Spend nothing on the site so it keeps crashing
Go offshore, Luxembourg will do, to avoid tax and avoid regulation
Spot on ! …. sadly
EBAY are the biggest scammers on ebay.
no two ways about it, no argument. it is EBAY. ]
plain and simple. EBAY inc are the culprit in every scam that takes place on ebay.
they are complicit in every single theft that happens on their platform. unlike other forms of theft, these arent possible on this platform without ebay’s complicit assistance.
– if i dont actually steal from a shop, but i hold the door open, distract the security guard, and keep an eye out for police, then i have taken part in that crime and belong in jail. just like eBay.
customer contacts seller with complaint as is normal.
seller advises complaint is not a product or seller fault, but rather the customer hasnt followed instructions. seller advises how to rectify.
buyer instead of following instructions, contact ebay.
ebay dont care whats right or wrong, and issue refund regardless of facts.
– next time customer buys, he knows he doesnt need to follow instructions. so doesnt.
if i follow instructions, i might get what i paid for, if i dont, i get to keep it and its free!
this item arrived damaged, i didnt tell you at the time.
instead i built it and used it for three months.
but i say it was damaged when it arrived so i want a full refund.
– No chance.
– I’ll go to ebay
– eBay issues refund.
why bother paying for anything ever again? wait three months, take a picture, complain it arrived looking three months old, get refund.
and its not just a case of “things are difficult to verify”, or “its a difffernce of opinion”.
with cold, hard, irrefutable proof, the kind of proof that would have OJ doing 25-life, the kind of proof where there is no argument.
even with that kind of proof staring them in the face, EBAY will decide the opposite.
one real life example.
customer receives wardrobe. says its damaged, sends images of the damage to us via ebay messaging.
customer leaves feedback along the lines of “arrived fast, very nice, some damage”.
– customer then enters an “item not received” case.
Despite having actual images of the actual product, sent by the customer herself, through ebay messaging, which i drew attention to umpteen times.
plus feedback literally saying “item received”,
ebay found this “item not received” case in her favour?
how is that possible? not through genuine mistake or lack of facts, but through deliberate malice, they have no interest in “right” or “fair”, but have figured out that stealing from sellers is the best way for ebay inc to profit, so they steal from sellers. deliberately, knowingly, criminally. we all know this.
You forget something else regarding “ebay are the scammers”
Delete bidder history
Delete Buyer ID’s
Stop watchcount supplying bidder history
All this hides the fact that ebay are helping scam buyers due too there complacency .
if ebay are knowingly allowing serial scam buyers and it can be proved then they are negligent. (I am surprised no one has started a class action in the US)
Serial scammers can be controlled by sellers provided ebay let sellers have full control regarding blocking buyers.
you should be able to block by feedback left, npb,inr, disputes started, refunds given.
As soon as a seller asks eBay to look into the buyers account because there is a trail of fraud showing in feedback or contact with other sellers by eBay taking no action and siding with the buyer eBay are committing a crime under UK law have a read here.
Hopefully eBay will find that their actions results in the management in court one day trying to explain what they are Assisting or Encouraging Crime
The ebay customer services scam , has to be the biggy,
without going into detail so as not to promote the various scams, a savvy buyer only needs to contact ebay customer services with a fantasy complaint or problem
And they often get their money back and keep the goods
You also forgot the EMPTY BOX scam.
Buyer in the USA claimed we’d sent him an empty box in 2011.
Even sent a photo of the “empty” box !!!
Provided full tracking and shipment to Ebay, including evidence showing 2.4kg parcel weight.
Ebay found in favour of the buyer
We tried to claim off the carrier, but they understandably refused as the item had been delivered.
Not doubting you did sell the item but is it possible to get the actual weight of the parcel from the couriers (not the weight you paid to send)?
The empty box scam!
The partial refund scam!
The item not as described scam!
the keep and use for weeks then refurn scam, are endemic
There are many more but were not going to advertise them
Its not the scams that hurt its the lack of protection from ebay
Then there’s the PAYPAL scam.
If a dodgy buyer has the misfortune to suffer a rare refusal by Ebay to refund, they simply open a Paypal case, which they will win 100% of the time.
This has 2 benefits for the scammer:
1. Cases opened on Paypal (avoiding Ebay) don’t show up in Ebay’s records, as Ebay and Paypal don’t talk to each other.
2. Whilst Ebay “may” have a limit on the number of times you can say item not received, Paypal don’t. So you can do it repeateadly and get away with it.
We got scammed this way.
Ebay response: it’s a paypal matter, speak to them.
Paypal response: it’s an Ebay matter, talk to them.
If eBay have a limit on item not received its very very very incredibly unbelievably high
Obviously someone who should be on everyone’s block list!
Yes but sadly eBay have not taken any action despite numerous reports the buyer is happily claiming INR on every purchase he makes nobody is this unlucky I wonder how may sellers just refund without getting back feedback.
Only eBay know the true extent of the claims and refunds guess it must be below the threshold for an investigation I wonder how high the threshold is before they take notice?
I have seen worse feedback lol
Maybe the guy had a bag go missing at his local sorting office lol
maybe the postman stole his items. lol
maybe the buyer has encountered a load of dodgy sellers lol
benefit of doubt and all that lol
Its the sellers fault they should have all sent tracked the guy is just very unlucky
Its just embarrassing that action against this buyer has not happened maybe when eBay see this they will do the right thing and protect future sellers from this guy.
Maybe eBay should refund all the sellers of their loses due to eBay’s failure to take action but some how I doubt it they just don’t care about protecting their customers.
Then there’s the CHARGEBACK scam, again on paypal.
This is where a buyer pays via paypal through their credit card.
Suddenly, though long after you sent the goods, you get a chargeback notificiation from Paypal.
Here, the scammer doesn’t even have to say they haven’t had the goods.
They just say they didn’t “authorise” it.
Paypal will then suck the money out of your account and then charge you an additional £14 to “fight” the chargeback, which you will always lose, but still have to pay the £14, which is insult to injury.
This can be done any time up to about 300 days after the transaction.
Paypal have never charged me anything to fight a chargeback. At least they took buyer feedback & a RM proof of posting, as enough evidence to give me seller protection to retain the money.
I have to give fair play to PayPak on this one. I got a chargeback notification, the buyer said he hadn’t done it (and I believed him) and PayPal reinstated my money with a simple phone call. I even got them to call me….
PayPal said that sometimes it’s the banks that initiate a chargeback, and they [PayPal] don’t know why it happens.
Again, fair play to Paypal in our 2 recent chargebacks. One was a chargeback on an item with retail value £5, the customer did’t recognise the eBay transaction on her statement 3 months later (the bank statement description is no help), and we had a £14 Paypal fee. When I complained to Paypal they instantly refunded the £14, and the customer paid us the money back once she realised her mistake. There are some decent customers around.
On our other chargeback, which was a similar one, we again had the £14 fee cancelled without much hassle.
Its ebays if you die your innocent if you live your guilty attitude thats the problem,
You cant protect yourself from ebay scams if your bound gagged and blindfolded with those you pay to protect beating you at the same time
I think the returns scam should be added to the list.
During returns process, buyer claiming “item not as described”, when they “just didn’t like it” or “didn’t want it any more” thus forcing the seller to accept and pay for the cost of the return postage. Probably not done intentionally all the time, but still as annoying.
While we are on the subject, is there any sharing of block list information anywhere? I would be interested, we have a huge ebay id block list and would be more than welcome to share this. The more we can do to protect ourselves from these fraudsters, the better.
Its ebays duty to provide protection , our blocked list alone would exceed your quota
Recent headlines about amazon banning a buyer for repeated returns,
Anything from ebay ? Not a chance,
No clarity , no openess just vague prattle about how we protect you in many ways , no real evidence no facts or figures anyone can see the detail of
Ha ha you just opened up a can of worms Dan!
Its not a can of worms , its a container of invertebrates I want a refund
The international return label scam
Buyer claims not as described
Buyer escalates because your unable to provide a return label
Buyer gets refunded and keeps the goods
FWIW our ‘The Not Delivered Scam’ numbers have virtually dropped to zero since we started using those fake tracking barcode labels.
Ooh, they sound good! Where can I get those?
Yes, I’d like some too.
Bought them on eBay, cheap as chips.
‘tracking labels fake’ search.
I’ve seen a few with RM logos on, I’d avoid those.
drop ‘fake’ much better results.
well done advertising this to the scammer, expect a higher level of ‘INR’ cases very soon as they will know they are not real
I’m all for advertising scamming tips to everyone who will use them.
if ebay actually is 99% scammers, tell them how to scam, let them, and show ebay for what it really is.
(tell them, as if “free stuff here” from ebay tony on every page wasnt enough”)
either eBay will get their finger out and fix it, or the sellers will all leave withing weeks, hastening ebays inevitable death.
My goodness. Done search as you suggested. That was quite an eye-opener. I didn’t know such things existed!
Looks like eBay doesn’t like us to be protected that way. They’ve been closing people’s listings with those barcodes for “encouraging illegal activity”. Search for “monitor mail” and see description.
I did not realise ebay had banned the sale of these. I was going to say cant believe how stupid that is.
But then reminded myself it is ebay and nothing should surprise me.
multiple purchase scam. Order multiple items claim one missing and get refunded on all
The german & italian tracking scam
Just enter any tracking number without sending and get refund
Order most anything from a low value seller claim non delivery and another arrives or a refund sometimes both
And here’s a nice list of tips to get scammers started. This is a public forum where both sellers and non-sellers can browse ?
Why on earth would you want to advertise on here ways scammers can get away with things?
it’s hard enough trying to be one step ahead of them without asking us to give away how we do it and on a public forum too!
yep very clever!
well done Tamebay!
I wouldn’t really call this a scam, just a bit dishonest, but a buyer once said the item (a CD-ROM containing a computer program) had arrived damaged, and sent me a photo. I looked closely at the photo and the CD had a hole in it about 4-5mm in diameter. No way the postie did that, unless he’d been shot with a .22 air rifle and the CD stopped the round for him.
To this day I am convinced the buyer’s dog got to the letterbox first and used his armour-piercing teeth on the package.
I simply sent the buyer a new one and everything was tickety-boo, except of course the the buyer was in the USA so I had to re-pay the quite expensive postage; more or less wiped out my profit margin.
Such is life in this business.
I had a good laugh about it, though ;)
This is a stupid idea. If someone is searching for information about ebay I hope this doesn’t come up for future scammers to see. Maybe now you’ve got a bit of list Tamebay should remove all these comments???
we applaud Dan & tamebay
suffering in silence has not improved anything , it just suits ebays agenda, more and more buyers just abuse the system
highlighting the problem and ebays inept seller support, might just focus ebay to make some effort to a solution, rather than just letting sellers take the hit
What prize clown thought up this idea for a post?
“Oh, eBay is rife with scammers, lets give them some more tips on methods to defraud they they hadn’t already come up with”.
Just goes to show that both the lead writers on this site have NOTHING to do with daily activity on eBay now, and are so out of touch as to not understand WHAT they are doing can sometimes be harmful rather than helpful.
same prized clowns that no longer work for / sell on ebay anymore
Can’t believe my eyes!
What next – tips on how to rob a bank, or the best way to mug old ladies in the street?
Scam buyers are just part of selling on eBay what is more annoying is lack of action when buyers are scamming seller after seller reporting seems to make no difference the scammers just keep buying and eBay turns a blind eye.
Here is an example of one of these buyers still buying and still scamming
By not taking action ebay are encouraging buyers to keep scamming and telling their friends how easy it is in the long term it will be ebay who suffers as nobody will use the site to sell anything worthwhile.
Lithuania is on my blocked list of countries I won’t sell to. In my experience loss to that country far exceeds any benefit I gain from the sales. Maybe the post service, maybe a hot spot, who knows.
It’s not the postal service who’s guilty in Lithuania.
Most our INR claims are from Lithuanian customers and we don’t even send internationally.
Most of your INR claims? Are you sure?
How about eBay selling you Collect Plus labels and then nobody providing a VAT invoice for the tax you have paid.
I think this will be a popular thread
Some great tips here thanks guys, I’ll be sure to try them all out, some I hadn’t even thought of.
May I also nominate this piece of ‘journalism’ as the irresponsible article of the month?
While we’re swapping crime tips in public on the internet, can someone please tell me the best way to hot-wire a BMW I’m thinking of stealing?
This whole article is irresponsible and idiotic. Please see sense and remove it completely.
We closed our ebay shop at the end of March after three years as we can’t stand the hassle of fighting with ebay. If its not defects then it silly delivery estimates and fake INR.
It’s no place to run professional business anymore. Ebay is run by idiots who have no idea how to run business but make policies designed to make them look good at the sellers expense.
You would think they would work with the sellers but no, “It’s reach out to your buyer” and all that American crap they come out with even though some of the buyers are crooks. Glad we are out of it.
get real folks scammers only need to google to get a list of ideas as long as a bog roll , keeping it to yourself is not working we should be critucal of those that allow it not those that reveal them
Why dont Tamebay keep a webpage devoted to serial scammers…ive got 5 EbayID ready to go…We could all work together and block these idiot*
I think that you know why not.
What do you do the day that your name appears on the list?
Why would it im not con artist…the list should have to include serial non recievers….u know the ones who u look through there feedback have left inr comments. .der is not rocket science u know
From your posts on Tamebay I would add you to my blocked list if i knew your ebay userid.
My EbayId is fu**uAssWipe…Block that
– eBay are the biggest scammers on eBay!
It would be useful if sellers who encounter problems mention this in the buyers feedback. Whenever we have a non-receipt or problem we mention it with a comment such as ‘Sorry that your item did not arrive, you have been fully refunded/sent a replacement etc’
The buyer can’t claim that the feedback is anything other than factual and correct and might, just might, stop them from making spurious claims in the future.
I do this for all “lost” parcels. If you look back a couple of weeks later the factual feedback has often been removed.
>> The Returns Scam
Related – the “Return To A Different Local Address” scam. Simply have eBay (ie. the seller) pay for the return lable, then change the house number (get fancy with photoshop, or just ink it in), and return whatever you want.
Tracking then shows item delivered to seller from seller’s local sorting office, which is enough for eBay to refund and refuse any appeals. Normally you’d at least be able to say “they returned an empty envelope, here’s the evidence” but no, you have nothing, at all.
This is still the best scam I’ve ever seen. The idiots claiming INR with everyone are far too obvious (“hi other seller, have you been scammed? oh really, and this one too?…”) and frankly simply amusing when eBay take no action regardless of the copious amounts of data they have showing this. At least the returns scam is at least sort of hard to proove.
Facebook your bad buyers, it’s amazing how many flaunt their INR goods in selfies!
We had a buyer claim INR on a footstool cover, low and behold it was in a facebook picture flaunting it to her friends, many likes and comments. eBay customer services is complete pants, after pointing out several cases of INR for the buyer and photos of goods on line, they still sided with her as the cover just didn’t have that all important tracking number.
I have lost count how many times eBay have shafted our company and obviously hundreds to thousands of others. What bemuses me is why are the government and trading standards allowing eBay to run free over the law, they should be monitored more, investigated for fair operations and policies and penalised. Switch to Amazon!
The number of scammers on eBay is tiny compared to the number of users the problem is eBay’s failure to act on these obvious scammers so the same scammers effect dozens of other users and give the site a bad name in the same way one bad family can give a street a bad name.
Many of us are seasoned sellers who come across these scam buyers from time to time but look at the bigger picture and keep selling.
When a new seller gets a glut of scammers in their first hand full of sales they quit the site tell all their friends how eBay ripped them off the damage is far greater than taking action against obvious scam buyers quickly throwing them off the site.
eBay needs to take action but are too scared to throw a buyer off even though they lose dozens of other sellers/buyers because in eBay’s eyes buyers are always right even when the evidence its clear they are not.
I also believe some small and new sellers turn in to bad buyers when they have become victims of a series of scam buyers and by been victims they have learnt all the methods of scamming others by not taking action the log term damage to the eBay brand will be worse.
Amazon take action quickly and severely when a pattern of abuse is detected sometimes they get it wrong and the odd buyer is kicked off unfairly but as a venue its far safer to trade than eBay so who has the best policy as a business model it will be the one growing faster year on year.
By ignoring one scam buyer and taking no action will lose eBay dozens of good customers this is not a long term business model why they cant see this is anyone’s guess.
They say it all really no action from eBay a few obvious scammers effecting dozens of honest users and reporting the scammer makes no different eBay are not interested in making the site a safe place to trade then they wonder why eBay is not keeping up with the growth of other venues (Amazon)
There must be some very inexperienced and naïve or really stupid people running eBay to not see what the effects of their failure to act is doing or they just don’t have a clue what’s happening on the shop floor either way they need to make changes fast and restore trust in the site before its too late.
Worst one we had was a combination of:
Empty box scam + fake post office claim form
Posted an international order fully tracked.
Buyer opened a item not received case a couple days later WHILE THE PARCEL WAS STILL IN TRANSIT. Buyer claimed box was empty.
I provided tracking number to show it wasn’t even in their country.
They escalated the case and said they opened the parcel at the post office in front of the clerk, and posted a scan of a fake claim form for empty package at their post office. At this point it still wasn’t even in their country.
Few days later we have confirmed delivery online, but eBay refunds them anyway out of my own pocket.
I appeal but ebay reject it because of the claim form the customer filled in (which they filled in a couple days before the actual delivery date) takes precedent over my online tracking and postal receipt.
Just another example from UK .have a message today for INR after 2 month
Thanks for highlighting the “unlucky” buyer another one in the special list
Ebay threw off all the EAN sellers a while back but as soon as they decided to make sellers put the numbers on they realised there was money to be made from EAN sellers and let them back.
2faced springs to mind
Just tried to buy some stuff from Dabs on eBay and they have closed guess they must have had enough of eBay and their scam buyers as well
I wonder how many more sellers will turn their back on eBay before they start to address the problems of buyer fraud?
No, BT killed the Dabs brand last month :-(
Strange how they have dropped their eBay presence in the middle of April guess it was not working out for them looks like Ebuyer have given up as well 121 items listed and only 103 feedback this year a clear sign companies on very tight margins cant carry the extra buyer abuse costs of selling on eBay.
I do hope eBay see what’s happening soon and care enough turn it around and make the platform a safe place to trade again when the big boys start leaving we know its seriously broken
Have I been scammed?
Last month I sold a £40 brand new item of clothing with tags to the US. The customer requested a return as the item was smelly and had hair on the collar. Although the claim was false I accepted the return. The buyer escalated the claim saying the return postage would £45. I have checked this on google and I can not find a cheaper method of return.
eBay CS say I can either send him a refund or send a returns label or send him a Paypal payment of £45 to cover the postage. If I do not do this then eBay will find in the buyers favour, issue a refund and file a “cases closed without seller resolution” case against me.
The buyer has a feedback of 3.
I have never had this happen before during 12 years on eBay
I now have another similar return request. £38 pair of shoes sent to the US, buyer feedback 3, £45 for the return postage.
take the route of least cost to you as once the case is escalated ebay will refund the buyer from your account regardless of if its returned or not
we have been caught twice recently with the same process
it goes like this
false item not as described claim
you accept return because you know you cant argue
ebay insist you either provide a return label or send a payment via paypal to cover return postage you send money via paypal to cover return cost
if your lucky the buyer returns though often they simply dont bother or provide a false tracking number,
ebay refunds from your account within 5 days what ever you or the buyer agrees or does, chances are you lose the goods the payment and the return postage cost
a negative and a black mark on your account is often an added extra
for your bother
Yes, you have been scammed, by ebay. Join the club.
Just got the same scam on me today Italian buyer claims faulty £25 item tells me it will cost £24 to return UPS and is demanding a return label something I am unable to provide
It cost £6.50 regular post to send to the buyer and was tested before sending so either the buyer has broken it unlikely of he knows how it works and knows its not cost effective for us to pay UPS to return.
Its a well known scam and eBay will just refund if we don’t pay the £24 return UPS postage.
Looks like another £25 down the pan thanks eBay guess its another product not to offer for international customers through eBay.