Ebay Buyer Scams & How To Avoid Them
Hey guys and gals, in this post we’re going to take a look at the top five eBay buyer scams. These are scams that buyers try to pull on sellers on eBay.
I know when I first started selling I had no idea of how creative some of these scammers could be.lol Anyway, let’s dive right into it.
The iPhone Scam
At number five we have the iPhone scam. So this works by scammers finding sellers with no feedback that are selling high value items such as iPhones. They choose no feedback sellers because they’re new to eBay they don’t know the rules.
They don’t know how they can be fooled so the buyer will purchase say an iPhone, pay for it, receive it and then when they receive it they’ll initiate a returns claim on the basis that the item doesn’t work.
So at this point all the seller can do is accept the return. The buyer will return the item to the seller, the only problem is they have either sent back a different phone altogether or taken out all of the working components from the phone and just sent back a hollow shell.
Unfortunately the way the eBay returns procedure works there’s really nothing the seller can do at this point. Now this doesn’t just apply to iPhones.
This applies to a lot of expensive items because it’s only worth them doing it on expensive items because it’s quite a high risk strategy that they can only do a few times before eBay will eventually ban them. To avoid this don’t sell high value items on eBay especially to brand-new buyers.
The Item Not As Described Scam
Number four we have the item is not as described scam. Now this isn’t necessarily a scam this is just really, really annoying for sellers.
Did you know that even if your listing says no returns accepted and this is an option that you can specify on eBay listings there is nothing to stop a buyer from initiating a return and you having to accept it.
Typically a buyer will open an item not as described case and then claim that it’s either the wrong size, it doesn’t work, it’s the wrong color, they didn’t realize that the handbag would be quite as hand baggy as it actually was or some nonsense excuse.
At that point unfortunately once they’ve opened that case you have no alternative but to return the item. Now eBay will say that you can open a case against that accusation and that they will judge it fairly and could well decide in your favor. In my experience that never happens.
eBay generally rules in favor of the buyer. Only in exceptional circumstances will they actually back the seller and this is a scary truth for people who sell things regularly on eBay.
The problem actually doesn’t stop there because when you take a return from a purchase it leaves a bad mark on your account which affects your seller rating.
The Feedback Extortion Scam
At number three we have the feedback extortion scam. So a buyer will purchase an item from you and then send you a message telling you there’s something wrong with the item.
They will demand a partial or full refund and threaten to leave negative feedback if you don’t comply with their demands. Now this is actually against eBay’s rules, it’s called feedback extortion and they don’t take very kindly to it.
So if you can find your way through the incredibly complicated and misleading eBay help system you should be able to report a buyer who tries to threaten you in this way and I guess have your money protected or the negative feedback potentially removed from your account.
The Nigerian Scam
At number 2 we have the Nigerian scam. You’ve probably seen a lot of Nigerian scams around emails and things telling you you’ve won millions and millions of pounds.
There is a slightly more subtle eBay Nigerian scam and the way this works is the buyer will purchase an item from you and then message you and tell you to ship the item to a different address.
It’s called the Nigerian scam because that address is often in Nigeria but it doesn’t have to be. You should never actually ship an item to an address that isn’t the PayPal address.
It’s a good idea actually to check the PayPal address and make sure it matches up with the address that appears on the eBay order. If it doesn’t it might be a good idea to contact eBay and ask them what you should do.
Basically what happens is if you send an item to an address that isn’t the PayPal registered address the buyer can open an item not received case and then eBay will instantly rule in their favor because you’ve sent the item to the wrong address.
To avoid this send your post by recorded or tracked methods so that you can be a hundred percent sure that your items got to its destination and the buyer can’t open an item not receive case.
The Direct Payment Scam
Finally at number one we have the direct payment scam. So when a seller sells an item on ebay they have to pay final value fees and the seller will usually take this into account when they list an item they will increase the price slightly to offset the fact they’re going to have to pay fees later.
Now a lot of buyers know this and they know that if the seller didn’t have to pay the fees then they might get a cheaper price. So you might get buyers asking you to complete a sale outside of eBay.
They might say things like would you accept this amount if I pay you directly to your PayPal or something like that. eBay is usually quite good at automatically detecting emails like that.
If you sell to somebody like that out of eBay you as a seller have absolutely no protection at all, whereas the buyer is still protected by the PayPal protection policy or whatever it’s called.
If they start saying they want to return it you really have absolutely no choice but to comply with their demands otherwise they will just get refunded.
Also it’s against eBay’s Terms of Service so if they find out that you’ve been doing it like for example the buyer reports it to eBay, then you can have your account suspended or even closed altogether. So for peace of mind it’s worth paying the eBay fees and just dealing with people only through eBay.
Ebay Buyer Scams & How To Avoid Them – Conclusion
Thanks for checking out this post and I hope this top 5 has given you some insight. Selling on eBay is a great way to start earning some extra money and it can turn into a full time income if you are consistent and provide excellent service.
If you’ve found this useful make sure to leave a comment and share with your friends. Make sure to check out some of my other articles and let me know if there is something you would like me to cover in a future post.