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Old 03-03-2012   #1
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Default How buyers can rip off sellers on eBay

The lesson I am about to impart I learned the hard way as an honorable seller on eBay. However, to underscore the absurdity of the situation, I will write the following set of instructions for scammers who want to get something for nothing and rip off sellers on eBay. Why do I write the instructions this way? Because eBay's current "buyer protection" policy essentially wrote them for me. Ostensibly, this program exists to protect buyers from unscrupulous sellers. In reality, the buyer protection program allows scammers to rip off sellers in a way that's almost fool proof, and eBay does nothing about it. It's a policy that must have been written by the brain dead.

Anyway, here goes.

To purchase an item on eBay and get both the item and your money back, follow these instructions:

1. Be the high bidder on an item.

2. Send the seller your money. Wait for the item to arrive.

3. Inspect it. If you like it, file a claim through eBay's buyer protection program. A good excuse is "item not as described." Give the seller two options if you want to: Say that you want to send the item back or you could take a partial refund and keep the item. If you want the item and all of the money back, don't suggest a partial refund. If you have a bit of a conscience, offer the partial refund. Either way, you'll be ripping the seller off, so it's just a matter of how evil you're feeling.

4. eBay will send a note to the seller indicating that you have filed a buyer protection claim. The seller will really have no choice. He or she can "escalate" the matter up to eBay, but in the vast majority of cases (and unless you've gotten caught many times doing this before), eBay will side with you, the buyer.

5. When you get authorization to ship the item back, just tell the eBay system that you've shipped the item. You don't have to provide tracking, really. If you want, you can just indicate that you've shipped and never ship.

As this website says, "Ebay requires buyers to pay for the return shipping themselves but does not require them to purchase insurance on the item or provide proof of shipping."

6. Just wait. Eventually eBay will refund all of your money. It does this by putting a "hold" on the PayPal funds of the seller. eBay will pay you back the cost of the product and basically force the seller to reimburse the company. Pretty cool, eh?

So there you go. Why pay full price? Heck, why pay anything for expensive gear? Just use eBay, scam the seller, and walk away with what you want plus your cash.

Ain't it great?

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Old 03-03-2012   #2
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Default Re: How buyers can rip off sellers on eBay

And the seller can no longer leave you negative feedback.
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Old 03-03-2012   #3
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Default Re: How buyers can rip off sellers on eBay

Quote:
Originally Posted by shuttereye View Post
And the seller can no longer leave you negative feedback.
Great point! I almost forgot. It just keeps getting better.
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Old 03-03-2012   #4
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Default Re: How buyers can rip off sellers on eBay

I've had a few buyer say they "accidentally" bid on the item or one of their kids did it....what this means is I won your item (which I wanted) but then ended up finding one cheaper.
There's really no option but cancel the sale. Ebay needs to bring back the old feedback system where sellers could leave feedback.
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Old 03-03-2012   #5
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Default Re: How buyers can rip off sellers on eBay

I don't know about the US, but in the UK...the post office won't pay for the lost parcel very often.
If they do...it's for the cost of what you can prove you paid for it...not what you sell it for.
Ebay sellers also have their own section with much more stringent rules than any other user of the service...purely because of all the scams.
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Old 03-03-2012   #6
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Default Re: How buyers can rip off sellers on eBay

Ebay is Esperanto for Online Russian Roulette. Which is why I rarely, as in very very rarely ever go there. Sorry to hear that you have added another experience to your folder of life.
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Old 03-03-2012   #7
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Default Re: How buyers can rip off sellers on eBay

Quote:
Originally Posted by gryphonslair99 View Post
Ebay is Esperanto for Online Russian Roulette. Which is why I rarely, as in very very rarely ever go there. Sorry to hear that you have added another experience to your folder of life.
Never used it, never will. Just my opinion. I'm naturally suspicious of any service where I have to take anyone's character on faith.

I have used Craig's list to both buy and sell, but only when I can meet the seller/customer in person at a neutral site and carry out the deal.
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Old 03-04-2012   #8
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Default Re: How buyers can rip off sellers on eBay

Another way to get your cake and eat it too is if there has been no tracking number included, just message the seller that you never received it. The seller will usually do the refund to keep from getting bad feedback. It's been done to me twice in 6 yrs. When I send anything in a bubble mailer, (usually memory modules,) it always goes with a Delivery Confirm number. Though you can't use it for International shipping, you give the Buyer the Customs Declaration number off the form and tell them if there's any problem, contact their Post Office and use that number. That solved that problem. My main problem that I faced was Buyers saying that, "the modules were "bad" and refund me the money and I'll just dispose of the module"....... Ahh NOOOO! Send the "bad" one back and then I'll refund the money.

I do agree though, that the seller not being able to whack the buyer with negative feedback IS pretty stupid. When you could do it, I wouldn't unless the Buyer was a total problem and a douche. THEN, they deserved it. I've only had 1 case opened against me and only 3 buyers being stupid and running scams since 1998. The case opened against me was because the buyer "Didn't like the way it was packed." The memory mods were in anti-static bags, wrapped in bubble wrap and inside a padded bubble mailer. Then he didn't want to send them back, due to them being improperly handled, so he knew they were bad. When I did get them back, tested them and they were just fine. Though he got his money back, and the fact that I couldn't whack him in feedback, at least I was able to block him from trying to buy from me again.

In most cases, I would rather deal with someone on Ebay, rather than CraigsList, but that's just me. When I have done a deal on CraigsList, I just have them meet me where I work. They KNOW nothing bad will happen, and so do I, toooo many of us around with badges and guns.....LOL!!!!!
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Last edited by Spyder; 03-04-2012 at 02:03 AM.. Reason: additions
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Old 03-04-2012   #9
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Default Re: How buyers can rip off sellers on eBay

I have sold many, many items here on the Camel...and have never, ever had a problem! And have met some really nice folks, and have gotten to know some on a more personal basis.
One thing is to never ship an item to an address not recognized by PayPal...that's a red flag, usually. I've done it once or twice, but only involving folks that I've had dealings with before, and fully trust their reasons for changing an address...usually because they recieve a package at their work, rather than a home address...where a package might be exposed on a door stoop to prying eyes! Yes! Those circumstances can be taken into account!
I always pay for insurance, and for a signature at the time of delivery! (UPS did deliver w/o a signature once...bye,bye UPS!)
Photos of the actual product for sale (not just a stock image off the internet) will help in a dispute later, should there be one.
I don't do much business on ebay, and none at all on Craigslist, and there are reasons for that. (Which I won't get into here!)
Feedback threads are great, esp. the one here on the Camel! $$ is dear these days, and folks want some measure of security. If you can gauge a person's honesty for yourself by reading about other's experiences with that person, then your anxiety is much less!
Communication before, during and after a sale is key! Providing a tracking number (no matter who the carrier is) is essential, IMO. (My buyers seem to appreciate the fact that I followed their purchase the whole way on the internet!)
I did have occasion to contact an ebay seller concerning some items within a lot of lighting equipment that I had purchased. (Clearly "under-described", as far as condition!) He was very apologetic, and we came to a settlement. I furnished photos of my concerns, which is essential in getting your point across, and getting a resolution quickly! If not satisfied...don't brew over it!...get it done!
I avoid items that don't have a return privilege. "No Returns Accepted" is a definite red flag for me, at least!
There are protections out there, for both buyers and sellers. Just be aware of what they are, and establish a consistent way of doing business!
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Old 03-04-2012   #10
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Default Re: How buyers can rip off sellers on eBay

I've sold many expensive camera items on ebay and never had a problem like the OP described but it is a scenario that I do worry about. To try and cut my risk I only sell in the U.S. and only ship insured to verified addresses with signature confirmation (I think these are requirements for the seller protection). I haven't limited bidders to those with only good feedback (occasionally new people do buy my gear) the bigger problem appears to be legit accounts that are hijacked. Even just recently on my sale of a 70-200 f/4 lens, ebay stopped the payment and told us not to ship the lens -- this buyer had good feedback and no warning signs popped up in email communications. We ended up having to list the lens 3 times before a sale went through.

Also to prevent legitimate mis-understandings I am scrupulous about listing every possible flaw with the item and take many many pictures.


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