There is a certain satisfaction and joy that we get from online shopping. It is easy, convenient, and full of categorical options! With just a few clicks, the item you are looking for is on the way to you. One of the biggest online merchants in the US is eBay, which is best known for its auctions and consumer to consumer sales.
Almost anyone can sell, buy, or bid their items through their eBay accounts. Everyone is welcome on this platform, but sadly, scammers have their way through as well.
Scammers or fraudsters on eBay try their best to convince and come up with new techniques to respond to the consumers’ awareness of scamming. While they come up with creative ways, as a consumer or seller, you must know what the common ways of the fraudsters are and what you can do to protect yourself.
Common eBay Scams for Buyers
It’s easy to refund your money when you get scammed on eBay as a buyer. The company usually sides with the purchaser when a foul play occurs on your order. There is no need for more evidence to claim the scam for in most cases, eBay will believe your words. Nonetheless, it is better to be safe than sorry. Thus, here are some common tactics scammers do to the buyers in eBay.
Nothing happens as you pay for your order
This is the most common scam that still happens on eBay despite the positive feedback you see on the review section. Some scammers planned the heist for a long period of time using tiny transactions to build up a great rating to scam out a huge transaction.
Good thing, eBay has a Money Back Guarantee feature that protects you as a buyer when the seller did not ship your item. Although, it doesn’t cover items such as: Vehicles, Real estate, Classified ads, and Business-related deals.
How to avoid: Always check the seller’s review section and don’t be enticed easily with flowery feedback. Make sure that you see pictures and more legitimate reasons to buy the item.
Seller inputs different names on your parcel
The tactic here is that the Seller intentionally ships your item with an incorrect name to deceive you, thinking the parcel is not yours, and you have to return it. The downside is when you return an item to its shipping company, they can mark your package as “Refused” or “Returned” which sadly voids your eBay Money Back Guarantee.
How to avoid: Given that you are in that situation, it is reasonable to open the package especially if you are expecting one and the delivery address on the item matches yours. You can also check the tracking number in your eBay account if it says delivered.
False Listings and Item
This scam strategy usually occurs when you see a hot new item and its price is way lower than its market value. Upon seeing the listing, the seller’s goal is to manipulate you into impulsively buying and checking out the item before someone else does. Only to find out in the latter, that the listing clearly states that it is the box or packaging that is being sold.
How to avoid: Don’t get caught up so easily with gadgets or expensive items sold at such low prices. Always check the details on the listings before checking out.
Common eBay Scams for Sellers
Unfortunately, sellers are likely to deal with major problems when they get scammed. Scammers pretending to be buyers can deceive sellers without much fear of the consequences. Thus, to protect yourself as a seller on eBay, you must spot these common scams before they happen to you.
As a seller, you must be careful with over payers on eBay. Some potential buyers may contact you and offer a generous amount for the item you are selling. Then, they will promptly send you a check for you to think that they are truly interested. However, as you send the item, days later you will find out that the check is fake, leaving you with nothing.
How to avoid: Never send your item unless you have the money in hand or in your bank. Note that it may take two weeks in your bank account to show that the check is “bounced.” So if the money appears already in your account, wait for a while to confirm that the check was valid. You may also call your bank to confirm
Buyer offers to settle the deal outside of eBay
When a buyer asks to transact the payment outside the eBay platform, don’t fall for it. Most may even offer cash, bank transfer, or gift cards that can entice you to oblige. However, their game here is to create a dispute once the transaction is done.
Some even complain to eBay, declaring that your item was fake or defective. In issues like this, eBay won’t be able to help you since there is no untraceable transaction on your account.
How to avoid: Always keep the transaction inside the platform of eBay. Don’t be fooled with generous offers just to make the transaction outside of eBay. Scammers will try their best to appear as legitimate as possible, but settling any transaction out of eBay will only make a fool out of yourself.
No delivery or empty box delivery scam
The empty box is also applicable to victimizing sellers on eBay. Some fake buyers will complain that the item was not received or they only receive an empty box.
Thus, eBay will demand a refund and return of the empty box. When they claim that the package was not delivered, sellers will have to dread the burden of providing proof of transactions which eventually may lead to refunding the expensive item.
How to avoid: Always track your shipments and keep the confirmation signature upon delivery. It can be taxing for sure, but dealing with scammers is way more stressful than protecting your transactions.
Final Thoughts: How to deal with eBay scams?
eBay is one of the most successful online shopping platforms in the US. Over the years, they have conquered different types of scamming complaints that made their website stronger than as it was. If you want to report a scam, eBay is ready to cooperate with you using their law enforcement system and eBay Security Center. Be safe and smart as you shop or sell online!