10 Frequent eBay Scams and What You Can Do About Them

eBay is a respectable buying useful resource, and most of the people have good experiences whereas utilizing the positioning. Nonetheless, there are lots of eBay scams that it’s essential be careful for to guard your self.

Whether or not you purchase or promote on the positioning, it is best to find out about main eBay scams so you do not develop into a sufferer. Listed below are the commonest eBay scams to find out about: some that have an effect on eBay consumers, others that threaten sellers, and even one which applies to all eBay customers.

eBay Scams to Keep away from as a Purchaser

Normally, eBay consumers have much less to fret about as a result of eBay tends to facet with the purchaser in disputes. Consumers do not want a lot proof to say foul play—usually, eBay will take you at your phrase.

However there are nonetheless a couple of methods you’ll be able to fall for a rip-off as an eBay purchaser. Listed below are a couple of to be careful for.

1. Vendor Runs Off With Your Cash

This rip-off is straightforward: you ship cost and nothing occurs.

For many listings, the eBay Money Back Guarantee protects you if the vendor by no means truly ships you the merchandise, or sends you one thing that is damaged. However there are a number of classes of things that are not coated by the eBay Cash Again Assure:

  • Autos
  • Real estate
  • Digital content material
  • Web sites and companies on the market
  • Categorized advertisements
  • Providers
  • Some sorts of enterprise tools

Be aware that a lot of the best-selling gadgets on eBay do not fall beneath these classes. Fairly, these are typically high-value transactions, usually within the vary of 1000’s of {dollars}. It is affordable for eBay to make exceptions for these sorts of things.


How do you keep protected from this? Even when you verify a vendor’s suggestions and it appears overwhelmingly constructive, you’ll be able to’t make sure that the merchandise you are eyeing is respectable. They is likely to be taking part in the lengthy con: increase a spectacular ranking over tons of tiny transactions, then scamming you out of this one large transaction.

Learn extra: What Is Purchaser Safety and Why Do I Want It?

All you are able to do is keep away from buying in classes that are not coated by eBay’s Cash Again Assure. Be sure you perceive the phrases on that web page so that you’re protected if a vendor would not maintain up their finish of a deal.

2. Vendor Ships With an Incorrect Identify

On this state of affairs, the vendor places up a standard itemizing, often with a Purchase Now choice however not all the time. While you buy it, the vendor correctly ships the package deal to your handle however deliberately makes use of an incorrect title, making you suppose that you simply acquired another person’s package deal.

Being a great citizen, you come the package deal to the put up workplace or delivery firm. Sadly, this marks your package deal as “Refused” or “Returned,” which voids the eBay Cash Again Assure. It states that refused deliveries usually are not coated except the merchandise arrived with further delivery prices as a result of the vendor did not apply sufficient postage.

The cash that you simply despatched to the vendor is now theirs to maintain, and you don’t have anything to indicate for it. The worst half is that this counts as a resolved dispute, and you’ll’t go away suggestions after dispute resolutions.

There are not any good choices to keep away from this rip-off. The most effective one, which is likely to be ethically grey, is to open all packages that come to your home so long as the next are all true:

  • You are anticipating a package deal
  • The handle on the supply matches
  • The monitoring quantity says the merchandise was delivered

In such circumstances, it is affordable to open the package deal. eBay says that if a package deal arrives empty or was broken in transit, it is best to nonetheless settle for the supply; you’ll be able to then report that the merchandise would not match the itemizing.

3. Deceptive Listings for an Empty Field

eBay Box Only Scam

This can be a frequent state of affairs the place a vendor places up an inventory, often for a sizzling new merchandise (like the newest recreation console). Its value is ready far under the market worth. The hope is that you will see the itemizing and get so excited by the value that you simply rush to purchase it earlier than another person does.

Sadly, the itemizing clearly states that the vendor is simply promoting the field for stated merchandise. When it arrives, you open the package deal with pleasure—solely to appreciate you simply acquired a field and you have been ripped off. That is additionally frequent with used video video games, the place folks state that the itemizing is just for the guide or field.

To keep away from this, by no means rush to purchase gadgets on an open market. At all times learn an inventory totally earlier than committing, which can make it easier to keep away from making a silly mistake.

You would possibly have the ability to dispute the acquisition if the vendor deliberately hides the truth that it is only a field. But when the primary line of the merchandise description explicitly states that the itemizing is for the “field solely” or comprises “no recreation,” you then probably will not win a dispute.

eBay Scams to Keep away from as a Vendor

Sellers positively cope with the majority of issues on eBay. It is too straightforward for scammers to hit sellers with out a lot worry of repercussion. To remain protected when promoting on eBay, you may want to have the ability to spot these points earlier than they occur.

1. Purchaser Gives to Overpay​​​​​​

On this state of affairs, a purchaser contacts you and gives to pay much more cash than you are asking to your merchandise. They’re going to ship an empty cashier’s verify or a bogus private verify, neither of which can clear. By the point you discover it is phony, you’ve got already despatched the merchandise and it is too late.

This one is straightforward to fall for as a result of the promise of additional cash is difficult to withstand. Who would not be enticed by the provide of $500 on a laptop computer listed at $300?

To maintain your self protected against this scheme, by no means ship gadgets till you could have the cash in hand or within the financial institution. Be aware that if you deposit a verify, it might seem in your checking account immediately however can take as much as two weeks to indicate as “bounced.” To be protected, wait till you’re sure that the verify was legitimate; you could wish to contact your financial institution to verify.

For max security, it is best to by no means settle for checks of any sort on eBay; solely take funds via the platform.

An identical rip-off additionally occurs exterior of eBay, so hold your eyes peeled for it. Any time somebody desires to ship you more cash than obligatory (or “by chance” sends an excessive amount of), then requests that you simply pay a few of it again (or ship it to another person), you may be positive the verify is bogus and will not clear. They only wish to take the true cash you ship them.

Associated: How one can Estimate eBay Costs and Discover Out What Objects Are Value

2. Purchaser Desires to Settle Outdoors eBay

In case your itemizing is an public sale, you could get a purchaser who gives to pay an instantaneous quantity so long as you shut the itemizing and settle exterior of eBay. You oblige. It looks like every little thing went superb, however quickly they’re going to complain to eBay that your merchandise was faulty, faux, or non-existent.

You’ll be able to attempt to dispute it, however eBay will not make it easier to. eBay cannot find out about something that occurred exterior its personal methods, so eBay’s policy on selling outside the platform is obvious: the corporate will solely make it easier to if all communications and transactions went via its companies.

Thus, it is best to by no means comply with work exterior of eBay, even for a fast buck. When speaking with consumers, all the time accomplish that via eBay’s channels. That means, if one thing occurs, eBay can simply verify the client’s messages for offenses like intent to defraud.

3. Purchaser Claims You Shipped an Empty Field

This rip-off begins out as regular: a purchaser purchases certainly one of your listings, you then ship the merchandise as regular. Once they obtain the merchandise, they open an eBay dispute and declare that you simply despatched them an empty field. eBay forces a return, then the client ships again the empty field, protecting the merchandise that was inside.

To sidestep this, all the time verify a purchaser’s suggestions historical past, which can point out potential issues. In case you contact eBay, the corporate will inform you to enchantment the dispute. You will want all of the proof you’ll be able to collect (akin to photographic proof that you simply truly shipped the merchandise)—something lower than complete proof will probably result in a rule within the purchaser’s favor.

To be protected, all the time {photograph} your complete technique of packing and delivery each merchandise you promote via eBay. Having picture metadata that proves the time and site is even higher. The extra proof you retain, the extra proof you could have in case of a rip-off. As a last-ditch effort, you’ll be able to contact the put up workplace and ask them for the load info on the package deal, which can show that you simply did not ship an empty field.

4. Purchaser Threatens Refund With Damaged Duplicate

On this rip-off, you are promoting a used merchandise that is in comparatively excessive demand, akin to an iPhone. The customer purchases it from you. However unbeknownst to you, they really have the identical merchandise—besides theirs is damaged or broken.

You ship your working merchandise, they obtain it, after which they complain to eBay that you simply despatched a faulty merchandise. If you cannot show that you simply despatched a working merchandise, they’re going to get their a reimbursement and you will be out what you shipped.

To guard from this, report all distinctive particulars of the merchandise earlier than you ship it, such because the serial quantity, IMEI quantity, and anything. This may increasingly not all the time be doable, however when it’s, it may well make it easier to win any disputes—these distinctive identifiers will not match up with the phony damaged merchandise. As above, taking images can prevent right here too.

5. Purchaser Claims “Merchandise Not Obtained” to PayPal

When promoting with PayPal, you’re coated by PayPal Seller Protection. Nonetheless, for eligibility, it’s essential to have proof of supply for all gadgets. For transactions beneath $750, supply affirmation is sufficient. For something over $750, it’s essential to have signature affirmation of supply.

Scammers know that almost all non-business sellers on eBay aren’t conscious of this prerequisite. Thus, the scammer will buy an merchandise price over $750 via PayPal, then declare the merchandise wasn’t acquired. If you cannot present signature affirmation of supply, you don’t have any safety.

To combat again, all the time monitor your shipments. And for gross sales over $750, all the time get signature affirmation of supply. It is a small value to pay for peace of thoughts and safety towards scammers.

6. Purchaser Points a Chargeback

Whether or not utilizing a bank card or PayPal, consumers can all the time reverse a transaction utilizing a chargeback. A chargeback is actually a compelled refund: the financial institution (or PayPal) cancels a transaction, taking the cash again from you and returning it to the client.

As well as, you may often get hit with a chargeback payment. Within the US, PayPal’s chargeback payment is $20 per transaction. Banks usually have a chargeback payment between $15 and $25 per transaction.

Sadly, chargebacks are notoriously straightforward to provoke. A purchaser solely wants to boost suspicion that you have completed one thing fallacious, and most banks (and PayPal) will are likely to undergo with it, no questions requested.

PayPal Vendor Safety does guard you towards frivolous chargebacks, so ensure you adhere to all its guidelines to remain protected. As for banks, all chargebacks are adopted up with an investigation. In case you can present documented proof that the transaction was legitimate, you could possibly overturn the chargeback.

Be aware that if a purchaser politely requests a refund and you’ll’t persuade them in any other case, it is all the time in your greatest curiosity to problem the refund. In the event that they’re determined, they’re going to resort to a chargeback and you will have to eat the charges.

Associated: The Worst Venmo Scams and How one can Keep Protected

An eBay Rip-off Everybody Should Keep away from: Phishing

On this frequent state of affairs, you obtain an e-mail that appears like an official discover from eBay. It would ask you to take certainly one of many actions: assessment your safety particulars, replace your password, or verify a latest buy or sale. What’s necessary is that the e-mail features a hyperlink to log into your account.

This fraudulent hyperlink takes you to a copycat web site that appears like the true eBay web site. You attempt to log in, but it surely would not work. Too late! The web site now is aware of the login credentials you simply typed in, and the scammer will use it to entry your precise eBay account.

A phishing attack

This system of impersonating a web site and getting you to surrender your login credentials known as phishing. Discover ways to spot a phishing e-mail so that you by no means fall for certainly one of these once more.

As a normal guideline for security, by no means click on on hyperlinks in emails. There is no such thing as a good purpose to do that. Even when the hyperlink appears respectable, it could possibly be phony. Faux hyperlinks are extraordinarily straightforward to insert, and you’ll by no means make certain an e-mail is actual since e-mail headers are easy to spoof.

To be protected, all the time kind in URLs by hand, use a bookmark, or search Google (for well-known web sites).

What Is eBay’s Buyer Service Quantity?

Within the occasion you run into an eBay rip-off, you may wish to get in touch with eBay’s assist staff. The one quantity that eBay retains listed on its web site is 1-866-961-9253, although the corporate notes that that is just for individuals who skilled fraud. Scams fall beneath fraud, so give this quantity a name when you fall for one thing.

In any other case, sign up and go to eBay’s Customer Service home. By clicking the Contact us button on the backside, you will get additional assist along with your particular problem. Your choices to talk with eBay’s staff rely upon what you choose.

Staying Protected on eBay

We have checked out among the most typical eBay scams. Whether or not you are shopping for an merchandise or trying to promote, it’s essential to have the ability to spot these methods. There’s all the time a small danger when shopping for one thing on a market like eBay, however figuring out what scams folks most frequently use to benefit from others places you a step forward.

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