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How Do I Know If I'm Getting Scammed on Ebay???
Old 24th February 2012
  #1
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Bob Vinsick's Avatar
How Do I Know If I'm Getting Scammed on Ebay???

I'm selling an item on Ebay and the item was sold yesterday and paid for with Paypal. I have 2 business days to send the item, so I'm planning on shipping the item tomorrow. I'm wondering if this is a scam.

The buyer lives in the Ukraine and says he is a reseller there. He has 59 (100%) positive feedback ratings on Ebay. He paid with Paypal and wants it shipped to the confirmed address Paypal has for him. I used Google maps and it looks like the address is a warehouse in Elizabeth, NJ. Again this address is confirmed on Paypal.

I've emailed him back and forth a few times and there is one thing he said that bothers me. His last email ended with the words "faithfully yours" and a name that looks like a knickname that doesn't exactly match his name.

I tried looking up the confirmed name and address that Paypal has for him on anywho and whitepages .com and there is no-one in the US with that name, and definitely not at that address.

Since I didn't send the item yet, I didn't lose anything yet. The problem with the rules of Ebay and Paypal, I have to ship the item tomorrow or risk bad feedback.

Maybe this is all legit, but I don't have a good feeling about it at all.

Any thoughts?????
Old 24th February 2012
  #2
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hasbeen's Avatar
I have sold to resellers that ship to other countries so that is not unusual. Read your seller protection but better yet, CALL. They have always been helpful when ever I have. Do it now, I think they are 24hrs. I have over 500 Pos


If PayPal has sent you a notice (they always do) telling you it is okay to spend or ship then you are ok. But, call with any ??
Old 24th February 2012
  #3
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Bob Vinsick's Avatar
Hasbeen,

where do you find Ebay's phone number? I can't find it on their website. - or - are you saying to call Paypal?
Old 24th February 2012
  #4
You were paid for the item so you have to ship it. It's a confirmed address. Send the item with UPS or FedEx so you have a tracking number. If you are still nervous about it, call eBay and explain your concerns. That way, eBay has it on record and if in the very unlikely event something goes wrong, there's the record of your call that will help establish your credibility.
Old 24th February 2012
  #5
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hasbeen's Avatar
I call PayPal from my account. The number is 1-888-221-1161, but do it from your account and you get a PIN# for faster service. Contact info on bottom of webpage
Old 24th February 2012
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Vinsick View Post
Hasbeen,

where do you find Ebay's phone number? I can't find it on their website. - or - are you saying to call Paypal?
The number isn't easy to find but it's there. It's under Customer Support>>Contact eBay.
Old 24th February 2012
  #7
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Bob Vinsick's Avatar
So, does this sound legit or does it smell like a scam?
Old 24th February 2012
  #8
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Bob Vinsick's Avatar
After talking to Ebay, I still don't have a good feeling about this. I'm shipping a $775 item to a warehouse in Elizabeth, NJ which will in turn send it to the buyer in the Ukraine.

I've heard horror stories and wonder if he paid the Paypal charges with a credit card and somehow he will cancel the payment requesting his money back from Paypal or something stupid like that. This is the very reason that I only ship to the Continental US.


Anyway, I appreciate the responses.
Old 24th February 2012
  #9
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grrrayson's Avatar
 

You know you're getting scammed whenever you use PayPal with their contemporary anti-seller policies. Even if the sale goes as planned they're scamming you a little bit with the bogus holds.

I've had excellent experiences with eBay in the past but it's always a gamble these days. There's not much you can do as a seller at all.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
Old 24th February 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Vinsick View Post
After talking to Ebay, I still don't have a good feeling about this. I'm shipping a $775 item to a warehouse in Elizabeth, NJ which will in turn send it to the buyer in the Ukraine.

I've heard horror stories and wonder if he paid the Paypal charges with a credit card and somehow he will cancel the payment requesting his money back from Paypal or something stupid like that. This is the very reason that I only ship to the Continental US.


Anyway, I appreciate the responses.
I wouldn't worry about the canceled payment scam. Get signature delivery and since it's a verified address, you'll be cool. I have sold about 2000 items on ebay and have >5000 positive FB @100%. The few times I've been scammed have been more obvious than what you describe. I've been fine with resellers.

Have you read the buyer's FB to see what business they do most often?
Old 24th February 2012
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Vinsick View Post
After talking to Ebay, I still don't have a good feeling about this. I'm shipping a $775 item to a warehouse in Elizabeth, NJ which will in turn send it to the buyer in the Ukraine.

I've heard horror stories and wonder if he paid the Paypal charges with a credit card and somehow he will cancel the payment requesting his money back from Paypal or something stupid like that. This is the very reason that I only ship to the Continental US.


Anyway, I appreciate the responses.
I had a similar experience last year. I unknowingly sold a Sherman Filterbank to a reseller whom I think was located somewhere in Russia. He had a confirmed Paypal/Ebay address somewhere in California. Before shipping I called Ebay about it and expressed my concern. Ebay told me not to worry. I also called Paypal, they gave me the same schtick ... but based on their responses to my questions it did not put me at ease. I felt a scam coming on, but I shipped to the California address after receiving the payment. I too was worried that the potentially bogus buyer would try to claim receipt of defective goods or item never received and try to get the payment refunded from Paypal. About three weeks later I get an email outside of Ebay from a different email address, saying he bought my Filterbank and it does not work. Nothing works on it. I freaked for a second, then sent him an email back saying that I didn't know who he was, the goods were mint condition when I shipped, and if there was a problem with the purchase, please contact me through his Ebay account. The account through which the purchase was made. A week goes by and I hear nothing more and the funds clear the Paypal hold period, all good. Two more weeks go by and I get an apologetic email from the same weird email address outside of Ebay, saying it was their mistake. They just needed a different power adapter for the unit to work. Everything was great and thank you. Either way, I never sold the unit to the ultimate buyer. I sold to the reseller and shipped to the confirmed address, so according to Ebay/Paypal I did what I was supposed to and would be covered by the Seller Protection Policy. But again, this turned out not to be a scam. I have read about reseller scams so it still makes me nervous. Fortunately, in my case it all worked out for the good.
Old 24th February 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
If you ship it, MAKE SURE YOU PAY FOR DELIVERY CONFIRMATION. PayPal will not release the money to you in a dispute without proof of shipment.

Do that and you'll be just fine.
Old 24th February 2012
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasnub View Post
If you ship it, MAKE SURE YOU PAY FOR DELIVERY CONFIRMATION. PayPal will not release the money to you in a dispute without proof of shipment.

Do that and you'll be just fine.
+1 and require an adult signature as well.
Old 24th February 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
I had this same experience before. I sold to an international buyer but they used a "forwarder" in Miami. It totally seemed like a scam but it wasn't.

What it was to put it bluntly, was the country she lived in was such a mess that it was safer and easier for her to get goods shipped in through this forwarder. Sometimes we aren't aware of how difficult some people have it in other countries.
Old 24th February 2012
  #15
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grrrayson's Avatar
 

P.S. Do a search for the "flight2ams" scandal. There's basically nothing you can do to prevent selling internationally even if you don't want to.

The last I sold on eBay, I got a 3-week hold on an item that the buyer in CA (who was a forwarder) left feedback on and confirmed receipt of after about a week just because the postal service made a clerical error by which the package didn't show up as delivered on the USPS website. Before that I didn't ship until payment had actually cleared my bank. I've sold multiple $3000+ items to legitimate international buyers with a 100% feedback rating and they hold funds like this on me on a purportedly local sale? Horrible policy.

I have a feeling eBay is on the decline at least for the US but I could be wrong. PayPal offers almost no seller protection these days. Customer service is down the drain.
Old 24th February 2012
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grrrayson View Post
P.S. Do a search for the "flight2ams" scandal. There's basically nothing you can do to prevent selling internationally even if you don't want to.
YES, JUST TO amplify this a little, what you need to know is EBAY IS IN CAHOOTS with many of these international middle-men resellers, even ones that seem kind of "scammy". For some reason, ebay goes out of their way to keep you from knowing about these 3rd parties. I consider it fraud on ebay's part, since you are specifically purchasing only a domestic audience, and they are making your item available to the entire world, and not even telling you about it.

Ebay INSISTS on making it appear to the American audience that these resellers are "rougue", so it DOES APPEAR to be very scammy, but they do have deals in place with these people.

FOR EXAMPLE:
YOu will find NOTHING on the ebay site about "flight2ams", which sells to Japan, BUT, they do have some kind of deal. I listed an item a few weeks ago, and WITHIN 1 HOUR it was purchased by someone in Japan thru "flight2ams", even though I specifically set it up for domestic bidders only.
Old 24th February 2012
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TRJanuary View Post
YES, JUST TO amplify this a little, what you need to know is EBAY IS IN CAHOOTS with many of these international middle-men resellers, even ones that seem kind of "scammy". For some reason, ebay goes out of their way to keep you from knowing about these 3rd parties. I consider it fraud on ebay's part, since you are specifically purchasing only a domestic audience, and they are making your item available to the entire world, and not even telling you about it.

Ebay INSISTS on making it appear to the American audience that these resellers are "rougue", so it DOES APPEAR to be very scammy, but they do have deals in place with these people.

FOR EXAMPLE:
YOu will find NOTHING on the ebay site about "flight2ams", which sells to Japan, BUT, they do have some kind of deal. I listed an item a few weeks ago, and WITHIN 1 HOUR it was purchased by someone in Japan thru "flight2ams", even though I specifically set it up for domestic bidders only.
That really sucks. I had no idea that was possible. You figure that once you put all those Ebay buyer filters in place on your listing to prevent international sales that they will actually work. The whole Ebay/Paypal anti-seller bias is getting old ... unfortunately, I don't like the alternative of trying to sell locally on Craigslist. More than one person has been mugged in our area after meeting their Craigslist buyer. I just won't do face to face transactions with a complete stranger. Call me paranoid. Sad state of affairs.
Old 24th February 2012
  #18
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oldgearguy's Avatar
 

I tend to list my items and say 'worldwide shipping'. So, if an international buyer wants the item, they can bid directly. Never had a problem up to this point. Since it's hard to prevent these middleman situations I just list it worldwide.

The funny thing is when an international buyer buys my item through one of these middlemen. They're paying a premium on top of the auction price to have this company receive my item (it's typically been sent to a warehouse type location in California) and then shipping to them overseas. If they only bothered to buy direct they could have saved even more.

My rationale for listing 'worldwide shipping' is that a wider audience typically means a better final price. If the gear can easily be set to 240v, I do that for them and test it here. If not, I tape over the power outlet and power switch with big "120v only" words written on the tape to hopefully prevent a simple mistake.
Old 24th February 2012
  #19
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Bob Vinsick's Avatar
The bad thing about this is, the buyer's Ebay account says he lives in the United States. He lives in the Ukraine, so I feel that is dishonest a little.

I don't know if I have my Paypal account setup right, but I have already received the payment in my checking account. Does this mean they can go back in and retreive the money if something goes wrong?

Does my obligation end when the package has been shipped to Elizabeth, NJ, or can I be responsible for anything that goes wrong (damage or lost goods) when shipping from NJ to the Ukraine?

If he used his credit card to pay Paypal, can he say he never received the goods in the Ukraine and have his CC company go back to Paypal and recoveer the funds, which will in turn take them out of my account??
Old 24th February 2012
  #20
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Vinsick View Post
The bad thing about this is, the buyer's Ebay account says he lives in the United States. He lives in the Ukraine, so I feel that is dishonest a little.

I don't know if I have my Paypal account setup right, but I have already received the payment in my checking account. Does this mean they can go back in and retreive the money if something goes wrong?

Does my obligation end when the package has been shipped to Elizabeth, NJ, or can I be responsible for anything that goes wrong (damage or lost goods) when shipping from NJ to the Ukraine?

If he used his credit card to pay Paypal, can he say he never received the goods in the Ukraine and have his CC company go back to Paypal and recoveer the funds, which will in turn take them out of my account??
1) Yes, technically, if they file a chargeback. Otherwise, if there aren't enough funds, PayPal will bump your account into the red and close it down / send it to collections 30 after 30 days of being negative UNLESS you can provide proof of the item working before shipment and proof of delivery to their approved/confirmed address.

2) No, you're only responsible to what happens at the New Jersey address. After that, you're not. Once that package is signed for, if they slap another sticker on it and re-ship it, that's not your problem. I would still insure the package if it's not too expensive.

3) Once that package is signed for in NJ, whatever happens past that isn't your problem. PayPal is the only company I've come across that handles actual chargebacks in a way that doesn't really leave you screwed. If you have signed proof of delivery, you will win hands down. I had a business that was doing about $35k/month in sales on PayPal at one point and those who tried that crap NEVER won. Not a single time.
Old 25th February 2012
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Vinsick View Post
The bad thing about this is, the buyer's Ebay account says he lives in the United States. He lives in the Ukraine, so I feel that is dishonest a little.
YES. IT IS DISHONEST. Like I said, IT IS FRUAD on ebay's part, and I don't use that term lightly. If YOU were to list a false address, and ebay found out about it, they would close your account. And just to be clear, the other aspect of the fraud comes into play because not only does ebay KNOW about this activity, they encourage it. They pipe thier search results directly to these international 3rd parties within MINUTES after you list your auction.

The good news is, from my research, most of these transactions seem to work out OK. If you get it delivered to the NJ address, in good condition, and you can prove it, you are done.
Old 25th February 2012
  #22
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The MPCist's Avatar
 

I sometimes buy stuff that I ship to a US forwarder that sends it to me in Taiwan. Never had a problem with any sellers regarding this.
Old 25th February 2012
  #23
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grrrayson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist View Post
I sometimes buy stuff that I ship to a US forwarder that sends it to me in Taiwan. Never had a problem with any sellers regarding this.
Presumably you're a cool guy, honest about it, and communicate about it. The problem with the "flight2ams" and associated buyer accounts is that somebody who works at a warehouse for them probably doesn't know anything about esoteric audio equipment (or whatever else you may be selling) AND if the offshore end buyer (who you didn't do business with) complains, they (flight2ams) can treat your sold item as damaged and you can't do much to fight it even though your item was received and confirmed and left the country because flight2ams etc. basically IS eBay.

This is systematic and corporate policy. Much different than an individual like you having a friend with a clue help you out to make customs etc. less of a hassle.
Old 25th February 2012
  #24
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BrianK's Avatar
 

Don't worry so much. You got paid already - THAT's one good sign. You have a verified address and 100% good feedback for more than 10 listings. That's pretty good. International people OFTEN use the local shipper, as it lets them bid on stuff where YOU don't offer int'l shipping. Sometimes cheaper, too, if they buy and ship in bulk to one country.

Go for it, do your end right, you'll probably be ok....
Old 25th February 2012
  #25
How do you know?

If it's on Ebay.

This is where all the former burglery, theft and scam artists have set up shop.

Even if you get what you paid for, more than likely it's broken too.

P.T. Barnum was right. If he were alive today, he would own Ebay.
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