Here are 5 eBay scams to watch out for if you are an eBay seller.
Please note that eBay sellers have almost no protection against dishonest buyers. Worse, several people in the eBay forums seem to fuss at the sellers for “not doing something right”, instead of being helpful and coming up with solutions to help remedy the problem.
Are there options a seller can take to protect himself from bad buyers? Not really. You must stay vigilant. I know that does not really help, but until eBay gives basic protection to sellers, that is all you can do.
1) Bait-and-Switch Return
This is when a buyer purchases your item, you ship it, and he receives it with no issue. A few days later, he will start a return claiming “something is wrong” with the item, and ship it back to you.
However, once you get the item back, you will discover that he placed either something else entirely in the box, or he shipped you his broken version of the item you sold (e.g., the serial number displayed on the returned item is not the serial for the item you sold).
Either way, you lost both the money and item. He gets away scot-free to do it again to another seller.
2) Damaged Return
This one is like the “bait-and-switch” return. The difference is the buyer does in fact send you back the same item you sold, but he has damaged the item, while claiming that you sold it in bad condition.
I am not talking about damage due to shipping. I am talking about complete destruction of the item. In other words, you lost your money and you no longer have an item to sell due to his carelessness or whatever caused the problem. Buyers who commit this kind of fraud are thieves & liars.
3) Hoax Return
This is when a buyer claims something is wrong with the item you sold him. However, once you receive the item back, it works perfectly and can be resold. Nothing the buyer claimed was wrong with the item is true.
I suspect buyers who lie to get a return have either found a better deal and wanted some of their money back, or they were not happy – for whatever reason – with their purchase, and wanted to lie to make certain they would get a return. Either way you are dealing with a liar and you should block his eBay account. Remember every return costs you time & money.
4) Cancelled Order after Shipment
This is when someone buys your item, you ship it off, and an hour or two later he suddenly cancels the order. The idea is you will not be able to stop the shipment in time, he gets your item and his money back. This scam usually is applied to high-priced items (e.g., gaming video cards, 4K televisions).
This is when someone buys an item from you (usually high-priced), gets the item, then a few days later initiates a charge back. This is done either through PayPal or their credit company.
You lose your item and money. This is major fraud and the buyer not only should be kicked off eBay, but he should also be prosecuted. Otherwise, he will just do it again to someone else.
Posted in General, Shopping