My 'near-fatal' 1K+ bag Ebay transaction-a cautinary tale for ALL SELLERS!

viciel

Glendarroch
O.G.
Nov 9, 2006
4,306
678
I've been on Ebay buying and selling for almost a decade now and I was scammed once when I first started selling years ago and have taken necessary precautions ever since to prevent any 'tragedies' from happening again. Well, something interesting happened to me a couple of weeks ago and I'd like to share my experience.

MODs--I'm not going to list the buyer's ID openly on here unless I get an OK from one of you.

I listed a 1K+ designer bag for sale with BIN or Best Offer options. Received a few offers and one of them worked out. In my listing, I had listed that I would ship within the US, and Australia, Japan, United Kingdom, and Canada for international countries. I also made sure to check the box where Ebay won't even allow buyers NOT registered in one of those countries to bid on my item, as well as other NPB/etc constrains. Before I counter/accept any offers, I always check the location of the buyer just to make sure.

One of the offers that came in was from a buyer located in Malaysia. I was surprised to find out that she was allowed to make me an offer even though she's clearly not located in any of the countries I ship to. I contacted Ebay immediately to find out where exactly was she located/registered in. I also contacted the buyer via Ebay's messaging system to ask her the same question and reiterate that I did not intend to sell to anybody outside of the countries I listed in the listing. Ebay told me that this buyer is registered in Malaysia as well as in the United States--the state of Wisconsin, to be specific. Ebay also informed me that I would not be obligated to ship to Malaysia and will only have to ship to her registered confirmed address in Wisconsin if I was to accept her offer. OK, I thought to myself. The buyer wrote me back and said she's currently out of the country but someone will be there to get the package. I also have a habit of checking buyer's ID and feedback history--she has 20+ transactions and she's got a 100%, though she's only had 1 transaction within the past 12 months. She had been cordial and almost sweet throughout the process to this point, OK, that's fine then, we have a deal! Or so I thought.

Now, if I was buying something on Ebay, 99% of the time I pay immediately, and I mean immediately after the auction/listing ends. The other 1% I'd pay within 1 day, usually half a day if the auction ends really late at night and I didn't find out I had won it until the next morning. But apparently Ebay allow buyers up to 4 calendar days to pay up even if you list in the auction that payment is required immediately. Well, this buyer took her time and I was beginning to wonder what was going on, so I sent her another message. The reply was that she had to 'work things out' with her credit card company. OK, fair enough.

After the payment is made and cleared via Paypal, I noticed that the shipping address is in Colorado. A red flag immediately went up and I contacted the buyer asking her why the Colorado address. She told me that because she's away, she'd like me to send the bag to her friend in Colorado. But he's leaving town on Saturday so she'd like me to send the bag out immediately so it'd arrive in time for him to get it for her. I wrote her back within minutes of her message arriving in my Inbox and told her that I do not and will not ship to any 3rd party address and that I would only ship to her own CONFIRMED paypal address. I also mentioned that I had thought someone was going to be at her own home in Wisconsin to sign off on the delivery (and USPS would have their ID/signature/address upon pickup or delivery). She wrote me back and said that she 'thought' her 'friend' was going to be in Wisconsin (may or may not even be at her , but since he's just been traveling on the road, his business had now taken him to Colorado, or at least that was the story from her. I checked into the address in Colorado next to Ship To and it's a hotel!

I smelt a scam in the works! I knew that she had paid with a credit card, and if I actually had shipped the bag to someone with a different name/address, she could have easily issued a charge back with her credit card company and I'd be out of the bag and cash.

While I was communicating with the buyer, I was also talking to Ebay and had informed them of what had been happening so they would document everything. I also verified with them that I would not have to ship the bag to a out of state hotel address. The buyer stopped communicating with me after my last message to them letting them know that I would not be shipping the bag to a 3rd party at an unconfirmed, unregistered, out of state, hotel address. I opted to give the buyer a full refund immediately and cancel the transaction. I listed all the details of the case and my reasons for canceling the transaction and waited for the buyer to either respond to my messages or list their side of the story to the 'Details' of the case. 7 days had passed and not a peep from them, so I was able to close the case/transaction and got my Final Value fees back. Now, she still could leave me a negative feedback as retaliation, which was also a concern I had raised with Ebay, but I was told that I would be able to appeal for it and get it removed, which I would certainly do if that's the case. Although it's quite unfair that sellers can no longer leave negative feedback for buyers and I wonder if that's how she had been getting away with this scam.

I didn't want to mention anything on here until the case is closed and the transaction is over. Just thought I'd share my experience!
 

mello_yello_jen

Designated Shopaholic
O.G.
Jan 2, 2006
9,974
101
nor.cal
www.whereshewears.com
WOW! Scams these days are getting more and more complicated. Good thing you're an aware seller and saved yourself hours/days/months of headaches!! Shame on that buyer for thinking and even attempting to pull a fast one on you. Kudos to you for doing all the research beforehand!

And thank you for sharing this with us!
 

Awwgeez

Member
Mar 5, 2008
9,855
1
I am so pleased to hear that your precautions spared you from being scammed. Sellers need to be very diligent to keep themselves from being scammed .thank you for reiterating that to us!
 

oxlivhopexo

Member
Jul 1, 2009
4,406
0
Baltimore
omg that's insane. im so glad you were able to catch that, it does sound really fishy. sorry you had to go through all that though =/
 

lizziecat

O.G.
Nov 18, 2006
1,779
0
UK
Wow! That was a near miss - saved by your care and diligence. Thanks for reminding us to be cautious, since sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in the thrill of a sale. Really pleased that you were able to beat a hasty retreat.
 

marie-lou

Chocolate Heaven
O.G.
Dec 6, 2006
5,744
3
N 50° 53' E 04° 20'
Well done, OP! I guess the "upside" of all those scammers is that sellers are really starting to pay attention!!! I hope one day all those è!§éç"' scammers will stop the hell even trying!
 

noshoepolish

Labrador Lover
Authenticator
O.G.
Oct 4, 2006
9,817
118
Was the address in the paypal "Ok to ship" page? And did it show full seller protection? If so , then it would technically be their (Paypal's) problem but your funds would have been on hold for quite some time.

But yes, it smells like a scam.
 

noshoepolish

Labrador Lover
Authenticator
O.G.
Oct 4, 2006
9,817
118
^^^ From her post: I checked into the address in Colorado next to Ship To and it's a hotel!

And yes, shipping to a hotel would be a ding ding ding unless you call and they say the buyer works there. Otherwise it is a scam.
 

viciel

Glendarroch
O.G.
Nov 9, 2006
4,306
678
Thanks Littlerock!

This particular buyer's ID is senghorng currently has 23 feedbacks, 100% positive and member since 2007.

MODs--please change my title so it says 'cautionary' - terrible typo on my part:smile: TIA!
 

viciel

Glendarroch
O.G.
Nov 9, 2006
4,306
678
To protect myself, I would not send it to an unconfirmed address even if it's supposedly their work place:smile: