please help me with the most complicated situation ever! need help! is this a scam?

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  1. Hi all,

    Here is my complicated story - I have changed the names and location just to be safe:

    I listed a contemporary designer bag on eBay. It sold about 4 days ago.

    I immediately emailed the buyer to let them know I was on vacation and would ship it when I return home.

    Buyer introduces himself as "Stephen" and he says, ok no prob... oh but fyi, ebay has given you my old address in Indiana (the address in Indiana, he says, belongs to his ex wife with the same initials). he says, this address is incorrect, im located in Florida. Please ship to Florida.

    I did not reply, thinking this was fishy & I was unsure of how to respond.

    Later that day, I received my paypal payment from "Stephen"'s email.
    But the confirmed address according to paypal belongs to "Susan" located in Indiana.
    on ebay, the buyer is listed as being located in Florida, but again the address on the shipping label is Indiana.

    then I get another ebay message from the buyer this morning, wondering when the item will ship.
    I reply, reminding them that I am on vacation...
    they immediately apologize and say the message went to me mistakenly.

    Im getting concerned now, because i begin to wonder if both Stephen and Susan are using the same ebay account/paypal account and Im corresponding with both!? like perhaps Susan bought the bag (as it is her address on paypal) but Stephen is using the account to try and get it from me?? -- sidenote, i dont know why he would go to this effort as the transaction is just under $100.. not a lot of money if you ask me to try and scam someone over...?

    anyway, i then ebay message Stephen and say something along the lines of hey listen, sorry about the address mix up but I'm going to have to send to the Indiana address unless you want me to refund you the money and you can repurchase with the Florida address.

    He responds saying, "I just talked to a paypal agent, he will be emailing you shortly"

    Sure enough, I get an email from PayPal agent who tells me to ship to the Florida address... however the email is a bit weird bc the agent mistakenly addressed the email to "stephen" and not me.

    So i call Paypal myself and speak to an agent - a nice agent confirms for me that yes, the message i received from the other paypal agent to send to another address is legit - HOWEVER, he recommends I ignore and send to the original address (to Susan in Indiana)... especially because the email was not technically addressed to me (as i said the agent mistakenly began the email, "dear stephen...") my agent then calls a dispute and claims manager while im on hold and they confirm that yes i must only send to the Indiana address or otherwise I will not be covered by seller protection.

    The agent was also very honest with me and said he definitely smells something weird and said if he were me, he would just send to Indiana - if "Stephen" wants to file a claim, who cares I will be protected & i will have my money and i can just move on... but that being said, i am a bit of a paranoid person... now "Stephen" has my email address and real name bc he sent me money on paypal - correct?? i dont want this person to try and contact me again or hassle me etc.

    so now i am unsure of what to do.

    do i
    1) send to the Indiana address, maybe include a note saying, I was contacted and told to send this to the Florida address, however I couldnt do this in order to be protected hope you understand?
    2) refund the money and just forget the whole thing...

    you see, this seller has a very good rating and feedback on ebay... no negative feedback whatsoever. so im confused as to why this whole address thing on their paypal is only a problem now...?
    i should add that this is not my first time selling something on ebay, as i usually sell on my roommates account, but this time i decided to make my own account so this is my first time selling on this account & i have 0 feedback...

    please advise me as to what you would do? I feel like either way i am susceptible to negative feedback, but i dont know how to get around that. for me i am more concerned about being protected financially but also being protected in general... this guy has my email and name now, and I feel like if i "screw up his plan" and send the package elsewhere I won't hear the end of it.

    TIA everyone!
  2. 2

    Less is more, I would have as little as possible interaction with this transaction.

    You have great intuition ...

    Best - SB
  3. #2
    Perhaps "Stephen" is scamming you because he sees that you have 0 feedback and he thinks he can pull one over on you. I would never ship to an address other than the paypal confirmed address. My DH got scammed this way. He shipped to another address, the address was fake, buyer claimed non receipt and Dh had to take it up with the hipping company to get his $ back.
    Cancel the transaction - better safe than sorry.
  4. Any and all correspondences should be through ebay messages:

    Dear Stephen,

    As I told you, I'm on vacation and will ship your item upon my return.

    Your paypal payment shows a shipping address as Indiana and that's where I am required to ship. I can't change the shipping address on my end.

    If you need to have it shipped to you in Florida, I can refund your payment and you can repay, changing your shipping address before allowing the payment to process.

    If you prefer, I can issue a refund and cancel the transaction.

    Let me know what you want to do.


    As for the buyer having a long history and great feedback, ALL buyers have 100% feedback because positive feedback is all buyers can get.
  5. The answer to this is pretty simple: only agree to ship to the Paypal verified addresses. Be sure to send the item insured, with tracking AND signature confirmation. That way, you will be able to prove that someone at the Paypal verified address received the item. Anything further than that is not your concern. The buyer can work the rest of it out with his ex.

    I am only an infrequent seller, but after reading what I have read, those are the rules I live by. I use tracking, insurance, and signature confirmation, no matter how small the sale. Furthermore, I look up the buyer's address on Google maps and take a look at the street view. I want to see where my package is going.
  6. I would let your buyer know you will only ship to a confirmed pp address.

    He needs to update his information.

    And if you prefer, would cancel this transaction. See some red flags that are of concern here.
  7. Been Burned nailed it: communicate only via eBay (you don't need your private email in someone's possession). And it's utterly easy to add a new confirmed address to Paypal. There's no reason in the world a normal buyer would resist that.

    Always only send to the confirmed PP address. You stand only to lose, never gain, if you do otherwise.
  8. I have only been communicating via eBay message thus far -- but I'm saying that since he has sent me money via PayPal, doesn't he have my real email address?? That makes me a bit nervous as I don't want to hear from this guy ever again.

    I want to just issue a refund and find some consignment shop to sell my bag to - this seems like too much of a hassle to me.

    Do you think I can just simply issue the refund via PayPal and send one last message on the ebay message thread saying i decided to cancel the transaction as there is too much hassle involved, then delete my ebay account? -- I honestly have NEVER bought anything off ebay and I only made my own account to sell this one thing...

    I just really want this whole situation dropped and it makes me nervous that it wont be dropped because this guy is so persistent to have me do something that is not advisable, and he clearly thinks I'm stupid and won't know proper protocol.
  9. If you have a brand new account then you don't really have to worry about negative feedback or account strikes or anything like that. Just tell him that you won't ship to an address that is not covered by seller protection and refund his money. Period.
  10. You must only ship to confirmed PP address. In this case with the discrepancies in names, etc., I'd just let him know politely via ebay that I'm refunding the money. I wouldn't offer to resell to him. Not worth the risk of getting into a sticky situation IMO.
  11. I would just refund his money with the note, that per Paypal Seller's Protection rule, you must ship only to the address that is shows as ship to address in his Paypal payment transaction. I would then also send a cancel transaction request through ebay with the same note. Keep in mind that he may decline cancel transaction request and therefore you will not get your final value fee refunded. You will then need to call ebay and have them do it manually.
    Also, you cannot "delete"/close your ebay account if you sold something on it for a certain time period. I don't remember how long it is, but it is in the policieis somewhere.
  12. Why delete your ebay account over one buyer?!! What if you want to buy or sell something in the future?

    It's really not a big deal since you still have the item in your possession. Go with option #2. I would refund the buyer, and then submit a request to cancel the transaction. As the previous poster mentioned, if they decline you can call ebay and they will give you a credit for the fees. Then sell it locally or where ever.

    I would only be nervous if you shipped the item already, you are in control at this point. The buyer can leave negative feedback, but if you're polite and explain the situation the might not leave feedback. But if they do, take the negative ding and in a year I think it doesn't even count anymore.

    I'm surprised you posted the item while you were on vacation, why not wait to post it when you returned? Especially since it was just the one item.

  13. Actually I posted it weeks ago! It re- listed automatically twice and the day I left To go on vacation it sold ! Just when I had almost forgotten about it / given up hope!

    I'm only on vacation for 5 days but I'm glad I am as it gave me plenty of time to think about the situation,

    Yes I will refund the money and explain that I can't send to an address that's not approved ...

    Would anyone recommend that I block the seller ??
  14. You mean buyer. And yes. Block immediately.
  15. I'm really concerned that the paypal account may be stolen