How Buyers Scam Sellers on Ebay


This article is written to help sellers avoid getting scammed on eBay. It's designed to explain the ways that people try to cheat sellers so that sellers may protect themselves.

I don't advise or condone the acts described in this article. Rather, I am writing in hopes that this knowledge will help you avoid getting cheated. Someday, maybe eBay will finally realize how easy they have made it for buyers to scam sellers.

Ebay: Not Safe for Sellers?

When eBay first started, many people were afraid to buy. They heard things like, "it's a scam," and "you will lose your money." In the beginning, there were a lot of scams on eBay, but lately, the site has taken many precautions to make it a safer environment.

Still, there is one problem: They've made it safer for buyers, and buyers ONLY!

They made it so that it is difficult to be scammed by a seller, but they made it possible to be scammed by a buyer. Sellers are now the ones getting scammed and there is nothing we can do.

Ebay Changes That Benefit the Buyer but Endanger the Seller

Here are some unfair changes made in order to make it a "safe" trading environment, although they do not benefit both sides...

  1. Sellers cannot leave negative or neutral feedback for buyers, but buyers can still leave any feedback for sellers. Also, if a seller receives too many bad feedbacks they will be suspended from eBay.
  2. Sellers must accept payment via Paypal or an eBay approved program. Sellers are no longer allowed to accept cash, check, or money order.
  3. Buyers can now file disputes against sellers if they feel that an item was not as described, which would be fine except that a buyer doesn't have to provide any proof that the item was not as described.
  4. Sellers have to accept returns. Yes, you can state "no returns" in your auctions, but that means nothing. If someone wants to return something, you have to accept it.

Not As Described: Buyer's Word vs. Seller's

As I mentioned above, eBay has made some changes to become "safe." One of these changes included adding a way for buyers to dispute transactions. It's really a good idea, but you have to be fair. The problem with this is that eBay and Paypal almost always side with the buyer.

A buyer can dispute a transaction for many reasons: not as described, item never arrived, wrong item, etc. The most common dispute for a scammer is the "not as described" dispute. A buyer can return anything simply by evoking this phrase, even if the item was described in minute detail.

Here are the details of an actual dispute that I had on an item I sold: I sold a used GPS unit for parts or repair. I clearly stated in the title and description that this item had a broken screen and was to be sold AS-IS and that no returns would be accepted. The person bought the item and said something to the effect of "it doesn't work" and wanted to return it. I told them that it was sold that way and I wouldn't allow a return. He filed a dispute with eBay and won. I told eBay that you can clearly see in the auction that it sold for parts, as is, but they still sided with the buyer. I had to give the buyer his money back and I received poor feedback for it.

Another example: I sold a rather large item on eBay. The buyer received it and put in a dispute stating that it did not work. It was a lie, as I had fully tested it and knew it worked, but there was nothing I could do. I accepted that he was lying and offered a full refund if he returned the item. He agreed, but then sent me an empty box via UPS. He provided the tracking number to eBay and they automatically gave him his money back. I told eBay that he sent me an empty box and they asked me to take a picture of the label to show that the box only weighed as much as an empty box would weigh. "Okay" I said. Guess what? He sent the package with a label he printed online that said he paid for a 12 lb. package! There was nothing I could do!

And yet another example: I sold an air purifier for a pretty high price, around $200.00. It was in perfect working order. The buyer put in a dispute saying it did not work. Shortly afterwards I received an email from someone that I had never done business with who stated that my buyer had bought an air purifier from him and he told me this guy was a scam. Unfortunately, it was too late. I went to my buyer's "items for sale" and was astonished with what I found: He had listed MY air purifier for sale for about double the price he paid me, using my pictures! There were two things wrong with this: 1. You are not allowed to use someone else's pictures on eBay, 2. This was only a day or two after I shipped the item, so he had not even received it yet. I told eBay all of this, and they suspended the user from eBay, BUT they still gave him a full refund from my Paypal account. Knowing that this guy was a liar and a scammer, they still took the money from me and gave it to him, and I never got my item or my money back. Thanks eBay!

Feedback: Nothing You Can Do

As a seller you cannot leave a negative or neutral feedback for a buyer. Buyers can leave you any feedback, but a seller can only leave positive or nothing!

Buyers are also asked to leave Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs), which consist of four categories:

  1. How accurate was the item description
  2. How satisfied were you with seller's communication
  3. How quickly did the seller ship the item
  4. How reasonable were the shipping and handling charges.

These DSRs are rated by buyers on a scale of 1 to 5. It's really a great way to help buyers know if the seller is trustworthy or not, but of course, there's a problem. Ebay feels that an appropriate average rating is somewhere around 4.8 (I could be slightly off). This means that if you receive 1000 positive feedbacks with 4 star DSRs, you are still below eBay's standards and you will be thrown off the site.

I don't know how you feel about DSRs, but I feel that if you are being rated between 1 and 5 an acceptable average would be somewhere around a 3. That would leave some room for error, and some room for jerks and scammers who leave bad ratings.

How to Pull Off a Scam on Ebay

There are many ways that buyers can pull off a successful scam on eBay, and here are just a few...

The Ole' Switch-A-Roo

So let's say you have a broken toaster. It's a great toaster but it bit the dust and you don't have money for a new one. So you search on eBay and you find the exact same toaster for sale, brand new or used but in good working condition. Ebay's current setup allows you to scam a new toaster for free. Here's all you have to do:

  1. Buy the new toaster on eBay
  2. Wait a day or two after receiving the toaster (don't wait longer because there is a time limit)
  3. Write the seller and tell them that you are unhappy because the toaster does not work.

Now, there are a couple things that could happen: 1. The seller may refund you, 2. The seller may offer a refund with return, or 3. The seller may not respond.

If they refund you, great! Congrats! If they offer a refund with return, then send back your broken toaster and make sure you put tracking on the package! If they don't respond, open a case with eBay, stating the item doesn't work and go through the process. The case process is very easy to follow and you almost can't lose. The worst case scenario is that you have to return the item and get a full refund. Either way, you get a new toaster for free (excluding return shipping, if required).

"I Didn't Get It"

The next way to scam a seller on eBay is to simply purchase and item and say that you never got it. This can go many ways:

  • If the seller did not use tracking, you win!
  • If the seller did put tracking, then check it and see what the tracking says. Sometimes tracking states that an item was "left at front door." Again, you win!
  • If the tracking says that the item was delivered, it is a little more difficult. In this case, you have to be very creative. You could say that the tracking is wrong and that you never received a package and that no one signed anything for a package so there is no proof you got it.

Either way you will win, 9 times out of 10, if not more.

Empty Box

This type of scam happens less than others, but it still happens. The only flaw is that you do lose the money that it costs to return the item to the seller.

  1. You simply purchase an item, wait a day or two after receiving it, and open a dispute saying that the item was not as described. You can make up any reason, really.
  2. When the seller asks you to return the item for a full refund, you send them and empty box, but you have to do it right. First make sure that you have tracking on the package, then you have to print a return label online so that you can manually enter the weight of the item. You have to put the weight as if the item was in the box.
  3. Once again, you win! Congrats!

"I Didn't Approve That"

Another way to scam a seller is to purchase an item and pay with a credit card.

  1. You have to pay through a Paypal or merchant checkout, but you can still use a credit card to pay.
  2. After you receive the item, contact your credit card company and tell them that you did not receive the item, did not approve the transaction, the item was broken/didn't work, or a similar story, your choice.
  3. Your credit card company will almost always dispute the transaction, and I have never heard of a credit card company losing a dispute.

Leaving Feedback: Adding Insult to Injury

Here's where it comes down to being mean or nice. I have had a ton of people scam me and then leave me bad feedback, and then I have had some that left good feedback.

If you are going to scam someone and steal their stuff, you should at least give them good, positive feedback and DSRs.

Just remember that if a seller receives too many bad feedbacks, they will be thrown off eBay for good, no ifs, ands, or buts. Are you so cruel that you would not only steal items from someone, you'd also take away their job? You could at least be nice enough to leave them good feedback so they can continue to get scammed on eBay.

Is It Fair?

Do You Feel eBay Is Fair For Sellers?

  • Yes, it's plenty fair. I'm a seller.
  • No, it's not fair at all. I'm a seller.
  • Yes, it's fair. I'm a scammer.
  • No, it's not fair. I'm a scammer.
  • Yes, it's fair. I'm a good buyer.
  • No, it's not fair. I'm a good buyer.
See results without voting

Comments 54 comments

solution 4 years ago

so what's the solution?

mr.raccoon 4 years ago

I understand that it is unfair. But as sad as it is, there isn't much to do about it. I mean where can we start:

1. The 1-5 point system. Yes 4.8 pretty high rate,

But i honestly cant imagine if the rate could be 3, what will happen then? Then the sellers will scam. Or do what ever they want.

2. Im pretty sure you understand that cash isn't very safe way to deal with.

What would you think as a buyer?

Well anything has two sides. what do you think is a reasonable solution if someone return you the broken toaster? Do you really think that ebay should give you a new one or money back because you say that returned a broken one or whatever?

Seems that they have actually tryd to make it as safe as possible. And there isn't a foolproof way anywhere i guess.

PS. I think the emptybox thing can only be discussed with the Post, they should understand that they shouldn't allow to deliver empty box that says it weighs more than a box. But then scammers will just but some stones in the box or whatever and you will receive a brick besides an empty box.

Anyway. I think one way to loose tention is to make a buyer database or something. But then again if buyers would have the buying rates then what would happen. No buyers, no ebay.

Joe 4 years ago

Freaking scammers. Cant stand em.

Johnny. 4 years ago

I've been buying & selling on Ebay for 5 -6 years. I had to get a new act. 2 years ago. I've always sold stuff that i'd want to buy, meaning, no junk, described as good as the pictures themselves.

This past few months I've had dealings with such assholes, (3 in a row) I've about given up on Ebay all together and will start going to weekend swap meets. Ebay has become so very bias toward the buyers who buy nothing more than knock-off shirts & handbags, or a new addition to their souvenir ashtray collection. It;s a shame for the people (like me) who buy hard to find electrical parts & components to restore high end stereo equipment & electronics. I have to rely on re- manufacturers catalogs, or travel distances to find (hopefully) things I need at aforementioned swap-meets.

The whole "PayPal must be used as the payment option" Isn't really an "Option" now is it? I guess that's a topic for a whole other discussion, huh?

ebaymania 4 years ago

I will post 2 separate comments, this one is about this article


cageriffic 4 years ago

It has to be mentioned that if your DSR's fall too low, eBay / Pay Pal have yet another way to punish you: They can prevent you from accessing your funds (payments that you receive as a seller in your Pay Pal account) for up to 21 days, until your averages come up. It can take up to or more than A YEAR to accomplish that, especially if you are A LOW VOLUME SELLER. If that isn't enough, when you see your summary page on My eBay, a big, bright RED BELOW STANDARD PERFORMANCE headline EVERY TIME you open that page. And all of this havoc can be caused by ignoramus buyers, or worse yet by scam artists!

Fay 4 years ago

I have been stung many times as a seller because a buyer has claimed non recipt of their item and I dont even get compensation from the royal mail either because the buyer dont back up my claim (obivosuly because they dont want to be investigated for their fraud). I've had 3 item not received clkaims in the last month out of only about 40 sales on ebay and I am well fed up! Ive had enough and seriously thinking of quitting for good!

Cheryl 3 years ago

Another Crap that people pull is saying the item is rusted or smells. You can't prove smell. The pix clearly looked good rust free. The buyer tried to con me into a partial refund. I ingored her because I told her to return it and she didn't. Please comment

sigh 3 years ago

i got the ol switcharoo this week

lynn 3 years ago

OH I am so ticked off cant believe someone is trying to scam me for a freaking 7.00 tube of mascara! I am so done with ebay it is not worth the little bit I get from sales to put up with the crap from scammers this person said she never received mascara and that she received lip gloss well that was a lie! and stated she didn't even like the lip liner and why would i send her lipliner ugh come on why would she think it's ok to try something she didn't even order ! that too is a lie cause she received mascara rotten scammer when I askede her to return this so calle dlip liner she said she would send me a picture of it instead wow and yep I bet i loose this one and receive a bad feedback as well wonder how many shes doing this too wish ebay would keep track somehow of how many times people are scamming buyers well goodluck everyone and it looks like it might be goodbye ebay for me hope sellers just tell ebay see ya latter and their fees keep going up looks like craigslist for me

Adam 3 years ago

What needs to happen is to get onto Ebay Radio and let'em have it in front of their own audiences. But this requires careful record keeping and preparation, not emotional outbursts(as much as I want to at times). I am a seller as well and I have had the same experiences here including ebay spitting in our face when we showed them a horrible mistake they made that cost us our top seller rating after 8 years of continuous top seller service. I believe we need to accomplish 3 main things here as sellers:

1. First thing, realize if you want to do business with Ebay - they supply the business, they make the rules. The faster you see this and accept it, the faster you can make hard decisions to help your business. Ebay needs to feel the bottom line, which means they need to lose money.

2. Other options to Ebay need support to do this. This means you may not have "Better" options out there, but if you want "Better" Options you need to choose another platform to support and do it for the sake of doing business with someone who can be trusted for future business.

3. Tell your story everywhere. If you have real documentation of your issue, put it out there on the blogs, forums, and articles for all to see. Ebay would be fools not to monitor what is getting attention out there, and I guarantee you that if you can back it up with facts and pictures, it will get attention.

Carl B. 3 years ago

I've been scammed both ways, as a buyer and as a seller. As a buyer I purchased a $300 item for a friend of mine with no e-bay account. We received it, I gave it to him and within 24 hours he's back telling me they shipped the wrong item. I said "No problem" I gave him his money back then I notified the seller. In his auction description he stated that you must contact him before returning anything.

Seller never responded. I e-mailed him several times. On the last e-mail I told him "I'm sorry but if you do not respond I'll be forced to file a claim." There was no response. I filed my claim then waited, and waited, and waited some more. No response from Pay Pal. I had been receiving e-mails from them with no problem. I just happened to go to my Spam filter where to my surprise I found an e-mail from them. I'd never filed a claim before and was amazed to see that they had sent an e-mail that said if I wanted to continue the claim I must notify them within X amount of time.

By the time I found the e-mail that time had expired by a few days. I tried contacting Pay Pal. Their so-called 'Help" section sent me around in circles. The best way I can describe it is that I once watched a TV show about US soldiers hunting for terrorists by talking to Iraqi citizens. The Iraqi citizens were using a tactic called "Circle Talk" to avoid the soldiers questions. Pay Pal used a combination of circle talk and corporate lawyer doublespeak to not answer my request.

I lost $300 on that deal. My next e-bay lesson came just yesterday. The power supply to my computer broke. Instead of throwing it away I sold it on e-bay. I thought I was safe because in the title I put JUNK, AUCTION IS PARTS ONLY.

The item sold. The buyer filed an item not as described complaint. He claimed my item was aftermarket and i did not say so in the description. My item sold for $7. Rather than fight over seven bucks I gave him his money back. I had also made the mistake of offering free shipping. It turned out the item cost $10 to ship. Another lesson learned.

That fellow will now take my power supply , fix it, then resell it on e-bay for $80. I hope someone scams him out of it.

Rachel 3 years ago

Ive been selling for almost 10 years on ebay. I started when I was 15 with my father account. It was AWESOME at first and now its totally turned around. I sell USED airplane parts. Its a great market on ebay because people that want deals look there. And I'm all about giving deals. But ebay TOTALLY takes advantage of the seller, the ones who pay hundreds a dollars a month to sell on there! I learned my lesson on the "used" part. Under item condition you MUST choose as "for parts, not working" If you don't and pick "used" that means it STILL WORKS. Buyers can scam you and say that it didn't work properly and they will instantly get their money back. If you put "for parts, not working" you clearly stated it didn't work and don't have to give them a refund. Bottom line is: Get your own website to sell stuff on-then put like 5 things on ebay to just generate business. Ebay's screwed up ways can't last for too long!!!!!

Asnaeb 3 years ago

Now I am getting worried that I might get scammed after reading all the posts here.

A customer bought 10 tablet PCs from me and paid immediately, as it was required by me. Total transaction amount is 650 USD.

He asked me to ship all the items separately, one item/package due to lower risk at the customs. I did that for him. I shipped the 10 packages with airmail with tracking. But I read now that signature confirmation is required over 250 USD. I do not have it since I shipped all the packages with simple China airmail with trackings.

Now if my buyer claims that he did not receive the order, PayPal will take my money away? Even if I tell them that I shipped all the 10 tablet PCs separately? Thanks!

baddyGOruddy 3 years ago

finally i found somebody posted exactly what im arguing for everytime with ebay costumers on the phone . there is lot of changes comparing to the previews years, now the buyer can threaten you and leave a negative fdk and ebay will not do anything ( same story , it doesn't feel our policy they say ), guess an item was listed under NOT WORKING and got a -fdk because it wasn't working , i got so mad cause they refuse to help, what i should do, there is one and only solution, i had to send the full refund and give the item to the buyer just to remove that - fdk and it worked ( ebay will push you to leave your principles and beg the buyer same if he is wrong, this is the last thing which happen 2 weeks ago, unfortunately you will never get back your 100% fdk cause of one crap ......

that is also that option to report a buyer its a bullshit, you will never get an answer doesn't pay for an item its better the cancel the transaction and relist the item asap then wasting time and money.

ebay customers and intolerante and improfesional especially women i dont know if they have piece of brain in their big head of donkey .......

sorry but this is the truth .

ebay sucks . feb 26 2013

ESeller 3 years ago

I agree that Ebay revolves around the buyers and sellers get the short end of the stick. I have just dealt with a buyer who purchased my item and emails me on Ebay the same day he received it saying its damaged and doesn't power on. The buyer requested that I pay for the damages by refunding him 75% of the price he paid for the item. This was an $1000 item. He claimed he had a technician look at the item (the same day he received it) and estimated the cost to repair at $750. The buyer demand that either I pay for the repairs or he would file a dispute with Ebay. I shipped the item in perfect condition therefore I didn't trust this so I refused to pay for repairs and advised the seller to return the item for a full refund plus a shipping refund. The buyer responded using angry words and accusing me of being a bad seller and not owning up to my responsibility to repair a non working item. He then proceeded to open a case. He won of course and was prompted by ebay to return the item to me for a refund of the purchase price. Upon receiving the item he was refunded. I also refunded him on the shipping charges seperately in hopes that he wouldn't leave any negative feedback. When I received the item I found that the unit was able to power on and functions, so his claim was a flat out lie, however there was exterior damage that he never mentioned, so I guess he thought he would beat the item up a bit as payback since things didn't go as planned for him. There is so much exterior damage that I can only sell it for parts. On top of that he left negative feedback, which really upset me because I have been selling for 2 years over 200 items with 100% positive feedback. And my seller rating is diminished due to a scam artist and my only fault was wanting to give him a full refund. This guy was very unkind and had no respect throughout our communication, it seemed he knew that he had the upperhand as the buyer and took full advantage of it.

lighthealer profile image

lighthealer 3 years ago from Los Angeles

I got scammed once. I sold some shoes that were brand new. The guy said he never got them. I had receipt from the post office that I sent it, and when I was at the post office the little voice inside me said get tracking. Because I didn't get tracking they gave him his money back. A week later the guy was kicked off ebay for doing it to other people, but they still let him keep the money and the shoes and treated me like I did not exist. Paypal gets the most robotic workers who do not have brains and will not listen to you and just speak in terms and conditions type language.

Sam 3 years ago

I am in the UK and had a bad experience of a LIAR BUYER! I sold my immaculate buggy with lots of extras, all sent off with tracking, first off she said the tracking info didn't work, well it did becuase I looked. Then after receiving it she put in a despute with paypal saying my buggy was not fit for purpose as it was mouldy and stinking and had covered her daughters clothes in mould and she was wet!! but she contradicted herself buy saying she could smell that the covers had been washed! I hit back and provided paypal with all my pictures of the buggy, phoned them, I even offered her to return it and I would refund her but no she wanted a £100 back off me! even paypal said it was excessive, and why would she want to keep it if it was in such a state and advised me to stand my ground as they almost always don't send the item back, well guess what she didn't return it! was just trying to get something for nothing! This woman told so many lies about my item I was so upset, I asked for proof and she would not give it to me but had apparently sent proof to paypal, another lie! In all honesty I am still angry that she has got my buggy as I loved it and would have rather given it to someone more deserving for free than let her have it!!!!!

ebay 3 years ago

we at ebay are so sorry, but we really don't care because we are worth billions of dollars from you suckers, I mean customers. Have a nice day and keep ebay strong !!! Try, or craigslist. ebay needs a massive amount of these crybabies to actually leave.

Jerry Hamilton 3 years ago

I have been selling on ebay since 1996. In the last year or so, I have had a multitude of buyers stating they have not received their purchase. I have a tracking # on every item. It doesn't matter . As you state in this article - ebay always sides with the seller and when I refuse to refund because they are lying- ebay has always taken the funds out of my account and refunded to the buyer. Ebay is now a complete waste of time and money.

Jo 3 years ago

Your "disclaimer" is bogus and transparent! Thanks for giving thieves more ideas to steal from sellers on eBay. Not so clever ploy to help them! Really?

ebay 3 years ago

Its bs when the seller clearly sends you the wrong item or the item is really not as described. Your stuck with an item you did not want (that is broken) for a partial return or forced to send back to be refunded and then paying for return shipping (basically having to pay for nothing) This seems to happen so frequently that I am done with ebay... its not bad sellers or bad buyers its simply bad people that lack in any morals.

john h 2 years ago

Just used empty box scam and got a free laptop. Thankd

Matt 2 years ago

What's the best way to get revenge on a scammer who buys something off you gets a refund and never returns the item? Lets not forget I have this persons address, what have other people done or what can you come up with? There must be some original ideas out there, I have one guy I am desperate to seek revenge on...

Steve Eye 2 years ago

I've been a seller for a long time and agree 100% that ebay blows tubes and totally rapes the sellers. Why? G-R-E-E-D. If someone with Trump money were to start a viable competition to ebay that is fair to sellers, thay would leave in droves.

Here's a couple of Ebay/Paypal scams that happened to me:

1- DO NOT sell anything internationally for more than $250 USD (including shipping). Why? There is virtually NO way to prove it was received (to satisfaction of Paypal's "policy") and a claim opened with Paypal (which ebay owns) of "item not received" will always be rewarded to the buyer. Why? Paypal REQUIRES signature confirmation as proof of item being received. A signature is the ONLY proof they will accept, and NO international shipping service except the hideously expensive USPS Global Express Guaranteed" (GXG) offers signature confirmation. Simple "delivery confirmation" is not enough.

A guy in Singapore bought something from me for about $300 and I sent it Priority Mail International from the US. The P.O. accidentally put it (along with a whole bin of other packages) on a plane to Brazil. I opened a USPS investigation, which is how I found this out, and they assured me it would (eventually) get re-shipped to Singapore. This took about six weeks. In the mean time, the buyer purchased the same item from another seller because he was in a hurry to finish his project.

During the wait, Paypal refunded him out of my account.

After my item finally arrived in Singapore, the buyer wrote to me on ebay, saying he had finally received my item but no longer needed it. He included pictures of the item and the shipping label, and said he would return it, but wanted me to front him $100 for shipping (I had shipped it to him for about $30) and said he "was not responsible if it does not arrive".

Ebay said "Sorry, Paypal is a separate company, we have nothing to do with them". (They are 'separate' companies when it benefits them or 'integrated' / 'related' /'the same' company when it benefits them.)

Paypal said "Sorry, there's no proof it was ever delivered", despite the fact that the package had delivery confirmation, and the buyer sent me an email and photos proving/admitting that he received it.

So, if you want stuff for free, just buy something over $250 from a seller in another country and open a Paypal claim saying you never got it. If there's no signature, it never arrived as far as Paypal is concerned.

Poof! Free stuff.

2- This one is tougher, but it happens. Claim "not as described" to ebay and return it when the seller won't be there. When buyers go on vacation they usually let you know in advance on their ebay site that they won't be shipping during that time. Simply buy an item a week or two before they go on vacation. File a "not as described" claim and return it when they won't be there and ship via UPS. UPS tries to deliver three times (usually on successive days) and if the person is not home, they normally hold it at their hub for three days before returning it. HOWEVER, you can flag the shipment to be returned IMMEDIATELY if the third delivery attempt is unsuccessful.

All ebay requires from the buyer is proof that they attempted to ship it back to the seller and they will refund your money, it does NOT have to be received by the seller. Even with proof of delivery that it was returned to the buyer (delivery confirmation), ebay will NOT give you your money back from the buyer's account.

Poof! more free stuff.

(3)- I've never had this experience, but I've heard that nearly all "empty box" claims are decided in the buyer's favor.


RE: Ebay's Greed

Yeah, they make so much money that ex-CEO Christie Whitman was able to piss away $400 MILLION dollars of her own money running for CA governor and losing.

Ebay is a publicly-traded company and thus has to answer to stockholders. A few years ago when their stock price was leveling out (they're not happy with their profits merely increasing year-to-year, but need them to increase at an increasing rate) they:

1- did away with the 5% fee discount to Power Sellers,

2- started "taxing" sellers' shipping costs with Final Value Fees. That is to say, the fee is applied to purchase price PLUS shipping. (e.g. If I pay USPS $10 to ship an item, ebay takes over a buck in "fees" out of my pocket on top of that.)

3- Top-Rated sellers no longer get their 20% fee discount unless they ship within ONE day, AND offer a 14-day, no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.

After all that that their profits/stock prices sure did go up. Three more splintery fenceposts up the anii of sellers.

If someone in Al-Qaida ever owes you a favor, have them fly a plane into Ebay's server farm and corporate HQ. :P

bo 2 years ago

WHAT THE HELL... To the writer-

You are not helping sellers at all by writing this post. You are only making it harder for us. You stated that you were writing this to help sellers and are in no way helping the scammers but then you say that these people can follows these guidelines that you are providing and there is NOTHING the seller can do. So how is pointing out good scams going to help this situation. You are only providing info for people googling "how to scam on ebay" or looking for ideas. If you want a resolution go to ebay with your information... not make it public. Not only did you make this public but you gave exact info and advice on how to pull each scam off. Do us all a favor and delete this post.

Wikritix 2 years ago

I'm a seller and sell quite a lot. Over the years I've just learnt to fight back. I've had buyers send messages stating they're package was empty and that their mother signed for it. I suggested they go to the police as it's clearly been tampered with and is a theft. They responded the next day and told me they went to the police as suggested who apparently "advised" them to contact Royal Mail as it was probably opened accidentally during the sorting process. I responded telling her it is complete rubbish and there was no way the package could come open during any form of sorting process other than it being physically opened, and someone must have opened it since. That was 60 days ago and still waiting on their response. I offered no exchange or refund.

I had a buyer claim 20 days after signing for an item, that only one of the two items ordered arrived. My first response stated they had signed for it 20 days prior to which their response was they were new to buying on ebay and they didn't know the items were suppose to be in the same package and that the package was from me, even though my username and website are printed all over the package... She sends another message assuring me she wasn't trying to rip me off, because she just isn't like that. I responded saying something like "no, you have over 100 feedback as a buyer, sign for an item 20 days ago, claim you're new, have an account that's 2 years old and are now claiming you only received 1". Anyway, this went back and forth fr around 25 messages, she even forgot what colour items she ordered and what she received, at different times she said she had both colours. She even went to the extreme of saying she had a mental illness and I was making her cry and shake in front of her 4 year old daughter. She said in one message "phone my daughter when she grows up and tell her why her mother's crying because she's a thief". She pulled every trick in the book but I didn't back down because I know for a fact I didn't make such a mistake and I was right. In between, she left two negative feedback, I got in touch with live support and explained the situation calmly and asked them to check the messages. The feedback was removed within a couple of hours. The argument continued throughout the evening, I won and no refund or replacement was offered.

I had a neutral feedback from November 2013, the buyer since then has only 17 feedback in total, has left 11 in return and every one but 2 of the feedback since then were all revised from negatives. An obvious pattern if you're patient enough to see it. I contacted customer services and they removed it in under 10 minutes.

A PayPal case was opened against me for unauthorised payment from Russia. I sent the tracking number along with screen shots of the address from the purchase and PayPal screen showing the correct address with "eligible for seller protection showing". I won the case because it was delivered a week before.

Another PayPal case for two unauthorised payments from Russia. The same actions and same result.

I can give you all countless examples of the many kinds of cases and attempts that have been tried on me over the years and I'll tell you this much, if you're good at selling and are honest enough and fight for your business, and I don't mean be an aggressive prick, but question things you know to be wrong, that's not you delivering items late then blaming the buyer after. Be honest, work hard and fight back. If that fails, contact CS live help, if your case is strong enough and you put it to them the right way, you'll win whether you're a buyer or seller.

I win around 90% of the cases opened against me as a seller because I know what I'm doing as a seller. You lot complain and whine because you haven't got a clue about sales and how to deal with people. You think ooo it's all so easy now, all we have to do is list, take money, spend the money before the item's been received and pack and post. Sorry guys, it's a lot more complicated than that. A lot of you think you're entitled to the funds immediately just because the item has been despatched. There are a lot of reasons why new and small sellers fail, mainly it's due to them thinking they know what they're doing when they don't.

caren nambome makokha 2 years ago

i,m a new seller on ebay and my first 3 buyers have already got my expensive items for free coming from africa is not easy and if people overseas can steal from people that leave from hand to mouth or go without food for days, i wonder what world we live in i,m so dissapointed but have to keep on luckily, i found a sponser

Knightofyourlife 24 months ago

a bad buyer Bid on and won four different Auctions. But he did not bid in a normal pattern. He bid and won an item but instead of paying he bid on a second item. when he won that item he ignored the invoice and bid on a third Item after he won that I sent him a mail asking politely when will he pay.

He responded by saying He wants to bid on another Item. After winning a fourth,

I decided that I did not trust this guy and suspected he would pretend that they did not arrive, so I sent the items as tracked and signed out of my own pocket and that was a bit expensive because he lives in Italy and I live in the UK..

shortly after I sent his four items to him. He made a fraudulent claims through paypal, I almost missed it because not only did I only had 10 days to dispute it from the date of his fraudulent claims but it also looks like he made them before the items could of even arrived, I do believe he did make the claim before It arrived because I told him I was sending them tracked to him in the invoice.

He is deliberately pretending that the identity codes of the items are a quantities. This was dealt with through paypal very quickly.

I phoned paypal and discussed the problem with them directly. His Claims where discontinued because of his Obvious fraud. The Items are water slide decal sheets. Each item has its code clearly stamped on the bottom. Biohazard Warning sighs 2 has the code BIOWF2 on the bottom of the sheet. Radioactive Warning Sighs 2 has the code RASWF2 on the bottom of the sheet. Radioactive Warning Sighs 3 has the code RASWF3 on the bottom of the sheet and Biohazard Warning sighs 3 has the code BIOWF3 on the bottom of the sheet. The photograph only shows the one item that was for sale in the bid.

The Auctions were also clear in the text that it was for one item by all references to the said item being in the singular and never in the plural. That all happened during September 2014.

And that was that as I thought. Months passed and then he left negative feedback repeating the same lies he used in paypal. I am now expecting him to carry on trying to commit petty and Obvious fraud in ebay. In his fraudulent feedback he is ignoring all the facts and focusing on one loop hole that he thinks he has found.

The Items were listed as for example Biohazard warning signs 3 White Film water slide decals 15mm- 20mm- 28mm.

He keeps on saying 3 white film water slide decal sheets and ignoring everything else in the auctions. Everyone else that has bought them new exactly what anyone would know if they went to the auction. If I do not number them how would anyone know which of the three they were buying. I have since changed the listing to code3 and not just 3. but the next lot that I have made up will be coded as a,b and c not 1,2 and 3.

I have done my best to defend myself in feedback buy giving positive feedback but leaving in the text that it is not positive feedback this guy is a fraudster, I may have gone quite savage at him, but I am so frustrated with someone who is continuing to lie out the top of their hat against all common sense. he ignores any attempt to talk to him because he knows that his lies are so easily knocked down, so instead he just seem to try to influence the dictions of others by limiting how much of the auction they see or is ever part of the conversation. He has now made his feedback privet, because my feedback tells the truth of this bleeding scamer.

My next step will be to telephone ebay about this directly.

I do not like how this has made me feel. I feel that this guy is trying to bully me in to giving him money and items for free.

So that you can all proyect your selves from this nasty Italian fraudster

His ebay account is Normannorton

save "your selves" a headache and add him to your banned lists.

Mr x 20 months ago

If a buyers was to do this to me i would get them locked up for fraud by simply using a different users bank details and purchase a whole load of goods and deliver staight to this buyer they will beleive they have been very lucky receiving so much stuff for free when a few months down the line a police officer will knock on there door witg a arest warrant

Revenge is much better and sweeter

Mr x 20 months ago

Also rather than buying them goods with stolen credit/debit details

I would use a sevice that would link direct to them.

Witch scammer out there would turn down a few free all paid for takeway local to them

This would provide a witness of the delivery from the take away shop stating the address and who received the so called free food and then to also send a few items on top if this, they wouldn't have a case to fight back

boscus 19 months ago

As a seller, I hate Ebay and their policies. So unfair!!!! I WILL get even with a jackass buyer I had. I have his email, his address, his telephone. I will get even and for others who he has cheated as well. He will pay dearly!

Private 12 months ago

I get so much free stuff ordering online. The best way to do it is to order a bunch of items that will be shipped together. When the box arrives, pretend you didn't get the most expensive items. Instant refund. If you order from a store (Macy's etc) you can then return the cheap items to the store if you'd like (so order stuff you don't want) and then the bigger items were free. I've used the "I didn't get it" trick probably 50-60 times. Has always worked. The "it was damaged" trick works well too. Nobody wants their damaged crap back. If they refuse to offer a refund just threaten them with a bad review and they'll give you a refund.

I've also sold stuff online that I didn't have. Probably close to $10K worth of items. Rather easy. Post an item and when it sells, you save the shipping label as a JPEG and then open it in Photoshop (or any editor) and then erase and edit part of the address. The package will be delivered somewhere but not to the buyer. They see it's been delivered and claim it wasn't received. The website refunds them and you get to keep the money too. Other times I've just sent and empty box or the wrong item on purpose.

I love free stuff.

ebay is the mafia 12 months ago

I sold two bicycle handlebars. The customer got the bars and then opened a return case saying the bars were dented. I messaged him "no problem just send me a couple pictures of the damage and I will refund you in full". No response from the buyer. I message him again and no response. I accept the return because the deadline was up. I tell ebay that I am willing to refund the customer in full if he just provides me with a couple pictures to prove the damage that he is claiming. Ebay puts my case on hold twice saying they are waiting for him to provide pictures. Then I receive an email saying they have decided in his favor and refunded him the payment in full from my paypal account. I have a defect transaction on my DSR. So, basically just because he says its damaged then I have to refund him based only on his word. Is it unfair to ask the customer to provide a picture of the damage that he is claiming before I issue a refund? Not very fair if you ask me. The bars were brand new in perfect condition and wrapped in cardboard. They are metal handlebars. Not easy to dent. Pretty much the scammer is in a no lose situation. Either he returns them to me which he didn't even bother to reply to me or ebay and gets a full refund. Or he still gets a full refund and keeps the bars. And this is not the first time. I've been scammed in similar ways before with the buyer winning everytime. I just can't be bothered to go into details because its not even worth my effort. Just be warned ebay looks out for the buyer only.

zinda 7 months ago

The previous poster is correct, the buyer just says somethings wrong or missing and never replies to any requests you make, since you will need to know what's missing or if they say they got the wrong item, you will need to know what they actually did receive since you know what you have shipped. If there was a mix up in labels of something them you will have another buyer who is getting that other package, but in my case the item was very specific in size and shape. Slot car track in a large slim box is not going to easily mixed up. The buyer 1st claims it's all damaged and describes what they got as slot car track. I only had 1 sale for slot car track so I know they did get the right order.

But I need to know exactly what's damaged so I can start an insurance claim with the shipper, the buyer acted childish and kept saying send me my return label or I;ll open a dispute case, I only needed to know what was damaged and needed them to hang onto the contents in case it was needed for inspection. They opened a case for incorrect item and said I shipped the wrong item and they wrote a message saying that they would not be reading any more of my messages so don't bother sending them just send me the return label, and childishly, said that I was a scammer and they had reported me to their bank and whatever.

Now after 5 years of selling and over 3000 sales I know when a seller is trying to pull something so I contacted ebay and reported them. I kept sending messages asking for pictures and a description of what they did receive so I knew what to do. I did this daily and after the case was nearing it's end date I called ebnay to see what I should do.

Rep said that I did everything perfectly and I needed to ask for pictures one more time and if they don't reply in 2 days he saw no reason for me to loose the case and said I should then ask ebay to step in and help, He even said that he was going to send them a request to provide pictures of what they received also, I even asked him to repeat that line to me again. I never heard of this before. He then acknowledged that he was going to request proof from ebay to try to get a response since they were ignoring my messages.

2 days later I escalated the case and ebay said it would have an answer in 48 hours, 5 days passed without any acknowledgment of my request, then that same day I got a message from ebay saying that the buyer had escalated the case and they decided in their favor!?!

I called to appeal and they told me they would not accept my appeal? WTF? They also were charging me for the return shipping label that was at an inflated cost on top of it all, plus a defect and they moved me to below standard rating which means a hold on my pay pal funds and my listings will never show in any searches.

That's not the worst of it the item sold for $89 the package weighed 7 lbs and shipping was $20 so I'm out $122 and I get the box back with only a few broken parts that weren't even mine, they were from another set, the box weighed 3Lbs 5oz, the box weighed 1 Lb so there was 3Lbs 11oz of items missing, Plus what was there was junk and not even part of what was sent. I called ebay to report them and guess what? They already refunded them for the order?!

I asked how they can condone this activity and informed them they are now aiding and abetting to commit fraud, I asked how they could possibly think that have any right to pass judgment on anything that happens between buyers and sellers when they have never seen the items that were shipped and the items that were returned? they said they can only take the buyers statements, although I've been selling for 5 years and I had 4 other returns in that same week due to shippng damages on very large items, and I was taking care of each one (I lost several hundred dollars) but yet my word is no good compared to a lying uncooperative buyer who has made it clear they were lying fro the start. They said well there's no proof, Yes there is the box hasa weight showing it was only 3Lbs 5oz and mine weighed 7Lbs. That weight is recorded by USPS so they know what the weight of their trucks and planes are hauling. Plus it's right on the labels, they weren't smart enough to make it weigh properly but ebay still would not listen. I let them know that when I take this to court ebay will be a defendant as to the aiding and abetting to commit fraud and they will be held responsible for their actions.

This is not the only issue I've had , there are at least 4 others in the recent past that I will be bringing charges up against eBay. I plan to go to small claims to start then see if there are any criminal charges that can be brought up. If that fails the next best thing to do is take a vacation near the buyers home and go collect in person with 2 or 3 friends in a reclamation project that involves repossessing what's rightfully mine. I'm done with eBay there's other places to sell.

Don't even think it won't happen to you if you sell on ebay be prepared to give your stuff away and to pay to have it shipped to the assholes who will be getting it based on a simple click of 1 button.

James 2 months ago

I have been banned by PayPal due to several disputes against me by fraudulent buyers. eBay done absolutely nothing to help fight the fraud that is going on in their website. They pretty much rigged it to where buyers can cry wolf and they will get heard.

I had to resort to using stealth accounts from Auction Essistance in order to continue selling. It is still difficult as fraud is rampant on their site.

Carlos 2 months ago

Ebay has become a breeding place for scammers.

I stop selling on ebay recently after ebay decided a dispute in favor of the buyers on three different cases I open. The issue I had with three buyers are very clear, I have done everything by the book but the sad part or you might call it funny part is that I was told it's okay sometimes to lose because it is business.

I was top rated seller with 5,000 feedbacks, I was paying ebay an average $800+ every month plus additional fees for paypal. I decided to hit the break after I found of a lot of seller are becoming victims of ebay policy which prompts & reward scammers.

Ebay has become a breeding plat form for scammers. I don't advice for anyone to sell on ebay.

Michael Scott 2 months ago

I haven't had any disasters on eBay yet, but I get the feeling my time is coming. If/when it does, however, I have solutions.

Personally, my advice to many of the sellers above, like Sam "in the UK" would be to advise their buyers (via eBay messaging.....OR by calling them direct, after Googling the shit out of them to find the eBay-forbidden phone number ) that you "know where they live" (which you DO, aka their ship-to address......and that you're "coming up this weekend to WORK THINGS OUT".

These people/scumbags being as "cunning" as they are, should be able to figure out the hidden meaning in your phrase.

Make a vacation out of it......then go beat the shit out of these losers......or, if you're not into corporal punishment, just beat down their front door and ask them to come outside and discuss their recent purchase of your goods via eBay transaction.

I'm from Canada, but I'm VERY surprised that several of my "take-the-bull-by-the-horns" neighbours in the USA haven't yet figured out how to put the fear of God into fraudulent buyers. What we need is a few good rage episodes......well publicized as to their get buyers back into line.

I'm not normally one to incite violence....but, if like Carlos, who seemed to be making a decent living with online commerce, I had my livelihood threatened by some lower-than-a-snake customers......I'd start a service designed to "convince" buyers not to f*** with sellers.....and I'd promote the business as the "Friendly but forceful" local solution to scumbag buyers.

How about it, all you Kickstarters out there? Wanna go sharesies on an eBay transaction enforcement agency???

mtg-judge 2 months ago

A scam happened to me. I won 3 magic cards from the same seller. I asked for a combined invoice. They didn't give me one and were charging me $8 to ship 3 ships in a PWE. I paid anyway. I wanted the cards.

The seller then cancelled my order and I can't seem to leave them bad feedback at all. What a waste of my time.

not 2 months ago

why the sellers who have been scammed don't do anything with the police? Like report the fraud to the police?

fred 8 weeks ago

I have never really had a bad experience with eBay and I buy almost everything from there. It is the first place I look. I have bought car parts, mobile phones, clothing (always a bit dodgy), xbox games, and of course electronics and computer items.

Even when I receive something that wasn't quite right - like clothes, and I once bought an SSD that had incorrect pictures for the description, but I was happy anyway because of the price I got it for, I am usually willing to overlook.

But the biggest problem I have, and it is *very* rare, is when something never arrives. I've only had it happen twice in the 12 years I've been buying through eBay.

eBay 8 weeks ago

Ebay scammers are the worst. Literal scum.

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David 7 weeks ago

Just thought Id write and say that I've been a seller on Ebay for over 10 years with about 16,000 items sold. I have only been scammed a couple of times with inexpensive items such as a guy claiming that his $50 Steuben glass bowl was broken during shipment but claimed that the post office does not allow broken glass to be shipped back and convinced Ebay of that which made it so he was able to keep the bowl and get his money back.

So yes it is scary that it is so easy to scam as a buyer but what I have found is 99.9% of people on Ebay are honest people and it really isnt as bad as these websites make it sound. If going by my statistics, your odds of getting scammed is around 1 in 8000! Not bad in my book. Either way just be careful and know that 99.9% of your transactions will go smoothly and yes just like having a physical store, you must take into account that there will be some loss from theft. But when it happens, dont let it get you down and just keep moving forward and take it as it is part of the business.

Ebay Seller 6 weeks ago

I was robbed by a man called Fari Pejman on ebay, Beware potential scammer and robber.

FoundingFathersGhost 6 weeks ago

In the poll, 13% of the respondants are scammers. That speaks volumes.

Seller 6 weeks ago

I'm tired of getting ripped by scamming buyers that have destroyed my seller account. If you can't beat them join them I guess; its what eBay would want.

No way 4 weeks ago

I thought about becoming a seller on eBay, but now I decided not to become a seller on eBay.

dee 3 weeks ago

even w/tracking # & signature , the seller will almost always get screwed in a " supposed " INR case.

Anponymous 2 weeks ago

OMG, that's NOT even true! The buyer DOES have to provide proof that the seller erred. I know this for a fact because I'm a seller and I've won ALL of my cases!!

Ted 10 days ago

I have been a seller on eBay for many years and never have been scammed by a buyer...ever! To be a good seller on eBay all you have to do is describe accurately and pack well....that's it! However, as a buyer on eBay am scammed about 50% of the time. Any item over 15 lbs. arrived joke. Buyers just don't know or care enough to know how to pack well. True, the carrier system is careless with packages but buyers should be aware of this and pack accordingly. Also, sellers know or should know what they are selling. Some make honest mistakes but more often I think sellers out and out lie about what they are selling. Like I said at the top of this...all my buyers were happy to get what I sold them because I was honest and careful about what I sold and how I packed.

Jetling 9 days ago

The last two sellers above defending ebay are delusional. I have been a member and seller since Feb of 99. I got the ole switch a roo this week. I sold my daughter's iPad 2 in perfect condition. The buyer emails and tells me that it is locked tied to an Itunes account. Told me they needed my iTunes account number and password (Feeling the chills like I did?). I told them I could not provide that as they could access my iTunes account. I had reset the iPad and checked it and it was ready for a new user. I paid to send it back thinking maybe something odd happened and gave them the benefit of the doubt. Received it back and it is locked with an apple id that absolutely isn't ours which means it isn't the same iPad we shipped and the earbuds that were returned were a different model as well. CLEAR FRAUD. I immediately called ebay and told them I had a case of fraud and was not going to refund the item. Well guess what. After spending 2 hours on the phone and talking to no less than 6 ebay associates they are going to absolutely refund the buyer. 2-3 of the associates agreed after seeing all the emails and evidence that they are sure it is fraud. BUT they view a transaction like this as a cost of doing business on Ebay. They acknowledge that there is fraud and you just have to take that into account when you do business on ebay. WHAT? Here is where they have potential hot water and I can't see congress or attorney generals around the country not standing up for this. They are a agent to the the fraud and are complicit. I have notified them of a clear case of fraud that my 3100 100% feedback gives me a sterling reputation. They have employees that agree it is fraud. I have the persons money who has my item and is perpetrating the fraud. Ebay is refunding money on transactions where a substantial percentage are fraudulent and they are the catalyst in completing the fraud. How is that legal? An Attorney General of some state must start litigation to stop the THOUSANDS of fraudulent transactions that happen every year that Ebay knows take place. How can they allow criminal activity take place and stand on one side or the other? I am blessed to make a very good living. I paid my daughter the $102 she was scammed out of. I am closing my top rated seller account. I will never sell on ebay again. Lastly, I am putting together a packet of my experience and email trail with the examples of all the fraud going on with ebay being complicit and sending to every attorney general in the US every three months for at least a year. My congressmen as well. If enough of the folks out there do it there will be change. If you have an interest to join me post below and we can try to connect.

Ebayers nightmare 7 days ago

Lol easy solution. As seller

lol 6 days ago

When the scammers get me on ebay I add their details to my little black book. I patiently wait for them to list an item and purchase to diffrent address I have. When the packet arrives I take care to weight it before opening, then I proceed to take my free goods out and open an item not a described case. Then make my way to the toilet and leave a little mr hankie inside sometimes it takes a few sessions to get the weight right (the neigbours dog helps sometimes). Then its just a matter of returning and getting your refund :) Scammer -1 seller +2 Happy days :))

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