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How Buyers Scam Sellers on eBay (A Decade of Scams)

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Many online retailers, like eBay, boast money back guarantees, letting consumers know that if they’re not happy for any reason they’ll get their money back no problem, but the way eBay handles some of these claims is extremely unfair to sellers.

Many online retailers, like eBay, boast money back guarantees, letting consumers know that if they’re not happy for any reason they’ll get their money back no problem, but the way eBay handles some of these claims is extremely unfair to sellers.

Online Shopping Safety

These days online safety is a huge concern. Fortunately for consumers, the majority of online purchases are very safe oftentimes even guaranteed, especially when purchasing from a big name like eBay. Many online retailers, like eBay, boast money back guarantees, letting consumers know that if they’re not happy for any reason they’ll get their money back no problem, but the way eBay handles some of these claims is extremely unfair to sellers.

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 much bad feedback 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: the item is not as described, the 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!

There's Nothing You Can Do About Negative Feedback

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.

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
  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?

2020 Update

I originally wrote this article purely out of frustration, at the time I was relying on eBay as a full time income and the fact that someone could take advantage of me and steal from me and eBay couldn’t seem to care less was astonishing. I had hoped that maybe one day things would change, the system would get better, but over this long period of time I’ve seen that not much has changed. Even today, I am still receiving responses from people who have been scammed on eBay.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


EbayNotForSeller on July 22, 2020:

eBay have been unfair to sellers. I was scammed by a buyer claiming the brand new item bought was not working and defective. eBay forced me to accept the return stating that eBay will assist me in appealing this case. I had contested it with proofs that the item was brand new and tested it upon receipt that it was working properly. eBay kept stating to raise an issue with the buyer's claim but there was no such way to do it. To add insult to injury, while contesting the fraudulent claim, eBay took funds from my account and refunded the buyer as they claimed that I never raised an issue with claim and in the future needed to do so! eBay never looked at the facts of the case or totally ignored them at the expense of the seller. What a scam! I learned my lesson well and in the process of selling to other platforms.

Alex Parnykoza on July 07, 2020:

Good article , thank you, For all you sellers I can offer this advice.

I am in Europe so don't know if it will be applicable to the US, but this is what I do. I got banned from PayPal , the greatest scammers in history, for "abusing their buyer protection " All I did was to use it when i was unlucky with my purchases. Opened different pay pal accounts but the wankers tracked me down and closed them down too. Now I sell on ebay too, so needed pay pal listed as a payment method if i wanted my items to appear in search results. So this is what I did: i created a new email address and used it on ebay as my paypal address for payment, with NO paypal account linked to it. Brilliant! Now my items appear in search results and when something sells, I inform the buyer (who at this stage tried to pay by paypal) that i have a problem with my paypal account at the moment and if they would mind paying by bank transfer. Most genuine buyers have no problem with that, seeing my 100% feedback. This has two benefits: potential scammers back away as paypal money back grab is out of question and NO fees for paypal wankers, so win-win in my book.

Hope this is helpful.

Paypal is an abomination of a company , that should be shut down as soon as possible.

trustedebayseller on May 05, 2020:

As soon as anyone buys anything from me on ebay and they have paid, I check their feedback ratings as a buyer, seller and feedback left for others. I never ever sell to anyone with no feedback and who just joined ebay. If they have any negative feedback, I refund their money, put them on my blocked bidders list and then relist my item and sell it to the first person that is a trusted buyer. I have been doing this for over 20 years and it works perfectly as I never ever have a problem. When you sell anything that you don't want to take a loss on always pay extra to have the item signed upon delivery with an adult signature and pay for insurance. I know that adds up but at least you are doing your best to keep your money and not let a scammer get the best of you! Hope this helps all of you!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on April 22, 2020:

Thanks for these warnings. I have mostly bought but also sold on eBay. So far, I've not had any problems with anybody and hopefully that will continue.

Robert L Feldman on April 10, 2020:

I agree with your opinions. Been scammed by an idiot buyer who bought a cellphone listed as broken and return it. I, the seller lost money as I had to pay shipping.

Another time I shipped an item and they said it broke. I am convinced it could not have as I used about 100 feet of bubble wrap, but she sent photos. How can I prove that this is not what I sent and that she had a broken piece already.

Yes, they can scam and YES eBay support SUCKS. I am looking at Etsy, they CANNOT be worse than eBay.

Johnny on December 11, 2019:

Ebays new scam is surprise extra charges for shipping after the item is sold and delivered ebay will bill tge seller for the adjustment in shipping cost eventhough ebay calculated the shipping in the first place

Nichols on September 12, 2019:

I hate it when I pay for a 100 dollars or more for an item and the shipper sends my package the cheapest way possible. It's utter bullshit! If I'm paying that much for an item the shipper needs to send it first class or priority. PERIOD!!!!!

Jane on June 24, 2019:

I sold a Prada dress to a woman. She was in a hurry to get the dress. I suspected that she wanted to wear it to a party/event on the weekend. On Monday morning, she emailed that the Prada dress was a fake. I tried to tell her that it’s real. Then, eBay emailed me and said that the buyer had reported a fake item. I read through all the polices, etc.. looked like I must give a refund. Even if I produce an original receipt, eBay has no way of knowing this is the dress I bought from the Prada store. My husband was so upset, he wanted to fight all the way! I convinced him to let it go and pray that we will receive the dress back in the excellent condition as when we sent to her....

Jj on May 05, 2019:

My wife sold a new pair of panties on eBay …. the buyer claimed that they were fraudulent(knockoffs) the buyer opened a case and of course one. It’s So obviously anti seller I don’t understand why sellers would want to continue working on eBay at all ....

Theodore Parsons on May 02, 2019:

I always check ratings on people I buy from while giving weight to responses from sellers on bad reviews. As a seller I am reluctant to sell to buyers with no ratings.

Scammer on February 24, 2019:

Just did a eBay scam. So easy

Rick on January 09, 2019:

Well I got scammed then I had to do a little detective work. Then I had to barrow a car and drive five hours. Then I located the scammer. He will never be scamming anyone again. Then I had to wipe and ditch the car and take a greyhound bus home. Yeah it was worth it I do get angry and I get even. Scammer got what he deserved. Never even saw it coming. Cried and pleaded like a punk. Sorry too late and too bad scammer should have thought of that before he scammed me out of $2500.00 Dollars

anonymous on December 24, 2018:

Interesting reading all these comments. I find it interesting how all these sellers are getting ripped off. And also some buyers by sellers. As long as we deal with people, someone will get shafted somewhere along the line. It is my belief that there originally must have been a considerable amount of sellers doing shoddy business that caused Ebay to turn the tide towards the buyer. No buyers no Ebay. I noticed a comment about bad sellers ruining Ebay and I would tend to agree. Unfortunately this affects all the good sellers, and I believe most are good sellers. To bad a few bad apples can ruin the whole barrel.

Frank James on August 13, 2018:

eBay and Paypal charges put me off selling and seek to sell through other channels. eBay don’t do enough about buyers that don’t pay and don’t even bother to respond. The most that eBay will do is credit the sellers fee after so many weeks of opening a case. Oh, they might put a mark against the buyer - oh wow! What about the other genuine bidders that missed out? What about the fact that I have to sit on an item that could have been sold many times over? What about the stigma a suspicion aroused when the item is relisted not in-noticed by previous bidders? eBay needs to do least i know the winning bidders user name so maybe I’ll just bid, win and not pay for their stuff. Not right but makes you feel angry.

James Erickson on August 13, 2018:

this is not right I am a buyer on e-bay I make at least 5-6 purchases every month and this is just wrong and needs to be changed immediately the sellers should be protected just as the buyers are I can honestly say that I have been buying on e-bay for over 10 years and only just recently is the first and only problem I have ever had I bought a battery charger with some AA/AAA batteries included but never received the item I did receive a full refund but I really just wanted what I bought the weird thing was that the seller did not include tracking and had a lame excuse why they said that tracking is not included on items under $20.00 which I know for a fact is not true so it seemed strange anyway like I say this is the only problem I have ever had so thank you to all the great sellers on ebay keep up the great work you are greatly appreciated thanks sincerely James Erickson

The newest scam on July 07, 2018:

The newest “scam” isn’t so much of a scam as it is a colossal waste of the sellers time. Say I am selling an item for $200 and another seller is selling the same item for $400. They can make a bid on my item and then never pay for it. So for the two weeks that you’re going through the process of filing the unpaid item claim, anyone searching for that item is going to see only theirs, therefore they are much more likely to sell the item for twice as much is you were selling it for.

I have had so many buyers not pay lately I am about to swear off eBay for good.

robert on June 30, 2018:

Honestly. What is the point if you are regular business seller to scam somebody from time to time? There is no point at all!! I don't understand why ebay protect buyers who are scammers and punish regular sellers who pay them bills! This is ridiculous.

LMAO on June 26, 2018:

Tom, you are either a kid or naive as hell. Cops aren't equipped to deal with these scams and won't do more than offer sympathy and a case number. And that legal battle sure will be expensive, but for you, not the scammer who has already changed his identity.

Elizabeth on June 17, 2018:

I’ve decided to stop selling because the ridiculous fees ebays charges on top of the PayPal fees. I barely make a few dollars. Screw that! I got a whole $20 dollars taken from me in a month.

Tom on June 09, 2018:

"There is nothing you can do"

Of course there is. If someone has committed a fraud that is a crime, and a court will consider all the evidence and come to a fair conclusion. They will not automatically side with the buyer as eBay and PayPal do.

If anyone tries to scam me they will find themselves embroiled in an expensive legal case. They'd be better advised to be honest about it.

It is like someone gets deliberately kicked or punched on a football field. The game's governing body might dish out a short ban. But in reality it is assault, and players should remember that the law of the land does not stop at the touchline.

MRSP1969 on May 25, 2018:

i think i have been scammed i sold a phone on ebay buyer sent message after paying to say make sure i get a receipt in case it gos missing ive had over 500 transactions nothing ever gone missing sent recorded 1st class 4 days later they said not arrived tracking never updated to delivered so i thought lost one of his messages he said his postman does not get signature just puts threw the door as he knows him buyer opens dispute i cant prove its been delivered im screwed 180.00 down showed ebay the messages he was still refunded absolute wankers im done with ebay,,,,

Aud on March 12, 2018:

Another victim in this scam here. Claiming item isn't authentic and then return a different item to me with the original tags and sales tags cut off and took off all the inseams of the fake item.

MMK06 on March 03, 2018:

I had someone try to scam me and they got nowhere. I Barraged Ebay with calls and didn't take it lying down.

I feel it is safer to sell on Instagram and make the buyer acknowledge and sign a sales agreement.

Cashew on March 02, 2018:

But nowadays, seller also can be a scammer too. Recently, I bought a MacBook online. The seller said that he always get scamm d by PayPal so he didn’t want to use PayPal and ask me to do direct transfer. Then the seller sent a broken and terribly scratched MacBook to me, although in the listing, it clearly stated as a new product. Then I contacted the seller and the seller apologized, saying that he sent wrong item to me as he had both transaction at the same time, one for used, one for new. Ok then. I agreed to return the item to him and ask for his addresses. He didn’t respond. I keep sending messages to him but he still didn’t respond at all. Then I contacted eBay whether can I open a claim on eBay. However, eBay said that because I am from international, they cannot help and my country doesnt support money back guarantee. No choice, I FILE A DISPUTE with the Credit Card Company(Bank). I thought it’s done as the Bank give me a “Credit Advise” of the price of the MacBook I bought. However, after 4 months, I received a phone call from bank, saying that the seller is complaining that I didn’t return the item, so he reject the refund. I told the bank that I did ask him to provide the addresses so I can return the item. The bank told me that they can continue the case if I can show the messages, mentioned I asked for the addresses but he didn’t respond. I went back and search through eBay. Obviously none because eBay will not save the messages that are a few months before. Then the bank said that they have no choice and have to debit the “credit” away from my account. After that, I contacted the seller again, of course, he didn’t respond. I am so annoyed and be scammed by the seller!!

Jose Lopez on March 01, 2018:

Hello I have been selling on ebay for 2 years. I get frustrated sometimes . E bay ad Pal pay only protect buyers. At the end of the day we lost our money, our product, we pay for shipping and sometimes they over charges us for anything. I sold an item for $10 , buyer said he did not approve transaction so credit card company and paypal took almost $100 dollars from my paypal account . I sold a video camera for $450 dollars, buyer paid through paypal . I shipped the item and 2 days later money were not there. I call to paypal and they said buyer paid with a check or something. guess what!!! I lost my money and my video camera.

Adria Val on February 19, 2018:

Hello everyone, I Want to share something here with you all

Lets say a Buyer buys a phone from you..'' You know more than well that the phone you are selling works in perfect condition..'' And it's new or used but it works fine nothing is wrong with it..'' Buyer buys the phone from you..'' Then when they receive the phone they say it doesn't work and it's defective..'' They open a case on you after they turned around to sell that same phone for more money''.. And they send you back a non working defective phone..'' They will get away with this scam as well..'' So my Advise Is when you sell your phone to someone else make sure to write down the imei for that phone..'' to make sure that is the same phone you sold to them once you get it back..'' They are out there to over smart sellers that don't know any better..'' Don't let them get away with this scam as well..'' And if you are selling anything that is electronic make sure you grab the serial number before selling it so they don't get away with these kind of Scams.. I hope this helps.

eBay Buyer And Seller. on February 19, 2018:

Beware of buyers out there''.. when you sell something on eBay you have to be aware of their profiles when they receive an item that is in proper working condition..'' They can turn around and sell it for more and then open a case on you with a false statement that the item you sold them is defective and non working.. Please advise about this SCAM going.

Ebay seller on February 16, 2018:

There is another scam, when you are selling appliance parts. The buyer buys, say a refrigerator fan motor. He claims the part doesn't work and, when you get it back, you discover that he has switched his defective one with yours.

I get around this by painting a design--just a few brush strokes with nail polish, when I list it. The picture with the design on it is one of the pictures on the ebay listing. Or you can paint the design on it right before you send it. Write him (on ebay's mail system) and say thanks for buying it..and attach the picture. That way, ebay has an ironclad copy of what you sent. There is no way they are going to be able to EXACTLY duplicate your abstract drawing (particularly if you blot it, so the various parts of the picture show differences in intensity of color) and it may well keep somebody from returning it. It worked for me--one scammer claimed he was returning something and then belatedly realized he couldn't pull it off.

Plummet on January 03, 2018:

I'm an ebay buyer. You say it's "safe" for buyers? I bought 2 times. Both I got scammed. The first time was a few years later where they sent me a toy motor instead of a fitness tracker and made sure delivery took more than 30 days. I didn't know at that time that I won't be able to open a dispute later, so I just lost.

The second time is happening right now. The seller disappeared right after receiving my money, and appeared only in the last day of the dispute for item not received. In that dispute I explicitly claimed that ebay support assured me that the seller broke his part of binding contract to ship the item in time, and that I will only accept the money back and won't accept a 28 days delayed shipment. What did seller do? He ignored that message completely and just entered some tracking number, claiming that "oops, it's all done, no refund now" at the very last day of dispute. When I asked him why he did that and ignored my message, he said that he was "in shock" for me leaving a negative feedback (he hasn't been neither communicating nor shipping for 28 days, yeah, very surprising!) and could only think about dispatching the item asap, lol. Should I say that the tracking number status is still "preliminarily registered"? The seller has also declined any policies about shipping times (basically denying the info provided by ebay support) and said that he "can't accept a refund now" since he "shipped" the item, ofc.

This has never happened to me on aliexpress, gearbest or any other platform. Ebay is such a safe place for buyer indeed! 2 scams out of 2 purchases.

pami sue on December 31, 2017:

wish there was a Facebook group where we could share bad buyers & sellers Ebay names. or at least bad experiences!

Htk on December 14, 2017:

This is nonsense I have won every claim against buyers thus far have not given one refund.

Brandon on December 06, 2017:

I know this is a out there option BUT if you have legitimate proof that you were scammed and ebay went along with that scam 1 I would file a FTC complaint and BBB against ebay and 2 I would find a lawyer who would work probono aka you don't win they don't win and file a federal lawsuit against ebay for supporting illegal actions.

It seems far fetched BUT it would most definitely make EBay start rethinking their methods especially if you win the case which if you have legitimate proof of the scam you will most likely win and get your money and then some from them they can only afford so many payouts through lawsuits before either 1 they rethink everything or 2 go out of business.

Also on top of filing the complaints with FTC and BBB also contact the State Attorneys Office where Ebay HQ is located and file complaints with them they will most likely open up a class action case and seek out more buyers who have been scammed where ebay neglected the evidence and allowed it.

I did this with a company that offered facial/acne care products and they ended up paying me 3k on top of the over draft fees they caused me to have I sent the products back same day i got them with the codes they gave me and they attempted to say they never received them and then tried to say they received the product return AFTER the specific deadline they gave me which was false because of the tracking.

I hope this helps all of you sellers out there it can and will work just bond together and do this collaborate together via private communications get all the proof together mass file the complaints/Attorney General Calls and you will definitely ring their bells and wake them up int he worst way possible lost revenue just like they caused you!

Donna on November 30, 2017:

EBAY will have to close if they keep this up I am being followed threatened and getting scared to sell on their site You say there is no more fraud think again more fraud than ever no help from the company they give you the running around sad company it has become I use to enjoy ebay I no longer do always nervous for every item I find it sad because I was trying to sell for medical treatment to help me heal abroad hopefully a new company more fair will be created that will also protect the seller ....

Fran on November 30, 2017:

I have just had a problem with some on eBay they are just a bunch of robbing twats

If anyone scams me again I am going to turn up at their door

eBay do not give a shite about sellers i have just asked a buyer to meat up with me but they just went quite .

I was going to go onto gumtree but ebay Owens that site

I think we need to just all pull of ebay and let the site go under eBay would soon change the rules

Kev on November 06, 2017:

I will never sell on ebay again, ever, unless i get buyer to agree to cash sale. may as well make add saying free items for sale! same with paypal purchases in the wider world complete con aritist facilitators

JamesDoat on October 07, 2017:

I've stopped selling completely on eBay. No more. The last five auctions I ran, I ended up getting returns on three. Two of which eBay refunded the money before I could even respond, and these were not small ticket items. A Mitsubishi projector that sold $200+ dollars, eBay let them keep it, and the money, because it didn't have a bulb. it was listed as not having a bulb. It was listed that way. There is seriously a lack of competent people there. If someone had simply read the listing it would have been clear as day that it was sold without a bulb, CLEARLY listed as such. Insanity, and eBay will continue to lose sellers. When all they have left are cheap Chinese products that no one wants to buy, what will they do then? File for bankruptcy?

Secondtime on October 06, 2017:

Great article and comments. I have been an Ebay buyer for years. Never got scammed. Satisfied with all my purchases. I recently started selling some of my collectibles on EBay literally got scammed on my second selling transaction. It was an international transaction and I am in the US. I'm sticking to US only sales now, but positive I will encounter the same problems here. I am now totally hesitant to continue selling on EBay. Scammed on my second transaction. Scarred to continue shipping free items to thieves. Thank you phil_wizard from the United Kingdom. You are a real piece of work.

Anonimuous Avenger on September 26, 2017:

@seller: Yes, but the cyber crooks have also found a way around that so you cannot attempt to retaliate at them through eBay. See, there is a 90 day time limit to report a buyer through eBay, but PayPal has a 180 day time limit for the buyer to attempt his/her scam. So all they have to do is wait for the 90 day eBay period to complain about a buyer to expire, and then they drop you the "bomb" through PayPal, which is almost guaranteed you will lose (for the reasons very aptly explained by the article's author.) So you are literally screwed and cannot even attempt any kind of retaliation against the scammer. There is no other way to describe these people who run eBay and PayPal than BASTARDS. They deserve every lawsuit coming their way, and hopefully to go bankrupt one day. Their sites have become a safe haven for cyber crooks.

Nancy Johnson on August 30, 2017:

I got scammed by 3 buyers on eBay due to them taking advantage of eBay's buyer guarantee policy. I get back a different item then what I sold or a broken one, buyer still gets back their money and I get my feedback dinged. Not only that, third time it happened, my account gets shut down permanently. Tried to explain to eBay, but they didn't care.

That is when I had to enlist the help of Auction Essistance to help me set-up a new eBay & PayPal business account just so I can start selling again.

eBay has no care for their sellers anymore which sucks. Makes it so easy for buyers to scam the system and we are left hanging. Something needs to change with how eBay handles this.

Jampa tashi. on August 29, 2017:

Many of the rules laid down in eBay, from one angle is seen as encorouging an act of unethical conducts.

For example, it says, If you close the case against buyer, we will then help you cooperate. If you don't close the case we will do and your file report against the buyer will then be erased from the buyers eBay account.

In short, if efbay receive a lot of complain against the scammed buyers, they fear that they business wouldn't be the last long. That's why, they are not active in filing complaint against the scammed buyers.

Cashew Nut on August 27, 2017:

eBay and PayPal will also treat the buyers badly, especially PayPal. PayPal is always the one which causes a lot of problems, they don't know they are terrible. There are many scammers nowadays, yes! But not all, BUT NOT ALL buyers are scammers! PayPal will always think all of the buyers are scammers. Once, I bought an iPhone and iPad from eBay, and is shipped by the Global Shipping Program, to my country. But, I am lucky enough, one of the item, was lost in transit, while another one is just an empty box. I opened a case for the empty box iPad, as it's more expensive than the iPhone. Done, I provided all the documents, like a police reports to PayPal. Fine, they refunded me. Done, now, is the iPhone's turn. I opened a case on PayPal and provided the proof to PayPal, which is an email from eBay, saying that the item is lost in transit. A new days later, the case was closed without my favor and my account was limited permanently. I asked PayPal and PayPal said, it is impossible to have so much problem with the purchases. We think you are trying to abuse our buyer protection to get a free iPad. I know, every one can open a case on PayPal, and many scammers did. We don't welcome the person like you to use our service, please stop using our service, all claims will be closed and cannot be opened. WTH PayPal, PayPal is not only treated the seller badly, as well as the buyer. I had the email from eBay, requesting me to open a case on PayPal to get my item back, and you said I am trying to scam you for a free iPad? I used PayPal for 5 years and you suspected me for just 2 cases? So, beware, never ever sell/buy on eBay and pay through PayPal. It's not a safe place for both buyers and sellers.

anonymous on August 27, 2017:

New (to me) scam

I sell a new item on fleabay, buyer's paypal address is confirmed but wrong zip code. I ship the item priority mail w/ tracking (as stated in ad) - I use address provided by paypal (no changes made). Package is marked as undeliverable (but not returned to me). User disputes sale ("I didn't receive merchandise"), gets a full refund, then 3 days later walks into USPS and provides ID and USPS releases it to them.

ShocknAwe on August 19, 2017:

Man I can understand you being upset,but why in the World would you leave a rip-the-ebay seller kit to help those who are not wise enough to dot the i's and cross the t's in their scheming. Sure you educated the sellers too, but it only helps thieves, and to any thieves out their planning to rip someone off; Believe me,when I say,"You lose in the end" Know matter how wise you think you are in your own eyes! Be honest,and everyone wins.

Jenny on August 18, 2017:

I do have one change I would highly recommend for ebay though. I have only gotten 1 negative feedback in 10 years of selling there, and it was someone that I'd given a full refund to including their ship-cost, without even requiring them to give evidence of shipping damage. They wrote a horrible review anyway, and looking at their feedback to other sellers, it was all negative also, no positives at all! In the case of a buyer being fully refunded without even having to return the item (told them to keep it for free and cancelled the transaction), then in that case I think they shouldn't be allowed to leave feedback at all. Ebay considers this a "completed sale" even though it was cancelled and refunded at the sellers loss.

Jenny on August 18, 2017:

I used to have a retail brick-and-mortar store for 10 yrs, and also an on-line store, and sell on ebay too. All types of stores have problems with the scammers. We always did the "buyer is always right" mantra even though we know the real truth (some people scam stores so they can fund their heroin habit sadly). Sellers just need to program in a 5%-10% loss expectation and adjust sales prices upward accordingly. Otherwise you'll go out of business like we did eventually due to lack of profit. Just stay as small as possible (low number of employees or none) and increase sales prices, handing out sales coupons only to repeat buyers you really know are not going to scam you, based on their past good record.

Frank Caine on June 29, 2017:

You need to file a police report then fill out forms for inter net fraud. You'll get a refund but it's pain and very time sensitive.

Euhill on June 19, 2017:

I think the shipping carriers need to start verifying the weights of the packages they receive. Not only to protect themselves, but to protect those the packages are shipped to. Either refuse the package that claims to be of a certain weight but is actually much lighter or put the actual weight on the package.

seller on June 15, 2017:

eBay allows you to report buyers, which is a sellers way of leaving negative feedback. eBay saves this data and watches for patterns with buyers and will react accordingly if enough activity is reported.

mari van rooij on June 12, 2017:

Hello 1 year ago i sent 500 dollar to USA for spareparts car,

Nothing is happening what can i do to publice his name and company on E Bay.


nonamenamenomayname on June 06, 2017:

If you have "firsthand experience" like a seler, then why you teaching others to cheating? chump!

Lupita on June 02, 2017:

Wow just wow pretty sad for good sellers

JamesDoat on May 30, 2017:

I've been buying and selling on Ebay since 1998, and in the last 5 years I have seriously considered just leaving it altogether. Last week I sold an item that was listed as "untested" and "as-is"...

..this was CLEARLY stated in the description. In other words it may or may not work, you are buying this with that in mind. I lost almost 20 dollars in shipping both directions.

Several months back I sold an item that was clearly listed "for parts" it did not work. I knew it didn't work, they knew it didn't work. They bought the item, returned it, with parts missing, only to list those missing parts for sale a week later. They literally took my item, scrapped parts off of it, returned it, got a full refund, and made money.

Something needs to be done.

Peter Caporelli on May 30, 2017:

I quit ebay for same reason. Buyer abuse fraud. Simple solution. It will cost 31 dollars for a stop payment. Ebay court is a joke. I'm waiting for someone to file class action lawsuit on ebay for allowing this fraud to happen. It is worth sticking ebay and not paying fees or buyer back. Than quit as I did. Ebay could care less about its smaller sellers. They want to bump them all off to make it all power sellers. I would take a video of item as it is being packed and its condition to keep as evidence. And even with that ebay will refund money back. Ebay is the place to go if you want to buy something use it and return later. Ebay is on its way out the door. BUYNOW...NO bids.. I get more money at flea markets than ebay ..Just figure in there fees subtract that sell for little less than half of ebay prices. Work for yourself .Not for Scammers. Only morons giving advice about how great ebay is. Is ebay employess. They do not have customer service when you need them. But watch them come out of woodwork when you start bad mouthing them.

Maggie Larson on May 24, 2017:

I got scammed numerous times on my seller account when buyers would open fraudulent disputes claiming they never received the item or it wasn't described. Even though listings were written clearly and evidence was provided to eBay, but they sided with the buyer nonetheless. Got my account canned indefinitely because of them.

I had to resort to using stealth accounts from the sellers on the Aspkin forums and Auction Essistance to continue doing business on eBay.

But those freaking scammers still crop up and hopefully eBay will change the way they operate about them.

Tommy on May 15, 2017:

This may be different but I got scammed (or an attempted scam) by a seller.

I purchased a buy it now item by accident through the iphone app. I immediately contacted the seller and tried to cancel. I called eBay and let them know but they told me to just wait till you hear from the seller and see if they will cancel it.

So the seller messages me a day later and says "sorry I'm out of town and my husband shipped the item and you already paid so I can't stop the order." So 10 days goes by and I finally get the package. Turns out it was shipped 5 days after she said she shipped it, so she was lying about her husband shipping it.

So I contacted ebay and they agreed that since she didn't send it out on time, plus the fact i tried to cancel it and she lied about the shipping) I could send it back and they would refund me. I never opened the box so i just placed the new shipping label over the buyer's and sent it back.

Now the seller is claiming the item i shipper back isn't the same. Total scam. I never even oper it. I'm waiting for them to decide the case but with all the shady, contradicting emails from the seller, I'm confident they will see the seller is a con artist and rule in my favor.

So there are scammers on both sides of the transaction on eBay

Bob on March 03, 2017:

In response to pollyanna Ted - all you have to do to "be a good eBay seller" is not to get scammed by dishonest buyers who know eBay will take their side, regardless of how obvious a scam it is.

Might as well say 'in order to be a good shop-owner all you have to do is have no shoplifters, or no armed robery" or "all you have to do to be a good pet owner is not have your animal die."

There are always dishonest buyers - just as there are imbeciles like Ted who blame the victims of crime and not the criminals.

Michael on March 02, 2017:

As a long term buyer from eBay I have to state the following:

1. Without eBay, most sellers would never had a chance to sell anything online.

2. While the scams mentioned are a reality, there are lots of seller side scams as well (fake tracking numbers, out of stock delays etc). Not to mention very serious fraud attempts like fake coins etc.

3. Ultimately it is our money that runs the thing. If for any reason buyers stop buying from eBay, you are doomed. It's very normal that everything in favour of the buyer, that is a worldwide feature you cannot override. Unless you are a monopoly of course.

4. If you think you are right, tell your story everywhere. If there are too many of you, you will get eBay's attention. It's like what my company did in response to sellers saying that everything was delayed due to the 17 day Chinese festival. 4.320 negative feedbacks and 1750 item cancellations, including bank claims - and we got attention.

Ann on February 22, 2017:

Im selling my high end purses can i somehow record me printing the shipping label and boxing the item and finally shipping it? So i wont get scammed?? Or take pictures but video is better how will i be able to send it to ebay? Or theres no way?

thgun on February 03, 2017:

Hi great story. And yes I agree that there are buyers out there who are out to scam the seller. And I agree it's not fair on the seller. But unfortunately there are sellers that also scam the buyer. That is why I avoid items that use stock photos, brand new no returns.

What's the solution? on January 24, 2017:

The solution is to leave eBay.

Crooked buyers are relatively small in number--well used to be, anyway--and mostly easy to spot. Crooked sellers, however, ruined eBay and drove away legitimate buyers. Rather than do something about it, eBay handed out awards and titles, like "Top Seller!!1!!!!! *****".

What honest buyer would want to hang around eBay? Gee, you think that's maybe why it's easier to run into a scumbag buyer these days? Live by the sword and die by the sword, I guess. I've witnessed so much eBay seller scumbaggery I simply lost track. Shipping cost inflation scams, bait-and-switch, puppet accounts, bid snipping and a roving army of shill bidders. Many things that were technically illegal in most states were business-as-usual in eBay's law-free fantasy land. Sellers expected an artificially-inflated price environment, and boy did they cop an attitude if you called 'em on it. And now that I think of it...even if I second-guessed their intentionally cryptic descriptions or purposefully blurry and out-of-focus product photographs.

Years ago I complained about eBay and LamePal's policies, and got shouted down by the eBay fan club. Well, what goes around comes around, guys. The only people left on eBay are the people that deserve to be on eBay. Enjoy.

Me on January 23, 2017:

I think a great solution would be to visit them at heir homes and beat their heads with a baseball bat. I like to be very personal when I "fix" things.. Sometimes you have to watch them a bit to find a good opportunity to do this so that you do not get caught.

Iv'e done it twice all ready and no one came knocking on my door.

Next time I think I will kill them .. because it sucks wasting gas money and not getting enough pleasure out of the beating

John Michaelsson on January 21, 2017:

That is why I do not sell on fleabay. Yet when I ever get scammed by a buyer (and I am a good buyer too) I don't hesitate to post their full name, address, their email address, telephone number, their sexual orientation, bad habits they have, anything you know about them etc. on my website and on the internet stating what happened and how he or she scammed me. After some time a lot of these scammers come to me crying to REMOVE the story from internet since they are unable to get a job or they can't proceed with a career or a business of their own. Whatever is unfair should end up fairly unfairly. Post about them on the internet, just make sure you do it fairly. Don't worry they will not sue you to remove it unless they are a billionaire. No lawyer (and lawyers are absolute assholes) will take their case. None. Zero. Never ever. And remind them that internet bad record is FOREVER! Basically mostly non-erasable! Scam me, defraud me and bye-bye your career and your good life!

John Michaelsson on January 21, 2017:

That is why I do not sell on fleabay. Yet when I ever get scammed by a buyer (and I am a good buyer too) I don't hesitate to post their full name, address, their email address, telephone number, their sexual orientation, bad habits they have, anything you know about them etc. on my website and on the internet stating what happened and how he or she scammed me. After some time a lot of these scammers come to me crying to REMOVE the story from internet since they are unable to get a job or they can't proceed with a career or a business of their own. Whatever is unfair should end up fairly unfairly. Post about them on the internet, just make sure you do it fairly. And remind them that internet bad record is FOREVER!

Erin on January 19, 2017:

P.S. I'm so sorry for you guys. I also didn't realize that you couldn't leave negative feedback. Pitiful. I now feel a little bad because I left a 4 star review after purchasing vintage lamps that stated both were "in perfect working order" but when they arrived one would not turn on because the cord needed replaced. It was a $70 repair and I would have adjusted my bid accordingly had I known it was needed but it wasn't mentioned in the listing; nevertheless, I feel bad that I may have taken away someone's livelihood by not posting 4.8 for two good looking lamps even if one did need repaired without mentioning it in the description. Best of luck to all the wonderful sellers out there. Please PLEASE do not stop listing wonderful products because of a few bad eggs!! Woo7056

Erin on January 19, 2017:

Wow. I was just looking for a way to find the buyer I bought my living room set off of 5 years ago so I could buy the exact same set when I came across this article. It is a shame that anyone would do what you described. In 12+ years as an eBay buyer I only returned one item, a SaniSystem (plumbing system with grinder) that the seller sold with all of the motors, grinders, plugs, etc removed. I felt so angry and taken advantage of...can't imagine being a seller and having to put up with that nonsense on a regular basis. I love Ebay, love buying and almost always love the items I buy. I apologize for the buyers that give us good buyers a bad name.

Parveen kumar on January 14, 2017:

The Lenova Zuk Z1 Mobile bought from eBay on December 6th 2016 The mobile was used just 30 days. By January 12th 2017 the Flight mode (Aeroplane mode) got automatically switched on. No signal is being detected when sim is inserted. When I gave to service, they said it cannot be repaired. The mobile costed Rs.10999/- and now mobile is not in a position to be used. The mobile is still in warranty period. I need cash refund.

Kindly help. Parveen Kumar 9805091142

Tlp on January 14, 2017:

I'm a seller and I think we should do a class action lawsuit against eBay for the fact that they side with the buyers ALL THE TIME. They have cost me much money, time, and heartache.

Leeanne on January 14, 2017:

I have someone trying to get me to lower the shopping AFTER he accepted and bid. I've had someone come back months after a sale and say they did not authorize it. I won that time. People are dishonest and it didn't used to be that way.

Emma on January 06, 2017:

I got scammed on eBay by a buyer when they opened up a fraudulent dispute. I provided all evidence but yet, eBay decided in the buyers favor. I lost the item and my balance was in the negative. Not to mention they suspended my account indefinitely 2 days later.

Disgusting the way eBay treats sellers. This is why numerous people are going the stealth route. I am in the process of trying to get back on using Auction Essistance.

Idris on December 20, 2016:

I was wondering would the chargeback still be valid with a direct debit card?

Mike on December 16, 2016:

My feedback is near 1,500 on eBay with no negs - no neutrals - not a single return. Here's another way that just happened to me. My glass item shipped with plenty of bubble wrap via USPS. The outside of the box arriving with my product intact perfectly. Buyer opened box carelessly and item crashes to the floor into smithereens. They file a return saying it arrived broken then show photo of crushed item with box obviously just fine... impossible to happen that way. Eureka... refund required. They even admitted it to me over the phone! WTF

Paul on December 16, 2016:

Heres the solution to these problems:

1. Make sure you track your serial numbers of items you send guard against swhich-a-roos.

2. Always video closely the seals and then as you open the returned item as evidence.

3. Just because paypal return your mney to the buyer, that doesn't mean the buyer gets off from scamming you. your next step is a money claim through the court submitting your video as evidence.

4. Eventually the spammer will pay up prior to the court case including your fees or those fees will only increase when the burden of proof lies against the sender and the court will side with your probable cause to bring the action.


Scary on December 09, 2016:

I'm just in the process of starting selling a lot of my possessions in eBay but after reading these horror stories here I simply decided against it. What's the point if eBay does nothing to protect the seller. No way will I sell expensive as new stuff for scammers 'for free'!

Georg A on November 28, 2016:

So I was scammed this week. I sold a Brand New Sealed Mac Book Pro i7 16gb ram and 512ssd to user id chrislikesvideo . I sent the package Fedex buyer signed for it. Next day he sends a message on ebay that the box only had a bundle of paper in it. Fedex denied any claim because the package was delivered. Ebay refunded the buyer the money and I never even got to see the package. I have video surveillance packing and shipping the laptop up until fedex picked up and FedEx weighed the package during its delivery process and it was the same as when I weighed the laptop before shipping . paper doesn't weigh the same as a laptop. All buyer had to do was fill out a police report and refunded his money. This is disgusting

gamestechnology on November 28, 2016:

Please watch this to show me receiving back a piece of wood in place of £200 of sealed videogames after a lengthy 3 month dispute with 2 negative feedbacks for my patience (and a piece of wood).

Ebay have already fully refunded the scammer before I even opened the package, but luckily I had the foresight to video opening the package at the post office depot counter.

PaulG on November 15, 2016:

I've been selling on eBay for over 15 years and thought I knew about all these SCAMS. Recently I got blind-sided by this New Buyer SCAM? Buyer asked to return defective purchase and asked for a pre-paid shipping label. We purchased a shipping label from the USPS WebSite and emailed the USPS label PDF file to him. He removed my address and photo-shopped another legitimate address in the same town onto the label. The EMPTY package was delivered to the other address and the tracking service marked as delivered! So, eBay refunded the purchase price even though I never received the returned item. The Post Office has been no help. The carrier said he delivered it to the address on the label and although the tracking was not exactly right, they delivered it to the address on the label and not the tracking number. Carrier scans the tracking number and it shows up as delivered! I think that the the tracking number -address mismatch should cause a rejection of the delivery, but it doesn’t. I tried to contact the Post Office about this. So far, no help! Has anyone had this happen to them?

Losing Faith on October 31, 2016:

Same boat as many others. Sold phone. Buyer stated it was not unlocked. Not only was it unlocked, but that could be proven with IMIE number. For what ever reason this does not matter to PayPal and they found in favor of buyer. Crazy.

MercuryTown on October 30, 2016:

The only thing that can be done to stop scammers, whether they be eBay scammers or not, is to stop doing business online. Seeing as that's not going to happen, it's simply something we have to live with and sellers need to adapt or leave ebay completely and sell on other sites.

Ebay sellers who are a registered business can deal with online fraud and losses the same way as physical over the counter sales. Such as alleged faulty product returns and so on. They can absorb the losses through other means or potentially claim on their insurance.

It's the people who sell on ebay either as a hobby or intermittently or those that exist solely as a small online trader that are the ones who are really being stung by scammers and unfortunately, they don't have enough clout to pressure ebay into changing their policies. If enough people comlain to their governments, that may pressure ebay to altering their methods, but that's unlikely.

If someone is out to scam you, then they will, no ifs or buts. It's a simple fact, and yes, ebay makes it easy for them. We know it happens, ebay knows it happens and they're never going to care as even a fraudulent sale still means money for them. Refunding a buyer virtually guarantees a continued customer. How can an item I send to someone (who's only several suburbs away), arrive water damaged when it hasn't rained in weeks? Why was I blamed, I didn't deliver it. But it was better to refund the $10 and just move on and then block them forever. The fact that it's all anonymous makes it easier for societal weirdos to scam sellers and get away with it and leave with their anonymity intact. Let's face it, how many of these people do we actually know? Zero right? Going in face to face over a counter requires a scammer to make up a convincing story and make it look like they're not lying. Store owners can ask questions, make the scammer potentially uncomfortable and deny them a refund and then it'll cost them more time to take the matter further. Online, anybody can type out a story, snap a few photos, let ebay do the work and who'd know the difference? It requires almost no effort to apparently suffer from buyers remorse and get your money back or get an item for free. The idea of why don't we all go to the police or congress etc? knowing or suspecting fraud has been committed is one thing, actually proving it beyond doubt is another. And even when you have all the evidence, getting a fraud conviction is difficult as intent has to be proven. Maybe not for all countries but for some at least.

I've been a seller for a few years and I've been bitten several times, but I've tried to minimise my losses by restricting my sales to within my own country only. I found that my overseas sales were less than 10% of my overall business anyway, so for me at least it made good sense.

I still get the occasional "it never arrived" complaint and I cringe every time but I know there's nothing I can do . Even when I have proof it was delivered via the tracking number, I still have no proof that it was delivered to the right address and the buyer can make up any story they like. The post office doesn't care as your package is one of thousands they deal with daily.

Ebay is a scammers paradise and ebay themselves just don't care. After several dealings with them, none of which have ever gone in my favour, I can only conclude that they are useless, negligent, racist scum and after I sell the last handful of goods I have listed, I'll be done with them forever.

lol on October 14, 2016:

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 :))

Ebayers nightmare on October 14, 2016:

Lol easy solution. As seller

Jetling on October 11, 2016:

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.

Ted on October 10, 2016:

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.

Anponymous on October 07, 2016:

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!!

dee on September 23, 2016:

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

No way on September 22, 2016:

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

Seller on September 06, 2016:

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.

FoundingFathersGhost on September 04, 2016:

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

Ebay Seller on September 03, 2016:

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

David on August 30, 2016:

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 on August 26, 2016:

Ebay scammers are the worst. Literal scum.

fred on August 24, 2016:

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.

not on August 22, 2016:

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

mtg-judge on August 21, 2016:

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.

Michael Scott on August 17, 2016:

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???

Carlos on August 11, 2016:

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.

James on August 02, 2016:

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.

zinda on February 29, 2016:

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.

ebay is the mafia on October 11, 2015:

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.

Private on October 06, 2015:

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.

boscus on March 06, 2015:

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!