Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp

ebay scamsBeing scammed sucks, especially on eBay. You invest all of that time into selling a particular product or you spend a lot of time researching the perfect item, complete the transaction, and then… nothing. The buyer never pays up. The seller never ships your item. Some Ebay scams are obvious, but others are subtle and manipulative. Do you know when you’re being scammed?

The nature of a scam is seated in deception. People who are being deceived don’t know they’re being deceived – after all, that’s the definition of the word. So the only way to protect yourself from being scammed is to catch the deception before it catches you. This can be tough on eBay because you don’t have face-to-face interactions.

But there’s still hope. Read up on the following 5 scams that are common on eBay. Learn them, memorize them, and always keep an eye out for them. Once you can spot these from a mile away, you’ll never fall prey to them again.

The Overpaying Buyer

ebay scams

The Scam: When you’re selling an item, the buyer actually offers to pay you more money than the agreed price. At the time of transaction, they’ll send a cashier’s check (a real one) that has no monetary value tied to it. Or they’ll send a faked Paypal email that requires you to show a “shipping/tracking number” before the funds are transferred. By the time you’ve sent the item, it’s too late.

How It Gets You: Honestly, greed. You put up your old iPhone 4S on Ebay for $200 but a buyer says he wants to give you $350 for it. That promise of extra money is extremely enticing, which automatically shuts off the reasoning centers of the brain in favor of “I’m going to be rich!”


How to Avoid It: Never, never, never, ever send out any items until you have the cold hard cash in your hands. Once you lose possession of the item, you no longer have any leverage with the buyer. Always wait until payments are cleared first.

The Let’s-Finish-This-Elsewhere

avoiding ebay scams

The Scam: A potential buyer will contact you and offer to make an immediate payment if you settle the transaction outside of eBay. The transaction will go smoothly, until they contact you afterwards and complain of a defective product / false advertisement / dishonest eBay listing. They’ll blackmail you into paying them or else they’ll contact eBay and get you banned.

How It Gets You: The promise of guaranteed money, as opposed to potential money from an auction, can sweep you off your guard. Plus, these people are going out of their way to pay real money and make this transaction happen. They couldn’t possibly be con artists, right? Wrong.

How to Avoid It: The reason scammers want to settle outside of eBay is because eBay won’t help you if you do that. eBay is only responsible for transactions that occur entirely through their system. Therefore, if you want eBay’s protection, never agree to settle elsewhere.

The Bait-and-Switch Refund

avoiding ebay scams

The Scam: In this Ebay scam, everything goes according to plan. You put up an item for sale, a buyer bids on it (or Buys It Now if you allowed it), you receive payment, you send the item, done! However, before he bought your item, he also bought a broken version of the same exact item. They use this to blackmail you into giving them a full refund or else they’ll report you to eBay.

How It Gets You: When something like this happens, it’s easy to feel helpless. You feel like they outsmarted you, you have no evidence that your item was functional, you can’t prove that they’re lying. In order to mitigate your losses, you agree to the full refund and move on while the scammer just got a free item from you.

How to Avoid It: Sadly, this scam is a little harder to avoid. You have two options. One, you can require your buyers to purchase shipping insurance to protect yourself against this kind of thing. Two, you can state on your eBay listings that there are NO REFUNDS on your items.

The Vanishing Cash

avoiding ebay scams

The Scam: The scammer sets up an eBay listing that looks entirely legitimate. The deal is finalized and you send in your payment… and receive nothing. They basically run away with your money. This scam occurs most often with vehicle sales and real estate sales on eBay.

How It Gets You: Normally, this sort of scam is prevented by eBay’s Buyer Protection Policy. In that case, if the seller doesn’t ship their listed item, eBay helps to resolve the dispute. However, items in the Vehicle and Real Estate sections of eBay are excluded from the Buyer Protection Policy.

How to Avoid It: The best preventative measure is to avoid buying vehicles and real estate on eBay. Go through more reputable and more secure channels for those kind of transactions.

The eBay Phishing Email

ebay scams

The Scam: Scammers send you emails disguised as official eBay notices. The email will contain a link to eBay and will often ask you to click on the link to log into your account, secure your passwords, review payment details, or whatever else. What they really want is for you to click that link, which takes you to an imitation eBay website where you enter your login details. Next thing you know, they have your login info and steal your eBay account.

How It Gets You: Because eBay emails are automated, it’s easy to deconstruct them and replicate them. Counterfeit eBay notices are therefore easy to make and send out en masse. The level of detail is usually so high that only a trained eye can spot a fake email from the real deal.

How to Avoid It: Never, ever click on links in emails, whether they claim to come from a trusted source or not. This applies to services other than eBay, too. Never, ever click email links! Always type the address into your browser and log in manually.


Even if you don’t use eBay, knowing about these scam tactics can help protect you against scammers in other areas of life. However, if you do use eBay, then you should be aware of these Ebay scams and always keep your eyes peeled for shady people. Being scammed is never fun so be diligent and stay safe.

Image Credits: Burglar Via Shutterstock, Broken Tablet Via Shutterstock, Cash Bags Via Shutterstock, Scam Sign Via Shutterstock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Maria
    May 6, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    One day in 2016 I ordered a new iPhone 5 it said it would com in a week but but it actually came in two weeks,but when it came it was fake! it came whith ear buds and a charger but it was fake I spent $200 dollars on a fake iPhone ?


  2. Maria
    May 6, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    One time in 2016 I ordered a iPhone 5 it said it would be there in a week and it came in two weeks but when it came it was fake! The screen was grey I paid $200 for a fake iPhone ? it even came with ear buds and a charger.
    Always be aware of Ebay Scams!!!

  3. JP
    April 5, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    A scam I encountered and want everyone to not fall for this:
    asking the buyer to wait for a shipment while the time limit to open an eBay case to dispute the purchase has passed and feedback cannot be left for the transaction.

    My lesson:
    The seller (qualityzoneonline) repeatedly asked me to wait a few days more on the shipment and also claim a second shipment has been sent and still nothing. PayPal investigated and found the tracking is not valid or have no activity. They also ask me to check my address and my post office.

    Contacting eBay pass their 30 day limit is almost of no use and no negative feedback can be left.

    Bottom line, don't buy anything that can't be delivered in 2-3 weeks. It's a scam they're running where they will scam a small amount of buyers just to keep a good rating to make up for the low price they offer.

    • simone
      April 28, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      That has happened to me as well .And never will I wait past any time . Infact so sick of these scams after being on ebay since 2002 I am closing my account

  4. Jazmin
    March 27, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    So I was recently selling a laptop on ebay and I got this text from someone saying they wanted to purchase it immediately. I was a bit surprised because they offered me more than what I was asking for. The strange thing was that they wanted it shipped to Africa. I asked them why there and they said she was on a business trip. Then they asked that I send it out as soon as possible. I said it would have to wait and they never replied.

  5. SHAWN
    March 9, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    This will deter scammer away from buying your product and scamming you!


  6. Deborah Jablonski
    March 9, 2017 at 12:58 am

    The latest scam is I purchased a tablet from someone on ebay. They never sent it, never posted a tracking number. Finally when I put a case out, they posted a tracking number and attached it to my purchase. The item said it was delivered on my account, but it was not. I called UPS only to find that an envelope (the tracking slip said it weighed 1 ounce) to a business address in my zip code area. On the envelope it said "Surprise!" someone signed for it, but NOT MY ADDRESS. I told this to EBAY, they did NOTHING. They kept telling me it was mailed. A computer weighs more than 1 ounce last time I checked. and, the fact that it was not sent to my address went over their head. Even the "SURPRISE? did not phase them. WTF. I got my monet back, but this opens up a whole other realm of BS on ebay.

  7. Ray
    January 23, 2017 at 4:55 am

    Dear buyers beware of requests from sellers asking you to pay on PayPal but put payment down as a gift so they don't have to pay income tax. This is the scam you will never receive the item you purchased and the gift request is not refundable by PayPal only refunds for goods purchased. NEVER put down GIFT only ever use GOODS that way you will be protected for a refund...

  8. James Scott
    January 15, 2017 at 11:11 am

    I actually dealt with the "The Let’s-Finish-This-Elsewhere" scam. We went outside of eBay and sure enough, as soon as they received the item they used the exact same wording and phrasing as this article mentions. However, I made payment via PayPal, so I actually sent his complaint straight to them with a copy of the original listing and copies of the emails and texts we had exchanged and they sided with me and backed me regarding his threats. I never had to refund him his money. So if you do decide to go outside of eBay, there should be a little comfort knowing PayPal can make their own judgments.

  9. Kathy
    December 28, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    I just had a scan ebay email telling me they haven't heard from me in awhile. They wanted to update my account. I trashe'd that fake one so fast.

  10. Faltu
    December 27, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Avoid ebay like plague. Cang belive they make 8 bil slaes per year. Just full of scams.

    • simone
      April 28, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      Thats true !!! They protect the scammers as well
      I am finished with EBAY !!!!

  11. Andre K
    December 19, 2016 at 1:06 am

    "How to Avoid It: Sadly, this scam is a little harder to avoid. You have two options. One, you can require your buyers to purchase shipping insurance to protect yourself against this kind of thing. Two, you can state on your eBay listings that there are NO REFUNDS on your items."

    NOT true!!! I sold like new microphone and put no refunds. Buyer said it wasn't working and was lying. He stated cable didn't come with it. I never said cable included. Then he went to Best Buy and instead of buying cable bought NEW microphone. This is what he said. Then he said since my microphone doesn't work he wants refund. After fighting eBay and stating my TRUE case as REAL seller that never cheats anyone...eBay sided with me! But first they refunded HIS money and took MY money from the sale back. After I had to open investigation eBay finally refunded me for the purchase! I said no refunds and eBay first didn't care. Until I called and complained and showed pics of microphone and stated buyer didn't even TEST microphone as he stated he bought new one at Best Buy. So even IF you put No Refunds it's a battle...let me tell you!

  12. bondo
    December 18, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Wheres my item? Shock and awe

    Every christmas I get at least one of these.

    International buyer makes a multi item purchase(flag 1), its usually at Christmas time as he/she knows the postal system will be slow (flag 2). The buyer then claim he/she is in a hurry and it must be there by XXXX date 'or else' (flag 3). Then the 'where my stuff' emails start(flag 4 - shock and awe ). . Here is where they want you to argue or make promises they can then hold you to later(dont bite) . Then they state their hardships, what theve gone through ect.. they already bought it elsewhere (this is where they say now even if it does arrive they dont want it). ... but wait they are not done yet, negative feedback shakedown, more opportunity to try and extract a refunds or discounts outside the dispute system. Merry Christmas.

  13. aykay
    December 9, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I just got scammed from a buyer who insisted he needed the email I use with my PayPal account in order to transfer the funds. Then, he started sending me false PayPal emails (good forgeries) which said that the funds had been received and I was clear to send the item. More than 24 hours after I inputted the tracking number into the eBay mobile app, eBay tells me that the sale has been cancelled due to suspicious activity. NO MENTION of the fact I had already marked the item as shipped with a tracking number.

    - They want your paypal email address.
    - They tell you to check your spam folder for the paypal email.
    - They're SUPER pushy via text or whatever communication.
    - Emails come from an account "named", but the actual address which doesn't show up in the email inbox is NOT For me, it was
    - Poor English spelling, phrasing and grammar used in emails.
    - NEVER follow a link in an email and use it to login.

    LUCKILY (HOPEFULLY), I put in an intercept-package request with USPS and the item will be returned to me, fingers crossed. I've got a very detailed email queued up to send to eBay, but SURPRISE! eBay is effectively MIA. Nowhere on the site can I find a method of contact without inputting my item ID number and they've totally deleted all record of the sale. I will never use eBay again, even as a buyer since they have no interest in protecting users or maintaining any level of professionalism. And there are articles on how eBay has shut down all avenues of contacting customer service. Highly disturbing. I suppose I will be going through PayPal's complaint department now since I now find PayPal untrustworthy for partnering on such a huge scale with a now-disreputable platform.

    I guess the overall lesson is that if it looks weird in ANY way, DOUBLE CHECK. And don't promise 1 day handling time because that put me against the gun as I was trying to fit things in between my work schedule and didn't make the time to thoroughly go over these things.

  14. julie
    December 9, 2016 at 3:03 am

    The one we have encountered this past week 12/1/16 is on game codes. We have sold the same game code 3 times this week and all three have been scams. Thank God my husband did not give the code through ebay messages or we would be out the money for the code. All three have asked us to send them the codes through email, and when my husband answers No, suddenly the account has been reported hacked.

  15. Hashtag
    December 4, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    What is "OVP CIB" ?

    It's on an eBay video game post.

  16. Hashtag
    December 4, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    What is: "Complete OVP CIB" when it comes to a Video Game on eBay?

    It's shown on eBay often enough: A video game loose and with all its items shown - just no shrink wrap.

  17. Kristina
    November 22, 2016 at 4:35 am

    How about bulk a refurbished laptop from a licenced dealer and tech fir hp and Microsoft and when I open the box they are paying waiting in the computer and proceed to drain me slowly abs screw with my life ever so slowly. The real fun didn't really kick into gear until the return window was gonever and passed. Then the real fun began. Is neb a nightmare a dang near undetectable Trojan worm hacker nightmare. Even paid versions of high dollar malware and root removers couldn't touch them. I thought I was losing my mind. It's still in the balance. Trying to get my home work done trying to watch what they are doing so I can gain my life back. Phone harassment corrupted files register errors but I look is ask running fine according to my house and Microsoft crew of hackers I man tech support. It's been a real eye opener. I've learned more than I ever cared to about this subject the last year

  18. favoritebuys
    November 21, 2016 at 12:12 am

    I just got scammed from a user who claimed my item was faulty. It certainly was not, but eBay sided with the seller. The eBay rep was really rude over the phone. It was honestly shocking. I will never use eBay gain, except to buy. Buyers are coveted like the last slice of cake at a birthday party. I hope these kinds of scams end soon, because this one hit me pretty hard.

    • simone
      April 28, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      same thing happened to me !
      I sold a lens . I tested it fully . I should of known something was suspicious as even before I shipped it this buyer kept telling me I will be hearing from him soon
      I also sold it as is even though I fully tested it and used it myself
      The seller contact me and told me it was defective . I tested this just before packaging !
      I said I will pay for it to be shipped back for me and the full refund !
      He said hell no .He told me EBay now says it belongs to him and he gets a full refund of everything .éAnd the fillipinio ebay rep agreed with him . Never again . And I am ending my account with them . Since ebay now also has their offices outside of north america for customer service they can keep their service . Their commision is overly priced as well ! They set up their service to help out the scammers

  19. Misty doan
    November 10, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Someone is using an eBay motor account and trying to get u to buy a really nice car for cheap. Telling you to buy a iTunes card to pay. Don't fall for it. I'm glad I found out before they got my money.

  20. dane roberts
    November 9, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Valuable post . I am thankful for the information . Does someone know if my company could possibly find a blank Hawaii Buyer\'s Home Inspection Checklist copy to edit ?

  21. Mike
    October 29, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    I hate scammers either buyers or sellers and so what I've done is put NO REFUNDS exchange only and I always lower the price on my items and then always charge for shipping. I take immediate photos of every item in the box on the scale before sealing it. I maintain a 100% feedback rating and maintain a commercial address that is listed on my eBay store. I'm not saying I won't run into a scammer because I will but I haven't yet. Knock on wood.

  22. mad matt
    September 13, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    what about the scam where a seller uses "buy it now" and you pay for the item but the item gets removed after the seller gets your money? ebay is supposed to send an email explaining to the bidders why an item was removed. I recently tried to buy a mini Nintendo classic edtion on ebay for 150.00 I contacted the seller (marselci0 ) and got fast responses I said I wasn't going to pay until he had the item in hand ready to ship. he said no problem and said he would keep in contact. at about 2 in the morning another person bought one ( he had 5 listed then 2 removed and 1 more besides mine actually sold, so a total of 2 out of 3 sold) later that morning the listing was removed. I never got an email from ebay saying why the listing was removed. so I can only surmise it was removed from the seller. I suspect the other person that bought one paid for it and then the listing was removed. otherwise I cant figure out why it was taken down. and once an item is taken down you cant do anything it wont link the seller to an item ebay cant look up and it cant look it up because its a removed listing. this guy was located in Virginia and had 100% feedback. I messaged him asking what happened and no response from him anymore. suspect!! and its a new user too. 41 positive feed back since he first joined in April. not uncommon but with an item like that (mini nintedno) ive seen at least 2 listings for it one located in Tennessee which got removed and another one that just didn't sell and the auctioned ended ( he wanted 999.00) BE CAREFUL

  23. Steve W
    September 9, 2016 at 8:27 am

    It's missing one that I have been the victim of. You buy an item, and the seller ships it - but to a RANDOM address in your same zip code. This way, when you report you didn't receive it, eBay simply favors the seller as it shows "delivered to your city". You need to prove from the post office that it actually went to a different address which is not easy in itself.

  24. Omer
    August 21, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Please report this buyer also to ebay.
    Be aware of this scam buyer. He used the digital code and made claim & charge backs

    Here are the case details:

    Buyer's name: Michael Kornoff
    Buyer's email: kornoffm Yahoo
    Buyer's transaction ID: 5D417310MN9947442
    Your transaction ID: 3JB36457UW710745R
    Transaction date: 29 July 2016
    Transaction amount: 19,00 $ USD
    Disputed amount: 19,00 $ USD

  25. Scammed by Ebay
    August 18, 2016 at 3:37 am

    Ebay and paypal are crooks. Stick with local Craigslist cash only, face to face. Just got burned by Ebay buyer for $3800.

  26. Scammed by Ebay
    August 18, 2016 at 3:33 am

    Ebay just screwed me out of $3200 dollars, plus $320 seller fee that they won't reverse because I lost the case. Buyer bought high value item, claims immediately that item is not as described, tried to extort money from me but asking for partial refund - to get item even cheaper. I refuse and ask her to return in 3 days and receive a full refund. She stalls says needs more time. I remind her I have no return policy. She says, that doesn't count with not as described. ...She opened case, ebay ask her to return item but gives her 2 weeks to do so. She returns a fake item, in an amazon box with amazon prime tape? Ebay sees tracking as delivered and debits paypal account. I spend hours and weeks fighting for seller protection. Nothing. Ebay says you lose, buyer wins. Avoid ebay and paypal at all costs. They are the devil in disguise.

    • taran2ula
      January 22, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      This is the easiest way to never get scammed by a buyer, or eBay. NEVER KEEP YOUR MONEY IN PAYPAL ACCOUNT. Always transfer your money straight to your bank account the minute it shows in your paypal account. They can NOT take money from your bank account if they decide a case against you. The worst you lose this way is your paypal account.

      • Jungle Tech
        March 30, 2017 at 4:15 am

        Kind of true, when I got scammed once they debited my paypal account to like negative - $200 . You cannot make changes to the account until you fix the negative balance. I thought about making a new account, but in the end I figured it would be easier to just pay the money.

    • simone
      April 28, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      same thing happened to me again today now I have had it . Seems As is and no return is nothing to ebay ...they will let the seller keep your item!!!!! and get a full refund

    July 21, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    87 Cargo Plaza
    Jamaica NY 11430 United States
    fake address, don't shipment this address !!!
    scammer !!!?

    • Luke
      September 20, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      scammers are people that don't have a life

  28. Anand bishwas
    July 7, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    eBay se koi bhi item na kharide. Khali dabba bhejkar paise ka ghotala kar raha hai. Koi sunne wala nahi hai

  29. Anand bishwas
    July 7, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    ????? ?? ebay ?? ?? ??????? ? ????? ???? ebay ?? ?? seller ???? ????? ??? ??? ??? ?? ??? ??? ?? ????? ???? ?? ebay ?? ????? ???? ?? ??? ???? ????? ?? ???? ???? ??? ?? ???? ???

  30. janet
    June 27, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Ebay sellers have multiple accounts. Those Chinese websites sellers have more accounts than they can handle. Ebay sellers login 1-2 times a day but those Chinese Webs can only login 1 time a day! However a lot of those Chinese web sellers have accounts in Ebay and Amazon too. I agree Chinese webs sellers are more targeted by conmans because these is a chinese web after all and the control is more lenient. The chinese webs are not invested in catching culprits, conmans and scams. It is a painful in the ass because they process everything very much longer and not user friendly than Ebay and Amazon. The customer services in these Chinese are just wasting your time because they cannot do anything and will always end up asking you to submit the claims or reports yourself. These reports and claims are very difficult to submit and must upload picture files to prove! Then after hard time submitting the reports or claims, you have to wait again for weeks to months for these Chinese webs creeps officer to crawl in and handle. I have stop buying from these Chinese webs after months of nightmares transactions.

  31. alex
    June 27, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Ebay is actually a lot better than those Chinese online sales. The first few transactions very cheap but were scams. There were so many problems, seller delay shipping out, shipping takes more than 1 month, never send, wrong items, defective items,....... many more funny things happened. 1/5 transactions has either minor or major problem. Ebay has less problems than these Chinese sites. A better site would be Amazon.

  32. Prachi Agrawal
    June 13, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    ebay india customer care service and return policy is very poor and pathetic. I bought one product from ebay 2 months back and i got faulty and used product and i raised concern but still my case is not resolved yet even i have spent 500rs more to courier the product back.

  33. David Singleton
    June 6, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    ebay sides with the buyer EVERY time, so as a seller it can be dangerous. I have had items marked as damaged, I fully described the damage, I had a listing that said no refunds, and ebay forced me to provide a refund because the buyer was not happy with the item. I also learned not to sell out of country, I shipped an item to Croatia, as soon as the item left the US there was no tracking info, the buyer said he never received it and I had to pay up. The buyer did the same to another seller, we told ebay, and they refused to refund our money, all they would do was ban the buyer.

  34. vijay chauhan
    May 30, 2016 at 9:26 am

    yes mr. appaswami i seems you are right. same experience here also.
    there are lots of thing to do improve in there services. because there are lots of thing at the time of when i was shifting my daughter, like shortage of oxygen, inexperienced doctors, flights are 3 hour late,etc.......................................
    bad experience with air ambulance aviation. very bad

    May 28, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Hye friends my self appaswami kutti and i was cheated by a air ambulance service provider named air ambulance aviation, the owner name of this co. is bineesh paul. He is having plenty of branch. i had visited in parel branch and i requested to book a stretcher for my dad. Actually i wanted to shift my dad at Washington. Dr's are refer him to transfer for treatment in Washington. so i booked stretcher costed USD 56000. At the time of booking of stretcher they are said to me we will transfer your dad within 3 OR 4 days, but they took 13 days to transfer to my dad.But on the day shifting will process that same day my dad is expire. so i said them please cancel this stretcher because my dad is expired. And i told them please reverse back my money to me.But they refused we never refund money in such condition.And i lost my whole 56000 USD. still i am contacting Mr. bineesh paul and continuously insisting to refund my money but he is not ready to refund. now what i do?????? I am unable to understand. I am inquired about him in the market then i know he a no. 1 cheater. He is making fool to people on the name of transfer to patient by flight. Actually he is a male nurse.not a Dr. also there staff is also bad no proper qualified Dr's unable to handle patients.
    TOTALLY POOR MANAGEMENT. Now i will complaint in AMERICAN EMBASSY. I have all the document with proof i will take action against him.(male nurse certificate, qualification details of Mr. BINEESH PAUL .)

    • Luke
      September 20, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      I don't think anyone can understand what you're saying, I got lost after you said the air ambulance thing lol

  36. Jen
    May 8, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    As a buyer, I just received a "New - Other" 9/10 rated phone from ebay. I paid good money for it as I wanted something in new or close to new condition. They indicated it was a display model and could have a could minor scratches on it. The phone I received was not that. The screen was burned, the bezel paint was worn off, etc. They left a note in their package asking to settle off ebay if there were any concerns. It was nicely worded - something to the effect of "If you have any issues, please contact us direct. It takes much longer to go through the ebay return process". Trying to be a decent person, I went with it. Advised them of the issues, etc. Then they told me I needed to pay return shipping and told me where to send it. Red flags started going up everywhere. I am on this site reading about scams because it felt like that was the road I was heading down. I just submitted through ebay and re-iterated they wanted to settle out of ebay and I was trying to work with them, but since they sent me a damaged product other than what was described I shouldnt have to pay the return shipping. I am going with a different seller. I dont know if ebay would have protected me if I showed the email history we had going on, but people can be horrible in general. As a very limited seller, I had someone tell me they never received the item. Thank God I got tracking and delivery confirmation on it. I also had someone buy something that was fully described as broken, non functioning and we didnt know what was wrong with it. Initally, they wanted to know what didnt and did work on it because they needed a certain piece from it. I advised I did not know and thats why I was selling it. After receiving, they tried to say they were returning it because we didnt package it well and it got damaged due to the lack of packaging. I turned from nice to ahole. I called them out on all of the written details, advised it was wrapped in bubble wrap personally and that in order for it to literally pierce through the shipping box outside of the bubble wrap, it must have been handled extremely rough in shipping. Ebay sided with me. They told the buyer to go through the insurance. The buyer suddenly became very nice when asking for the insurance information. Fortunately, I havent been scammed yet, but I feel like Ive had more close calls than I should of. Dishonest people suck!!!

  37. Raquel
    May 2, 2016 at 8:26 am

    How about one where they buy the item and a month to 3 months later they issue a chargeback to their bank, where they keep your item AND take back their money. (No item returned, and no money back on my acc yet as of Dec 26, 2015)

  38. C Crosby
    April 16, 2016 at 5:17 am

    After over 300 positive feedback with a 100% score I just got scammed on a pair of shoes. The scammer did not want to pay return postage because they did not fit so she tore off a bow claiming that they were posted damaged. I told her to return them but also told her that I knew what she was up to. I am not a store but eBay is taking her side because she is the buyer. She posted negative feedback and eBay's policies support these scummy buyers, never the sellers. I do not recommend eBay.

    • Dan M
      September 8, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      I'm in almost the same boat as you. I'm just about done with ebay as far as selling is concerned. Nearly 300 positive feedback as a buyer and a seller and now there is a negative feedback from some lady who didn't seem to understand that when you refund through ebay it can take a few business days. I sold a brand new iphone for $425. I got it for $320 so I wasn't even making that much on it. I posted it on ebay and it sold in less than an hour. It was late afternoon so it didn't actually go out to the buyer until the next day. A few days go by and I start receiving messages from the buyer asking where her phone is, etc. I was away for a few days for work which coincided with an extended weekend/vacation. I messaged her back that if she didn't receive it in a day or two to let me know and I will look into it. She kept messaging me asking where her phone is every day for the next few days. Did she not read my messages that I was away from home and wouldn't be back for a couple more days? I told her quite calmly that I will look into it as soon as I get home from vacation and that I haven't forgotten about it and that I would get back to her promptly. She is becoming a pain in the ass at this point. I get home and there is a notice in my mail box that I have a package to pick up along with the rest of my held mail. By this point she is freaking out and incessantly messaging me for her money back. The item never left the post office because it was badly damaged either in transit or while still at the post office and someone there stuck it with the rest of my held mail. Now, I have a claim in with the USPS and will definitely have to refund the buyer. No problem. I message the buyer back and explain to her what happened. Included photos of the damaged box and phone. I initiated the refund process through ebay so I can get my fees refunded at least. If I refunded her directly through paypal she would have received her money faster but I went through ebay. Her refund sat in a pending status in paypal for several days and I was receiving borderline abusive messages from her asking me if I have a problem and what is wrong with me. She even had the nerve to ask me for a $400 loan directly through paypal until she received her original money back because she desperately needed a new phone asap. I told her I am not a bank and I don't know how I can help her with that and to have a little patience her refund has been sent. At this point I filed a report on the buyer with ebay due to this and her incessant messages. She left me negative feedback stating it took too long to receive her refund (ebay fault) and that I never shipped the iphone despite proof that I did. I even sent her screen shots of proof that I refunded her money. I received absolutely no support from ebay. Wrote to them exactly what happened and the only thing they told me I could do was to leave a limited comment under the negative feedback. Yeah, thanks Ebay. I feel I bent over backwards for this lady but ebay doesn't even care.

  39. Paul M
    April 9, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    I had to laugh when I read this article. Maybe it's because this article was written over three years ago and things have changed a lot at ebay.

    In the second scam, "The Let’s-Finish-This-Elsewhere", the author insinuates you qualify for some kind of effective seller protection by ebay. What seller protection? Even if the transaction happened entirely on ebay and paypal, seller protection against fraudulent claims is a fraud in itself. Oh sure, you can call ebay support and jump through a ton of hoops and file appeals to your hearts content, but I've NEVER seen a seller win a case that protected them from a fraudulent return. And, I've been following this issue closely on their community forums for a while.

    In the third scam "The Bait-and-Switch Refund" you can't be more false. Shipping insurance isn't going to protect you at all unless you can prove the item was damaged by the shipping carrier. So, how does that help in this situation when the buyer damaged the item, or the item was switched with a damaged item by the buyer? Is the author advising ebay sellers to defraud the shipping carrier? If so, that's very bad advice. Do not do that!

    Also, go ahead and yell in your listing, "NO REFUNDS" and "NO RETURNS" and "ALL SALES ARE FINAL" in the biggest boldest letters you can make. It will do nothing to protect you from a return that's within the 30 day buyer protection window. Ebay will require you to refund the buyer no matter what you provide in defense against fraud and abuse. If you don't act within 30 days, ebay will ban your account and paypal will either freeze your account or pull the funds directly out of your linked bank account. There's no recourse here at all because all return requests are completely out of the control of the seller.

    The bottom line is, the seller is totally at the mercy of the buyer's honesty at ebay. And, as more and more dishonest buyers learn how easy it is to get free stuff, the more risky selling on ebay will become.

    • kent
      April 20, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      Is not true, ebay and paypal are different companies so they can scam people in the internet while the seller and the buyer fight, they get rich. They should be investigated by the state department, is like the Mafia,

  40. Iain
    March 23, 2016 at 3:26 am

    I have just had exactly the same thing happen to me. I was immediately suspicious as the return request was for a 'buy it now' listing for silver - so I phoned eBay for advice. A charming young woman assured me I would be covered under their buyer protection program if the buyer returned a fist full of 2 pence coins and strongly advised me to accept the return in spite of silence from the buyer who had merely clicked a 'not as described' button.

    When I received my return I had my partner video film the package showing the tracking number the buyer used together with the buyer's return address. I then opened it to discover a pile of worthless junk old coins completely different to the silver ones I sent out.

    As advised I contacted eBay and they went through the motions of taking this seriously. They informed me that I needed to fill out an online fraud form for the police and get a crime number. This took half an hour but I did it and provided the crime number. They also requested photographs of the items the seller sent back. Just like the seller above, not only did I provide photographs, I also photographed the items and their envelope on a digital scale. The weight was shown on the post office printed stamp label and exactly matched. Further I showed the different weight of the items I had sent out using Royal Mail signed for service which recorded the weight on my receipt. I uploaded all this to eBay. It took me hours with 4 phone calls, filling in the police form and photographing the goods on scales etc.

    What did eBay do? They pasted my name into a stock reply informing me that they were unable to return the money they had taken from my paypal account because they were unable to physically see the items the buyer returned!

    What infuriates me here is not that a buyer can so easily defraud a seller by simply clicking the 'not as described' button and then refusing to communicate - leaving eBay and paypal to do the rest - even when I sent registered mail. The worst thing is that eBay assured me I would be covered under their seller protection program, had me spend hours - 4 hours - compiling the evidence they asked for - only to turn round and deny my claim on the grounds that the evidence they stipulated and requested was insufficient!

    This rather begs the question as to why I had to photograph the returned items and fill out a police report. I now think it was because in most cases the seller just won't deem it worth their time and eBay will get to appear concerned and responsible.

    I am absolutely astonished to discover that as a seller with over 8 years on eBay with nearly a thousand positive feedbacks and a 100% rating, that I can be so easily turned over by a buyer who has been on their site for 3 months, has a feedback rating of 21 and has already left 3 negative comments. All he needed to do was click one button and eBay have facilitated his fraud while making me jump through hours of hoops - which at the end, once I'd jumped through every hoop they asked of me - they dismissed my appeal with a stock reply.

    The lesson I have learned is that the easiest and best way to make money on eBay is to file fraudulent return requests. As an honest person I cannot bring myself to do this to others. I have however lost all confidence in eBay as a safe and fair arena to sell goods and the only way I will be returning is if I can exclude paypal as a payment option.

    • ex-ebay seller
      April 19, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      My feelings, precisely!
      It's SURREAL how easily you can be robbed on ebay, just at a buyer's click and how eBay still has total control over your Paypal account.

      I got a return request falsely claiming the item didn't work. The buyer just had to click one button, never ever responded back to my communication attempts and my funds were on hold (I usually don't withdraw them up to a month just in case). Since time went by with no responses nor item, I escalated the case to at least remove the holds. This is where a bad dream turns to a complete nightmare. At each reply eBay CS would limit my options more and more (and at each copy/pasted reply they'd give conflictic answers!) until all that left was that I refunded in full and wave goodbye to my item (which I never got back). Being a private international seller (not US/UK based) makes things 1000x worst.

      Right now all I sell is stuff I don't mind loosing. Still every (less and less) time I make a sale I get that traumatic experience back. Seller protection only applies if you're a big seller and are willing to make some threatning statements (great old wild west american way, yeahh /sarcasm). There's so much hoops you have to make for them to even care the slightest that simply most people gives up. Experienced sellers do know it is worthless and just take it as the cost of doing business. I know it is but

      eBay is now China Bay because they can't compete with Amazon and Alibaba is a collossus coming from the east.

      Take caution when selling in eBay. I'd advise the same for buyers but buyers have it too much easy these days.

  41. dggh
    March 7, 2016 at 6:09 am

    omg ebay is scam all know . But they scam you legally i dont know about it. This news just opened my eyes . Stop buying from this without hand to hand deal or face to face deal . It's just scam and we cant complaint them legally.omg omg.

  42. CEH
    February 1, 2016 at 7:33 am

    I am trying to find out about scams related to eBay and Paypal. I received a query from a buyer and he wanted to ask questions about it. We agreed on price and I didn't realize he hadn't put it in ebay. I received an email from paypal saying payment was made and directing me to ship, which I did. Apparently the email was a fake and now I have nothing. What to do? Only seek law enforcement. At least I sent it insured and signature confirmation, I've found the recipient and will be working with local law enforcement in the town to find out who received the package and detemine if it is fraud. I didn't realize eBay and PayPal were no longer linked and it looked completely legitimate to the untrained eye. Sellers beware....

  43. Amy
    January 11, 2016 at 6:48 am

    I like to report this scammer, so that if anyone google his name, they will know this guy is a scammer. His chargeback caused my paypal account to be negative and then left me negative feedback. I hope seller outthere stay away from this guy. He also went to Colorado School of Mines. Some shit for school.

    After he used my gift coupon codes, he decided to want to get a charge back and threaten me negative feedback unless I provide 100 gift codes for him to use! I'm a student myself, there is no way for me to get that many codes as these are send to me by bestbuy only during their promotions.

    My listing stated 10 codes in the heading and the item description but he insist that it is a 100! This guy fraud who is also a domain seller for main websites especially chinese websites.

    He went to Colorado School of Mines
    His credentials:
    Colorado School of Mines 9/2010 – 6/2012(expected)
    M.S. Degree in Computer Science Overall GPA: 3.5/4.0
    University of Minnesota – Twin Cities 9/2009 – 5/2010
    Graduate Study in Electrical Engineering Overall GPA: 3.5/4.0
    Beijing University of Chemical Technology, China 9/2005 – 6/2009
    B.E. in Measurement and Control Technology and Instruments with Honors Overall GPA: 3.72/4.0
    (see more on this public page or

    10797 SW Canterbury Ln
    2ndary address:
    7572 SW Vlahos Dr., Wilsonville, Oregon 97070

    Tel: 7632211802
    Known Emails:,
    Username: chong_ding
    Running scam site:

  44. Danny
    December 24, 2015 at 12:40 am

    You can state NO REFUNDS, but ebay will ignore that and refund the this case you are S.O.L. and have no recourse. Also, you can CHARGE insurance as part of your shipping price, but you cannot offer it as an option as an extra cost to the buyer (against ebay policy). This is either an old article or an uninformed ebayer

  45. Jonathan Anthony
    August 1, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    To avoid the bait and switch scam, could you take a picture of your sold item before you ship it out? Or would that not help?

    • Lloydee Banks
      August 14, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      Or note down any serial numbers before you send. That's what I do to make sure I get the same unit back

      • Wing Leong Au-Yeung
        August 26, 2015 at 2:40 am

        But can't they just say "The seller didn't send the item with that serial number."

        • Steve Joseph
          August 31, 2015 at 9:29 pm

          Not if the serial number is recorded by a third party.

          1. Never EVER remove a serial number or any details specific to a device from a place like Apple ID. This is the very reason why I have not removed a single device from mine, even devices that were sold years ago. They can send me back the switched out device with the different serial number and unknowingly they would have just provided the first piece of evidence my lawyer will use if eBay and Paypal sides with the scammer, which they probably will.

          2. "But what if I don't have an Apple Device?" Most sites/brands today allow the ability to register a device for warranty purposes etc. Always register your devices. You're not only making it easier to receive warranty information and help but you're creating a "history" and record of the item with that unique serial number.

    • crbarnes001
      September 10, 2015 at 10:42 am

      you could take a picture of the item and the serial number but its unlikely that it will stop ebay from refunding them. The person would just say that's not the item i received.

      Now anything that can be broken I will only sell for cash on collection. They can see it working and have to return it to me if there is any problem and i get to decide whether to refund them or not, if something genuinely doesn't work I'm always happy to refund, but not when I've been scammed.

      Also when demonstrating the item I take a photo of the serial number with them there so they know I'm doing it and have a record.

      Alas this is becoming more and more common as ebay keep siding with the buyer and although you can report a buyer there is nothing to stop them creating a new account and doing the same thing over again with a clean record.

      Someone once said to me only sell on ebay what you can afford to lose, especially now that there you must offer returns saying no returns means nothing ebay will still now refund and you have to pay the return postage now.

      I rarely use ebay now, facebook have some great groups that are free to buy and sell so i make my money from them now no hassle.

      I really don't get why ebay seem to be able to play god. they are an advertising board only, no different to a newspaper.

  46. James Roy
    June 17, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    There is no protection for the seller if a buyers account is hacked! I understand Ebay and PayPal protecting the buyer's money if someone hacks a buyers account, but I sold a legit iTunes gift card/code -- had the cash in my bank account, and because they buyer was hacked, PayPal took the money back after the code was already given out and USED. So I am out $100 - Neither PayPal nor Ebay will reimburse ME for MY loss, even though all the correspondence with the 'buyer' was through the Ebay messaging system that was compromised! So much for "Seller's Protection"!

  47. Nana
    May 15, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Really interesting. I purchased for an item on ebay but didn't get it. Then wrote about it to the seller but seller wrote that my name wasn't on his/her list. And actually I bought it as a guest but also I got email about my order which is the proof that I purchased it. Could you please help me.

  48. Phil
    April 28, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Great point here, thanks for the effort.
    One idea:
    The Bait-and-Switch Refund
    To avoid being scammed here: be prepared and write down the serial number, IMEI or use a non-visible marker and mark the item. Take pictures of it and save it until the deal has gone through (feed back received).
    The Phishing email
    Simply, change your setting in your email client from: show email in html TO show as text. This will show you where the link/graphic is linked to and the standard: Don't download anything from someone you don't know.

    Common sense and keeping in mind, if it sounds too good to be true.....: like this one here:
    *He/She's got no feedback.
    *Sells expensive make-up significantly cheaper than the average.
    * Seller registered in Israel, item location is London, UK. (No sales on ebay but has a warehouse in London, UK)
    * BIN Price $49.00 Free shipping world wide
    * He/she's got another item on ebay Poland with the location somewhere in Israel

    Just by the looks of the above, I think it is more likely to see the number 42 black-red-green on the roulette wheel than getting the actual item.

    Maybe it helps.

    • Labhrás Labhrás Kiely
      September 20, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      This doesn't really help. The buyer often has a bashed up old phone and claims that this is the one you sent him. The fact that you marked the phone and recorded the IMEI doesn't help.

  49. cj
    April 10, 2015 at 2:37 am

    My niece ordered a pair of shoes. She got a package with a tracking number from the US Post Office. Inside the box was an ink pen. She tried to get her money back and they said the package was delivered and tracking number verified delivery.

    I ordered a collectible toy tractor and it was shipped with a tracking number thru the US Post Office. The tracking number showed delivery to our local post office. Package was never delivered to our PO Box. Post office said "it was delivered to your box" It wasn't. Either delivered to someone else's box, or employee stole it. I lost my money.

    I ordered something that took a while to come and there were several emails between me and seller documenting the difficulty. However, by the time it played out, it was too late to file a dispute. ALWAYS FILE A DISPUTE AS SOON AS THERE IS A POSSIBLE QUESTION.

    In the beginning I ordered a box of upholstery fabric samples and didn't read the shipping costs before agreeing to the sale. It turned out to be $50. WATCH THOSE SHIPPING CHARGES.

    Otherwise, I've found eBay to be satisfactory. Just beware.

  50. H de Vries
    April 8, 2015 at 9:33 am

    f*** me, I have just shipped a pair of shoes to someone and the buyer used the exact same text as in the example of the 'overpaying buyer'...

    I feel so stupid now, wish I had read this article earlier....

  51. Bruno
    April 4, 2015 at 3:18 am

    I always STRONGLY recommend every seller to AVOID ebay like a plague! Buyers always get their way, scammer or not, they know that even weak positive feedback can hurt largely sellers trying to make a name. So please avoid putting yourself in the hands of this evil enterprise, soon enough you'll find yourself in the middle of a distressful, unfair, money consuming situation.

    eBay feedback from seller standpoint: garbage

  52. 4n0nym0u5
    March 31, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Sara.. don't worry you have 45 days after your payment to start a dispute with paypal and claim a refund from the seller. For all my buy on eBay, when at 44 days after my payment I do not have my item, I start a dispute explaining that I don't get the item and I want to be sure that I will be refunded or that I will get my item.

  53. sara
    March 28, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Please help me :(
    I bought a bag . I found on ebay but the seller wanted me to pay by Paypal. She sent me an invoice. I paid and she emailed me that she received the money and sent the item. She also gave me a tracking number from Portugal. The number was possible to track in Portugal, now I can't track it when it's out of Portugal. It hase been already 14 days since she shipped. But it never arrived. She doesn't reply to my emails and her phone number doesn't even exist. Do you think Paypal will refund my money back? She said it was the safest to pay vie Paypal. that I could ask my money back, if something goes wrong. I really think I got robbed. I paid so much money :( I should have paid through ebay. Please give me advice. How can I get my money back?

  54. dylan
    March 24, 2015 at 11:36 am


  55. dylan
    March 24, 2015 at 11:36 am

    i got scammed for buying a razor naga mom gaming mouse :( sad life

  56. anonymous
    March 22, 2015 at 12:20 am

    thought I sold my playstation on *ebay* and was told to give shipping number and I would get payment, seeing those emails and thinking they looked so real almost cost me my playstation and all my games! I paid for the postage to NIGERIA. and only realised a few hours later, I was so fortunate to get my parcel back before it even left my town! this scammer went by the name of Larry skesh, or Richard moore. my best piece of advice to buyers or sellers is to run everything via eBay customer service and PayPal customer service and do. not trust emails at all. my other piece of advice is if anyone lives in one country and wants it sent to another then don't do it and immediately alert eBay etc. make sure you do not send ANYTHING without having the money. and don't be greedy, I just thought I'm getting a wicked deal and will get loads of money, even the guy at the post office said it was a silly idea and I didn't listen until it was almost to late. let's help stop this buy alerting everybody of who these people are (names, emails, addresses, etc) and stop fraud and scams.

  57. todo
    March 18, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    i'm trying to sell my engagement ring on ebay and i have a buyer who says that he can't pay through paypal without my paypal email. scam or legit? any feedback would be appreciated.

    • Tony
      March 21, 2015 at 6:15 am

      He could just be ignorant. Has he not bidded/bought the item on ebay yet? If he is going to pay through paypal but out of ebay, then what he says is true (I believe). Anyway, be careful selling something valuable on ebay/paypal. Look at what has happened to Kevin, about 10 posts above.

  58. Anonymous
    March 5, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Ticket sales scams: There is a scammer selling concert tickets on eBay called "ticketroo". I have been an eBay customer for years, and this guy had 100% good feedback. Purchased two Linkin Park tickets for a Calgary February 12 2015 concert for my daughter which was cancelled. Ticketroo has a guarantee on his website to "fully refund tickets if the concert is cancelled and not rescheduled". I have written him over 7 times and not one reply. We found out his user account and wrote him as well. Nothing. When I called eBay and PayPal they said there was nothing they could do because I bought the tickets in November for a February concert which was over 90 days ago. Beware of this seller! I have reported him to the RCMP for fraud. Will be reporting him to the OPP and HaltonPolice now as well as the Canadian anti-fraud system. How can I recommend using eBay ever again? ?

  59. ragonarf
    March 3, 2015 at 1:46 am

    you are right ebay has digressed. However, it is not just the buyers. Many sellers are misrepresenting products. pictured items do not match auction descriptions, auction descriptions contain stock material and seller information that conflict, resellers pretend to users selling their personal p.c., p.c.'s are listed as used that have been modified, incompetently by resellers and on and on. I now put more weight on who I am buying from than the item and I still come across sellers I wish I never heard of. I now do everything possible to avoid anything listed refurbished and the the stuff still shows up at my door modified. I do not like wasting time with ebay cases either. I have won every one I have filed but its opportunity wasted because I usually miss a good deal from a legit seller while waiting for the case to settle. anyway, ebay should open a vip auction house for legitimate sellers and they are still out there and legitimate buyers.

    February 28, 2015 at 2:51 pm


  61. Sarah
    February 17, 2015 at 5:21 am

    Any info on how a transaction went perfectly on ebay motors? How do you pay? Get title? I feel I am about to get scammed.

  62. KG
    February 17, 2015 at 4:44 am

    eBay has the Help and Contact page which is very useful if you have question or concerns.
    Knowledge is very powerful, takes a lot of reading but it's really going to help you avoid problems .

  63. Kevin
    February 5, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Sold a gold coin worth $2000 and buyer said item was not as described and sent me a chocolate coin upon return. Ebay did nothing except refund the guy and now I am out $2000

    • Anonymous
      February 16, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Plan your next vacation to teach that guy a lesson!

  64. vl20
    January 29, 2015 at 6:17 am

    Font know how to ge
    t our money back.... everytime we call ebay they say they will call in 72hrs ... but its all in vain.... no solution still ... my bank has already started sendg me emis for the credit cared payment i made....... we r tensed what to do n whom to contact now

  65. vl20
    January 29, 2015 at 6:15 am

    I bought an htc eone m8 from sinz price ws low compared to others we made a total payment thru credit card and ordered fone..... they fone reached us after 20days ... n instead of usually being double sim ,it turned out to b single sim... apart frm tht the fone is sprint locked ... wich cn b operated in india we need to pay 4000 to 5000 rs to unlock. On complaing to ebay... they r only askg us to talk to seller who is from US And seller is askg us to call cust care!! We r jacked!!

  66. Anonymous Guy
    January 26, 2015 at 7:17 am

    eBay is great for buyers (if you use PayPal), but generally not for sellers.

    The best way to not get scammed on eBay (as a seller), is not to use eBay at all. eBay/PayPal will almost always favor the buyer in a dispute, even if you ship to a confirmed address. All the buyer has to say is that the "box was empty" or the item received was "not as described" ie: was shipped a brick. Guess who is going to be on the hook? Yup, the seller. As a seller, you have no way to defend against this scam.

    • Bruno
      April 4, 2015 at 3:26 am

      I believe i'm about to go through this. Sold two items on ebay to a guy, both arrived broken, i offered a full refund upon receiving the item, buyer has been stalling all week, we traded about 80 emails and he's trying to shake me down, like keeping the items (300us worth) and getting a 175US refund.

      A 10 year account, 100% feedback above average about to go down the drain .. all thanks to a system that favours buyers blindly.

      Plain awful

  67. sean
    January 24, 2015 at 2:19 am

    I have been scammed by payandpack
    I ordered a fire place fan, after I received it I realized it is wrong side so I spent another $20 to shipped back,
    months passed by I contacted ebay, paypal and NO Fan NO refund
    scammed big time by payandpack watch out

  68. hgh
    January 21, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Is there any scams that the buyer does not collect a paid for item that requires a signature and ignores any emails sent since the post but was communicative previously? has good feedback as a buyer but is not collecting an expensive parcel and I do not know why. any ideas?

    • Jay L
      May 12, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Happened to me once, Paid then ignored. Received it back from P O. as UNCLAIMED.
      Only thing I figured is Drunk EBaying. Doesn't need or Want it. Had their fun just Bidding and winning and Laughing about it. I suggest you go ahead and get USPS to get it back.. Good Luck JL

    • Jay L
      May 12, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      Let us know what happens.

    • frf
      May 12, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      he collected the item 6 weeks later then came back to me saying one item was different than the others, i know for fact they were not but gave him a partial refund anyway just to end the transaction as it was quite alot of money im talking over 8k

  69. Christina
    January 13, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Hi there, I have been scammed several times on eBay. When I was thinking of deactivating my account, I came across an interesting online service - ebuyersreviewed. com. I like this site and I use it every day. You can screen a buyer before you ship any item to him/her or report one so other sellers can benefit from your experience. I think this is the only protection that I can get at this time.

  70. chet
    January 11, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I purchaced a elec piano on ebay and its located in south africa and the seller is taking a long time to ship the item. It looks like he has no intention of shipping it. I should be protected with buyer protection but this could be a scam because even if i get my money back they keep the keyboard and the money as well.

  71. mj
    December 16, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Be careful with craiglist car sellers. There is a scam going on with a seller who advertising cars bellow market values and then they say they do payment with ebay. They give you a sad story why they are selling the car. They tell you to pay with green dot cards and they will ship you the car free of charge. They tell you that you have 10 days to return the car back to the seller free of charge. If you don't like the car they will refund the money. The problem is you never get the car. You never talk to the seller, its all done by email. Don't fall for this scam.

    • Tammy
      March 3, 2015 at 1:48 am

      I have had 2 people email sad stories of loved ones dying in the past 2 days when my husband told me this was to good to be true I backed off the first one. Then I seen a different vehical that was cheap we played into it for a few minutes then I let them hear what I thought about sick people and what they were doing. I'm so glad I didn't get scammed. It's sad what people will say or do or both for money. It makes me sick.

  72. neguiga
    December 10, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    has anyone heard of

    • Mart Jones
      January 8, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      I dealt with a similar name. They offered in their listing an item for a cheap price, then that took you to their private website with cheap items... I purchased item thru paypal, never heard another thing. Still want my money back.

    • steve
      February 23, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Stay away from that 3747electronics or whatever it is..i shouldve known better but tried scammed by them by purchasing a ps4 cheap and in turn received an old fake U.S. Coin..filed paypal claim and they offered me half my money back..accepted because they answered a message in the paypal claim that if item was lost in return shipping they were not responsible and no refund woukd be given..knew they were gonna say thry didnt receive it even if they did so just accepted half money back and done with it..stay away!!!

  73. madhatter
    July 4, 2013 at 9:11 am

    You might avoid the swich scam by marking high value items with a UV pen before you send them. Make it clear the item us marked with one in the decription and that you will prosecute scamers.

    Also report scams if you have been a victim to the police. There is a special UK site just for reporting fraud:

    I was a victim of fraud where I sold a high vaule item through ebay, sent it off no problems recived payment; then the buyer informed her credit card company that her card was used without her autherisation. Paypal took back my money and even though I proved the item had been delivered to the address, I lost my £200 and teh xbox. I have reported this to the police but I hold out little hope of getting my money back.

    • Mart Jones
      January 8, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      A similar story:
      I sold a very nice cellphone on ebay. Buyer made payment to my paypal account and i Shipped the phone out to the buyer. Well the package went there and came half way back. Then tracking showed that it was delivered to a mailbox in a wrong city. Package seemed to be lost.... Then the buyer asked ebay for a refund cuz they never received their item and ebay refunded their money.
      In the meantime I opened a case with the United states postal service on a lost package. Two days later the package was delivered to my buyers address but he already got his money back. When an item is delivered the tracking information stops right there even if it's delivered to the wrong address and no matter what happens after that the ebay record shows no more activity of that item. So I went to the post office and got proof of the item being delivered to my buyer and mailed it to ebay resolution center and i am now awaiting the outcome. Wow!!!

  74. Nisar
    April 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Keep in mind!
    ebay gives buyers the highest priority, making a very tiny mistake will put the seller in a big trouble

  75. Nisar
    April 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Hi Everyone,

    I am selling on ebay, and Mr. Lee is 100% right about fraud and theft involved on ebay.

    Tip: The best way to find out about fake ebay emails is;
    1. open the email (but don't click the links in it)
    2. Click Reply (as we reply common emails to friends or families)
    3. check if the sender's email is 100% from ebay ( OR
    4. carefully check the spelling of email, migt be something different ( or something like that)
    5. Never ever send emails to buyers from your yahoo/gmail/hotmail etc..
    6. communicate with your byers/sellers through ebay messaging or Resolution center.

    Best of Luck

    • Joel Lee
      April 15, 2013 at 4:04 am

      Nice advice, Nisar! Communicating through Ebay ONLY is very important. Ebay won't help you at all if you perform any transactions or communications outside of their system (since only Ebay messages are tracked on their system).

  76. TJ Clayton
    April 2, 2013 at 3:17 am

    How about when EBay/PayPal scams the purchaser? I've had a PayPal account linked to one of my credit cards since 2005 and now I can't use it anymore cause I've hit a "sending limit". Mind you I've spent over $4000 with no problems what so ever and have a100% positive feedback rating on EBay. The only option given me by PayPal is to link MY personal bank account number to PayPal or to apply for THEIR credit card - NOW WHO IS BEING SCAMMED?

  77. Ryan G.
    March 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Another possible scam that I'm currently trying to deal with: item pre-sales. Ebay will allow listing of pre-sale items, say: a new game console that comes out next month, a designer dress that won't be released for 5 weeks. I used to like to use eBay to lock in prices for some things that I expect will get hyped after it hits the market.

    The problem is that the buyer protection only extends 45 days from the date of PAYMENT, not SHIPMENT. That means that once those 45 days have passed, the seller can just walk away with your money and give you the finger. This isn't just academic: I had eBay turn down a claim against a fraudulent seller where everything in the transaction was perfect: communications through eBay, payment through PayPal, listing was shown as protected, etc...

    I guess the only way to protect yourself from that is to either avoid pre-sale auctions altogether or to file prophylactic buyer protection claims in advance of the shipping date and keep it open until the item actually ships. But wow, I wish eBay had made this clear before I lost a lot of money on this.

    • OA
      April 9, 2015 at 1:13 am

      As a buyer I got scammed like this with magazine subscriptions years ago. Because it said wil take 5-8 weeks for subscriptions to start, I could not complain when I did not receive anything by 30th day, by week 8 I even forgot about my subscriptions. eBay really needs to change rules for items that do not ship within a week, either ban these sales or give buyer an extention.

  78. harley bellwood
    February 27, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I haven't used eBay a lot but I still get nervous when I do use it. Any shopping on line scares me.

  79. Philip Cohen
    February 9, 2013 at 10:08 am

    And the ugly reality for consumers dealing with the clunky, unscrupulous eBay/PayPal complex ...
    "Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay: Case Study #5" ...

  80. Keith Swartz
    January 19, 2013 at 3:41 am

    eBay buyers BEWARE!

  81. Sara Camarillo
    January 18, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    As a new seller I find this list daunting and helpful. I'll definitely keep my eyes out for scammers.

  82. Dee Wheat
    January 18, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I have had only one problem on Ebay, and that was a seller who did not ship the item. That, however, happened years ago and I think Ebay has made many, many changes since then because they have realized that their buyers are their true lifeblood. Without buyers, a seller will take their goods, and seller fees, elsewhere. I do know they're much more responsive to issues now than they were in their early days, which is nice.

    • Joel Lee
      January 30, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      Yeah, I do believe that eBay is more buyer-friendly than they were years ago. You are absolutely correct: without buyers, sellers will disappear, too. It's in eBay's best interest to be as helpful to buyers as possible, so hopefully these scams will disappear in the future.

      • Dee Wheat
        January 30, 2013 at 5:39 pm

        Sadly, as soon as they do someone will think up another one! The irony is that if these folks spent as much time and energy on a job as they do on their scams, they wouldn't need to scam people!

    • Matt
      March 27, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      How is a buyer more important than the seller? Without one you cannot have the other. They are equally important; it's a symbiotic relationship.

  83. Nermal
    January 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Most of these ar SO obvious that they are easy to not get caught in.

    Anyone getting caught in them is a moron and has set themselves up for the scam.

    The "switch" one and the plain "no item" one are the two exceptions - it's almost impossible not to get slapped with them and no amount of self-control and common sense will prevent them.

    The others - the "overpay", the "elsewhere", and the "email" scams are just the greedy seller being an arse and catching themselves in the scam, hence they are morons!

  84. Krist Bussart
    January 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    on the The Bait-and-Switch Refund scam, another way to beat this scam and get law enforcement involved is to take a picture of the device and one of any serial number or other identification number (such as cell phone IMEI number.) Then if the buyer tries this scam ask them to confirm the number before replacement/refund. If it does not match call law enforcement, it is now fraud and (at least in the states if across state lines) a federal offense.

    • Joel Lee
      January 23, 2013 at 3:43 am

      Ha, good idea. That'll catch them with their pants down! I love it. :D

    • Tony
      March 21, 2015 at 5:58 am

      Good idea.
      Here in Australia, I wouldn't count on the cops to investigate ebay fraudsters though. They would be either too busy issuing traffic tickets or wouldn't be bothered.

  85. David Maxwell
    January 18, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    There are more interesting scams going, which eBay refused to tell me how it is done. We purchased an item for $800 from a perfectly reputable individual. We then received an email, ostensibly from the seller, asking us to send payment by Western Union rather than Paypal. We didn't. But my question is how the scammers got ahold of the record of the transaction to permit their creating scam emails.

    • Joel Lee
      January 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Any time a buyer or seller wants to make a transaction outside of eBay using other methods, that should be an immediate red flag. You were correct in not sending any money. I'm not sure how that particular scam would work, but you surely dodged a bullet there.

    • Tony
      March 21, 2015 at 5:43 am

      "Any time a buyer or seller wants to make a transaction outside of eBay using other methods, that should be an immediate red flag."
      That's not true if it's the seller who wants to do that. Reasons include fees and own protection against scammers who abuse Buyer Protection.
      "I’m not sure how that particular scam would work"
      If you don't, that probably means you are being paranoid. I try my best to charge extra from paranoid buyers like you as insurance from Buyer Protection abuse and recoupment of extra ebay costs. You gotta pay for all your insecurities in life!

    • Tony
      March 21, 2015 at 5:52 am

      David > Western Union (international transfer?) sounds fishy and might be originating from a third party.
      If you can establish the authenticity of the email and the seller is reputable (and didn't receive most of his feedback within the last 30 days) there isn't much that can go wrong.
      I understand your concern given the purchase price though.

  86. Scott Macmillan
    January 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I don't use Ebay much but I really appreciate the info.

  87. Gideon Pioneer
    January 18, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    In regards to bait and switch: the no refunds comment in your listing is useless. Buyers are covered by eBay’s Buyer Protection Policy regardless of what you put in the listing, and saying no refunds does not weasel a seller out of any responsibility. Otherwise you could do the opposite, send out a ton of broken items out and get money.

    eBay and PayPal are very buyer-friendly to the point where I'm afraid to list things and always try to sell locally through Craigslist first.

    For example, I'm very OCD with electronics and need them to be in perfect condition. Often times when I used to still play video games in the past I would go on eBay to buy PS2 games or whatever and would send the buyer a message asking "is the box and CD absolutely scratch proof and in brand new condition? I'm a collector and need it to be 100% like new". They would most often times say yes, and I'd buy. Then the item would arrive and the box would have poorly peeled off stickers, and a scratched up CD. I'd be pretty upset and contact eBay (after sellers always telling me to ship it back to him on my own expense...) and state that I want a refund and it's ridiculous that the seller expects me to pay to ship it back to him due to his lies. And eBay would promptly take the money away from the seller and refund me the money without me needing to ship the item back or provide any sort of proof.

    This happened quite a few times with video games and electronics for me in the past and I just avoid eBay now as a seller as much as possible out of fear somebody will do the same to me with something expensive

    • Shane Fromaggio
      January 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      "the box would have poorly peeled off stickers."

      "And eBay would promptly take the money away from the seller and refund me the money without me needing to ship the item back or provide any sort of proof."

      So, basically, you are saying you are/were one of the scammers the article is referring to...

    • Darth
      December 19, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Sounds more like a scam to get free games and rip off the seller.

    • andy
      March 3, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      boxes with sticker marks are not 'as new'. Sellers should not blatantly lie in descriptions of items.

  88. Chris Flinn
    January 18, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    The best way to avoid the bait and switch is to get the buyer to acknowledge you are sending them a working device but unless they purchase insurance you are not responsible for shipping damage. Then DO NOT seal the box prior to dropping it off. Have the people at the shipping office sign a notice of working order and drop it in the box.

    I sold a phone on ebay a few years back and did this. Most of the time it the shipping companies have no problem saying yes we seen it working when he dropped it off to us as long as they know they will not be responsible if no insurance is purchased.

    • Joel Lee
      January 23, 2013 at 3:42 am

      Most people will just ignore your advice because it adds more work, but I think it's good. Thanks for sharing!

    • Darth
      December 19, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      saw it working*

    • Julie
      April 17, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      That's VERY good advise. Thank you!!

    • Julie
      April 17, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      I'm in a situation right now where I got notice that a buyer is claiming he didn't receive his item & paypal put a hold on my account for the amount he initially paid. When I looked at the tracking on the listing, it says it was delivered 7 days ago. The buyer is stating that the package is on its way back to me, but I can't find anything that reflects that. He sent me a message with his personal email address & asked me to contact him thru email to "figure it out". The item was only about $30 & I'm wondering if he's thinking I'll just refund him since it's not a lot, but I honestly don't know what to think anymore with some of these eBay buyers!! Any advise?? It's always appreciated:)

  89. Florin Ardelian
    January 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    The "Vanishing Cash" always happens when they ask for payment in advance, but sometimes if they can't get you to pay all the amount they'll be happy even with a few hundred bucks. It's usually done by asking for cash using Western Union, MoneyGram or similar services.

    In the "Over Paying Buyer" you also said that the seller shouldn't ship the item until he sees the money. I'm not an expert, but I know there's a service called COD ("Cash On Delivery") so if you agree with the buy that he should pay cash, I don't see why this isn't a viable option (**please correct me if I'm wrong!**)

    • Joel Lee
      January 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      I'm not entirely familiar with the Cash On Delivery service so I can't endorse it, though I can't exactly condemn it either. However, I think eBay's terms of service require all buyers and sellers to make their transactions through the site ONLY. Does eBay offer a COD option? If not, I would avoid it.

    • Darth
      December 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      I think you took the comment "cash in hand" a little too literally.

  90. Daniel Dorilas
    January 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks a lot for this great information, i would like to read a post about when ask you to sell item for them on ebay.


    Daniel Dorilas

  91. Marc Couture
    January 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I often buy/sell on eBay, and the worse thing is when someone buys your item and then tries to wiggle out of paying, or tries to have you ship your item to some far away land, etc. Very annoying.

    • Darth
      December 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm


  92. Noy Sobu
    January 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Everyone who wants to transact on Ebay should read this first. Very informative.

  93. Venkateswara Swamy Swarna
    January 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I buy on the Indian site of eBay ( and did not face any problems so far as a buyer as far as non-receipt of items. I did face some problem with a seller when the emergency lamp that he sent me became defective in a few days. After complaints, he did send me a replacement.

    I bought another item, not very expensive where the seller's description was found to be at variance when the product (some software loaded on a usb drive) came. I did complain to him but did not pursue it further considering the rather small amount involved.

    I am not a seller anyway.

    I did not face any issues with clicking on the links from the genuine emails that I get from eBay.

  94. Anonymous
    January 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    I've had more trouble with Craigslist and the fake pay-pal is the most common. Don't ship anything on Craigslist.

    • Anonymous Guy
      January 26, 2015 at 7:31 am

      Never had any problems on Craigslist, and I've done hundreds of Craigslist transactions (as a buyer and seller) for the past 15 years. You just have to use common sense, and not be an idiot. ie: Cash only in-person transactions. Test and inspect product before paying.

  95. Andy Liu
    January 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I found that the best method for shopping on ebay is to buy from reputable sellers with loads of stars!

  96. AP
    January 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Never knew that such varied scams happens, last one is very common and frequent happening .

  97. Sean Ang
    January 18, 2013 at 6:21 am

    This is informative. Have to really be aware of some of these tactics....

  98. druv vb
    January 18, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Its good to know that these scams exist. And am sure everybody will read this article and will take note. But these scammers are really good at thier job that most people end up being trapped.
    As a general rule for me, I always contact the seller or client to ask them lots of details about the items listed. And to always check for feedback about them.
    The only rule is to log on Ebay manually and double check your PayPal manually.
    If something is wrong, cancel that credit card.

    • Joel Lee
      January 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      Asking a lot of questions can be a lot of work if you buy a lot of stuff but it's a good habit to get into. It's not a guarantee that you won't be scammed but it does help to establish a rapport with the seller and you can pick up clues as to whether or not they're trying to scam you. Nice!

  99. Sashritha Peiris
    January 18, 2013 at 4:46 am

    Although I do not use ebay thanks for the tip. Especially the last one.

    • ebay seller x
      December 29, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      Their another big scam ebay is aware of buyer pays for items then files case did not receive right item they keep item seller out money . also crashes sellers dashboard they work so hard to keep you can tell if a seller is established or not . The new ebay buyer scammer we talk about it at the coffee shops and at the donut shops but ebay just want you to report buyer and nothing else is done .many have turned to other sites to sell and craiglist list for free and still able to take paypal or other card payment . Will ebay really do something about these rotten people . or will ebay just keep losing sellers .