Scamming is rife on Ebay and everyone that uses the platform will tell you how bad it really is. Thankfully I’ve only had to deal with it a couple of times and when I have I’ve been able to keep the money and the scammer has got in trouble for it. Ebay has many flaws and unfortunately scamming is one of them.
The platform isn’t doing enough to protect sellers and is opening the door for dodgy buyers to get away with everything. There are so many reasons why this is true but that’s not what I’m talking about today. I want to talk about the ways a seller can try keeping themselves safe against these dodgy buyers. So let’s go kick it off with the tips that I’ve used and that have worked.
On ebay you’re allowed up to 12 pictures for free. Use them all if you can. Of course on some items you might not be able to take that many but if you can, do it! If you’re selling something with visible damage you need to make sure that this is highlighted in pictures. Of course make sure that it’s noted in the description but also that you can see it. I’ve had buyer turn round and tell me that a part of the item was missing, I got in contact with ebay and told them that everything was there and could be seen in the picture. Ebay sided with me and I didn’t have to issue a refund.
Make sure you keep all emails, delete nothing! If you’re dealing with a dodgy buyer you’ll need them as proof. I’ve had a buyer who has admitted to getting the item and then opened a case saying it never turned up. Even with proof of postage and a signature they claimed that it got delivered somewhere else. I got in contact with ebay and directed them to the emails, they closed the case in my favour and I didn’t have to refund the dodgy buyer.
3, Signed, sealed, delivered I’m yours!
Now that song and dance is over.. Always if possible send your item signed for. Of course you might be selling something for £1 and want to send it second class, which is fine and I’ve done the same. I’m talking about big ticket items. If you’re going to be sending something worth over £10 (in my opinion) then make sure it’s signed for.
A lot of buyer will say that it never arrived, if you have proof that it was delivered and signed for then they won’t be getting a refund. At the same time if you have a look at the proof of postage and there is no signature of it’s got lost in transit then you’re going to be able to claim through your delivery service and you’re covered that way. When it comes to delivery service I use MyHermes as they’re the most reliable and easiest to access where I live.
I would also like to point out a side note, although not always optional to avoid. Many scammers have been sending back items only to find out that it wasn’t the same item! If you have sold a t-shirt and you get back a tiny envelope don’t sign for it! Of course you might be waiting for other stuff and it’s unavoidable but if you’re not and something the wrong shape arrives I wouldn’t sign for it. I’ve never had this happen to me thankfully but just a heads up. Wait for it to go back to the depot and then go in, explain the situation and tell them you want to know what’s inside the package before signing anything. Most of the time they’ll be okay with it.
4, Check that feedback out!
So ebay have this stupid thing where sellers can only leave positive feedback, even if the buyer is a crook! However some sellers will still leave this positive feedback but with honest words. A couple of times I’ve had a look at feedback and they’ve all said the buyer is a scammer and will con you out of your money and keep the item. I’ve cancelled the transactions of course because I don’t want the same fate as the other poor sods before me!
I’ve heard news that ebay are going to be changing the feedback system in the sellers favour again but I wouldn’t hold your breath. When ebay says they’re going to do something then it will usually take a year or two before the selling community see any changes and in the past they’ve been anything but positive!
5, Make the call!
This my final point so I hope you’ve learned something new so far! When dealing with a dodgy buyer or an opened case you’re probably going to need to contact ebay. Phone them! I’ve used chat twice with ebay and both times they ended up refunded the buyer, I’ve been on the phone with them all the other times and the case has been closed in my favour.
At the end of the day if you’re on the phone to an ebay representative then you’re going to be able to explain everything to them so that they are aware of the full story. You can signpost them to emails or pictures you took of the item and point out the well worded description of your item that the buyer has ignored. Linking back to my earlier point, if you do sign for something and the scammer has sent you an empty box or envelope then you can talk to the ebay person and explain this.
After all you might think that writing a load of stuff is easier and that ebay will assess your case fairly but this isn’t the case, I mean have you heard of the term lost in translation? So make sure you call them!
Although you have a load of tips above, they’re not perfect. Sometimes ebay will still side with the dodgy buyer and that’s just the way it goes. Thankfully it’s not happened to me yet (touch wood)! If you try and follow the above tips then hopefully like me you won’t be left out of pocket, I’ve had scammers try and thankfully I’ve been able to push them back.
Remember as well, if you do come across any dodgy buyers and rouge scammers report them to ebay! You’ll be doing the whole community a favour if you do and if you end up having to deal with one and 4 other sellers have reported them; you’re going to be in a better position! There are all types of ebay scammers out there and I’ll be doing a post on them soon! If you liked this post and found it helpful, please check out my other reselling posts for more hints and tips!
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