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Taking Care of Business
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Old February 17th, 2010, 01:22 PM   #16
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When you create your listing you can select which offers will be refused based on low feedback scores or lack of feedback. It's in one of the many control panels.

Edit: It's under Site Preferences > Buyer requirements. But unfortunately it isn't as versatile as I remembered and wouldn't have helped in this situation, although there are some useful tools there.

But the whole point of the feedback scores is for both buyers and sellers to judge the credibility of others, so I don't think you'd be out of line to say you won't accept a bid from someone who has a score of less than, say, 10, and 100% positive feedback.

I've spent the past six months selling off most of my old video gear on eBay, including several camcorders, and have had pretty good luck, no issues (except for one attempted scam that was easily uncovered thanks to a little web research). Most of the advice here is right on. If he hasn't paid yet, it's unlikely he ever will, so you won't be obligated to ship anything and a dispute will allow you to re-list without fees. If the money's in your PayPal account and marked as "pending" then they won't release it until he confirms he gets the cam and/or leaves positive feedback. Even if the money's cleared and you withdraw it to put it into your bank account, he could still dispute is as outlined above and then you'd be stuck.

I agree the email is a huge red flag and very suspicious. I'd bail.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 02:05 PM   #17
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Thanks Adam. It gets more comical. For an $1100 camera purchase, I rec'v an email from Paypal saying they deposited $1300.


Email from them asking I Western Union back the $200 is coming in 5...4...3...2......



I suppose I'll call Paypal tonight & ask how I should proceed. Regardless, I'm not shipping anything.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 02:59 PM   #18
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I'll chime in on a couple points - first, DVi has a classifieds section, might be a better venue?

ANY online transaction has risks - even face to face ones have their risks... life's risky... yet we moslty all muddle through by using some common sense!

EBay is by their own description a venue, they have and continue to take steps to try and make transactions "safe", but you must ALWAYS be proactive, and even then there can be "issues".

I'd be more suspicious of "private" feedback than 0 feedback, particularly now, as I believe the FB reflects only the last 12 months (meaning an inactive or seldom active member may not have recent FB). I deal with 0 or low fb people on both the buy and sell side all the time, and do a fair amount of international transactions. Sometimes you have to do some handholding, and this is where COMMUNICATION is important - better to use their messaging as much as you need to vett your counterparty. If it's really sketchy, pull contact information (you can only do this with someone who you have a transaction with) and see if the phone # and address match - if they don't, be very careful. Just because someone is not a native English speaker or has trouble communicating isn't a reason to panic, just a reason to be extra careful.

EBay and PayPal have VERY specific protection plans, and they are a lot improved over what they were, but you ABSOLUTELY MUST follow (in other words READ and make sure, don't just assume you're "covered") their "rules", or you could get stuck... Shipping MUST be trackable and signature required, PERIOD if the item is over $250. It also has to go to the address in the PayPal transaction, not some alternate addy because of some lame excuse by the buyer...

If you're nervous, probably better to trust your instincts - I've had a couple really flaky (and NASTY) buyers lately... You can always set the auction to not take any buyers below a certain feedback #, and note they can contact you BEFORE they bid/buy so you can allow them. I prefer contact BEFORE someone buys, but sometimes I just get a payment, send the item off, and it's all good, with almost no communication - usually eBay regulars...


As far as the potential for the transaction to "reverse" - the buyer has 45 days to "dispute", and depending on the circumstances, the case can go either way - again if it happens, you have to be proactive.

I suggest withdrawing the funds ASAP - PP can't legally take money once it's withdrawn to your bank account, giving you at least SOME protection, though if you get a claim against you, they can lock the PayPal account and come after you for any "balance owed".

There's always one other issue, as a "real" scammer will be using a stolen CC number too... and so you're exposed for 60 days to a chargeback, but this is the situation where if you follow their rules, PP should protect you.

There are plenty of tales of woe out there about eBay and PayPal, but it's a pretty good "system" if you understand all the rules, follow them, and be careful. You have to remember that there are scammers that "work" the venue, and LOOK for low feedback or infrequent sellers/buyers to try to scam, figuring they are more vulnerable. MOST of the scammers are pretty crude and sloppy, but there are a FEW "pros" - I had a scam seller, ended up being glad I used a credit card for payment - he/she knew the entire sytem and was quite artuculate... don't know if law enforcement ever nailed them, but they were "good"...

Then again, there are plenty of really nice, pleasant people who are honest and thoughtful there too... as with anything it's the few who mess it up for the majority. Again, that's life!

Hope that helps with your question.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 03:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Barnett View Post
Thanks Adam. It gets more comical. For an $1100 camera purchase, I rec'v an email from Paypal saying they deposited $1300.


Email from them asking I Western Union back the $200 is coming in 5...4...3...2......



I suppose I'll call Paypal tonight & ask how I should proceed. Regardless, I'm not shipping anything.
I'll bet if you check your PP account, there won't be anything at all there, and yep, you've got a scammer... fake PP "receipts" have been a scam floating around... I'm betting that's what you'll find - I don't think it's even possible to "overpay" anymore - if you issued an invoice it locks the amount of the transaction now - you have to issue a new invoice, and even there they've limited the amount of changes you can make to the original transaction (people used to "pad" invoices to avoid fees...

Let eBay know (forward all the stuff to their safe harbor department, they SHOULD de-register the buyer account, whick is probably jacked...), and file for FVF refunds - you should get that without a problem if the buyer is NARU'd). You may have to ASK for the safe harbor department, the front line CS people "can" forward the case, but sometimes it's better to ask!
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Old February 17th, 2010, 03:59 PM   #20
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If you list an item, errr I mean camera, on ebay and include a Buy It Now price, always be sure to include the "Immediate Payment Required" option. That way, your item, errr I mean camera, stays listed until the payment is made through Paypal.

I listed a camera a while back with a BIN price. A scammer bought it and ended the listing. Never paid, never heard from them. Relisted it, same thing by a "different" buyer.

That's when I researched ebay selling help and found out about requiring immediate payment. No problems after that.

HTH.

Jeff... most assuredly from Ohio. Cheers
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Old February 17th, 2010, 04:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Barnett View Post
I rec'd this email question from the buyer:
______________________________________________________________________

hi
i want to know if the item is in good condition
before making the payment through paypal.
I await your soonest response.
cheers


_________________________________________________________________

A) People in Ohio don't speak like this "I await your soonest response." (sounds like verbage from the Nigerian Businessman scam)
B) Americans don't say "Cheers"
C) They say a generic "item" not "camera"


I'm sorry, I gotta bail on this transaction.

You were smart to bail out. This email carries the hallmark of all scams:
referring to a $1000 purchase as an "item." If he was really intending to
spend $1000 on a GL2, he would refer to it as a GL2. But he's probably
just doing a generic cut & paste of his standard scamming message.
"The item." Heh. Give me a break!


Quote:
Originally Posted by David Barnett View Post
It gets more comical. For an $1100 camera purchase, I rec'v an email from Paypal saying they deposited $1300.

Email from them asking I Western Union back the $200 is coming in 5...4...3...2...
Yes, that's exactly how this particular scam works: Buyer overpays for "the
item" and asks for a refund via wire transfer of the difference. Meanwhile,
your bank kicks back his check as a fraud. That's how you're bilked out of
"the item" plus a couple hundred bucks.

Classic scam. Thanks very much for sharing this with us, David -- sure hope
a lot of our folks can learn from reading this thread. Much appreciated,
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Old February 17th, 2010, 04:29 PM   #22
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Thanks Chris. I'll have to follow thru with how to have PP undo this transaction. It kinda sucks in that I'm being smart & proactive for not going thru with this transaction, but will probably endure alot of time & bs with paypal customer service as to why I'm not following thru on my end.

Blackhurst I did list it on here a couple weeks ago. And overall there's just too many red flags for me on this. I know it sounds petty caring that an American says "Cheers" or has a 0% rating, but everything combined is a little too much for me ($1300 pymt). If they send some coherant email about videography etc etc, myb I'll reconsider, but I highly doubt that's going to happen anyway.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 05:28 PM   #23
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OK, now it's just becoming a comedy show within itself. I went into my paypal account & saw $0. ??? I reread the "Paypal email" and (Thankfully, to be honest) it says "The payment will be placed into your account once the item is shipped" (not!). So I continue to read the email & it's full of mispellings (from the "Paypal" email, not the part from him directly & actually has a Nigerian mailing address.


At least this way I can deny this on the grounds of I stated shipping to US only. Also, it seems they never did give me the payment via paypal either. Anyway, check out the email they sent:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shipping Information
Shipping Info:
Name: FAVOUR ADEOLU
Address: 1 Sunday Street
City: Shomolu
State: Lagos
Zip code: 23401
Country: Nigeria
Address Status: Confirmed

Here is a message from Buyer,Oh great dealing with you,I will like you to ship the product via USPS International Express Mail of 3-5days or 8days delivery service if possible to Nigeria as a gift package that is the major reason for paying the requested cost.I believe you understand better.Also bear it in mind that the tracking nbr always commence with E,R or C and ends with US when you get to post office later today.Nice doing business with you and let me know if you have any more items forsale,keep up the good work.Thanks and have a nice time.cheers
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Old February 17th, 2010, 07:53 PM   #24
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Send him a fake tracking # <wink>! Silly scammers...

Just let eBay know, so they can refund your FV Fees.. and kill the guys account.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 09:46 PM   #25
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Good on you David. When I read your first post I thought you were just a nervous nelly, but you were wise to pay attention to your suspicions. And boy, did your buyer give you plenty to be suspicious about! :)
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Old February 18th, 2010, 01:14 AM   #26
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You don't have to kill the transaction because there's no transaction to kill. On a real purchase you'll always get real emails from eBay with links to your paypal account so you can print the address label and all that and verify the balance and transaction.

But letting eBay know will certainly allow you to relist without charge.

Jeff's idea about requiring immediate payment for BIN is a good one. Also, you can check a box that prohibits buyers from altering or editing invoice amounts.

Glad your instincts kicked in on this one in time.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 04:19 AM   #27
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If you sell frequently on ebay, then it is perfectly possible for you to lose, even after you have the funds released. If paypal believe the transaction is fraudulent, then they do have, as said, the ability to reverse the transaction even after they have paid you by simply deducting the amount from your account balance. Even if you don't have a credit in the account, they can use your secondary funding source, and already have your authority to do this!

Basically, it's all down to trust. With big ticket items, I like to get into discussions with the customers straight away. So as soon as the "congratulations ...." email arrives, I double check if the delivery address in confirmed - this is before I check feedback ratings. Unless somebody else has sold them something and they've done the confirmation process the address is unconfirmed. This is when I worry a little. So I send off a note saying thanks for buying the microphone, could they confirm the name and address for the parcel. This won't mean anything of course - but initiates a dialogue. They'll email back giving you the unconfirmed address. I then ask them a question about the product. "Just checking but you do have phantom power available?" you then get an answer. In most cases, you get a sensible answer back which at least lets you know they understand what a microphone is, but sometimes the message coming back is decidedly odd - "yes, I have plenty of power in the room". This, coupled with an unconfirmed address didn't sound right. I Googled the address and found a few people complaining they'd sent goods to this address. So I cancelled the sale, the goods were no longer available - there are plenty of options and paypal reversed the payment. I've done a couple of these, and apart from losing the fees, it's been safe. I tell the buyer I'm really sorry, but when I was packing it up I accidentally dropped it and it is broken, so I have returned your paypal payment - really sorry.

So for me - it's the confirmed address that's important - and Paypal tell you this is important anyway. People with zero feedback can be disadvantaged, but perhaps they should have bought a few low ticket items first.

As for Nigeria - no way! I turn down sales from anywhere apart from the UK, just too risky.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 04:46 AM   #28
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PayPal & Ebay claim to be very concerned about fraud & safety but in my experience care little about crime as long as they get their listing fees & that everything appears rosy. In particular they don't want to frighten people off using Ebay/PayPal with bad publicity about numbers of bad transactions.

I was the victim of a scam with non-delivery of a $1000+ Canon 14mm F2.8L lens from Singapore. I discovered that there were at least half a dozen other people who had bought similar high end & high priced photographic items & received nothing or as in my case a package containing junk (a glossy magazine). I pretty rapidly got refunded but I could not get Ebay/PayPal to take any interest in reporting the seller to the authorities in Singapore & they even told me to just dispose of the magazine despite the fact that this could have been evidence with the criminal's fingerprints on it. In particular they refused to let me know what action if any had been taken regarding this crook.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 08:33 AM   #29
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I sold a GL2 about a year ago on Ebay and found the scammers outnumbered actual buyers about 2:1. I am not a frequent Ebay-er so I didn't realize you can block bidders with zero feedback and/or no Pay Pal account. Luckily I didnt ship anything either but I did have to get Ebay to reverse their charges so I could relist the item. Delayed things about a week when I was in a hurry to sell.

And funny - I got a question from my "buyer" after winning the item that was worded almost exactly like the one to the original poster. First red flag.

I also had a lot of random questions from people - who then never bid - and I can only think they were looking to get my personal info (perhaps for identity theft?). When communicating with people make sure your preferences are set to not include your real identity, and that if you include your email address to them, that it not be attached to a profile that includes your real name.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 10:02 AM   #30
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I was selling my vx1000 on craigslist and someone responded "I'll take two at that price". Hmm. Scam?
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