Community Newsletter: Q&A forum: I got scammed on eBay, what can I do now?

by: Lee Koo (ADMIN) September 14, 2007 12:21 PM PDT

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I got scammed on eBay, what can I do now?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) ModeratorCNET staff - 9/14/07 12:21 PM

Question:

Heres my problem, I purchased an iPod from eBay some time ago; the user claimed a friend shipped them out without tracking numbers. So I listened to his song and dance, and going on the belief that all people are good, I believed he would send me an iPod. So I cancelled my resolution on PayPal and threw caution to the wind. Well, here I am 8 months later with no iPod and out $200. When I talked with PayPal, they said I could only use 1 resolution per transaction, and then said the seller had used the service before and seemed to be an alright person. So now I guess Im screwed, because I have no way of getting him to give my money back. The only thing I have is his phone number that he gave to me in an e-mail. I have called him and talked to him about either giving me my money back or getting me the iPod Im owed. Is there anything else I can do to get back my money? In addition, what are some eBay buying tips that you can offer, so it does not happen to me or future eBay users? And if you have had any bad experience like me on eBay, what did you do? I love to hear your stories and advice. Thanks!

--Submitted by Jim G.


Answer voted most helpful by our members

ADVICE FOR SAFE BUYING ON EBAY AND OTHER ONLINE WEBSTORES


Sorry to hear about your bad experience on eBay, Jim. I know how you must feel. After 8 months with no resolution, the only thing I can think to suggest is to either write or call this person one last time. While holding your anger at bay, ask them for a refund. Be the nice person. Tell them, that if theyve had a financial problem, have been ill or have had some other catastrophic event that has kept them from refunding your hard earned cash, you understand. But, at the same time, explain that you are in the same boat and need a resolution. If the person still will not comply, tell them that they leave you no recourse but to report them to their local police department for fraud or theft and take them to small claims court. Also, contact eBay, explain your dilemma and report the seller. I dont understand why it has taken 8 months to ask about a solution, however. I had a very similar experience and was able to get a refund within a month through PayPal. The main mistake you made was to close the PayPal resolution case before you got your refund. Never close a case before it has been resolved. If you had an error in your bank account and asked the bank to look into it, would they close the case before theyve resolved the problem? No.

I have learned the hard way that there are and always will be dishonest people both on and off line. Its just a fact of life. I have to say that the majority of sellers and buyers online are honest. Since there is no absolute way to avoid the possibility of being ripped off again you must take precautions!
When you find the item youre looking for on eBay or any online website store for that matter:

1. CHECK THE SELLERS FEEDBACK. If there are any negatives, read the buyers comment. Its not always the sellers fault. Remember the old saying, You cant please everyone all of the time? Sometimes the buyer did not thoroughly read the description, didnt understand it or just didnt like it after theyve received it. In other words, find out what other buyers have written about the seller.

2. ASK THE SELLER A QUESTION/S. See how long it takes to get a response. Most sellers will respond within 24-48 hours. If you get no response, find another seller that has the same item for sale and move on.

3. READ THE SELLERS POLICIES. Do they have a return policy that you can live with? Do they even accept returns for a refund or exchange? Not all do. What is their shipping policy? Do the shipping fees seem reasonable?

4. If youve purchased more than one item from a seller, ask for an invoice with combined shipping. Even though its not always written in their policies, sometimes you can luck out and theyll give you a shipping discount. Remember, the seller wants you to be happy!

5. When paying for your merchandise via PayPal, pay promptly. Then, let the seller know youve paid and ask them to contact you when the item has been shipped. It just lets them know you are watching their performance. I have setup my PayPal account to use a credit card that has buyer protection. That way, youre covered if PayPal doesnt get a resolution for you. Perhaps its not necessary, but, you cant be too careful.

6. If you chose to pay using a Money Order or Cashiers check, you will need to mail your payment to the seller. Make sure you go to the Post Office and buy a Delivery Confirmation. That way, you can track and know when the seller receives your payment.

7. NEVER USE WESTERN UNION OR ANY INSTANT CASH TRANSFER SERVICE (NON-BANK, POINT-TO-POINT CASH TRANSFERS) SUCH AS WESTERN UNION OR MONEYGRAM.

8. Copied From eBay site:
Payment Services permitted on eBay: Allpay.net, Bidpay, cash2india, CertaPay, Checkfree.com, hyperwallet.com, Moneybookers.com, Nochex.com, Ozpay.biz, Paymate.com.au, Propay.com, XOOM
Payment Services NOT permitted on eBay: AlertPay.com, anypay.com, AuctionChex.com, BillPay.ie, ecount.com, cardserviceinternational.com, CCAvenue, ecount, e-gold, eHotPay.com, ePassporte.com, EuroGiro, FastCash.com, Google Checkout, gcash, GearPay, Goldmoney.com, graphcard.com, greenzap.com, ikobo.com, Liberty Dollars, Moneygram.com, neteller.com, Netpay.com, paychest.com, payingfast.com, Payko.com, paypay, Postepay, Qchex.com, rupay.com, sendmoneyorder.com, stamps, Stormpay, wmtransfer.com, xcoin.com.

WHY DOES EBAY HAVE THIS POLICY?
Safety and convenience are at the core of eBays policies toward payments. This policy is designed to promote safe online shopping, and to encourage online payment methods that are safe, easy to use, reliable, and offer high levels of protection for users. The policy also attempts to preserve some flexibility for users that still prefer offline payment methods.

LASTLY, click on the HELP radio button on the eBay site. Its located in the top right corner. Do a search by typing in: BUY SAFE. You will find more tips and buying strategies to help keep you safe online.

FINAL WORDS: Although this all sounds very OVERWHELMING, dont get discouraged by one evil seller. Because, as I stated earlier, MOST eBayers ARE Honest, Good and Love to have Fun! So, BE SAFE and ENJOY the convenience of shopping from home! Rae - BichonBay

http://forums.cnet.com/5208-10149_102-0.html?forumID=7&threadID=264204&messageID=2585590#2585590

--Submitted by Rae

If you have some additional advice for Jim, let's hear them! Click on the "Reply" link to post. Please be detailed as possible in your answer. Thanks!

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