Need Some Advice on Ebay/fraud

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Michael Elliott, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Ok, on December 9th I sold some One Touch test strips on Ebay. The buyer contacted me on the 10th asking where her package was and I told her I just shipped it that day, via Priority and she'd have it in 2-3 days. I told her if it didn't arrive to let me know. Well, I heard nothing from her until a month later when the Resolution Center sent me a message stating that the buyer didn't receive her items. This was on Jan. 9. On Jan. 10 the Ebay case ruled in her favor because I didn't include a tracking number, which they never asked for so I'm supposed to give her a full refund.Now, on Jan. 11 I put a Buy It Now on more One Touch test strips and the next day I wake up to see that someone bought all three and paid with Paypal. Yep, it's this same buyer. Thru Paypal I contact her asking why she's buying from me and especially since she didn't get the first package. This is when she replies stating that she did get the first package and that her complaint through Ebay was dropped. I dumbly thought that perhaps the Ebay stuff just hadn't been updated yet so I went ahead and shipped her items. Well, I send her the tracking number, she thanks me and that's that.

    Until a week later when there's a second case opened up against me and once again she's claiming that she didn't get the package. I gave Ebay the tracking number and figured this obvious scam would be busted. What are the odds that two separate packages wouldn't arrive? Well, two days ago Ebay rules in her favor and now I'm suspended until I pay Ebay back nearly $400. I call Ebay and they really weren't any help. They said that they always rule in favor of the buyer and if I want the cases overruled I need to show proof that she actually got the items. The fact that I'm 100% positive on feedback and the fact that a package has never been lost doesn't matter.

    They admit it's "fishy" that I've never had a problem yet two packages to the same person go missing within a month. So, now I'm suspended, have to pay back $400 and to me it's quite clear what's going on here. To make matters worse, I was on the phone for a hour and I asked the supervisor why everything goes in the buyers favor and he told me they don't have time to investigate every case. I have a tracking number!!!! Even worse is that I flat out asked him the fact that I could go back to Ebay and claim that everything I bought never showed up and this supervisor told me that if I did this they would rule in my favor and I'd get any dime of my money back.

    I told this person that this had completely killed my faith in this system. He pretty much told me that I could purchase items, receive them, say I didn't and they would rule in my favor.

    So, at this point I'm really lost at what to do next. If I ripped her off why would she buy from me a couple days later? Never a lost package in my life and all of the sudden within a month two to the same person go missing? I'm going to contact the USPS tomorrow but at this point I really don't know.
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    It is stories like this that keep me from using Ebay. I do not trust the service for the very reason you are having issues, Michael.

    Do you have a copy of the conversation with her where she admitted she received the first shipment? If Ebay will not accept that, along with the proof of delivery from USPS, I would tell them to kiss my a$$, not pay them a dime, and never use them again.
     
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  3. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    This day and age, Ebay has screwed itself. I rarely list anymore. Buy lots though.It is to the point you have to send stuff signature required or HFP at the UPS/Fed Ex distribution center.
     
  4. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    A few years ago, I sold a Denon receiver on Ebay. I sold it for $950. The buyer receives it and says it's damaged. I say: Fine, let me send out UPS to inspect it. UPS calls me a few days later and says: they haven't been able to get to inspect it because the guy is never available. So, he does the normal (negative feedback at the time, whatever, whatever) and lots of threats, files a complaint with Paypal.
    I alert Paypal that I have no problem refunding the guy, but the item was insured via UPS and I needed them to inspect it for shipping damage and the item returned to me, as I still have a paid warranty and if it's a total loss and I'm going to refund I want it back. I offer to pay return shipping and send UPS to do an inspection again, and get the item back.

    Guy refuses to show UPS, tells me he's some sort of police officer blah blah blah he'll come after me for fraud blah blah blah, I inform him: look, I have no problem refunding, but you've got to return it, I'm paying for return shipping you say it's destroyed so I don't see the big deal.

    Paypal then force refunds the guy.. now I'm kind of pissed. So, I tell the guy: look, Wisconsin isn't too far from me. How about I drive up and get it. Sure, I'll lose money, but you can give it back or meet me with UPS people and whatever.

    More threats. Finally, it ships returned to me.
    I receive back a box of NOTHING. Absolutely NOTHING. It's a box stuffed wtih paper and email with more threats and the like.
    I forward to paypal everything, and they say they can't prove any of that, and since they have proof the item was returned to me, and since they had already refunded it they were closing the case.

    I dropped Ebay, Dropped paypal. I still occassionally use paypal, but never under an account and always just straight as a CC alternative.

    The entire system is gamed against sellers. You are MUCH MUCH better off to create an Amazon storefront then you are to deal anything with Ebay.
     
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  5. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Oh yeah, The fact you can't take a check/MO just sucks. I sold stuff all the time back when those two were accepted. Not even allowed to allude to the fact you'll accept cash on pick up...when local.
     
  6. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    It isn't just ebay. Amazon is just as bad. I sold a set of the complete Granada Sherlock Holmes DVD set on Amazon. About a month after I shipped it, i got an email from the buyer asking where her package was. Turned out she had moved. I had used Amazon shipping to mail it, and the buyer's address was provided by Amazon. It was incumbent upon the buyer to update her address. I tracked the package, and it read 'unable to deliver'.I called and emailed Amazon, and they refused to own up to any culpability. They suggested I give the customer credit so as not to damage my 100% feedback rating. IMO, Amazon should have interceded for me and told the buyer that failure to update her address was her fault, and that they would expunge any negative feedback she left. However, they just put it all on me.The lesson to be learned? Amazon and ebay are only interested in the high volume companies who sell via their website. I think those sites are OK to use if you are a buyer; particularly if you are looking for some hard to find out of print item. But you sell at your own risk, and they won't back up the seller.I eventually got my item back after 5 or 6 calls to USPS. Two of the discs got scratched after coming off their hubs. The tracking showed they tried to deliver it at least 3 times after I had called them and told them to return the item to me. It was over two months after I shipped it that i got it back. And i had to pay extra postage. I no longer sell on Amazon.
     
  7. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    What depressing replies. I posted this at several boards and it appears I'm just out of luck. I'm going to contact the USPS tomorrow and see what I can do through them. I'm guessing I can at least get the $50 insurance back on both packages.

    On the first case, originally it was Paypal who took back the $192 but it was then dropped. Days later the Resolution Center on Ebay sent me a bill and it said they would have taken the money automatically had it not been for the fact that I had an old debit card on file. I think I might also contact my bank and have them refund those two month's worth of Ebay "bills" since the buyer got her money back and I technically still owe it.
     
  8. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    Wow, these are horror stories. Guess I've been lucky for the most part, things I've sold on Ebay have never had any complaints against me. Ebay must have adopted their "the buyer is always right" after a bunch of sellers ripped off people. Several years ago, I purchased an expensive football jersey, never received it, filed a complaint, contacted the seller, and still never got the merchandise. Ebay basically just blew me off, said there was nothing they could do, seller got away with my money. So, I guess they now shifted 180 degrees, to the buyers side.
     
  9. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Guess I've been lucky too. I've sold a number of items on Ebay, and this sort of thing has never happened to me.
     
  10. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The internet changed back at...AOL 5.0 and Emachines.Ever since Joe Nimrod could buy a 'puter for $300 and AOL made it so easy...it all went to hell.
     
  11. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Michael,

    Because you have the address (and telephone number) of the person involved, as well as a tracking number, why not take it one step up and go to the police?

    I'm not familiar with US procedures, of course, but that's what I would do here, now the parties directly involved are not handling the matter properly.
    (In fact, I did that once, while I was in NYC for the first time in my life back in 1987 and almost got ripped off in a store - I went in with a police officer and finally got my money back.)


    Cees
     
  12. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Me too but I've almost exclusively sold old DVDs or the occasional Blu-ray or comic book so even if some jerkoff tried this scam, I could (bitterly) live with a hit of refunding a couple of bucks to the con artist. The only time that I've had a problem on eBay, it was as a buyer and it was entirely the fault of the USPS and despite having insurance and a tracking number, the USPS screwed me over.

    Yeah, I don't know the law either but from what Michael is saying, it seems like this person is committing fraud and depending on the size of their town, the police might be interested. It probably won't get your money back at the very least, the police might give the buyer a scare and get them on the radar of local law enforcement.

    Since there's crooked sellers out there, it's good that eBay protects buyers but they need to analyze each situation and use their brains. When the same buyer is saying the same thing about the same seller two times in a few months, it might be time to look at the buyer and keep an eye on all future claims they make. Based on Michael's post, only a moron wouldn't be suspicious of the buyer at this point in time and I'm sure they know that the buyer is making bogus claims but they hide behind some policy that lets them take the easy route and overrule common sense.
     
  13. Everett Stallings

    Everett Stallings Supporting Actor

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    I tried to buy a DVD and almost got ripped off when the seller tried to charge over $15.00 for shipping one DVD. Well I did not have that much in my PayPal account. Shipping charges did not show up until you hit buy. So I never got the DVD and never got charged. I called Ebay and they would check into it. Needless to say I never used Ebay again!!!
     
  14. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Trumped up shipping...I once bought 5 DVD from a seller where he said "I combine shipping" in his listing, with the progression cost...Also had BIN m/offer.I offered 60-75% of what he was asking per disc.3 hours later..."enjoy your purchases" email arrived on my phone.Went to pay, he increased the shipping to make up for my offers. 7, or so, back and forth emails...and he relented to half the shipping difference, as I even said..."The point of 'make offer' is for you to come back with a higher price, not fudge your shipping."
     
  15. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I stopped selling on Ebay back when they took away the ability of sellers to leave feedback for buyers, and have only bought one or two things since then.

    I never really had any issues while I was selling/buying. The only glitch I ever had was a buyer in Europe claimed he never received my payment for a CD (this was at the time when I had to send payment by snail mail). I sent another payment, and received the item shortly after that. Given all the transactions I was making at the time, I just chalked it up to random bad luck and didn't really think he was trying to cheat me.

    But the potential is always there for things to go badly in any given transaction. Though I definitely would have been suspicious if the same buyer bid again on another of my items, after reporting me to Ebay for non-delivery. Seems like there used to be a way to block certain bidders from auctions, though that ability might have also been taken away from sellers if Ebay has completely adoped a "buyer is always right" stance.
     
  16. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    It's this. Been that way for years now.
     
  17. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    E-Bay has a powerless seller structure. The buyer is most always in the right, even if they are asshole scammers. My niece has been taken three times(she sells shoes, and clothes). My niece had tracking #'s and everything but still had to pay for 'items that were never delivered'. She now sells exclusively on Craig's List.
     
  18. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    Never sold on eBay Bought plenty in the past, but probably haven't participated in 8-9 years now.To many items that are misrepresented. Damaged, but advertised as perfect. No damage during shipping, items obviously had flaws so the owner was trying to unload them. eBay lost me as a customer years ago.
     
  19. swoosherst

    swoosherst Auditioning

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    Been there.. Sold a set of canvas art and buyer receives the item and complains that the art was damaged. I asked for buyer to a picture and send item back and he still didn't. At the end of it all I ended up having to refund the buyer and lost money on all shipping costs.
     
  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I've been selling a few items a year on eBay for the past six years, without problem. It's all been low-cost items. The most expensive were my Tivo HDs for under $300. They are becoming less hospitable to the small seller, with ever-increasing fees. But I still get much more money from eBay than I'd get from a garage sale, and with much less effort. Likewise, it's far easier than selling on CraigsList, which I only do for the very infrequent too-heavy-to-ship item, like my Sony WEGA.

    What I get from this thread is to be very cautious about selling expensive electronics. I'll have to think twice about selling a used iPad on eBay. But, I think selling an Apple monitor, worth about $100, is still pretty low risk.
     

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