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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Getting scammed on eBay as a seller?

Getting scammed on eBay as a seller?
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Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
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Sep 2, 2008, 01:59 PM
So I'm selling a computer on eBay, and I keep getting asked odd questions such as "Can you ship to France?" "Do you ship to PO Boxes?" etc... These questions on their face aren't odd or indicate any scamming necessarily, but clearly I'm wary of getting scammed. I've sold lots of stuff on eBay over the past 10 years, but not recently. Any good tips on avoiding getting scammed? How can I get scammed if the buyer uses PayPal? Thanks.

Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Nov 2001
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Sep 2, 2008, 02:16 PM
Selling a computer on ebay always brings out a 'special breed' of shoppers... The best thing to do is greatly restrict who and where you'll ship to.

Be sure to blatantly post those restrictions on your listing, like; USA shipping address only, or PayPal funds only accepted. Also vette the buyer before shipping and it never hurts to call the phone number of verified address too. PayPal is a good safety net, but the have a habit of freezing funds if the deal gets weird. If you're really concerned, only accept from verified addresses with known good phone numbers so you can contact them direct.

If you end up shipping the computer out of the country, you'll have to fill out all the customs paperwork and can create a real mess. My best suggestion is to keep the sale within the USA.
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 1999
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Sep 2, 2008, 02:33 PM
If you sell on eBay, you need to state very clearly your shipping terms. For me, it's this:

Shipping in United States only
Shipping via USPS only
Tracking & Insurance Required
PayPal, PayPal Electronic Cheque, Cashier's Cheque from Major U.S. Bank, or U.S. Postal Money Order only.
Allow at least 3 business days for cheques to clear
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
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you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Sep 2, 2008, 02:39 PM
Haven't there been some issues with scammers faking cashier's checks and the like? I may be wrong, but I thought I'd read something regarding that topic awhile ago...
GSixZero  (op)
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Sep 2, 2008, 02:55 PM
I'm not planning on taking anything but PayPal, so I'm not too worried about check fraud, but I'm sure there are tons of ways to scam people through PayPal.

Posting Junkie
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
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Sep 2, 2008, 03:15 PM
Originally Posted by -Q- View Post
Haven't there been some issues with scammers faking cashier's checks and the like?
Yes, they're no better than personal checks.
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Sep 2, 2008, 09:27 PM
Beware of the Paypal Credit Card Chargeback.

There is NO defense.

However, I now only BUY using credit card paypal, for this very reason .... Safety

If you can, go for collection, and cash.

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Sep 3, 2008, 10:55 PM
Be weary of shipping scams. My reason for not selling on eBhey anymore is because of this.

I shipped some top notch speakers to a guy. The guy e-mails me saying the speakers are ruined, and all that were around them was brown paper. (I know for a fact I used very good packaging since I did it my self) Back and forth e-mails, he finally sent me the pictures I requested of the damage. Large, what looked like knife cuts, were all over the speakers. In the background of the pictures was a nice sized kitchen knife. I **** you not. What the guy wanted me to do was refund him the amount of the shipping costs, plus send him money for him to ship the speakers back to me. From start to finish, the scenario lasted a couple of months.
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Sep 3, 2008, 11:49 PM
After a while, all the scams sound the same:


am craig matins, an interested in your PowerBook + Samsung LCD i
want to buy it for my son studying in abroad, i will pay you $1900
for it and i am going to make your payment through BIDPAY western
money order, so let me know if you are interested so that i can know
next step to take

thanks for the reply i would like to make your payment through bidpay and i need your full name and address please send me your full name and address the shipping would be handled by me and my fedex account

Thanks for your email response; I am in Wisconsin right now, but will be leaving for London soon for a coaching job in a few days time.
The item is for my son's birthday present; he travelled to spend time with his mum where she works in the US Consulate office in West Africa .
I'll be paying you through Storm-pay money order as soon as you make your decision and final price/shipping cost; it's secure and protects two parties in a transaction.I will like you to provide the below requirements in your reply for me to send it to storm-pay Office for payment before you ship it, I'll have to add $300 extra for you to send it to him as soon as possible.
Full Name:
Full Contact Address:
Tel Number:
All this information should be provided correctly please to avoid wrong payment. I will forward my wife residential address to you for shipping as soon as the payment reaches you.I will be very grateful to hear from you soon.
Best Regard

i will like to order for the item and i will ship to my son and tell me the condition of the item and am paying throught moneygram.so get ack to me with your full information,

thanks for ur message...and about the shipping,i ll handle it myself cos i have an account with a courrier service,which immediately the money is confirmed,they ll come for the pick up.......u dont need to pay a dime and u dont need to stress urself about the shipping..just send me your name and address..so i can make the payment tomorrow.......till i hear from u asap.

Hello Dear,
Please I'll like to know if your [Apple iMac G5] is still available. I want to buy it for my Spouse as an Easter present. Hope it's in good state and working well. Email me immediately so that we can proceed because I'll be Leaving town soon. I'm willing to pay as soon as possible to enable it get to her.

Let me hear from you as soon as possible.

Andrew Slyvester
Operational Manager
Calumet Feed and Supply Inc
Mailing Address: 1251 Milwaukee Drive
New Holstein , WI 53061


Be aware though, there ARE legitimate problems that do occur with shipped items to any respectable buyer. For example, I got an iMac G4 lampshade from eBay, but the front bezel came off during shipping, and the case was cracked in one corner. As expected UPS refused any sort of refund, despite the fact it was UPS's fault - big hole in the shipping box right where the damage was, and despite the seller phoning them over and over. We just came to a mutual agreement that he'd refund me a good part of the cost. I accepted that because I could still use the machine, but had to come up with a way to partially fix the significant cosmetic damage myself.
( Last edited by Eug; Sep 3, 2008 at 11:59 PM. )
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Sep 4, 2008, 12:46 AM
You are safe to ship to the USA and Nigeria only.
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