Now that I’ve gotten back into Ebay to get rid of all the stuff in my basement, I’m learning some new tricks and schemes people are playing these days. One is definitely a scam; the other COULD be a scam or an honest mistake. Remember I’ve been doing this a loooong time, so it takes a lot to surprise me. Let’s go over them both.
Scam #1 – the failed echeck
During the Hatchimals craze, I had a buyer buy one on Dec 21st. I had put in the title “immediate ship” which was probably not the best idea. Anyway, if a buyer pays you via echeck, Paypal tells you, “DO NOT SHIP OUT UNTIL THE ECHECK CLEARS in a couple of days.” Immediately, I thought, “YOU IDIOT! I’m not going to be able to ship this out to you by Christmas.” I then messaged them telling them that I can’t ship it out. I felt bad for them, thinking they were an honest buyer who just didn’t know Paypal’s rules. Anway, I never heard back from them and sure enough, in 3 days, Paypal said the check DIDN’T clear. If I was an Ebay noob or someone who felt really guilty, I could have shipped it out and lost my Hatchimal. Eventually, Ebay hit them with a non-paying buyer and dinged their record. Not that it means anything since they’re most likely not going to use that user ID anymore.
Scam #2 – the double payments
This one is either a very elaborate scam or an honest mistake. This buyer was a member since 2008 and only had 3 feedback (kinda suspicious.) They had bought 2 identical Apple watches back to back from me. I thought it was odd and figured the 2nd one was a duplicate. Sure enough, an hour later, I get a Paypal “unauthorized access” email. Then, Paypal of all people call me to ask me to refund the buyer. I asked PP if the buyer still wanted 1 of the watches or none at all. Paypal said they weren’t sure even though the guy said “the buyer was on the other line.” WHY DON’T YOU ASK THEM RIGHT NOW!?! FACEPALM!
In a few hours, I get an actual email from the buyer asking for 1 refund and that they actually wanted 1 of the watches. We exchange a few emails and I think nothing of it. Fast forward 5 hours later when I get home. Now I get an Ebay cancellation request for one of the orders. I assumed it was for the unauthorized Paypal “order” and agreed to cancel. This refunded the buyer. I then ship out the other “order.” Two days later, I get a reminder from Paypal to resolve the disputed transaction. I then check the history and sure enough, the PP chargeback was on the “order” that I had mailed out. FACEPALM! I was able to respond to the chargeback with the shipping details, but I’m not sure how it’s going to work out since I clearly shipped it out AFTER the dispute email. And Paypal didn’t autopopulate the shipping info like they usually do with chargeback cases.
This one is still pending. I just emailed the buyer telling them to call Paypal to drop the chargeback. So this was either an honest mistake or a very elaborate scam. Although really, I should have acted immediately and refunded the chargeback right away, so that they buyer wouldn’t have had to go through the Ebay cancel order route for the wrong transaction. This crisis could have been averted.
[update 3 days after I drafted this post] – I had emailed the buyer to drop the chargeback, but they never responded. Paypal SIDED WITH ME in the dispute saying they saw no suspicious activity with the buyer’s account. My guess is a credit card chargeback will come next, but I’m confident I’ll win that one even though you’d think there’d be a Double Jeopardy clause somewhere.
Now you know why I got out of reselling….