There was a Slickdeals thread a few weeks ago on some Apple Nike watches. I had some Nike gift cards from the AMEX Offers, so decided to flip some of those. I listed all 4 on Ebay and all sold pretty quickly. And sure enough, someone tried to scam me. By the way, I started taking pictures of the shipping label alongside the serial number of the big ticket items I sell a few months ago just in case this day comes.
So this buyer with 13 feedback (although joined since 2009) sends me a message a day after he gets it saying that only the charger was in the box. I told him that made no sense since the item was brand new. I then asked him if it was sealed (since it was sealed when I shipped it out.) He then says NO it wasn’t. I told him that he was lying and was a scammer. He then says he’s not and then files a return, including pictures of the empty box.
Early bird gets the worm
Before we continue with the story, let me tell you a reader story that happened a few months ago. My reader bought an expensive camera on Ebay and a piece was missing/broken. They then tried to return it to the seller, and the seller said she was trying to scam them. She then filed a return request. A few hours later, her return request was denied and she couldn’t do anything else via Ebay. I then told her to dispute through Paypal and worst case, dispute the charge on their credit card. I don’t know what happened after that, but I knew what had happened. The seller had called up Ebay, pleaded their case, and essentially shut down the buyer.
Calling up Ebay
Finding a way for Ebay to contact you isn’t self explanatory, but it’s there if you click around enough. I then had Ebay call me on a Sunday morning. I was shocked when I heard an American voice on the phone on a weekend; I for sure was expecting an overseas rep. Anyway, I told her that the buyer was trying to scam me since I had sold the other 3 without issue and this was a lowly rep buyer (hey, reputation matters.) She put me on hold to go through the details. After a minute or two, she came back and told me she’d take care of the return, and that I should ‘report the buyer,’ so that there’s a record of this event against them.
Sure enough, 10 minutes later, I get an email saying this:
eBay opened a case because of an issue with an item purchased from you. We reviewed the case and have decided to issue the buyer a refund of $379.95 without any impact to you.
This case is now closed. You are not required to reimburse the buyer or eBay, and this case will not be counted in your seller performance evaluation.
You can view the details of the case in the Resolution Center.
It seems that Ebay refunded the buyer, but didn’t withdraw the money from my Papal so they must have ate it themselves, which as much as I hate Ebay, was not the outcome I wanted. This scammer had successfully scammed himself into a free watch (at Ebay’s expense and not mine.)
Whether you are a buyer or seller on Ebay, just know that the first person to talk to a human usually wins.