Beware eBay Scams!

I just received an email from a reader in France.  It details his experience with people trying to defraud him.  I felt this is something that all my readers should be aware of.  After all, knowledge is power!  You can read his email and my response below:


I write you this (long) mail to talk about something [that] looks like a swindle. Last week, I put on sale on Friday evening a dozen of objects in my eBay store. I used the bid format for certain very popular objects (Palm treo 650, Ipod, Dell Laptop…) an immediate purchase price. On Saturday morning (thus less than 24 hr after) I connect on eBay, with the pleasant surprise to notice that the Treo 650 was sold in immediate purchase ($523). I send the simplified contact mail to the buyer, and this one, an English gentleman, answers me in his e-mail that he bought the smartphone to make a birthday present for a friend in Africa. He thus asks me to indicate him postal charges for Nigeria by DHL / UPS or Fedex. I let you guess the price of an express delivery towards Africa by these carriers (yes, $146!!!). This exaggerated price does not discourage my buyer who asks me for my email address to pay me by Paypal. That’s the end of the first episode.

During the day of Saturday, second good surprise, my ipod was also sold in immediate purchase… I began to ask some questions when I noticed that the buyer is also an English person, and like the first one, he has a feedback of zero on eBay. But it is when I receive an e-mail indicating that he bought the ipod for a friend and that he would like to know if I can send the purchase in Africa where I began to say to myself that it should be really cool to have an English friend…

End of the second episode

On Monday afternoon, the third episode : my Dell Laptop is sold in immediate purchase, to an English women, also feedback zero, which she would like to send it to a friend in the USA. Obviously she would like to pay this purchase + an express carrier with paypal. I thought for a long time where could indeed be the swindle, because Paypal is a system where you receive an e-mail when the money is credited on your Paypal account. Here we are, the money is credited on your Paypal account, not on your bank account. In France, that take from 5 to 7 working days to Paypal to credit your bank account from your Paypal account after you made the demand… What leaves widely the time to the « buyer Â» to retract by I do not know which means.

But your goods have been sent (with the added cost of the transport by Fedex!!!). Goodbye the goods…

How I managed this business? First precaution ALWAYS go to see the feedback of your buyer, we obviously all had one day a zero feedback, but for this kind of sale, a feedback of this type, registred on eBay since 1 or 2 days, MUST start your radars!!!

Second precaution: in view of the particuliarities and the similarity of these three cases, I sent an email to my three customers, explaining that I will accept the transaction by PayPal, BUT I will send the goods ONLY after 7 days for safety reason. And guess what?  My customers disappear, when I look on eBay I see the magic sentence «  No longer a registered user Â»â€¦

Ok, it’s over for this email, I apologize for my English…. I hope my email will be useful for you, and maybe for your readers all over the world. Maybe you can tell me if you already have seen the same kind of hassle on

Mike, you make a good job on

Best regards,

Georges in France”


Here is my reply to Georges:

“You have to be very careful when shipping an item to an address that is NOT the Paypal registered address since you will not be protected as a seller.

Sounds like some crooks broke into some people’s eBay and Paypal accounts and were trying to spend the money!

Rule #1.  When someone requests to send something express and are willing to pay $150.00 without blinking an eye, chances are they are a crook.

I NEVER send an expensive item to a non-registered Paypal address.

I like your methods too!

Glad you didn’t get ripped off. This is advice all eBay sellers can benefit from.”


So dear readers, be duly warned!  If things begin to sound unusual, do your homework and protect your eBay business!



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