A Call for eBay Bounty Hunters

While I think we can all agree that what happened to Chris Dotson—getting scammed out of over three grand on eBay and Paypal—sucks to high heaven, he raises a more interesting point at the end of his post: Is there a market for a third-party eBay scam collection service?

Consider Dotson’s case: Even though he won the PayPal dispute, he still only received a $175 credit—Paypal just doesn’t cover anything more than that. If a collection agency went after the scammer, even with typical 40 to 50% collection fees, Dotson would still be up at least another $1,500.

Who’s going to start the first eBay detective agency? Maybe one of those ‘We sell your stuff on eBay’ stores could do it on the side.

PayPal: Not as safe as you think! [ChrisDotson.com via Digg]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Papercutninja says:

    couldn’t we round up a consumerist posse and find the seller? We’ll tune her up a little bit.

  2. Kluv says:

    While I have sympathy for the guy — these kinds of things (high $$$ auctions) are exactly why we have escrow services in the first place. (Contrary to popular belief, PayPal is not a real escrow service.) So, on an auction like this, while he would have had to pay a fee (a %, probably something like $100) — he would have been protected from losing his entire three grand.

  3. beelerspace says:

    I’m with Kluv here. Sucks to be him, and this is a really expensive lesson (maybe he could hire a private eye?), but an escrow service would’ve saved him, well, $3268.

    But a friend and I were talking about ebay the other day, and we came to the conclusion that Ebay needs to become more active in fraud prevention and resolution. In the end, the only person this kind of experience hurts (besides Chris) is ebay. Although feedback is some indicator, there’s no “brand” when it comes to the auction, only ebay. Legally, I’m sure ebay is completely blameless here. But if people are ripped off by people on ebay, customers will avoid ebay, not just the seller. Chris wrote, “I will never buy anything off of eBay that costs more than $175.” I know that if my mom, who is mostly computer illiterate, bought a $50 item off of ebay and never received it, she would never buy from ebay again.

    Well, enough people like Chris and ebay is out of business.

  4. SecureLocation says:

    PayPal advertises itself as a safe way to pay and is the backbone of eBay’s business, which is why they bought PP. It’s a scam. If you’ve ever tried to get your money back through PayPal you know that already. Your purchases through PayPal are almost as risky as just sending cash to this person you don’t know from Adam. The only way to buy halfway safely on eBay is to check the seller’s feedback. They should have a long history of selling with eBay and near 100% positive feedback.

  5. AcidReign says:

    …..Buying used stuff is just plain scary, before or after Ebay. The only time it’s worth it to me is on cars, where you lose thousands of dollars the instant you drive a new car off the lot!