All Richard wanted to do was sign up for eBay and PayPal and auction off a few things. But when he was hit by a Nigerian scammer, he says he got into a complicated ordeal with eBay as he tried to get his money back, and was then unable to re-list his item.
He’d never used either service, but was aware that there are always those out there ready to do harm and scam users out of their money. He found out the hard way that once something shady goes down, it’s hard to dig yourself out of that dark, dank hole you didn’t even dig yourself.
I signed up for my first eBay and paypal accounts and went through all sorts of hoops to verify my identity. I put up two auctions: one for a set of records, and one for an iPod. I understand an iPod is a pricey item and I understand eBay is rife with fraud.
Both auctions were bought almost immediately with buy-it-now. I shipped out the records, but the ipod bidder was suspicious right away. The eBay account was for a Canadian address, but then I got a email from ‘paypal’ asking me to ship to Nigeria. I’m no fool, and the email was clearly fake, so I reported it to eBay right away.
I got back a form letter saying that they would ‘take action’ but they couldn’t tell me WHAT action. As far as I could tell, at least on my end, they took NO action. I had to wait until the buyer didn’t pay, then file a claim, then wait four more days, and then finally close the complaint and get my final value fee back. (eBay did finally cancel the fake buyer account, on the THIRD day of my unpaid item complaint process; and even then, they STILL didn’t manually and immediately issue me a fee refund!)
NOW, the worst part of it all is…I can’t relist the ipod for sale! eBay puts a ton of account limitations on new users, and that includes selling more than one type of item in the ‘electronics’ category. Hey, look, I get it! I want to be protected too! But in the meantime, I never had a chance to actually list or sell my original item!
I guess I’ll have to take my chances on craigslist at this point. Oh, and for the record – and hopefully to help protect any other new eBayers out there – when you list something with a Buy-it-Now price, ALWAYS mark the option that payment is due IMMEDIATELY. This takes anyone who clicks it straight to paypal where they MUST pay right away to end the auction. If only I had known…
Oh, the humanity! Has this happened to you? Any words of advice for Richard?