eBay - Have I just been a victim of a scam?

Associate
Joined
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371
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London
Having only sold about 10 items I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to eBay. However this happened with my last sale and it just struck me as a total scam. What do you think...?

  • I puy my copy of GTA4 up for auction on eBay.
  • Because it's a game, I'm not allowed to enter a postage fee, so it has to be 'Free Postage'.
  • The item sells for £10, but the winning bidder is from Italy.
  • The Italian bloke sends me an invoice request, with a very specifc demand for me to post the game via 'Royal Mail Airmail: Small Packet'.
  • I give him an invoice for £11.70 (£10 + £1.70 postage).
  • He pays.
  • I post the item.
  • 3 weeks later he says "it hasn't arrived, where is my game?".
  • He logs a case with eBay.
  • eBay's automated system automatically takes £11.70 out of my Paypal account and holds it until the case is resolved.
  • I have two options, issue refund or find another GTA4 and post it.
  • I have to issue a refund.
  • Mr Italian gets his money back.
  • The automated eBay system says "Thanks" and closes the case.
  • Unless I put a claim into Royal Mail, I've lost my game and my money.

The reason I smell a scam is because...

1) Because I'm forced to list it with 'Free Postage', the foreign-based buyer can and did specifically request a postage method which, as far as I know, only allows the item to be tracked to the point where it leaves the UK. Once it leaves the UK, it's basically off the radar.

2) The buyer can say it never arrived, even though it probably did, and I've basically got no proof so I have to give him a refund.

3) I can only post positive feedback on the buyer.

4) According to his history, the Italian buyer only buys games (which all have to be listed with free postage), and he only buys them from UK sellers (presumably so he can force the same untraceable postage method scam).

5) The same buyer has a strange/suspicious purchase history... from his small number of visible purchases (less than 40) he's bought 3 copies of GTA and 9 copies of Resident Evil.

Defiantly looks like a scam to me, he can easily 'buy' games and claim they didn't arrive because of the crappy postage method he can enforce, then he easily gets his money back, plus the game... which he then probably sells locally or via a different eBay account.

:mad:
 
Soldato
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Why did you let people from other countries bid.

If you didn't, you should have just told him he is using .co.uk instead of .it, then re-listed.

He does have your game by the way.
 
Soldato
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put it down to experience and follow the other post's from here.

always post to the uk and never outside of the uk.
 
Soldato
Joined
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Hemsworth
It's things like this that has made me stop selling on ebay.
I used to sell lots of dvd's and it sucked when they brought in the free postage but I lived with it.
The thing I couldn't live with was the fact that ebay/paypal always side with the customer,
and a lot of shady people take advantage of that now, it's just crappy.
Shady buggers start claiming no item received, want and get their refunds, so I shut up shop.
It's not worth selling anything on the bay nowadays.
 

mjt

mjt

Soldato
Joined
31 Aug 2007
Posts
19,575
i bought a game off ebay when i was in norway.
the seller sent it to me, but i never got it.
i emailed her and she apologised and refunded me on paypal straight away.
it's a shame, because she's out of pocket

i then bought the same thing off another seller, and i received it
so it could well be geniune, although mine was leaving the EU..
 
Associate
OP
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London
Why did you let people from other countries bid.

If you didn't, you should have just told him he is using .co.uk instead of .it, then re-listed.

He does have your game by the way.

To be honest, I thought my listing was "UK Only".

By default the postage options are under a heading called 'Domestic Postage', it looks to me like you have to specifically add International Postage if you want to offer it... which I didn't do. So I don't know how a foreign bidder managed to bid.

Bar that, I don't see anything obvious which would set it as 'UK Only'.

Maybe I could have just refused to send/sell it to him, but I don't know if that's allowed.

Because it's forced as being Free Postage when you list any game, the foreign guy can just place a winning bid, then request an invoice with his preferred postage method on... maybe I could have said 'No' to his dodgy postage method, and forced him to pay £10+ for a decent service... who knows.

Puts you off using eBay stuff like this... :(
 
Soldato
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Winchester
1) Because I'm forced to list it with 'Free Postage', the foreign-based buyer can and did specifically request a postage method which, as far as I know, only allows the item to be tracked to the point where it leaves the UK. Once it leaves the UK, it's basically off the radar.

In which case, RM will list it on their site as havign left the country i.e. claim the loss against them.

How long ago was that? I am fairly sure they hav a 30day delivery disclaimer or something.
 
Associate
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As a rule I never post to Italy.

For future reference when posting within the UK or anywhere else. Fill out a certificate of posting and keep your Royal Mail receipt. That way you are covered up to £39 + you get the postage back on top.
 
Associate
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I have used Airmail and so has my dad and the items take forever to arrive. My dad had the same problem when i sent an item to Canada its took over 5weeks. I took my memory to get to ocz about 3/4 weeks after they said it would take around 5-7working days.

Royal mail air mail is appalling. If youre going to send something abroad use a courier i would recommend UPS or a similar one where you can track the item.

Surely there is some gurantee by royal mail i thinks its £30
 
Associate
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In which case, RM will list it on their site as havign left the country i.e. claim the loss against them.

How long ago was that? I am fairly sure they hav a 30day delivery disclaimer or something.

I have a mate in the Post Office who told me it's 21 days before an item can be classed as lost... and it's was bang-on 21 days when Fat Tony or whatever his name is logged his case with eBay.
 
Associate
OP
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Surely there is some gurantee by royal mail i thinks its £30

Yeah I've got the receipt and I'll probably get my money back from RM.

It's just a blatant scam though...

... just needs a div on the other end to make it work (ahem). :rolleyes:
 
Soldato
Joined
11 May 2007
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8,303
Surely if he'd done this already several times under the same account, paypal or ebay would notice that he's repeatedly saying things never arrived.

He may just sell them on for a profit in Italy and this one didn't make it. Or it's a scam..
 
Soldato
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As above really ^^^^

I think you should email ebay to raise your concerns and let them have a look at his account history in a bit more detail.
 
Associate
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Im hoping my items that are up are uk only, but I seem to be getting emails from Russia, Finland, and Ireland.

The buyers seem genuine enough, plenty of feedback etc, but I have told them i prefer UK buyers.


Only used the bay as a last resort for selling, I usually hoard :D
 
Soldato
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I have a mate in the Post Office who told me it's 21 days before an item can be classed as lost... and it's was bang-on 21 days when Fat Tony or whatever his name is logged his case with eBay.

Thats the earliest you can register an item not received claim back.
 
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