Most common scams on eBay and how to avoid them

To avoid being scammed on eBay it is necessary to buy only products of guaranteed categories and from very reliable users

eBay for years has been one of the most used buying and selling sites and online auctions on the web. For some time now, however, the solidity of the platform is coming into crisis due to a series of scams carried out by cyber criminals.

First of all, we must say that eBay usually fully refunds buyers who do not receive the product from the seller. This is true for almost every category on the site. Unfortunately, however, there are some types of products that are not protected by a money-back guarantee. And it is precisely in these sections that it is easier to be scammed by a cyber criminal. On eBay, cars, real estate, items bought from Sotheby's (the UK's most famous auction house in the world), some business equipment and websites for sale are not guaranteed.

Buy only in categories with a guarantee

How does the scam happen in these cases? Simple, you send payment and receive nothing. And suddenly the seller disappears with our money. Why doesn't eBay compensate these sales? Because these are purchases in the order of thousands of dollars and the site to protect itself prefers not to guarantee a refund. How do we avoid this scam? Reading the positive comments is often not enough. Many times a skilled seller first sells small items in a legal way and then, having created excellent feedback, begins to scam. The advice then is not to buy on eBay in categories without warranty.

The name change scam

Some sellers use a sneaky technique to scam users on eBay. They sell a product and actually ship it to the buyer's address. Only at the time of preparing the package they delete the name. This way when the package arrives at the buyer's home, he can think that there has been a mistake and that the shipment is not for him. If you refuse the package, the courier will mark it as "returned". A little wording that voids the eBay guarantee. Basically the scammer keeps the money and also receives the product. At this point we can make a claim and our purchase will be labeled among the disputes. The "nice" thing is that controversial sales don't allow you to put feedback on the site, so other users won't know about the scam the scammer is running. How to avoid this scam? It's not simple. A good citizen if he receives a package not in his name returns it. But to avoid falling into the trap we can use an app to track, through the order number, the package. If we notice that the delivery is scheduled for the day, it is likely that our product is the one without a name. The alternative is to take the package and open it. And like good people return it if it wasn't ours.

The Empty Box

You enter eBay and notice the latest Samsung smartphone with a really interesting discount. You buy the device on the fly but when the package arrives at your home the surprise is big: the box is empty. This is one of the classic eBay scams. At this point you're thinking: just make a complaint and you'll surely get a refund. Wrong. It is possible that somewhere the seller included a small sentence that said: only the box included. On the surface it may not mean anything, and why then would one pay for a box hundreds of euros? Simple, because it is a scam. To avoid falling into the trap, we never buy items with too advantageous discounts that do not seem possible. And above all we read carefully the product description.

Seller scams

Contrary to what you might think the real category most affected on eBay are sellers and not buyers. This is because the platform protects the buyer much more than the seller. One of the classic scams for those who auction an object is to receive a message from a buyer. This proposes a higher price than that put online in order to have the product exclusively. At this point cheered by the offer of 50 or 100 euros more we send the product to the address given. And obviously we will never receive the money. And this modality of sale exempts from any claim. How to avoid being cheated? Simple we never send the product if we do not see the money of the transfer on the account. It often happens that a buyer contacts the seller to resolve the purchase outside of eBay. Also in this case the promise is to receive some extra money. Once the package is shipped we receive the fee. Everything seems to be going well until the buyer makes a complaint to eBay for a defective product, different from the one proposed or never arrived. We will be able to dispute the fact but without the proof of the sale the site will never give us reason. So the advice is to never close sales outside eBay and especially to communicate with the buyer only through the channels of the site.

Theft of the object

The empty box scam can also work in reverse. The buyer receives the product, keeps the item, and sends the empty box back to eBay making a claim. If we don't have actual proof of our shipment, the site will agree with the scammer. How to defend yourself? We always take pictures of the package during shipping. Obviously also inside to show the product. The speech can also work with a defective object. Let's say the scammer has a broken iPhone 6 Plus and buys our Apple smartphone on sale. Once he receives the product he keeps the working one and files a complaint with eBay showing that the phone does not work. How to defend ourselves in this case? Simple, we register the serial number and the IMEI code. In this way it will be impossible to be scammed