I have been a member in great standing on eBay for many years. Heck, I practically made eBay. I had a almost perfect feedback score of over 50,000 positive reviews. But in the past year since Ebay made some changes I’ve been seeing a lot of buyer scams. this is were buyers buy something without ever planning on paying for it and the seller loses the full amount.
See, what happened here is that Ebay went from being a neutral online auction to a buyer favored auction that is even worse than Amazon.com. At least Amazon.com has some limits that they place on their A-Z guarantee. Like customers can only file a few of these claims and they must be backed up by online documentable tracking information for returns.
This is no longer the case with eBay. Nowadays the customer is always right and it doesn’t matter even if you have them sign for a delivery. If they say they didn’t receive it in the end eBay will refund them. If they say it came to the broken when in fact it didn’t and they mail you back an older unit (you can easily check for this by recording the serial numbers of larger ticket items) that is broken instead.
In the past year, I have seen a big increase in consumer fraud on Ebay and it was costing me a lot of money. over the past year I’ve talked to numerous other eBay sellers on Ebay’s online forums and discussion boards and found that they are all experiencing the same exact behavior. Buyer fraud has become a major issue at Ebay.
So I documented a bunch of fraudulent consumer purchases that happened to me as a seller on eBay. I had pictures of the items that I sent dated with the date shipped, tracking information, delivery confirmations, and in the cases of larger ticket items (like some flat screen TVs that I’ve sold) I obtained signature confirmations.
These buyers in these cases all committed some type of buyer fraud. the most common form was that they would file a claim stating that I sent them the wrong item. Then eBay would have them return the item to me and instead of a flat screen TV I would get back a used book, dirty clothes, empty boxes, etc… I have seen it all. Once I even received a box with dirty underwear in it – I reported this clown to the postal authorities and they apparently had better things to do then track down someone shipping dirty underwear.
So I documented all these cases and I sent them in a formal complaint to eBay’s headquarters (the headquarter info I got from Ebay’s own website):
eBay Inc. Headquarters
2065 Hamilton Avenue
San Jose, California 95125
I told them that their new policies were costing their biggest and older sellers lots of money and taking away what little profits we can make (it is very cutthroat on Ebay and profits are few and far between).
Their response was rather quick – they close down my account and gave me absolutely no reason for it. Nor will they respond to any e-mails or contact from me. My only take from this is there is no loyalty at eBay whatsoever and they already know about this serious buyer fraud and don’t wish to deal with it.
In a way, now that look back on the past half year, I am actually glad that they closed my account because I took that time to make my online and web presence bigger and I’m now making more then I was making off of Ebay. The best part is that I don’t have to deal with the buyer fraud on Ebay anymore. I only accept money orders or credit card orders and I am in charge, not Ebay’s Safe Harbor idiots.
I don’t have any more buyer fraud like I did on eBay – that was just disgusting and extremely frustrating. My advice to you is that if you are selling on eBay start working on other plans and avenues of selling (like the internet). The only profits made on Ebay are by people selling used items that they have bought cheap (storage locker auctions, estate sales, garage sales, etc…) or stolen – and yes, there is a LOT of stolen crap being sold on Ebay.
Don’t think there isn’t a lot of stolen items for sale on Ebay, I bet you at any given time Wal-Mart can find a considerable amount of their inventory that has ‘disappeared’ in current posts and auction listings on Ebay.