A site like eBay can be a great platform for selling items, and it gives you a lot of benefits that would be hard to replicate on your own. But, like other hubs of online activity, eBay also attracts scammers. The best way to avoid them is to know their tricks. Here are some common eBay scams to watch out for:
Keep Alert – Warnings For eBay Sellers
These are only a few eBay scams. To protect yourself, do some research to learn about others, and be sure to follow eBay's guidelines for selling!
- A buyer who wants to pay more than you're asking. These scams take advantage of people's natural greed. After all, who wouldn't want more money than they expected? The problem is that the scammer ends up sending you no money in the form of a cashier's check with zero monetary value or payment via a fake PayPal account.
How to avoid it: Never send the item until you've verified payment.
- A buyer wants to pay you outside of the eBay system. They'll use immediate cash as the incentive for you to do this. The problem comes in after the transaction when the scammer threatens to have you blacklisted from eBay unless you pay them.
How to avoid it: Never conduct eBay transactions (or even parts of transactions) outside of eBay. The protections provided by the service aren't guaranteed unless you conduct the entire sale through it.
- You sell an item to a buyer and they send back "the item" claiming it arrived broken or defective. In fact, this scammer has replaced the item you sold them with an identical broken one.
How to avoid it: There are several things you can do. First, consider requiring buyers to purchase shipping insurance to protect against breakage en route. You can also write down serial numbers, or take photos of identifying marks to ensure the item sent back is the same one you sold. Finally, you can have a "no refunds" policy on all items you sell.
- You receive a legitimate-looking email from eBay asking you to log in to your account using a link from the email. The problem is that the message isn't really from eBay, and when you log in, scammers capture your credentials and use them to hijack your account.
How to avoid it: Never click links in emails from unknown sources. When in doubt, don't click!
- A buyer says they've put money in an escrow service for you, even when you weren't expecting them to use escrow for the transaction. The problem is there is no actual money waiting for you.
How to avoid it: If you're not expecting an escrow service to be used, don't sell to a buyer who says they're using it. If you do want to use an escrow service, make sure it's Escrow, which is the only escrow service supported by eBay.
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