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This guide is for the sole purpose of learning how to avoid fraudsters and con artists bidding on your item and leaving you with no payment, no item, and your ebay fees for selling the item.

I regularly sell high value items on ebay. If you sell Laptops, Mobile Phones, Televisions, MP3 Players, moreorless any electrical goods, then hopefully this guide will help you avoid the con men trying to get your goods without paying for them.

1st warning sign

  • Receiving an email from a buyer requesting postage to a different country (Nigeria, Africa, and Netherlands appear to be the most widely requested countries)
  • The buyer will tell you they will offer you 3 to 4 times the true value of the item and pay you by BIDPAY or WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER and will request immediate dispatch with dispatch confirmation sent to them. This way you will see the money in the account they have deposited and you will send the item. They will receive confirmation from you that you have dispatched the item and then they will retract their money from the account, leaving you with no payment and no item.
  • They often tell you a bit of a story (a lot of the time it is written in broken or bad english), for example some of the stories i have heard are that it is a present for a family members birthday or wedding, or that they need it desperately for their shop.

I have found the best way to stop these people from bidding on your item is to send only to UK; to block buyers who do not live in the country you send to; and to only accept paypal as payment. If you list your item as only accepting paypal, then anybody without a Paypal account will physically not be allowed to bid on your listing. Chances are these fraudsters don't have paypal accounts as they do not have a bank account/credit or debit card to assign, and they are not members for long enough to do so.

2nd warning sign

  • An ebay member wins your item and requests postage to a different address to what they have listed, normally an international address.

  • You will notice that the fraudulant members have Zero feedback or less, and have only been a member for one or two days at the most.

  • Please note, i am not saying that everyone who requests items sent abroad or that are new to ebay are fraudulant!!! These points appear to be a trend with the fraudsters i have encountered and all i am trying to do is install a bit of cyniscism so that you do not send the item straight away and lose your money - find out a bit more from the buyer.

3rd waring sign

  • The buyer wins your item and sends you an email after the listing has ended, telling you they have paid for the item via Paypal and you will receive a confirmation email from Paypal to confirm this.
  • They will sometimes follow up with a fake paypal payment email to your email address.
  • The fraudulent buyer may also tell you that they are having trouble with their paypal account but have contacted ebay and you will receive a confirmation mail to confirm they have paid. Immediate dispatch is ALWAYS requested.

Obviously there is no payment in your paypal account and the fraudster has generated and made up the conformation mails themselves.

Ebay will often send you a warning email if they feel you have received an email from somebody who is not legitamate, stating their ebay username so please take notice of these mails as it could be the decider of whether to send your item or not.

Finally if you are unfortunate enough to receive a mail or a bid from one of these people then my suggestion is to leave them negative feedback and report them to ebay.

You will find that the user will be 'no longer registered' by the end of the day.

I hope this guide has been of help and you don't get caught out by these people. I will regularly update this guide with any 'new schemes' that the fraudsters appear to come up with.


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