How to combat Ebay Mobile Phone Scams artist bidders!
I have to share my recent experience with mobile phones scam artist in hope that others will learn and benefit from my experience. I ask forgiveness for the grammar as I am still fuming mad!
I recently listed 2 mobile phone auctions these phones were new but last season’s models so I expected to get not a lot but a reasonable amount in an auction for them. As this was my first auctions I watched the auction eagerly day and night for the first few days anticipating the end date, when I could go down the pub with my mates to celebrate my new found wealth (drumming my fingers on the laptop and trying to stay awake as I waited for my first bidders) I am sure most first time sellers can relate, no?. Maybe it’s just me then.
Anyway I missed the end of the auction, but I eagerly signed in a few days after to see what I had made.
To my shock and bewilderment, the auction ended in ££££ thousands of pounds, bided up to a crazy amount by two seemly frenzied bidders!! I suspect that this was a collaborated effort where they then plan was to share the spoils after.
Of course Instead of thinking I had made a 'killing or pulling out the home theatre system catalogue' this immediately sent alarms bells ringing as, my Granny always says "If it seems too good to be true then it usually is!"
I think they were relying on the me the seller’s greed or naivety to then execute their plans.
I have read lot of articles about how ebay keeps changing their rules frequently, while this may surely inconvienice some with culprit like these about you do empathize with the ever-changing rules and regulations.
I suppose as the scam artist updates and fine-tunes their schemes; Ebay has to then bring out the big guns with Rambo at the gate to tighten the security.
I thought to myself surely these bidders aren’t going to pay these prices as there are many newer models of phones for far less, it wasn’t as if the phones in my auction were gold plated, encrusted with diamonds and formerly owned by Paris Hilton!!
So as my first course of action, I fired of some emails to the bidders who had bid up the auction to this unrealistic amount and asked why had they done this? the copies of the responses I received from the 2 bidders follows;
"but that is not the issue now, how are we going to make it a deal, i will like to purchase this item and get it shipped to my fiancee working in the Nigeria embassy and i will be paying you with paypal...get back to me with your paypal e-mail account and the total cost of the item,plus the shipping cost down to Nigeria - Get back to me in time"
Any one else smells the rat? ......................... Response 2
this is to inform you that the payment for the item as been made,via paypal
so i want you to go and send the item,and get backl to me with the shipping
thanks alot" (end of emails)
NB - No payment was sent I check my paypal account by logging in to my paypal account from my web browser. I maybe new to ebay but I am not new to the Internet and all the scams flying around! Especially the Nigerian ones!!
First I was in despair, I felt helpless as these were my first auctions, I was also thoroughly disappointed and upset! Ebay did not seem to offer any formal procedures in dealing with matters like these, or not to my knowledge.
So I had to take the matter in my own hands; my course of action was to open a unpaid item dispute! Here is what I did;
In dispute console I selected the option which says
"Buyer and I have agreed to withdraw this transaction" or some similar wording I don’t think these are the exact words.
Then in section below I selected "other" as the reason for opening the dispute.
Ebay then sends the bidder a payment reminder or some similar notice, the bidder is then given a chance to pay (which is great for you the seller if they do but don’t bank on it) or they can respond with the reason why they cant pay and for this they also receive the added bonus of a unpaid item strike.
As we know in cricket two many strikes and your out!
If they fail to respond then I think their account is suspended. The bidder of my auction is now no longer a registered member!
This then gives you a chance to get your listing fees back, if you are eligible.
It is a small consolation I know, but at least you can do something as opposed to feeling mad and powerless!
I do hope this helps in some way if you have had this experience or provides some help in what you can do if God forbid this should happen to you.