A month or so ago I put my phone on ebay for sale. It was a Sony Ericsson k800i - quite a nice phone, quite expensive! I was happy for people to bid on it but I also put a "Buy it Now!" offer on the item ( for me this meant that I could probably get a better price and sell it quicker...for a buyer it means they don't need to bid...), this is something I often do, especially with more valuable items.
After about an hour of listing it, I received a message from a woman saying she would send me £300.00 for the phone....I was amazed, but confused. Why would anyone offer me that much money for it, especially when the buy it now price was only about £100.00?!
The lady said that she had a son in Nigeria who was working with American doctors and desperately needed a phone. She said that I would need to send the phone first, and then they would pay me.
I messaged her back and said that if she sent me a paypal transfer for £300.00 FIRST i would be more than happy to post the phone anywhere!! (Well, wouldnt you?!)
I never heard back from this lady. It didnt really surprise me...but I was a bit confused by the whole affair. Anyway, I forgot about her and carried on with my life...
The next day I was pleased to see that someone had bought the phone using the "Buy it Now!" system..."GREAT!", I thought.....but sadly it wasnt that great afterall.
I received a message from a man saying he lives in Nigeria and that he would pay me for the phone once her had received it..... was it a coincidence that 2 nigerians had contacted me saying similar things? I didnt think so....I did some research online and found out this happens quite regularly!
I also contacted my brother (who uses ebay a lot), and he knew all about it!
I couldnt believe it...scams! scams scam scams! Stupid me for thinking stuff like this wouldnt happen on ebay!
Obviously I didnt send the phone to this guy....I messaged him telling him I would be raising a complaint against him personally and mutually withdrawing the purchase.
I contacted ebay in regards to all of this and was contacted back quite quickly...my seller fees were refunded and I listed it again. I made sure that in the description I put in big capital letters that I would not fall for any Nigerian scammers and that if any scammers are looking then they are wasting their time with me!!
I cant believe that SELLERS are stupid enough to actually send items out withour receiving payment first....YES! It really does happen!
Dont be fooled by these scammers!
If you are selling a valuable items, particularly electrical items, try to refrain from using BUY IT NOW as these are the items they target! Also, in your listing, make it clear that scammers and nigerian scammers are wasting their time with you!
As well as all this, it's a good idea to also make it clear where you will/will not ship items to.....AND, you can change your seller preferences so that newly registered ebayers with no feedback OR ebays with poor feedback cannot buy your item. You can also edit your preferences so that only ebayers with paypal can buy your items.
Its worth doing all this - Ive had no trouble since.
Also, check out the ebay forums - lots of people with similar issues and lots of advice!
Thanks for reading :-)