Paying for Items and Fraud on e-bay

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Today got burned for the first time on e-bay. Luckily the amount was only 99p, but i suppose a small amount makes you much less liable to try and get it back. I basically used a buy it now option for some computer cables on a listing and paid for the item with paypal (the safer way to pay...hmm). The buy it now listing was due to end in about 5 minutes I think it was a 5 day rather than a 9 day listing. OK here comes the incredible part.

More than 24 hours after the listing ended, I get an e-mail from e-bay

We'd like to let you know that eBay has ended an item you were bidding on because the item appears to have been listed without the account holder's permission. We are now restoring the account to its original owner. For privacy reasons, we can't share any further details regarding this member's account.

As eBay removed the item, you are not obliged to send payment for it. Please don't send money or respond to any further emails regarding this listing:

Blah blah blah blah

If you've sent payment but haven't received the item, please let us know by clicking "Contact Us" on any eBay Help page and selecting the following contact options:
Buying and Finding > Problems with a seller or purchase > You paid for an item but never received it


Now at this point I am concerned because:

1. I have sent payment and it doesn't look as if I will receive the item

2. It does feel as if e-bay usually cancels fraudulent listings AFTER they have closed, for some reason they don't seem to respond very quickly. I have reported a fradulent listing myself and I believe it was only cancelled a few days after the end of the auction and no doubt 100% of the people had paid for the item.

3. How can a seller (a power seller) be so careless as to loose control of not only his e-bay account, but the payment account?

4. Ebay responds too slowly, the seller is careless, fraud has taken place and the only person who has not done anything wrong is you. You have paid through Paypal "the safer way to pay", sconducted your transaction within e-bay and waitied until the listing ended before paying.

So what can you do....raise a dispute (does not look easy, especially for 99p), I am not even sure if there are fees larger than the amount your trying to recover?..but wait, the seller hasn't had a chance to not deliver, even though it's a fradulent listing. Remember in all this, the seller lost control of his account....BUT somehow, THIS has become MY problem? (and possibly one day YOUR problem). The e-mail from e-bay certainly doesn't claim it's anyone elses problem, not theirs and not the sellers.


My advice....wait a few days, 3 or 4 after the listing ends before sending payment. This allows e-bay time to identify fraud, which it often seems to do a few days AFTER the listing ends. I realise this isn't good for the sellers, but until e-bay gets it's act together, it's good for you. Remember "power seller", "super seller", "mega power seller", it does not matter how they dress it up, your no more protected than buying from a seller with 0 feedback.

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