Theft from your door step with collect only items

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This recently happened to a friend of mine selling some furniture on ebay.

He recently sold some small items of furniture on eBay that were collection only, a bedside unit and a shelf unit - so nothing that valuable - total sale price was about £20

As they were collect only he was expecting cash on collection. The buyer turned up, loaded the items into his car then when asked for payment said he'd sent the payment already by paypal. When my friend went inside to check the buyer drove off with the items. No suprise - he hadnt paid by paypal and he never did.

Obviously my friend could have gone to the police and contacted ebay and spent hours trying to get this resolved but as well as feeling stupid about being done over so easily he didnt bother - luckily it was small value items - it could have been worse!!

The only advice we can all learn from this is:
  • Secure payment before taking anything out of your home.
  • Make the buyer check/view the item in your house or porch or just outside your front door if you dont want them inside then pay you.
  • If like my friend they insist they have paid do not leave them with the item unattended while you check
  • Dont leave them unattended in your home
  • Try not to be alone in the house when someone is collecting
Its a shame we have to go to all these kind of measures nowadays but there are always a few dodgy chracters that spoilt it for the rest.
Since doing this guide I have also been told of buyers who collect items and act very intimidating and offer a lower price once they collect. An eBay sale should be very cut and dry - the sale price is the sale price - so offering a lower price on collection is a joke! Stick to the price and if they insist on not paying it tell them to forget it and you will cancel the sale. Dont let them bully you down.

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