Who’s up for another “eBay screwed me over and favored the scam artist” story? Well, you’re in luck, because we have an absolute doozy here. Vlad Gurovich sold the iPhone 5 his father didn’t need on eBay, at which point a buyer with a decent positive feedback history snatched it up. The process went smoothly as one would expect, but was side-swiped a month or so afterwards. Yup – we’re talking a chargeback.
A chargeback happens when a buyer isn’t happy with the product they purchased, or when it wasn’t received as described. The buyer then immediately gets their money back, while the seller loses theirs just as quick. Unfortunately, PayPal doesn’t enforce the buyer to send back the product in this event, opening the doors to one of the easiest scams ever.
Not long after Vlad was scammed, he discovered that the same buyer bought iPhone 5s from other sellers as well – and lo and behold, each one of them also received a chargeback. If you think this undeniable evidence should be enough to convince eBay and PayPal of seller innocence – think again. In the end, the buyer’s credit card company sided with their customer in the dispute, leaving Vlad out $1,000 after fees and penalties – not to mention the brand-new iPhone 5. Talk about a double-whammy.
eBay is a great place, but it’s been proven time and time again that there’s very little protection put in place for sellers. Your best bet, if you choose to still sell through eBay, is to be strict with who you sell to. Demand buyers with solid legitimate feedback – it helps when someone’s account is in such good standing, that you wouldn’t dream they’d ruin it all just for a free gadget.
Even then, what confidence do sellers have when incidents like these are fairly common? eBay must simply chalk it up to being a minor issue – after all, these incidents probably account for much less than 1% of total transactions. I suppose it’s easy to allow a few customers to be screwed over as long as the other 99% are content with things.