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Old 06-11-2006, 12:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Avoiding Ebay Fraud

I couldn't figure out where else to put this, so I figured that general discussion would work. Feel free to move it if somewhere else would be more appropriate.

So I'm trying to sell my 2-year-old laptop on ebay, now that I've bought a brand new loaded Dell for less than I see laptops like mine selling for. I listed it for a week and got people to bid it up to 800 bucks, only to have someone snipe it at the last minute for $1350.... Someone with zero feedback who had registered their account the same day and wanted to "pay me extra" to ship it to Nigeria. Of course when I replied that I wouldn't do that, they shut down their gmail and ebay accounts, leaving me with a wasted week, wasted bids, and wasted item listing fees.

Relisting it, I see that you can prevent bids from people who have less than 0 feedback and cancel any bids that you want to, but how can I keep scammers from bidding at the last instant again? This is the first thing I've ever sold on ebay so I'm not totally up to speed on all the tricks. Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2006, 12:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I looked through e-bay's help section for sellers, and not only can you filter out certain kinds of bidders, you can set up a list of pre-approved bidders and buyers, and anyone outside that list who wants to bid on your item must contact you by email before bidding. Perhaps this can work for you?
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Old 06-11-2006, 01:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Did you try offering it as a "second chance" to your next highest, legitimate appearing bidder?
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Old 06-11-2006, 02:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The filter thing doesn't help because you can't (or at least I couldn't figure out how to) filter out people with zero feedback which is what the two scammers in my last auction had. The thing about putting people on a preapproved list seemed like it might be complicated enough to turn away some legitimate bidders but maybe if you're about to drop $700 on a computer it would be worth a little extra effort... I'll have to think about that one.

And yeah, I offered it as a second chance to the other bidder but he didn't take it.
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Old 06-11-2006, 02:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Make every effort to complete transactions within 30 days. That's the magic time at which many remedies go away or become more difficult. I've let myself be burned a couple times by being too casual or too nice with flakes. Pre-sales email is a good indicator - whether buying or selling - but nothing is foolproof.

I'm about to try a local ebay sales shop. Sure, some transactions go easily enough, but coughing up 25% to completely avoid the process can seem like a bargain.
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Old 06-12-2006, 03:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I didn't realize this was such a big issue for sellers on ebay (although I've only dealt with relatively inexpensive items). I don't think asking people to e-mail you first in order to bid is asking much when you're talking about a laptop that's going for a few hundred dollars. I know if I were seriously interested in the laptop, I'd send you the e-mail.
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've given up on Ebay entirely. It seemed like I douldn't buy or sell anything without a ton of people trying to rip me off.

I closed my account months ago and I still get scammers trying to contact me. Ebay is broken.
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Old 06-13-2006, 07:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm still having good luck buying on Ebay but selling is getting really tough. You can place bidding restrictions but they are usually ignored.
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Old 06-20-2006, 10:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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It is sad, I have had wonderful experience with eBay, but it sounds like its becoming like everything else... broken and fraudulent.
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