Dealing with online transactions can sometimes be scary as you never know if you can trust the seller or buyer. Scams are common place within the digital marketplace and there are telltale signs that you should look for before you buy or sell a product from someone online. EBay is a popular web auction site that commonly has scammers working the market, but luckily those scammers usually show the signs of a scam. Tech 2U is here today to go over the top eBay Scams and how to avoid them.
The most common type of scam is the fake listing. A fake listing is where people will post a listing for an item they don’t have, or send you an item that isn’t what you ordered. The best way to spot a fake listing is to look for these things:
- Stock photos are very suspicious. If the lister has stock photos, ask to see an actual photo of the product with time stamp
- If the seller has bad ratings, or no ratings, think twice before you buy
- New sellers are a red flag
- Look for a return policy
- Always ask for more information about them / the product before you buy
Payments outside of approved eBay methods and exorbitant shipping costs are also huge red flags for an auction. Even when you are selling something though eBay, the scammers can still get you. Claiming that the item was damaged or never arrived through shipping is a common tactic used by thieves. Always document your shipping methods and containers in the case that you need to contact eBay about a scammer. Another common tactic is buyers from another country cancelling there payment once they receive the item. They will purchase big ticket items such as laptops or cell phones and the funds will appear as “pending” in your account. Once they get the item, they cancel the payment and you are left with nothing in return. Never ship to people out of the country, and make sure that there payment is processed before shipping.
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Interviewer: Between a good deal on eBay and one that’s too good to be true. Mike Wisby from Tech2U is here with tips to avoid common eBay scams. Are there people being scammed on eBay?
Mike: Surprisingly, yes.
Interviewer: Really how so?
Mike: Yeah, there still are. Well, the biggest thing is a fake listing, so that’s a listing where the seller actually doesn’t have the item. They just find some stock images and post it up there, and they string you along until suddenly it’s…they say like it’s being shipped, and it takes a week. And you chase them up, and they string you a little bit just until after 28 days when they start saying that, “Well, there’s a problem,” and then they come out with excuses so you’ll never get that. And actually, I don’t know if I ever told you this, it happened to me. I actually tried to buy an Xbox on eBay, and 28 days later, I actually got a big box, and it’s quite heavy. Opened it up and it was a book. Can you believe that?
Interviewer: So why would they go through the whole spiel of shipping something to you? Just to say it was in route?
Interviewer: Oh, no kidding?
Mike: And they probably panicked and they thought, “Oh, better send him something because he’s…”
Interviewer: Oh, wow!
Mike “…because he’s chasing them out.” And now I got a book. So yeah.
Interviewer: What was the book? Was it any good?
Mike: It was a huge, big textbook like a computer textbook.
Interviewer: Oh, at least it was computer. You had something use for it. So how do you spot a fake listing from a real one? I mean, is it the one that is certified and checked?
[00:01:16] Yeah, eBay has like a rating system so the more you sell. And if you get a good product, the person leaves a review, so look out for the ones that have 100 plus rating.
Mike: Really be aware of the new sellers. Someone who just come on and has like a one rating.
Mike: And look at what they had sold as well because they can sell a load of like penny items and then get a bunch of reviews.
Mike: So you can do that. You can actually see what they sold. And if the photos and the price look too good to be true, you should just be aware of that.
Interviewer: So besides that type of stuff, what else should we watch out for on eBay?
Mike: Shipping costs are a big thing as well. Someone might advertise something as being a really good price and, “Oh great,” and then you get into the cart process and you see, whoa, shipping is like a hundred bucks. Why? Why is that?
Mike: They are trying to make money on that. And also they can get you to pay through different methods, so the standard method and the one I recommend is using PayPal because it has insurance for buyers. But they may ask you to send a check to this address, so they may ask you to wire money to a certain account. You got to be careful with that.
Interviewer: So anything that’s offshore if it’s like a Nigerian contact or anything that doesn’t seem right, it usually isn’t right?
Mike: If you are looking to sell on eBay, you shouldn’t be selling abroad because first of all, it costs a lot to ship it.
Mike: But also if you do get scammed and like if they say the money’s on the way and you ship it before you receive the money, you’re not really going to be covered. The laws don’t apply to us when you sell out of the country, you don’t.
I would recommend shipping…using Craigslist for the big…
Mike: …the big items. Yeah, go on there, arrange a face-to-face meeting. That can be a bit strange like meeting strangers from…
Interviewer: Try to avoid that?
Mike: If you are selling something expensive, you want to get cash-in-hand for it.
Interviewer: If I’m trying to sell you something personally, and I know that you from England, the fact that you are from England, I shouldn’t sell that Xbox to you?
Mike: Well if you didn’t see me, if you didn’t know me, I would be double sure to meet me in person.
Interviewer: Oh, okay. We will meet halfway between London and New York.
Mike: Yeah! Why not?
Interviewer: Okay, good luck with that. Okay, you have an app of the week?
Mike: Yeah, it’s called FileThis. And FileThis, it arranges your life or your bills that you get through an email now and you get the statements. It will actually make them searchable on your and create reminders for you for your bills. And it works with 500 different providers that are like your bank and your cable TV providers. And it just automates all your bill paying things, so two weeks before a bill is due, send you a little thing in the app saying, “Hey, you’ve got this bill coming, save enough money for it.”
Mike: There are other services like this, but this automates all of them and it combines all of these platforms. It has a free version which will let you connect six accounts, but there’s an ultimate version. I like the name “ultimate”. It sounds cool, right?
Interviewer: Yeah, it does.
Mike: Five dollars a month and it lets you have up to 30 different accounts, which is probably…we will have loads of accounts now.
Interviewer: Yeah, I’m trying to think if I have…I don’t think I have 30, but that includes all utility bills and everything.
Mike: Utility bills, so water, gas, electric.
Interviewer: You may be looking at 30. Mr. Wisby, thank you, from Tech2U.