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Facts: An eBay Seller Scam Fails As Buyer Protection Vanquishes & Wins 

© Donald Reinhardt, December 10, 2011

One transaction does not make a business universe but the eBay Buyer Protection worked here. Read about an actual bad purchase and possible scam and see how eBay Buyer Protection works.
A Personal View: eBay is a Hugh, Productive, Effective Honest Internet Market and Business
I have used eBay as a seller and a buyer for almost ten years, so I know the eBay quite well. As both an eBay seller and buyer I have a perfect eBay 100 score and I expect that what I do with integrity in both roles with eBay should be done by others. This means to sell and to buy honestly and to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
In almost all cases eBay works efficiently, well and honestly, but as with all businesses there are culprits, dishonest buyers and sellers and people who do not belong in this or other public market arenas. Whenever money involved there will  be some people trying to get some of that money dishonestly. The case that follows brings the situation of seller scams, gimmicks, slight of hand and fraud up front and center and all of this serves to remind us of the biological axiom that wherever there is prey, there will be predators.

Chinese Scam Computer Hard Drive Purchases from Shanghai China

Marketing and seller scams and trickery can come from anywhere and eBay always warns everyone on the Internet to be alert as eBay itself as a business also tries to be. Furthermore, eBay provides guidelines and to all buyers and sellers on how to function and deal ethically and correctly with Internet buying and selling on eBay.  Occasionally, something falls between the cracks in any system as scammers work to defraud and manipulate the unwary, the innocent and the gullible. So, the words and the phrase to remember are – “Buyer Beware.” Buyer beware applies to anyplace and at anytime and even Internet sites with the highest of standards and integrity are not immune from duplicity and fraud. Guinea Pig People Buyers here at is another article you may want to read.

The story continues now with a purchase of two, brand new 1.5 TB external hard drives for the amazing price of essentially $60 total. The seller had about ten new units according to the eBay ad, so I thought this was a great deal for someone who was starting up his new business with eBay and I was the beneficiary of the advertising special. The transaction went through a PayPal account and was approved quickly for him and me. And lo and behold, within ten days by a super fast USPS delivery, the package arrived quickly from China.

Chinese Scam Gift Surprise Package Arrives Via USPS Certified Delivery

Yes, there it was a small, compact envelope and package arriving straight from Shanghai, China. There were no hard drives but there was a coin which appeared to be a gift from my seller overseas. There was no note, packing slip or other information in the envelope. For the first few days I thought that the coin was actually a really nice gift of thanks for the purchase of the hard drives. After about five more days I thought again. The coin in the package was not a gift – it was likely a substitute for the hard drives and the package was used with the USPS number to certify that the seller had delivered the hard drives. Of course, there were no hard drives but the seller had a USPS certificate of a delivery of something to me the buyer. The ball was now on my side of the court and it was time to spring into eBay Buyer Protection and action.

eBay Protection: Important Steps and Moves to Make in Cases of Fraud on eBay Purchases

It is always best to use PayPal with eBay because PayPal is an eBay company and PayPal makes transactions more efficient and safe. Now, following below are the important steps to take in case of eBay seller errors or fraud – always remember to check and read fully all of eBay’s current instructions and warnings since these are updated frequently.

1.       Contact the seller at your eBay site and note the transaction and the problem. My e-mail contact was simple, clear and direct and went something like this: “Dear Sir, I received a coin delivered by USPS instead of my two external hard drives. An error has occurred, please respond.”

2.       I also notified eBay that there was a possible fraudulent seller scam or scheme in place and explained in detail the problem.

3.       eBay responded back to me to give the seller a full 7 days to respond on this. eBay also notified me that I had notified them correctly of this problem within the current 45-days of item receipt.

4.      The seller ignored my letter by not personally responding to me, instead he replied to eBay and asked them to make a decision. eBay informed me that the seller wanted eBay to investigate and settle the problem and dispute. At this point I knew he was totally deceptive. I sent another response to eBay that this was now definitely an obvious scam.

5.       eBay notified me within ten days that they had examined all the evidence and found my claim valid. They indicated that I needed to mail the coin back to the seller at the appropriate address by certified mail to Shanghai, China and provide eBay with the registered, certification mail number.

6.       I verified the return address and within 10 days had the coin in a certified USPS envelope ($11.40 cost) on its way back to China. I also gave the required certified USPS number to eBay as evidence of return.

7.       eBay refunded my PayPal account for the full purchase within two weeks and awarded me a gift certificate of $10 in partial payment for the mailing back to Shanghai, China.

Buyer Beware of Frauds, Scams and Illegal Deals on the Internet and How Good Is eBay Buyer Protection and Scam and Fraud Control?

 Yes,  this was a prolonged story of how one person tried to deceive and defraud another person and it probably happens tens of thousands of times a day on the Internet and throughout the world where billions of transactions occur everyday. eBay proved that they were good to their word and they protected this particular buyer for this transaction. However, not every business or business transaction is the same. Honesty, integrity and openess in the real world of business is difficult and it is very easy for transactions like this to fall between the cracks. You will hear some stories of dissatisfaction with eBay or Buyer Protection or its failure to work to the satisfaction of one person or another. All businesses have issues with customer dissatisfaction for one reason or another. Sometimes the customer is right and sometimes the customer is not. This particular incident, again, is one story of a recent event late in the year 2011. The final and summary advice and take-home and take-away lesson is as follows:

  • Beware and be wary at all times and throughout the year with your money, checking, credit and debit cards.
  • If a deal seems too good to be true remember this: the deal probably is too good to be true.

Think and live well now and always and read about Guinea Pig People Buyers, if you have not already done so.

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Envelope and Coin Received Instead of Computer Drives. Photo Credit: © Donald Reinhardt, December 10, 201