I have been using ebay for quite a short amount of time and have mainly only bought things. Which, i have to say has always been an easy an enjoyable process. Until...
I tried to sell something.
I had previously seen some advertisments from sellers expressing in BIG BOLD letters; RELISTED DUE TO FRAUDSTERS! But i never really understood what this meant and found the seller to be somewhat off putting. Little did i know that this was the only obvious indication that there is something seriously wrong with the whole process of selling your goods on ebay. And silly me, i should have scoured the internet for clues as to what this could mean. The fact that i didn't has cost me a fair bit of my much needed cash.
But should i; an honest and trustworthy user of ebay be entirely responsible for protecting myself from scammers? For when one doesn't know of such things one doesn't tend to look into them.
I decided to sell my Sony PS2 Slimline console and naively assumed that things would go as smoothly selling as they had done when buying. This was my mistake. Or should i say that i think that it was ebay's mistake. For they do not warn you. In fact they offer you many expensive listing options. Which, i decided would be best to utilise seeing as i believed it would all be so easy and that it would be well worth it. Now, i will get to the individuals who believe they can get away with scamming people on a daily basis in a moment..
Firstly i will touch on ebay's innefficiency when it comes to policies and protection of it much needed users in regards to this problem. Ebay are simply making a killing out of this. You pay the listing fees, scammers end your auction early using buy it now or just waiting until your auction ends. Then you have to relist. At a cost. And guess who gets those expensive relisting fees? Ebay.
Now, i don't wish to imply that ebay are involved with these particularly odious individuals. I merely wish to convey that their apparent inability to sort out this behaviour just happens to work in their favour. I am not able to list my item any longer, so i have lost out on my chance to sell my item but i have also lost a sum near to 20. That was what a week of stress cost me. To no avail. EBAY: SORT IT OUT!! How can you expect people to sell their goods on a site solely based on trust when your users no longer trust you?
Now, after much ear bending, i come to my knowledge of these fraudsters who seem to come out of Nigeria.
Firstly, they tend to have joined on the very day they "bid" for your item. They also tend to be registered in the united states. And when they win your item(s) you will usually recieve an e-mail similiar to this...
Hello dear seller. Seasons greetings to you. I am currently serving our beloved nation in iraq with the united nations and i have bought this for my daughter who works (somewhere in africa) It is her birthday this coming weekend and i don't want her to be dissapointed in me. PLS send me the invioce so i pay immediately. this is urgent.
The daughter thing is a re-ocurring theme and i have had my listing distroyed 5 times from people sending me variants of this email after bidding on my item.
One other thing... As a result of this sort of behaviour i now think that using the 'buy it now' tool is no-longer applicable as it is like painting yourself red, waving your arms up and down screaming in an enclosure with a bull. Your going to get rammed.
Come on ebay. I just wanted to sell something. Not pay you money to allow scammers to take advantage of me. I feel victimised and foolish and i'm sure there are others out there like me. How long before everyone is unhappy?