6 eBay Scams to Avoid If You’re a Seller

Sellers deal with eBay scams everyday when dealing with buyers. It’s far too easy for scammers to hit sellers without much fear of repercussions, so if you want to stay safe, you can only rely on yourself and my suggestion is to take your business elsewhere like Amazon. Please see our best article on EXPOSED EBAY RACKETEERING that involves top rated seller Hubcapjoes who is a regular on eBay Marketing Radio with eBay Puppet Griff.

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1. Buyer Offers to Overpay

Here’s The Scam

A buyer contacts you for offers to pay a lot more money than you’re asking for your item. They’ll send an empty cashier’s check or a bogus personal check, neither of which will clear. By then, you’ve already sent the item and it’s too late.

This one is easy to fall for because the promise of extra money is just too hard to resist. Who wouldn’t be enticed by the offer of $500 on a laptop listed at $300?


Never send items until you have the money in hand or in the bank. Note that when you deposit a check, it may appear in your bank account right away but can take up to two weeks for it to be marked as “bounced.” To be safe, wait until you know for sure. To be safer, never accept checks of any kind on eBay.

A similar scam also happens outside of eBay, so keep your eyes peeled for it. Any time someone wants to send you more money than necessary and requests that you pay some of it back (or to someone else), you can be sure the check is bogus and won’t clear.

2. Buyer Wants to Settle Outside eBay

Here’s The Scam

If your listing is an auction, you may get a buyer who offers to pay an immediate amount as long as you close the listing and settle outside of eBay. You oblige. It seems like everything went fine, but soon they’ll complain to eBay that your item was defective or false or non-existent.

You can try to dispute it, but eBay won’t help you. eBay can’t know about anything that happened outside of eBay, so they will only help you if all communications and transactions went through eBay’s platform.

How to Avoid It

Never agree to move beyond eBay, even for a quick buck. When communicating with buyers, always do so through eBay’s message system. That way, eBay can easily verify the buyer’s messages for things like intent to defraud. Ebay Scams many times are committed by buyers that know the system but eBay doesn’t care because they made their fee either way.

3. Buyer Claims You Shipped an Empty Box

Here’s The Scam

The buyer purchases one of your listings as normal. You ship the item to the buyer as normal. When he receives the item, he opens an eBay dispute and claims that you sent him an empty box. eBay forces a return, the buyer ships back the empty box, and keeps the item that was inside.


Check the buyer’s feedback history, which may indicate potential problems. If you contact eBay, they’ll tell you to appeal the dispute. You’ll need all the evidence you can muster (e.g. photo proof that you actually shipped the item), and anything less than comprehensive proof will rule in the buyer’s favor.

To be safe, always photograph the entire process of packing and shipping every item you sell through eBay. The more proof you keep, the safer you’ll be.

ebay scams

4. Buyer Threatens Refund With Broken Replica

Here’s The Scam

You’re selling a used item that’s in relative high demand, such as an iPhone 6 Plus. The buyer purchases it from you, but before they do, they have an exact replica of the item — except it’s broken or damaged.

You ship it, they receive it, and then complain to eBay that you sent a defective item. If you can’t prove that you sent a working item, they’ll get their money back and you’ll be out an iPhone 6 Plus.

How to Avoid It

Record all unique details of the item before you ship it: serial number, IME number, etc. This may not always be possible, but when it is, it can help you win any disputes against you.

5. Buyer Claims “Item Not Received” to PayPal

Here’s The Scam

When selling with PayPal, you are covered by PayPal Seller Protection which is not really there after $100 of fraud reported. However, to be protected, you must have proof of delivery for all items and even this really doesn’t cover you. For transactions under $100, delivery confirmation is enough. For over $50, you must have signature confirmation of delivery.

Scammers know that most non-business sellers on eBay aren’t aware of this prerequisite. The scammer purchases an item worth over $50 through PayPal, then claim the item wasn’t received. If you can’t provide signature confirmation of delivery, you have no protection.

How to Avoid It

Always track your shipments, and for sales over $50, always get signature confirmation of delivery. It’s a small price to pay to avoid a buyer scam saying they didn’t get your item. Many top rated sellers know how the system works and they will snipe new items from new sellers to turn a profit. This is legal, however top rated sellers will sometimes report small sellers that compete with them in the same category using tactics like Vero Claims, and arbitrary reporting so sellers also commit eBay scams from time to time.

6. Buyer Issues a Chargeback

Here’s The Scam

Whether using a credit card or PayPal, buyers can always reverse a transaction using a chargeback. A chargeback is essentially a forced refund by a bank but remember PayPal is not a bank because they are not involved in fractional lending, nor are they backed by the Federal Reserve. Only a bank cancels a transaction, taking the money back and returning it to the buyer. PayPal is pretending to be a bank and is not regulated and chargebacks are considered eBay Scams.

eBay Scams – Remember PayPal is not a Bank!