Common eBay Frauds
As internet users, we are always at risk. The web is full of malicious parties. Going through these points will help you stay vigilant on eBay:
The Empty Box Scam
In the empty box scam, the seller tends to list a popular item at a lower price than the market. However, when people buy in a rush, they overlook the fact that only the packaging is listed instead of the whole product. As a result, they receive nothing but expensive packaging and can't even complain as the details speak only about the packaging.
Any form of online shopping doesn't let the buyer verify the authenticity of goods before the purchase. Fraudulent sellers exploit this drawback and sell low-quality counterfeit replicas of branded items at attractive prices.
The money-back guarantee mechanism may save buyers from scammers. Still, it has some exceptions. Sales of vehicles, websites, real estate, businesses, exclusive services, classified ads, etc., are excluded from the money-back protection. In these cases, scammers may not deliver even after accepting payment.
Unofficial Payment Channels
Sometimes, sellers redirect the buyers to a different payment channel, such as a check or bank transfer, instead of eBay's standard system. Once the transaction is complete, they stop communicating. In this situation, the buyers can't even get assistance from eBay as the money transfer didn't happen through their platform.
Wrong Name on the Label Scam
Fraudulent sellers often ship the product with the wrong name on the packaging. As a result, the buyer thinks they received somebody else's package and returns it to the seller. So, the sellers keep both the product and the money. What's more distressing is that the transaction shows "refused" or "returned," and one can't raise a dispute against a transaction of this kind.
Fake Customer Service
In this case, the scammer pretends to be from eBay customer service by putting a fake helpline number on the product page or their profile. When there is an issue with an order, a buyer calls this number, and as a result, they either lose sensitive information or hand money over to the cunning fraudster.
Top Tips to Evade eBay Scammers
The best way to avoid getting tricked is to be aware of the cons and perform financial dealings with sellers cautiously. Visit the eBay Security Center to know more about how eBay involves itself if a buyer reports a scam to the police.
Here are a few pointers to circumvent the most common scams on eBay.
Use Proper Payment Channels
Always use eBay-approved payment methods and don't deal in checks.
Consider it a red flag if a seller asks you to communicate or pay through any medium other than eBay's official channel.
Secure Yourself With Proxies
Securing every session on eBay should be your priority. For this reason, you should invest in an encrypted proxy to use for eBay. A proxy server becomes an extra security layer and protects your transactions from man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. They can also improve your chances with automated biddings using eBay bots.
Documenting the whole purchasing process is essential and gives you enough evidence to raise a successful dispute. Take photographs of every identifying detail, such as serial numbers and unique codes of a listed item. As an alert buyer, you can video record the unboxing and the delivery.
You should thoroughly research any seller and check if a product's picture is genuine or copied from a stock image website. Always demand more info about the item using eBay's default chat system. If the sellers seem reluctant or unwilling to provide photos or information, it is probably a scam.
The Bottom Line
Finally, never rush the process of purchasing a product on eBay. Read all listings as carefully as possible and document the entire process. Use only the official eBay payment channel so that you can raise a dispute when things go south. Being aware of bad actors and their common tricks will help you gain an enjoyable shopping experience on the platform.