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Scams on eBay: What to watch for and how to prevent them


How to avoid being ripped off on eBay

image credits: cnbc

If you’re looking for a good bargain or want to get rid of something you no longer need, an online marketplace might be a fantastic way to do it. Scammers, on the other hand, may easily take advantage of them.

Fraudsters are constantly discovering new methods to steal money and things from eBay auctions after almost 30 years.


According to Consumer Reports’ advocacy programmes director Chuck Bell, “a scam is all about the tale.” “It has to be believable and, most importantly, original in order to be effective. This means that con artists regularly adapt their methods to keep up with the rising level of consumer awareness.”

They come up with a variety of scams to con you out of your money, be beware. This is a list of some of the scams you may encounter on eBay and how to avoid them.

Scams on eBay that you should be aware of

Seller fraud is a popular tactic used by scammers on eBay to defraud unsuspecting customers by providing false information about themselves or their goods.


A USPS tracking number might be provided to genuine customers by fraudsters who ship empty or worthless parcels to the wrong location. Once it becomes evident that the bought item will not arrive, the buyer may have difficulty filing an eBay or credit card claim for compensation since the fraudster may present evidence of delivery.

Fraudsters are also selling false second chances to purchase items they’ve previously sold. Fake sellers pose as real sellers and say that the initial transaction has fallen through and they are now willing to sell the item to bidders who can wire them money through an email address outside of eBay.

There is still another prevalent scam against which eBay advises its clients: fraudulently selling a customer’s vehicle for profit. The FBI, too, agrees. Those who use the platform to acquire an automobile are the victims of this fraud.


Ads for automobiles are put up by scammers who claim that eBay’s buyer protection policy covers the transaction and ask for payment in the form of pre-paid gift cards. In the end, both the car and the vendor are non-existent.

There are a few additional frauds to look out for, such as the following:

It’s very uncommon for sellers to receive money for a product, but never deliver it to the buyer.
They hope you’ll return the package without opening it since they’ve sent the item to your address under a different name.
It’s common for sellers to put up fake products or only the packaging for sale.
Gift cards and wire transfers are common methods of payment from sellers on eBay.

Fake buyers who take advantage of sellers on eBay are a possibility for sellers as well. It’s possible for a buyer to do “bait and switch” fraud by opening a complaint against you for shipping a valid goods but then complaining that it was damaged or did not match the description.


You’ll have to repay them in certain circumstances. While in other cases, a shady customer will ship you something else and retain the one you sent.

You might lose the money plus a chargeback fee if your customers claim they never got the merchandise or cancel the transaction. Gift cards and money-wiring are other methods buyers might use when agreeing to pay you offline but failing to do so or contesting the transaction with eBay. On eBay, you may block bidders and rescind a bid. (Here’s how.)

Scams on eBay: How to Avoid Them

Common sense and critical thinking are both required if you want to be safe when bidding on eBay. It’s best to be careful of a product that is posted at a steep discount, or if a buyer or seller lacks favourable feedback and/or invites you to participate in a “secret” trade outside the usual channels of contact.


“The dangers of online fraud and deception must be kept in mind by both consumers and dealers alike,” Bell added. Every transaction should be scrutinised meticulously.”

In other words, do your homework. Make sure you know how to tell a counterfeit product from a genuine one by paying attention to the logo design and positioning, as well as the price of the goods you’re considering purchasing.

eBay scams may be avoided by following these helpful suggestions.

  • Use only’s internal chat system and permitted platform payment choices after logging in to your account.
  • Don’t transfer money to a bank account, use gift cards, or pay outside of eBay; these methods are all illegal and unauthorised.
  • After the transaction has been completed, do not consent to extra payments or charges.
  • Don’t take more money for a product you’ve sold than it’s worth.
  • Personal and financial information should never be exchanged between buyers and sellers.

To take advantage of eBay’s seller safeguards and money-back promise, you should maintain all communication and payment on the site.

Purchases must be made using one of the approved payment methods to be covered by the latter (though there are some exclusions). However, scams may be avoided as much as possible if you can, therefore it’s preferable to do so.


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