After over ten years as a member, I finally suffered my first potential eBay scam.
I saw an item with a low starting price, but without postage. I emailed the seller to ask whether he’d post, he answered that he would for £5. I asked him to add it as an official service so that I could pay in total. He didn’t do that, but I placed a bid and won the item.
I asked for an updated total so I could pay in one go. He asked whether I would pay using bank transfer or PayPalgift, and asked me to give my email address so that he could request the funds from me. Aha, alarm bells rang. The “gift” option is where the sender of the funds gives the recipient money that is not in connection to any commercial transaction. It is what it says – a gift. The recipient does not pay fees (thus defrauding PayPal) and the buyer has no recourse if the seller chooses not to send the eBay item.
When I stated I would pay using PayPal, but only using the proper process, he said that the sale would not go through. I repeatedly asked the seller to give me an updated total using the proper eBay process.
In the end I did not pay using the official or scam methods, and left negative feedback.
Talking of feedback, the fact that this seller has a score of 0, has an account that was only 3 days old, and had already changed his screen-name once should have been enough to warn me.
The lesson is:
* Be wary of zero-feedback or fresh eBayers
* Only pay using the correct official methods
* Don’t be bullied into doing anything that feels wrong.