Avoid eBay Scams

eBay is one of the most favorite online places to sell or buy merchandise, sad to say but eBay could also stand for "scam bay" in some instances. Apologies to eBay for the site itself do not in any case resemble a scam, but the scammers did not miss the opportunity to use the innocent users to make their killing. I would like to give out a few pointers on how scams can be avoided for a safer online experience.
Adverts without the necessary technical information, should raise suspicion, a valid ad will provide all the details and sellers info.

When you send a message related to a product or answering a question within the “my messages section” always make sure to tick the “hide my email” check box before sending mail. Scammers will ask you a question in order for you to answer back, with the intention to obtain your email address; they can then send you spoofed real looking eBay pages in order to get your password. 

Never reply or click on the links inside your mailbox that come from eBay, log into your personal eBay account and check your “my messages” section to see if the email was legitimate. Ignore any emails coming from eBay, asking you to confirm your address or personal information, trust me eBay already know all the information, rather paste the response address into your browser and see where the link takes you.

I have come across many auctions with the message “Contact me before bidding”, well these I avoid like the plague, for it mean that the seller want to sell outside of eBay leading to requests for money transfers but without the goods. Hey my honest opinion – Why did they use eBay in the first place if they don’t want to sell on it.

Don’t get me wrong on this one, but statistics hardly ever lie, I am not discriminating against the following countries but still be cautious when sending your hard earned money or merchandise to Russia, West Africa, China or Romania for they have a very high scam rate. Brazil and Indonesia have a reputation for stolen credit card transactions, so be careful when dealing with these. 

A bit of research would show that eBay unfortunately does not have a warehouse with tons of products that they ship out on daily basis, yes sadly they are only online providing a service for sellers and buyers, yet I have come across so many individuals that fall for the oldest trick, and if you come across any ad stating that product will be shipped from eBay, do as I always favor to do – Report them and warn others! 

I always make a point to buy from sellers with positive feedback comments to the items that they had sold in the past. A bad experience with a seller usually sparks up a fire within most of us, and a bad comment would be the first thing customers leave on a site in order to get revenge. I am always a bit suspicious to buy from sellers that do not have a positive track record for selling a big amount of similar products. 

Another popular way to scam on eBay would be the “second chance offer”. Lots of individuals bid on an item but sadly not be the winner of that specific auction, however due to changes with the seller or late withdrawals the product could be re-listed again. Never answer to emails stating a second chance for this could be scammers sending out fake offers in order to get you to buy outside of eBay. Check into your message box within your eBay account to verify second offers. If it sounds too good to be true – trust me it is! 

Watch out for incredible “direct from china” deals that looks so promising any normal human would mistake for a huge bargain. Examples of these would be expensive products like iphones, tablets, laptops and so forth selling for a measly $400, I once went the total stupid direction and bought a new iphone, thinking that I struck a bargain, yes I did receive my phone, but paid for the casing alone, because the inside was fake (not even blue tooth or Face-book) turns out here in my Country we can buy them for 50 bucks, not a bargain any-more – Imagine my face when I open the Iphone and saw made in China on the inner back plate. 

Make a point to read the entire ad including last paragraphs in fine print. Hey some people have sick humor and I once came upon an ad selling a so called ant killer that “works wonders” everything was legit, except when the package arrived there was a stone and a piece of wood inside along with the directions – “place ant on wood and then hit with the rock” Do I need to say more, 60 bucks spend on artificial stupidity. 

Keep the following in the back of your mind when selling merchandise with a high value over $300 – You are going to be a target for scammers. I always require an immediate payment to my PayPal account, PayPal is a free service and by now even the slow individuals have a PayPal account. Never send the merchandise with the promise that you will get paid once the package is delivered, no matter how tempting and pathetic the buyer sound, scammers are not stupid and they love to use the “human touch” on victims, they will use any tactic including higher payment offers just to get their hands on your product – I always use the phrase “cash or no transaction” whenever I advertise. PayPal scams are also a reality therefore always lot into your personal PayPal account to verify legitimate payment before you send out the merchandise. Scammers will send fake PayPal payment notifications to make you believe that payment has been made, these emails will look like they had come from Papal, but with a bit of investigation you will find that it is only a normal mail coming from another source. 

Ignore emails claiming that once the item is shipped the tracking number is provided the funds would be released...Scam! 

Never pay for anything worth a lot via Western Union, because....well let me put it this way – decent honest people like you and me like to pay with reliable methods like PayPal and direct deposit. Western Union is the favorite payment method for scammers, I rest my case. 

Never forget the power of a strong password. So many individuals simply lacks when it comes to passwords, when in reality it is so important to use strong ones within all your programs. Password cracking software and online programs are not that few any-more, and by using a simple word like “stupid” put you in danger, these programs are designed to crack passwords by trying every given word in a dictionary or even common search terms, something like “youRtheFool9” would be a bit hard to crack down. 

Try this next time you are thinking to ship anything to Nigeria – Google the phrase “Nigeria eBay Scams” and let the big G educate you about these type of scams, there is enough to make you feel sorry for yourself without even falling into them, yet people still get scammed on a daily basis by the Nigerians and have the nerve to cry about it afterwards, a dear friend of mine received a cashier’s cheque from Nigeria, they will clear but when drawn against the issuing bank found to be fake, needless to say he used his brain and Google first. 

These are just a few basic tips that I felt the need for pointing out, but remember scammers have that certain drive within themselves not to give up, call it motivation if you like; therefore they are always on the lookout for new strategies to con their victims. Scammers always treat you like they know you, friendly, polite and well mannered, calling up actions and events to relate to you. I have a sarcastic approach to sellers or buyers on eBay that seem suspicious to me, if I get a rude or even tempered reaction from them, I feel better, scammers usually will keep pose no matter how rude you get. And yes I have manners as well, when I made a mistake (seldom) I do apologize with style. 

If you see yourself as polite please leave a comment or tip and help to make life miserable for the eBay scammers. 



  1. Hi Christine, liked your helpful tips....i once won a bid for a ring...i paid the money (luckily it was just $1.00) but the item never showed that it was shipped. I emailed the seller, she said it was shipped. After a week, I was about to email the seller again and surprisingly, I couldn't find the seller's account. She probably deactivated her account.

  2. Thanks for the comment, yea as much as I hate to admit it, I had also fallen into a bid like that once and lost a few dollars. Always a good idea not to invest too much on bidding.

  3. Trois achats et jamais aucuns n'est arrivé !

    Anne Couturier

  4. Trois achats payés et aucun n'est arrivé !!!

  5. Trois achats payés et je n'ai jamais rien reçu, aucun !!!

  6. Hi Christene! I've been reading up on some of your posts. Very informative. Have you heard anything of DS Domination? It is based on E Bay selling using a copy and paste technique from places such as Amazon. I was invited recently by a friend to sign up. I read the terms and conditions and they made me uncomfortable.

  7. I have read your blog. It’s very interesting and informative too.Thanks a lot for sharing a little information. You can also visit our website for more information.

  8. Dear Christene, I look at the dates of these comments and realize I'm late to the party. I do leave you comments but no reply. I must say you crack me up with you great writing style along with eBay in general. Your black humor is awesome! You are so right, don't forget the buyers who by from you, then want a refund, they don't return the item you sold then but a peace of some odd ball non related garbage. E-Bay will always side with the buyer, never the seller!

    Stay blessed, safe and awesome! :)

    1. Hi William.

      You are never too late for the party, a comment from you is always appreciated.

      You are absolutely right, eBay always side with the buyers and the sellers get the short side of the stick. I remember selling on eBay as a test for a program called DS Domination, was no fun and I truly had a hard time to configure the true benefit of it all. Someone who had ordered an item, demanded a refund because it was apparently broken and then 5 days later did the same thing, claimed it was broken again, never actually saw the broken product myself. That was enough to have me quit while I was ahead.

      Nice of you to stop by and like always, message me if you want to share advice or ideas.

      Keep up the good work and have a blessed day!

  9. Hi Christene, what are your thoughts on this: I have listed a violin and have 4 total bids - 3 different ebayers bidding on my item are from brazil - what are the chances? And two of them are brand new users with no feedback... Is this a coincidence??

    1. Maybe coincidence, but it does look suspicious to me that all 3 bids come from the same place. Be careful.

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