QUESTION How to proceed with a scammer on ebay

RP

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Looking for advice on how to handle this. I sold some carded figures on ebay and most have gone fine. However today I received a return request. Buyer sent a message saying the bubble was cracked on arrival and thinks it must have been dropped or thrown hard in transit. And he attached two photos to his return request. The problem is that its not the figure I sold him. I didn't even have to look for more than a second to know. The figure I sold was clear bubble, his pictures show a heavily yellowed bubble. The bubble positioning of where it was sealed to the card is off by more than a quarter of an inch from the photos in my listing, the punch tab is different, the wear on the card....just a ton of differences.

That said, these things would be blatantly obvious to me or you as collectors. But I'm not sure how closely an ebay employee will look at my photos vs the ones he sent. I just received this request so I haven't done anything yet. What is the best way to go about this? Respond to the buyer? Contact ebay directly first? Really just looking for the best course of action to avoid being out a few hundred dollars.
 
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Best of luck with this...

I've heard you can try to defend against fraudulent returns, but not very successfully. You might try the eBay seller forums (or whatever they are called) for additional advice.

Either way with this scammer, please name and shame here. There are plenty of us who frequent the boards, and it is easy for us to add another name to our block lists.
 
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First check the photos that you took before the sell look for major differences that can be used to demonstrate that it is different.

Call EBay & talk to a customer rep & explain that you don’t think they are trying to return the same item. They will tell you the best next steps.
 
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That's a tough situation because ebay tends to side with buyers. I would document all those pictures, get as much as evidence as possible for comparison. If you lose, next step would be small claims court. Yes, please post his username, I would be happy to put on a blocklist.
 
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Very hard to make the Sellers favor case on ebay.


My first step would be to confront the buyers dishonesty (as civil as possible) and attempt to back them down.


If that doesn't work, your best bet is to make sure you build the evidence of your case as simply as possible for when engaging an Ebay Rep. Take the front photo from your listing and paste it next to the image the fraud buyer supplied so that you aren't sending the ebay rep 2 separate images but 1 side by side image that at least forces them to observe and acknowledge the stark disparity.

If you intend to send more than 1 photo from either your listing or the photos the buyer provided, definitely make sure they are all side by sides as 1 of yours and 1 of his as close to the same angle/scale as possible.



Unfortunately, sending 2 sep image files of the Good vs the Bad never works and part of it is the notion of varying perceptions (not that they don't SEE and KNOW the difference anyway, but do yourself the favor of making it as water tight as possible, they "want" to side with the Buyer), but when you stick 2 unlike things right next to each other in one picture, it's hard to ignore. This dispute is going to go through more than 1 ebay rep, and making sure every image they have to look at is a comparison of the 2 gives you more of a fighting chance.

Good luck!
 
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Very hard to make the Sellers favor case on ebay.


My first step would be to confront the buyers dishonesty (as civil as possible) and attempt to back them down.


If that doesn't work, your best bet is to make sure you build the evidence of your case as simply as possible for when engaging an Ebay Rep. Take the front photo from your listing and paste it next to the image the fraud buyer supplied so that you aren't sending the ebay rep 2 separate images but 1 side by side image that at least forces them to observe and acknowledge the stark disparity.

If you intend to send more than 1 photo from either your listing or the photos the buyer provided, definitely make sure they are all side by sides as 1 of yours and 1 of his as close to the same angle/scale as possible.



Unfortunately, sending 2 sep image files of the Good vs the Bad never works and part of it is the notion of varying perceptions, but when you stick 2 unlike things right next to each other in one picture, it's hard to ignore. This dispute is going to go through more than 1 ebay rep, and making sure every image they have to look at is a comparison of the 2 gives you more of a fighting chance.
Exactly, this is your best course of action. Put it in the simplest and most obvious light. I have been on the other side of that, with repro stuff, and side by side is always recommended.
 
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Ensure that you speak directly to someone. Do not do it any other way. This ensures you can spell out directly the differences between the 2. Ebay will side with you, you just need to be able to spell it out to them as they have a visual.
Anyone that scams needs to be outed for everyone to know. More and more are trying to get a freebie at the cost of people who spent hard money on an item.

Best of luck
 
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Hello,

I'm a professional eBay seller, have been on eBay since 1998.

There's some good advice above, but this is what I recommend, based on being in this position many times over the years.

1- Reply to the request in a professional manner, and write as though you were assuming the buyer has made an honest mistake. This is simply for the benefit of eBay customer service if they are required to review all communication. This will establish you are replying in good faith, and make you look like the good guy. But, be very direct and polite and show empathy, something like this:

"Hello, I'm very sorry to hear you've experienced a problem with a purchase. However, the photos you have attached do not show the item that was purchased from me. Is it possible that you have contacted the wrong seller? As you can see, the blister on the item I sold to you is clear and the one you attached is yellow (etc etc, go into detail as to why it is not the same item, that way eBay can also read this comparison and understand why it is not the same item)"

2-wait for an answer from the buyer. Do not write anything in uncertain terms as that will leave an opening for the buyer to try to claim that it is the item they bought from you.

3- use the "report a problem" link to report a buyer making a false claim against you

4- if the buyer doesn't back down and continues to claim it is the item they bought from you, then contact customer service by phone to explain what is happening and to ask what to do next. If you are calm and reasonable, eBay customer service will be more helpful (I've been in this situation many times before)

Beyond this, there's nothing else to do until you have a better idea where the claim is going....
 

RP

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Thanks everyone. Really good stuff there. I'm sad to say that this doesn't appear right now like it will have a happy ending - I did follow all of the advice above but there unfortunately is one tactic that can defeat all of that (probably more than one, but at least the one that this slimebag used). I will give a better update in a couple of days when I think the end will be reached one way or another and I will fully out this person's name and ebay account. Just wanted to stop in and say thanks now because I appreciate the help offered and didn't want anyone to think I posted and skipped town.
 
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i dont know if they paid with paypal, but possibly contact paypal as well and ask for a one time good faith credit if ebay does take the money.

its different, but i had an issue where the mailman delivered the package to the wrong house, and when i contacted them, they told me they checked the gps of the mailman and it was definitely not in my area when it was scanned and they suggested i just go to that street and knock on doors to find out if they got it. which i wouldnt do. usps said it wasnt insured, so they werent goign to do anything further

i called paypal and explained it to them and they gave me a good faith credit for the exact amount including the shipping and everything

edit. i didnt realize this was from close to a month ago, and is probably resolved (good or bad)
 
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One concern I have is that the buyer can try to claim that he was sent the yellow bubble figure instead of the item that was listed. It's a tough situation to be in as the seller.:confused:
 
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Future advice. When someone buys from you on ebay - always do a google search for their ebay name and their actual name and address.
I had a well known scammer (60 ebay accounts) that bought something from me (not Star Wars just a clothing item). After doing a google search of their name and address, endless reports came back on how they claimed wrong items, empty boxes, claimed never to receive items, and would start cases after sellers left feedback. I had never seen that many bad reports on one ebayer. I really didn't want to take a chance to ship the item but decided to take some extra steps for my own protection.

I notified ebay and Paypal PRIOR to shipping the item to the person about the google results. They were actually interested and took notes on my account should the buyer make a claim.

I video taped myself packaging the item.

I sent item insured with tracking and signature delivery to make sure there was proof of delivery.

I then did not leave feedback on buyers account but told them I would return feedback within 24 hours of them leaving feedback.

They received item and left feedback.

I avoided any problems.
 
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Wow! I'd like to know the eBay account details that were uncovered to add to my block list. I know that listing their real name and contact info here is problematic, but if there's enough detail on Google, I'm sure it can be found.

Besides the block list in eBay, I maintain an offline list of bad buyers and sellers with real names and will occasionally ping up with a scumbag that I've unfortunately previously dealt with via another account. Their transactions get cancelled immediately and eBay is notified.
 
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Wow! I'd like to know the eBay account details that were uncovered to add to my block list. I know that listing their real name and contact info here is problematic, but if there's enough detail on Google, I'm sure it can be found.

Besides the block list in eBay, I maintain an offline list of bad buyers and sellers with real names and will occasionally ping up with a scumbag that I've unfortunately previously dealt with via another account. Their transactions get cancelled immediately and eBay is notified.
Good point, but the advise from TorontoNewbie was epic.
 

RP

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Sorry for the delay in updating this but its actually taken until today to finally be resolved. I followed all of tips offered and the great advice TorontoNewbie posted including using the "report a problem" with buyer link, as well as using only side by side photos of all the details, suggested by SWSF Eidolon. I was very cautious with everything that I did. Ultimately, none of it mattered as far as ebay was concerned because as sharky noted in his post above, the buyer responded by saying that the yellowed, badly cracked, worthless figure was the one he was sent. For the record - even though I knew immediately this was not the figure I sent, I had built a complete 5 sided enclosure that fully surrounded/protected the bubble when I shipped it - I am a meticulous packager. Regardless, ebay ruled in favor of the buyer.

I had already transferred the money out of my paypal account prior to the initial claim being filed, so after the ruling, my paypal account was sent into the red by the amount of the purchase. I was then told to either issue the buyer a return label or to refund the buyer. I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of paying for a label for him to return trash to me, so I let the time limit expire at which point ebay issued him a return label and charged my account for the label. A few days later I received notification the label was printed and the return package was shipped. It required signature and came when I was at work so I picked it up on a Saturday when I was able to get to the post office. I recorded opening the package. Inside the package was not my figure, and not even the figure the buyer had sent photos of. Not even a Star Wars figure. He sent back a cheap Corps Elite soldier action figure made in 2018. So if ever there was any doubt to whether this buyer was a scammer, this cemented it. If he had sent back the figure he had sent photos of, I'm not sure how this would have ended up but...

I then filed an appeal stating that the buyer returned a different item. The appeal was decided in my favor a day or two later. The message from ebay said I would be refunded within 48 hours. That came and went. After nearly 4 days I contacted and was told by the customer service rep that they put in for a manual refund request which would take 7 to 10 days. And it took all of that time for it to finally be credited to my paypal account.

I'm glad its over and that I didn't get taken though its been quite the hassle to get there and I'm not sure I can convince myself to continue to sell anything of value on ebay. Additionally, ebay is impossible to get through to now. Their phone number is no longer operational. If you call it its just a recorded message directing you to the online automated chat assistant. Eventually after much trying I got an actual representative on the chat, but its quite tiresome to try to express certain things through a chat.

One other thing of note is that while I was in limbo, I went through some older offers on the items I had listed and found 2 offers I had turned down that were sent to me from a different account. I turned those down after reading the accounts feedback and actually had blocked them from bidding several weeks prior to the actual sale due to a comment I had seen in their feedback - that someone had posted because they had done the exact same thing to them that this buyer had done to me, only using a different ebay account. I contacted that seller and found out it was the same person with a different account.

One takeaway from this that is upsetting is that I believe this buyer will have gotten away with it ultimately. He got the figure, got the refund and I'm pretty sure its ebay taking the monetary hit. That is very unfortunate. So with all that said - here is the info many have been waiting for. The two ebay accounts to block are:

videogamestoysandmore
jthund-1

The main account actually has over 500 feedback with 98.9% positive but do not let that fool you. I think its likely that he only resorted to using his main account because I had blocked the other one. But I would not be shocked if there are more than just those 2 accounts.

The names associated with the accounts are:
Brian Mota
Brayden Mota
John Mota

Location is Attleboro, Mass. I'll leave the address out of this but it can be found easily with a Google search. I'd recommend being very cautious with any account from that area though.

Thanks again to everyone for the advice and input. Hopefully this helps someone from winding up in the same situation. 2020 has not been a great year but I've got at least one more thing to be thankful for tomorrow
 
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glad to hear you arent out the money and figure. that happened to me many years ago. i sold a figure as a cardback with figure because the bubble was broken. i pictured the figure outside of the card. this was back in the day though, all you had to do was file a not as described and you got a refund, without even teh concern of returning the item
the guy got the figure and the money. i left my account go in the red, and i never paid it back. it never went against my credit or anything, so i didnt care. this was back in 2000 or so.
 
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