There are a lot of jerks who spend their time scamming inexperienced sellers who have valuable items listed on Ebay. Unfortunately, cell phones are high value and high volume items on Ebay, which makes them an easy target. However, if you follow these tips you can increase your chances of avoiding fraud.
Before you post a listing on Ebay for the first time, make sure you understand Ebay’s policies and guidelines. You should know Ebay’s policies backwards and forwards because it will definitely help you in the long run if you have to deal with a questionable buyer. Understand what is expected of the buyer and seller in an online transaction.
Always pay the extra cost for delivery confirmation. If you don’t want to pay for it yourself, add it to the price of shipping on your listing. Delivery confirmation includes tracking so you can confirm that your phone was shipped and received by the buyer. Dishonest buyers can say that they never received the package if you do not use delivery confirmation. If there is no proof that the package was delivered, the buyer can file a claim with Paypal and get all their money back. You should also tack on signature confirmation which is required for payments over $250 USD as part of the criteria for PayPal Seller Protection.
Presentation is very important. Describe the condition of your phone as if you were not including pictures. Also, take great pictures that showoff the phone as if you aren’t including a description. If the phone you are listing for sale has flaws (such as scratches), post close-up pictures of them. You don’t want any surprises on the buyer’s end. Refunds and bad feedback will hurt you more in the long run if a buyer finds out the phone is not how it was advertised. A very detailed listing will reduce your risk as a seller. My sales have increased ever since I started using more of the 12 provided picture slots. If it’s not pictured, it’s fair game for scammers to file a complaint!
Take a picture of the serial and ESN number on the back of the phone. This will prevent a scammer from buying a specific phone model from you in great condition, and trying to return a completely different phone in poor condition. It is to your advantage if you have proof of the exact phone you are selling. You can verify serial numbers on the items you receive back if a buyer returns a phone.
Always ship items to the buyer’s confirmed address, not any other other address. You are only protected by PayPal’s seller protection policy if you use the confirmed address. Scammers will sometimes request that you send the package to an alternative address so they can file a dispute to get their money back.
Ebay is not a perfect business model, but if you take the necessary precautions, you can avoid most of the scammers on the web. Keep an eye out for any shady buyers, and if you encounter any, report them to Ebay.