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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am currently selling a fairly expensive watch (>$1000) on eBay as a Buy It Now item. Here is an email I received from a potential buyer with zero feedback:

<<Since you do not ship outside of the US will you ship the watch to a friend of mine in NEW YORK. I will pay you via PAYPAL but am a first time buyer based in South Africa.>>

It seems very suspicious. But I do not want to alienate a genuine customer. What kind of questions might I ask to make sure this is not a scam? Is a confirmed Paypal account enough?

(I should specify that in my listing I state that I ship CONUS/Canada only)

:thanks
 

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Hi JD,
I would advoid the sale myself. It smells like a scam where he sends the funds and you send the watch then he has paypal refund the coin stating he never recived the watch that went to NY. But that's just me.
You could also offer to send it to South Africa with shipping extra provided he has
a confirmed Paypal account.
By the by I grew up in Baltimore, what part of the city are you from, and how about those ravens. Good luck
 

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it's a scam. you're going to get ripped off.

J.D. said:
I am currently selling a fairly expensive watch (>$1000) on eBay as a Buy It Now item. Here is an email I received from a potential buyer with zero feedback:

<<Since you do not ship outside of the US will you ship the watch to a friend of mine in NEW YORK. I will pay you via PAYPAL but am a first time buyer based in South Africa.>>

It seems very suspicious. But I do not want to alienate a genuine customer. What kind of questions might I ask to make sure this is not a scam? Is a confirmed Paypal account enough?

(I should specify that in my listing I state that I ship CONUS/Canada only)

:thanks
 

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Yep! Its a scam, do not do it. Ive had these 'requests' before mostly to send stuff to 'my friend/brother/sister/uncle/whatever in Nigeria...'

Oh yeah, right like I'm gonna do that..tell him to get lost and report him to Ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
:thanks everyone, I suspected this was a scam. Too many red flags. I guess these are the easy ones to spot, it's the more subtle scams that are probably way more dangerous...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
New Development (Is this an eBay scam?)

Sorry to resurrect this post again but there was a twist to this that I thought would be of interest...

Following the advice I received on WUS (and my own instincts), I sent a message through eBay to the potential buyer basically stating that I would not ship to NY unconfirmed, figuring I would never hear from them again. And I didn't, until I checked my email a bit later and found this message from the buyer (left before the auction ended):

<<THANKS, I HAVE A CONFIRMED PAYPAL ADDRESS IN XXXX. I CAN ARRANGE TO COLLECT FROM YOU AND SHIP AT MY EXPENSE TO XXXX?>>

By this time I had already secured a confirmed buyer, so the watch was gone. The dilemma here is that had I discovered this email before I sold the watch, I would have felt bad shutting out the buyer at this point (I know I said CONUS/Canada ONLY, but I might have made an exception if they emailed me beforehand and had a confirmed address). Before you ask why didn't the buyer just use the confirmed address initially, I have to point out that "XXXX" is a non-North American country, and my auction said CONUS/Canada only, so this buyer would not have fit my parameters as they were stated.

My question now is, if this was a scam set up to steal my goods, why the second email? If he deposits the funds through Paypal and I ship to them at a confirmed address, is it even worth it for them to try at this point? Are there still valid ways to get a chargeback even at a confirmed address? Would he have gone to the trouble or simply moved onto an easier mark?

Perhaps this is the old adage of not being able to spot the sucker at the table...
 

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Re: New Development (Is this an eBay scam?)

Hi -

I'd still say it's a scam, just one that at some point PayPal will shut down when these folks abuse PayPal's system.

If you say you will ship ONLY to CONUS/Canada, then that's the end of the story and you are staying in your own jurisdiction. Possession is 9/10ths of the law, and once the watch is out of your hands, it's a game between the thieves and PayPal then as how they can persuade PayPal to refund them the money for whatever reasons.

Very difficult situation when you sell something overseas when something goes wrong...as a private person, that is. Obtaining your rights can be very expensive.

JohnF
 
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