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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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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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