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How do you deal with straight up scammers?

Discussion in 'Ebay' started by Old Dog, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. Old Dog

    Old Dog Newbie

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    I have 2 returns on ebay that are nothing but scammers.
    Return # 1: The guy joins ebay on sept. 2, and makes a purchase from me that same day. 3 days after the item shows delivered this guys opens a return claiming to have received an empty box.
    I dont dropship.. all my items are on hand and packed and shipped by me and I dont ship empty boxes. It evidently takes this guy 3 days to realize the box was empty.
    Return # 2: This second dude ironically joins on sept 2, and makes a purchase on sept 5, and a few days after the item is delivered opens a case of item not as described claiming it does not work.
    I approve the return and allow them to print a label through ebay. This person does not use the ebay label but instead uploads their own tracking number and it shows the item is on its way back to me.
    Well I get a notification from ebay saying that the return is delivered and that I should issue a refund. But when I check my mailbox there is no package there.
    I call my local post office inquiring about the tracking number and find out that the package was sent to a local business and was nothing more than a childs trading card in a box addressed to this business. The tracking number showed the package delivered to the correct zip code but of course the destination address was not mine and it did not contain the returned item.
    In ebays eyes the buyer had returned the package and was eligible for a full refund. So I immediately call ebay having tons of evidence that this fucker is trying to scam me and guess what?
    They told me that i should try to work it out with my buyer.. he could have mistakenly uploaded a tracking number in which an insignificant item was shipped to a random business in my zip code which in fact showed the item delivered and was sufficient proof of the return..... until of course my investigation proved otherwise. Yeah Right!
    So ebay sides with scammers and the legitimate seller is left to contend with this on their own... So how do you deal with these types of situations?
    I am a small time seller and if an item is defective then I need it returned to me so that I can make a claim with my vendor in order to be reimbursed... but pieces of shit like this are trying to game the system on my dime and get something for free.
     
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  2. bossofthebosses

    bossofthebosses Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Maybe try posting all the details here: community.ebay.com
    and see if u can get some suggestions/advice from others who dealt with the same situation before
     
  3. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Some people are arseholes, unfortunately it is part of doing business especially when using sites like eBay.
     
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  4. edward_scissorhands

    edward_scissorhands Newbie

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    There's no Crying in baseball..
     
  5. Slip777

    Slip777 Newbie

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    Scammers are part of doing business on eBay. I'd suggest to block the buyer and invest your energy into making more money :)
     
  6. C3R0X

    C3R0X BANNED BANNED

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    Still there are scammers and hope toooo.
     
  7. bigstuffpoppin

    bigstuffpoppin BANNED BANNED

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    Yeah ive been scammed a few times, its crazy people risk selling rolexes, jewelry and anything that is highly valued like iphones.

    Ive had someone buy a new ps4 from me claiming it didnt work, opened a snad case. ebay forces the refund as soon as they shipped it and when i got the item it was a empty box.

    Its crazy... i told ebay that i was going to do the same thing to another seller to recoup my loses., i kid you not the rep said 'go ahead its the cost of doing business".
     
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  8. aff219

    aff219 Junior Member

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    Firstly let me say this: what you're experiencing just comes with the territory. any form of retail sales will experience scammers and consumer bullies that are after free or nearly free stuff. I've been ebaying for half a decade and luckily have not had to deal with them often, but i've had my experiences.

    Your ability to defeat these people will depend on a few factors, including age of account, volume of (positive) sales, revenue generated, level of activity, etc. The older, bigger, and more reliable you are the nicer ebay will play with you. If you're a new account with low activity you will probably just have to eat this until you grow a bit more.

    Be aware - when a buyer claims what they received is not the same as what the listing claimed (is not in same condition, completely wrong item, or "empty box"), ebay ToS instantly sides with the buyer, and they will tell you that. it's a crappy situation but it's what they do in order to maintain a "happy, guaranteed safe buying community" to protect buyers from shady sellers. This means any attempt at winning cases like this is an uphill battle every time. it IS however possible to come out ahead.

    NOTE: Ive never dealt with two scammers at once, this is going to look bad for you, I would try to segregate them and deal with them separately, potentially ignoring one and not bringing any fuss to it if possible until after the first is resolved, at this point that might not be an option though. I will discuss the steps to take as if we are dealing with one single issue, but the same thing applies to both problems.

    what you need to do:
    1. call ebay and get to their native english speaking reps at all costs.

    When you get out of the que if they have asian/indian accents, either hang up, or make up an excuse to get xfered, once xfered, you can either try working with whatever department you moved to or request a transfer back if you know they arent where you need to be. repeat this process until you get to a native english speaker, they're typically american or irish.

    Their indian/asian reps are all but useless, I think its a language barrier thing. They don't speak fluent english and thus can't really grasp the details of what's going on with your situation, and thus just stick to their script without deviating. I've had some success with their Philippians girls but its been limited, so I just avoid it all together.

    You may have to wait and call at different times depending on your location, I shoot for mid day (US)

    2. Social Engineering is the best hacking method.

    explain the situation CALMLY AND FRIENDLY. Have the mentality that you and ebay are friends, you guys like each other and get along well, and you need your buddies help to fix this issue and defeat evil. It is not the reps fault for what's going on and you know that, it's just upsetting. (I make sure to verbally express this if I start ranting or begin getting worked up). The goal is to make them like you and be on your side. If you can do that you have a MUCH higher chance of a positive outcome. Once I was SOL on a scamming situation and got the phillipean girl to acknowledge "Sir please understand this is not my decision, despite what i think and who I agree with I have to follow ebays procedures as it's not my decision to make." This essentially made her side with me, and in turn she subliminally fought to help me, then it's just a matter of holding out long enough on the exchange for her to figure out how to do it. I eventually walked away with my problem solved, probably took 30-45 mins in total.

    Depending on your accounts stats, the scammers stats, and the amount of $ in question, and the details of your case, they may side with you and close the issue in your favor, give you advice on how to make it turn into your favor, or grant ebay coverage (ebay refunds the buyer out of pocket, they keep the item or "empty box", and let you keep your sale). be aware the last option does not protect your feedback most of the time.


    3. if #2 fails and you cannot get them to budge, request to speak with a supervisor.

    eBay reps will put you on hold for no longer than 2 minutes, I'm 99% sure they have a 2 minute tops holding time rule as every 2 mins they will come back to assure you they haven't forgotten about you and ask you to wait another 2 mins. They may try to wave off your request initially reaffirming that the decision theyve made is law and the supervisor will reiterate it, don't deviate. They may come back and tell you "My supervisor is busy sir but if you could call back later...", dont deviate. They may put you on hold for 10-20 minutes, dont deviate. They will NEVER terminate the call (less breaking rules and drop you) or deny your request to speak to a sup in the end. You will always be allowed to speak to someone as long as you're willing to hold. Remember step number 2. stay calm, stay friendly "no problem I'm fine waiting" etc.

    you -WILL- speak to the supervisor, at that point it should be a native english speaker, repeat the previous steps with them and remember - BE THEIR FRIEND. theyer a supervisor for ebay, you are a seller for ebay. You pay their paycheck, you two are essentially work colleagues and like each other. build raport where you can, if you notice an accent ask questions about it, chit chat and be friendly during downtime in the call. The supervisors have the power to make all your problems go away at the push of a button.

    Just as I mentioned with the basic reps, I will copy paste from there:

    Depending on your accounts stats, the scammers stats, and the amount of $ in question, and the details of your case, they may side with you and close the issue in your favor, give you advice on how to make it turn into your favor, or grant ebay coverage (ebay refunds the buyer out of pocket, they keep the item or "empty box", and let you keep your sale). be aware the last option does not protect your feedback most of the time.

    The difference is basic reps will normally grant ebay coverage for transactions under X amount ( I think 20 bucks) as long as you're a good looking account, and don't really care about the details of your individual situation.

    The supervisors however will read the situation in detail, look at messages, transactions, tracking numbers, addresses, peek at the scammers acc for other complaints, etc. They will also listen to you explain your entire side of the story and decide how to handle it. They will MUCH MORE OFTEN hear you out and if you are truly the good guy and evidence from previous transactions shows you're a good, friendly and positive seller and dont go through this too often, they'll just cover you to keep you a happy seller*

    *I get treated -very- good by sups when I speak with them, this may be due to the level and quality of my seller account. I assume the bigger and better you are the more leniency they give during issues.

    ==============================================================================
    Those are the concrete steps to follow, A few other thoughts specific to your current situation:

    With the one where the guy that sent a return to a random business in the same zipcode, try to get some form of documentation of the address delivered from USPS, if you can get an email or reference code or something to verify that and show it to a supervisor, maybe ask to email it to them or something, I would expect that to change course from bad to good results for you. supervisors can function outside of the script well and give human interpretation to a situation, this very well may be your best life line.

    With the guy who claimed you sent an empty box, you might be able to speak to USPS and verify the original weight of the package. If you created tracking they had to weigh it to apply proper costs, it may be arguable "The box was 2 pounds when I shipped it, do you have any idea how big an empty box has to be to reach 2 pounds?", again, this might be best suited for supervisor discussion.

    Any form of proof that the buyer is lying will be the turning point for you, either making ebay side in your favor, or agreeing to cover you cause its obvious they're scamming but using loopholes and thus cant be stopped.

    I hope this information helps you, like I said you're in a tough spot (especially with 2 at once) and you might just have to eat the costs for these ones, but the above information is going to be your best shot. This wont be your last time experiencing the issue so if nothing else it's a good training ground.

    I can't stress enough to be friendly and build rapport with who you work with, making them like you is the key to a positive result for you.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask. Also please note I have opened a thread for general ebay advice/solutions/discussion as I am interested in offering a service. I know I need to prove myself and become more active, so feel free to go there for anything you need help with.

    *edit* Added link to thread: http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/got-questions-about-ebay-ask-here.883878/

    Also if this was helpful to you or others, giving thanks would be appreciated
     
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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  9. ContentWriter

    ContentWriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hi, @aff219. That's a solid advice! I don't have any eBay-related issues because I don't do business there, but felt the need to thank you for pouring in the time to write that experience-based advice.

    I agree by 100% that a friendly approach often gets the problem resolved on your favor.
     
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  10. aff219

    aff219 Junior Member

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    Hello iprsense, thank you very much :)

    Curious why you're reading ebay threads without being an ebayer though, haha

    Social engineering is one of the greatest ways to get whatever you want, it's an art form.

    I discovered this by accident as a secondary result back in the day when I started learning how to meet people, make friends, make girls like me, etc, lol.
     
  11. ContentWriter

    ContentWriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hi. The subject line of this post ("How do you deal with straight up scammers?") caught my attention. Being in the content writing business for more than 15 years, I've been scammed many times, too.
     
  12. aff219

    aff219 Junior Member

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    ahh I see. don't go stealing my work :p
     
  13. ContentWriter

    ContentWriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Don't worry. I won't do that. I'll re-write it to make a Copyscape-passed version of it. :D
    I'm just kidding. :)
     
  14. aff219

    aff219 Junior Member

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    haha >.<

    Back in the day my first online venture was article creation, both brand new and spinning, was a fun experience. Ultimately I stopped because I discovered how tedious and boring writing about things that don't interest you was to me.

    But it was invaluable experience that taught me quite a lot of skillsets that I've utilized long since
     
  15. bigstuffpoppin

    bigstuffpoppin BANNED BANNED

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    good advice but its still a uphill battle and very rarely will ebay side with the seller for snad cases
     
  16. aff219

    aff219 Junior Member

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    as I said, yes its an uphill battle, and yes ebay (according to their rulebook) -always- side with the buyer for not-as-described complaints, but that doens't mean you cant come out ahead as a seller.

    There's more ways to win than trying to get ebay to side with you in the case. That wont happen 99.99% of the time, hence why that's not the goal to focus on, because it's a lost cause.

    Winning the battle =/= Winning the case
     
  17. bigstuffpoppin

    bigstuffpoppin BANNED BANNED

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    Well I haven't heard of sellers to often, if scammers stick to their story are confident then they usually win
     
  18. aff219

    aff219 Junior Member

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    Like I said before, there's more ways to come out ahead than by winning the case.

    Another option that I've decided to share for op:

    This is information that will not help you now, but can be implemented from now on for future protection:

    You can create a ToS template and apply it to the end of every listing you make. For the discussion at hand we will focus on return policies

    You can make specific rules for a listings return policy, both in the actual field for it in returns, or at the bottom of the description in a ToS format

    As long as you make it very clearly stated what your rules for accepting returns are, ebay will allow you to stand by them.*

    *it does depend on the rep you work with sometimes.

    I had a customer buy an item from me and then claim what I sent was not the same thing. He opened a return request. NORMALLY, if you have "returns accepted" for the listing, if they want to return the item then ebay tells you you absolutely have to accept it because you did say returns accepted for this listing.

    However, if you put in key details, such as

    "If the item is NOT the same as in this picture, serials dont match, etc, I (the seller) may reject a return request at my discression"

    or

    "All return requests may be accepted or denied based on my (the seller's) judgement on a case-by-case basis."

    or

    "I reserve the right to deny any return request"

    This is a little bit of a gray area, and it takes advantage of something that is normally a problem for sellers - the crappy indian/asian reps. They barely speak english and dont stray far from their rulebook and scripts. In a situation like this that can play to your favor. Depending on the guy on the other end, they may enforce these rules as they are part of your listing terms.

    I have used this trick a few times over the years, literally calling in, getting an indian rep, rep denies me regardless of my TOS. Hang up, call back 10 mins later and talk to another indian rep, they agree since I had it as specific terms in the listing I can adhere to them and deny the return request.

    it is VERY important that you make it as clear, breif, and simple as possible. The reps need to be able to comprehend it easy enough to not fight it when you call in. This means a 5 year old needs to understand after reading it once.

    You can call back in as many times as you like and try over and over to get a rep that sides with you if you really want to, just make sure you don't agree to have someone make a deciding action or else you'll be stuck in a dead end. Once you get someone to respond how you want, make sure they notate it in your account, once its written into their system it is law. This applies to ANYTHING with ebay.

    At that point you have the option to choose what battle you want to fight -

    A. a scammer stealing your item and money (You lose the item and in turn the investment cost of that item, and the selling value of it. Always realize there's more than just the selling value being lost in this situation.)

    B. negative feedback from the scammer

    if it's a 20 dollar item, I would probably take A just to be done with it and move on , but if we get into 100+ value then I tend to go with B, and B is a much easier battle IMO.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
  19. bigstuffpoppin

    bigstuffpoppin BANNED BANNED

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    That doesnt work, if it does its very rare, ive done similar things to my listing and if the buyer files a snad claim then its over, they dont care about the return policy the seller has at the end of the day its ebays tos that matters.
     
  20. aff219

    aff219 Junior Member

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    again, like i said, you may have to call in multiple times but it absolutely -is- possible to make your tos stick. There's no rule against and thus no danger to calling in over and over re-pleading your case (Though the most I've ever had to do is 3x before getting a satisfactory result). You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I've done it multiple times. you just have to take advantage of the bad indian/asian reps that can barely understand things and find one that will type "seller does not need to refund buyer due to his listing description and policy", once its written on your account it's law.

    This works with more than just ebay, you can do it with almost any service you have to talk to a call center for. comcast, tmobile, amazon, you name it. Most of them have the "if its typed into notes on his account it's law" rule, you'd be amazed at what you can get away with when you learn basic social engineering.

    your claim that it "doesnt work or is very rare" is simply not true, perhaps you need to adjust how you interact with the reps when you call in or understand the different "positive outcomes" you can target and stop going for impossible ones (ie "winning the case" because as said, no, you wont win the case typically). If you're having that much trouble you are probably going at it the wrong way in some form, either not making them like you or shooting for the wrong goals.

    Not trying to be mean or insult, just trying to help you, because in 5 years I've had all of 1 negative feedback stick (and didnt try to beat it because I was new) and have stopped almost every scam attempt to pass by (the very first one I ignored and moved on)

    Beyond that I do this with any company I have an account with when something goes wrong. I've had my cellphone company go from telling me my phone is not covered under warranty for X reason, to giving me 2 free new phones and a galaxy S6 for 100 dollars (when it was brand new and cost 650) in one phonecall.

    I've also had them cover my bill for 5 months because I disagreed with their tax charges, and to date have never spent a dime on data overages when I accidentally go past my plan.

    I've had my internet provider give me almost a year of free internet, and had my home phone provider reimburse us for 3 years worth of bills.

    The things you can do with companies support reps is unimaginable. All you need is a good attitude and friendly personality, and know what to ask for and how to ask for it. The only thing that can hurt you is if you're not an established account or your account already looks bad.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016