View Full Version : e-bay rip off

Steve B
09-16-2008, 04:59 AM
I bought something from an e-bay store. They charged my cc the specified amount - over $700. The charge was made on 8/31. I have rec'd. no shipment, no notification of a delay etc. They have not responded to 4 e-mails or 2 e-bay messages.

All I know about them is their e-bay information. They have no phone number or street address available. I have only seen a reference to their city (Punta Gorda, Florida). They have a 98% rating and have been around on e-bay for over a year.

I registered the official "dispute" with e-bay yesterday. They have 10 days to respond.

What other options do I have? Is there some way to stop payment via the credit card (Master card)? Since it is over $500 - I believe this is a felony if I could get a prosecutor's attention with this kind of thing. I imagine this kind of theft wouldn't be taken very seriously. Should I even bother to report this to the Punta Gorda police?

09-16-2008, 05:12 AM
I believe that most credit card issuer's should have some sort of form to register a claim like this. It would depend on the issuer how you get the form. While it may be a felony i don't know that the police would act on this without the correct process being followed to the card issuer.

09-16-2008, 08:58 AM
Shouldn't you just be able to call the credit card company and get them to reverse the charges? I think most companies have a mechanism in place that will allow you to do this. I could be mistaken about that though.

09-16-2008, 11:27 AM
You are protected through visa or mastercard. The merchant takes the highest risk. Call your credit card company and say it was a fraululent charge. The merchant will have to prove that the goods were shipped and delivered and have about 10 days to do it.

09-16-2008, 02:39 PM
If it's any comfort - we've had pretty good results with the ebay dispute stuff in the past - good luck on getting the issue resolved!

09-16-2008, 10:28 PM
You have time to wait before formally disputing the charge. Credit card companies will always want you to deal with the merchant first to resolve the dispute, because before they reverse the charge THEY have to deal with it.

If you're worried about the accrual of interest on it, wait until you receive your statement and before it is due to file the complaint. Usually they exclude that amount from what is owed and they will not accure interest until it is resolved. Now if it takes them a month and they end up saying you did get the item, then you'll pay interest on it from the date of the initial transaction.

Paul Elliott
09-16-2008, 10:44 PM
Steve, keep a careful written and printed record of everything you do with date and time. It will help your case, if you have to get more forceful.


Steve B
09-17-2008, 03:45 AM
That will be easy. Since there is no phone number, everything has been done via e-mail.

Steve B
09-23-2008, 03:47 AM
This is not having a happy ending. E-bay removed the transaction from my record - and won't answer questions about the details of the transaction when I finally found their phone number. They have not even acknowledged receipt of my request for them to investigate the fraud. As far as I'm concerned, this makes them a partner in the felony.

My credit card company has been better. But, they said it will take 30 days before I receive a decision on the contested charge - so who knows what will happen there. They will likely run into the same issue getting information from e-bay.

Now, my question is who is e-bays competitor? I have some things to sell from time to time. I need to reach a large market for these items - so the local classified won't do.

09-23-2008, 07:48 AM
Craigslist is the only other site I know that is actually competitive with eBay, despite it not being an auction site.

Most auction sites never really took off like eBay did.

09-23-2008, 08:26 AM
another option is Amazon - I'm not sure how it works there though, just know a couple of people who have used it.

09-24-2008, 12:28 AM
I think that ebay has many competitors, however either the exception of craigslist as Evan mentioned, none really have as much reach or presence in the market. Depending on the product, Amazon do have some things you can sell second hand such as books i know they do i don't know what the reach is otherwise.

Paul Elliott
09-24-2008, 10:00 AM
Depending on the product, Amazon do have some things you can sell second hand such as books i know they do i don't know what the reach is otherwise.

I don't know about Amazon's reach. It is not an auction. You set the price you want after checking with what other people are asking for the same or simliar items.

I have sold a number of used books using their service. I don't believe they allow any "used" items other than books and audios/videos.

The basic service is free to list, IF they already have your item in their database. They give you your asked price less their take of 20% when the item sells. They give you the $4 shipping. There are no other charges, e.g., payment processor services.

The advantage is that it costs you nothing, if your item doesn't sell.

Your listing is for 60 days with unlimited renewals.

This basic service is the only one I've used other than the Amazon Advantage program for any new books you author or publish.

If you want to list anything whether or not it is in their database and have your own "store," this service costs ~$40/mo. I don't know if they collect any other fees for sales, but they do for using their payment processor. I don't remember if there are any other fees.


Steve B
10-01-2008, 10:21 AM
Final update.

E-bay sucks. They wiped out all records of the transaction and have refused to give me any details of it. All I want is the date and the amount of the transaction. After jumping through numerous hurdles to speak to a live person the only response they will give me is that they will ony respond as a result of a subpeona. Again, all I'm asking for is the information they usually keep in your "My E-bay" section for 60 days after a completed sale.

Luckily, my credit card company has given me credit back for the $700+ dollars. They were great to deal with.

As far as I'm concerned E-bay was a participant in covering up a felony. I may forward this on to various press sources and see if they want to do a story on how e-bay facilitates internet based crime. They may get their subpoena after all.

10-01-2008, 11:36 AM
I'm with you on that one, Steve. I've had my share of frustration the way eBay wipes out all evidence of bogus transactions so you have no record of it at all. I'm surprised they don't get more bad press, but maybe they use goons who sniff it out before it gets published and flex their muscle to keep it quiet (pure speculation on that). I do know there are a lot of people who share this frustration.

10-01-2008, 02:07 PM
Ebay has been going down hill for a long time. I hate PayPal as well which is or was affiliated. PayPal uses the same sort of tactics when problems occur.

If you are mad enough, might check to see if ebay-sucks.com is availabe or something similar and start a blog. Do it right and you could have a nice little affiliate site.

10-01-2008, 03:33 PM
If you are mad enough, might check to see if ebay-sucks.com is availabe or something similar and start a blog. Do it right and you could have a nice little affiliate site.

There are several of these sites already out there. Similar sites also exist for Paypal. People are quite vehement in their dislike of these companies.

10-01-2008, 05:57 PM
One more doesn't hurt :)

On edit: I've had really bad experience with PayPal - both as a merchant and a buyer.

I hold my breath with ebay purchases.

As steve found out, pay with a credit card and you are pretty well protected regardless.

Business Attorney
10-01-2008, 06:28 PM
I feel lucky. So far, my few experiences on eBay (as a buyer) have all been good. Still, it is good advice to pay by credit card and have that as a recourse.

10-01-2008, 06:30 PM
For the record, there is an ebaysucks.com when you don't use the dash. There's even a paypalsucks.com too.

10-01-2008, 08:56 PM
I haven't had any ebay issues. I have had paypal issues. From the payment side, paypal attached my bank account to my paypal account. I tried to pay a merchant who happens to be a member of the former board and it didn't allow the transaction. It operated normally with other merchants. Low cost sales, not big bucks.

As a merchant, PayPal declined a lot of orders; probably 50%. On company credit cards. Fairly large order, but for small companies like the FAA, General Motors, General Electric, the US Coast Guard, etc. Little companies like that.

They also float money as a merchant. You charge a customer, that stays in PayPal until you pull it out. If they decide they don't like you, they freeze your funds until lawyers get involved.

If you are selling on ebay or in certain other markets, you pretty much have to use them. Don't consider them to be honest though, and their customer service is worse than talking to India.

I've bought a number of things on ebay. Some expensive stuff like computers.

They always make me nervous though. I like things like software on ebay. Can't beat the prices a lot of times. Still, I'd pay by credit card if you can. Actually, you can attach your credit card to your paypal account which should protect you.

Harold Mansfield
10-04-2008, 11:34 PM
I have 5 ebay stores and I post on each one of them a few quick tips to protect yourself when shopping there.

1. Carefully read the item description
This should give you a good understanding of what’s on offer. In particular check the picture, shipping details and buyer requirements. If you have any questions, email the seller.

2. Get to know your seller
It’s important to get to know the seller’s reputation before you buy or bid on an item. You can do this by simply reviewing their feedback and if you have any questions just click on “Ask seller a question”.

Request the seller’s contact information and give the seller a call.

3. Pay safely
There are several ways you can pay for your item – eBay recommends you use PaisaPay which is the safest and easiest way to pay online. Learn about the other payment options*.
Credit card (and Debit Card) companies typically provide some level of identity and purchase protection as well.

4. NEVER pay with Western Union
Instant money transfer services like Western Union are not safe to use online and are prohibited on eBay. Unscrupulous sellers prefer these payment methods and may try to convince you to pay this way but we urge you not to. Even Western Union warns against using their services for online payments, such as transactions on eBay.

Look for options like PaisaPay that offer buyer protection.

5. Protect yourself

If you receive an item that is significantly different to its description or you don’t receive it at all, you may be protected with the Buyer Protection Program**.

*If you have paid for an item, but didn’t receive it, or you paid for and received an item, but it was significantly different from the item description. Note: If you paid for your item with PayPal, you’ll be taken automatically to PayPal to file a PayPal Buyer Protection claim.

**Vehicle purchases are protected for up to $50,000 or the vehicle purchase price, whichever is lower.

Note: If you have purchased items as a “guest”, your items will become eligible for buyer protection after you register. It is always better to register with Ebay before you place a bid, and keep your account current for all future transactions. Additionally, claims must be filed within 45 days of the PayPal payment.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

I know it's too little too late for your situation, but Pay Pal has always been righteous when it comes to disputes. I have even complained over amounts as little as $5, and had a refund to my account within minutes of filing a dispute, as well as an apology from the seller.

For an amount that significant, I would have requested to talk to the seller by phone. If no response, no sale.

Steve B
10-05-2008, 05:01 AM
Good advice E-borg. I violated one of my own cardinal rules with that purchase - I bought from a "company" that didn't provide a phone number. I just kind of forgot on this one - but, they had a good reputation and had been around Ebay for several years.