A recent wave of scams involving eBay’s Buy It Now feature has many eBay sellers upset.
In the scam, unknown buyers have been closing eBay auctions early using the Buy It Now feature. The buyer sends an email to the seller offering to pay by Western Union money order. An official looking email arrives stating Western Union has received a money order. The seller ships the item and then discovers that there is no money order and that the email was spoofed.
In addition to loss of property, the sellers are often out their listing fees which can be substantial for higher priced items. Several sellers have received rebates of their fees, but not without the great trouble of working through the eBay system.
As many of the scams involved individuals in Nigeria and eastern Europe, sellers should ensure that funds are indeed in-hand before shipping to these countries. eBay offers a section on selling internationally in its help files.
Use of an eBay approved escrow service is also an option. Warning: never use any escrow service recommended by your buyer. That’s a whole ‘nother scam…