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eBay: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner

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Scams to Watch Out For

Just as scammers prey on new buyers (Section 4.3), they also target new sellers. If you're selling expensive merchandise, you can pretty much count on being approached by scammers. Knowing their angles will help you steer clear of trouble. And every seller, large or small, sooner or later runs into someone who tries to get something—your something—for nothing. This section describes common ploys aimed at sellers and how to deal with them.

The Check's in the Mail

Deadbeat bidders write great fiction. They'll go to great lengths to sell you a heart-wrenching story of the troubles they've been suffering—and why this means they can't pay for the item they won. On the other hand, tragedies do strike, and it would feel pretty awful to accuse a nonpaying bidder of lying and then find out that all sixteen of her children really do need emergency operations.

This situation is probably the least serious but most common of all the scams. It's a scam simply because the bidder is lying to get out of an obligation. Knowing what to do when a nonpaying bidder with a good story asks to back out of an auction can be a tough call. You've got your eBay fees to consider, but you also want to develop a reputation for good customer service—and an unhappy bidder who's won an auction can leave negative feedback even if he or she is a complete deadbeat.

The best approach is to deal with this situation on a case-by-case basis. You might insist on payment and use eBay's UPI dispute process ...

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