Thinking about selling on eBay but worried about getting scammed? Here are 4 things you need to know to not get scammed as a seller.
There’s no doubt buying and selling on any platform comes with risk.
As a buyer, you might be worried about getting a different item than you thought, getting a damaged item, or worse yet, getting an empty box.
As a seller, there are other ways to get scammed.
And that’s what this article is all about. In it you’ll learn:
- If you’re at risk of getting scammed
- How to stay safe as an eBay seller
- The 4 Mistakes not to make
- Most importantly – not getting scammed selling on eBay
Affiliate Link Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from which I may make a small percentage if you make a purchase. This is at no extra cost to you and helps to keep this website running. Thank you for your support!
Are You At Risk Of Getting Scammed As An eBay Seller?
After selling on eBay for many years now and helping many other sellers start their reselling business, I’ve come to the conclusion that certain people (more accurately, accounts) are much more at risk than others of getting scammed as an eBay seller.
What it boils down to is your feedback rating.
If you’ve been on the eBay platform for a long time, you’ve probably built up quite a bit of feedback.
But if you’re new to eBay, or have opened up a new account to sell from, your feedback is going to start from ground zero, literally.
If this is you, you are more likely to be targeted by scammers trying to take advantage of unsuspecting, inexperienced sellers.
You will definitely want to read on to make sure that you aren’t making these 4 mistakes when it comes to safety when selling on eBay.
A Quick Note About Me
Hi there! If we haven’t met yet, my name is Lee. I’m a busy stay at home mom of 3 kiddos.
I’ve made over $60,000 reselling used clothes as a little naptime side hustle.
In my spare time, I also teach people just like you how to make money selling on online platforms like eBay.
If you’d like to learn how to bring home an extra $500 a month flipping used items, be sure to sign up for my FREE 5-day course called Reseller Bootcamp.
Tip: Check your spam folder and mark emails as “not junk” so you get all the days of the course!
Now onto learning how to not get scammed as a seller on eBay!
(For those of you who like video, here’s the video version):
Mistake #1 – Giving Out Personal Contact Information
One of the biggest mistakes you could make as an eBay seller is giving out your personal contact information.
Never give out your personal info (phone number, etc).
And if a buyer requests for you to contact them outside of eBay, tell them you can’t.
This will not only help you stay safe as an eBay seller, but it is one of eBay’s rules.
eBay monitors messages between buyers and sellers. If you communicate outside of eBay, they are unable to monitor those messages and protect you as a seller.
Bottom Line: Keep all conversations inside of eBay.
Mistake #2 – Shipping To A Different Address
On occasion, buyers may ask you to ship to a different address than is on their account.
Now the majority are probably not out to scam you, but there is always the chance.
If you comply and ship to another address, you will not be protected by eBay.
The buyer could come back and say they never received their item and you would be out your money.
Yes, even if there are eBay messages documenting the request. Even if there is tracking showing the package delivered.
So what are you supposed to do if a buyer asks you to ship to another address?
If a buyer asks you to ship to a different address, reply right away and let them know you are unable to ship to a different address than what’s listed on their account.
You will need to:
- Cancel the sale
- Have them change their address, and then
- Repurchase the item
Yes, a pain. But better than being out a bunch of money if they say it doesn’t show up.
Also as a note, I’ve never lost a sale doing this. Buyers understand and are willing to follow through with their purchase.
Bottom Line: Only ship to the address listed.
Mistake #3 – Giving A Refund Or Partial Refund Without Getting The Item Back
There may be some occasions that are appropriate for giving a refund or partial refund without getting the item back.
An example of this would be for a mistake you definitely made on your part.
But let’s say a buyer contacts you and lets you know the item doesn’t work (everything was find when you sent it) and requests a 50% refund or they will leave negative feedback.
For this example, you will want to let the buyer know that you do not give refunds without receiving the item back. In most cases this is enough to discourage a buyer from trying to scam you.
If they do leave negative feedback, eBay should stand behind you if you offered them a refund and they chose not to accept it.
Also, you’ll want to note this one important fact regarding getting your seller fees back: you do not receive eBay fees back when you chose to accept a partial refund. Refunds of fees are only given for full refunds.
Bottom Line: Give refunds only when you receive items back (and avoid giving partial refunds).
Mistake #4 – Shipping Before Receiving Payment
One mistake new sellers often make is shipping before the payment is received.
This is a big no-no.
Even if it is taking a while, you will want to hold off on shipping until the payment clears.
In the case of e-checks (used very rarely), it can take a week or more for the payment to go through.
Do not ship until the buyer has paid.
It will be clear on your end as a seller when it is time to ship. Just don’t just the gun and mail your item early.
If the buyer doesn’t pay, they’ll end up with the item, and you’ll be out your money.
Bottom Line: Ship only once payment has cleared.
Every once in a while, you may receive a message from eBay saying that the buyer is disputing the charge with their credit card company from buying your item.
This is what’s known as a “chargeback.”
My guess is, most of the time this is due to an honest buyer not recognizing (or remembering) the purchase when they get their credit card bill, then disputing the charge.
It may also be due to a dishonest buyer trying to get an item for free.
The handful of times I’ve had this happen over the years, the ruling has always been in my favor.
As long as you have:
- tracking showing that the item was delivered, and
- that you shipped to the listed address,
you will be able to keep your money from the sale.
How To Avoid Getting Scammed As A Seller On eBay
So, is there anything you can do to avoid getting scammed as a seller on eBay?
Well, of course follow the guidelines mentioned above.
In case you missed it, here they are again:
- Keep all conversations inside of eBay
- Only ship to the address listed
- Give refunds only when you receive items back
- Ship only once payment has cleared
In addition, since your risk of getting scammed as a seller on eBay is correlated to the number of feedback on your account, you will want to work on increasing your positive feedback.
There are a few ways to increase your feedback so you can avoid being a target of scammers.
First, make purchases from the account you’re selling from. Most sellers give positive feedback when you make a purchase. If not, message them and ask them to leave feedback for you.
Second, work on getting positive feedback from your buyers. You can do this by:
- Being honest in the listing about the condition of the item
- Shipping quickly and on time
- Packaging your item nicely
- Send a note requesting feedback
Conclusion To Don’t Get Scammed As An eBay Seller
The last thing you want as an eBay seller is to get scammed out of your item and money.
But there’s no doubt if you follow these tips (and don’t make the four mistakes mentioned above), you can stay safe selling on eBay.
Selling on eBay can be a great experience and a great way to make money.