Saturday, October 25, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Is post office at fault or is this an eBay scam?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 7/5/2013

Dear eBay Queen: Here’s the situation: A woman buys my XBox 360 on eBay; she takes 4 days, but eventually pays. The money is in my account, and I ship the console off. (That was June 14.) A few days ago, I get an e-mail from her asking where it is, and whether or not she’ll get it by June 25. I check the tracking number and find that there’s no update to its status since it was checked in at the post office. I contact the post office, and they basically say that until it gets checked in at a new location, there’s no way to track it. I have insurance on it.

At this point, there’s still no update on the location of the package. There’s no indication that it reached the destination post office. I don’t see any way to deal with this other than to refund the gal’s money, and file the insurance claim. Before I actually send her the money, could this be a scam? — Jeff, Ottawa, Kan.

Dear Jeff: If the post office has no record of it reaching the buyer, she’s not scamming you, the post office has lost you’re item. You’re in a bad situation though, because if you refund her money and then the post office delivers the package, they’ll deny your insurance claim.

I would contact your buyer and see if she is willing to wait for the post office to deliver/find it. If she is, then give this another week. If they are not willing, go ahead and start the insurance process through the post office immediately.

Dear eBay Queen: I’ve been selling on the Internet for six years now. It’s been my experience that selling out of the country is just a hassle. Because of this, I have a restricted list of foreign countries I do not ship to, and it excludes just about everywhere outside the U.S.

Today I got a bid from a buyer who wanted me to ship to the Russian Federation. You guessed it, it’s a new eBay buyer with a feedback of zero and an ID created today. All red flags that say to me “Beware!” — possibly identity theft in the making. Before I could cancel his bid and block the buyer, I received an email from him where he asked a bunch of odd questions.

“Good day from Russia. I see that you do not accept bids from buyers outside of the U.S. I have family in the U.S. and was wondering if you would ship the products to them? I am new to eBay and would really like to own your item. I could buy this from a couple other sellers, but I reviewed your pictures and feedback and felt that you would be the best choice for me. I would be most appreciative if you would consider my bid.”

Why was the buyer able to bid on my item in the first place? Could my preferences have been altered somewhere I don’t know about? I thought bidders outside our shipping preferences were automatically excluded from bidding?  What would you do? — TNT

Dear TNT: I would call eBay’s customer support line immediately and ask a representative if there was a glitch in the blocked bidder process. It’s important that you call. If eBay doesn’t know about the problem, it can’t be fixed.

In this particular transaction, I would ask the buyer if he has a confirmed address in the U.S. If he does, I would have no problem sending his item to the confirmed address here. Do you have any verbiage in your listing that says you do not ship internationally?  

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 261213977119. Believe it or not, it’s July! Rubies are the July birthstone. How would you like to own this: “Faberge C 1895 Russian Miniature Mouse w/ Gold Ruby Silver Diamonds Signed RARE.” It sold for $28,000 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Faberge-c-1895-Russian-Miniature-Mouse-w-Gold-Ruby-Silver-Diamonds-Signed-Rare-/261213977119?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cd190fa1f&nma=true&si=%252BnX5xGFU%252FBraBkr%252FWWvtgmgXVWE%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen

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