Protect Your eBay Business From Buyer Fraud

Everyone is wary about eBay sellers not shipping an item after it is paid for, but there is a flip side to fraud on eBay- when the buyer is to blame.

There are a number of things you can do as an eBay seller to help minimize the instances of fraud that you experience.

Counterfeit Checks and Money Orders

If you receive a money order for payment, always cash it at the post office rather than depositing it at your bank. Once you have the cash in your hand, if it turns out to be counterfeit, it’s not your problem.

If it is a cashier’s check (sometimes known as banker’s draft) you will need to ask your bank to verify that funds are available to cover the check from the issuing bank. This usually takes 24 hours. Never ship an item until you have cash in hand.

Choose Your Countries Wisely

You can select which countries you ship to when you list the item. Although accepting bidders from more countries does give you a chance at more bids, it is simply not worth it for the hassle from certain countries. I never accept bidders from Russia, Thailand or Nigeria. If you are just starting out I would recommend you stick to the US and Canada for now and then when you are more comfortable, add Europe and Australia.

Shipment Issues

Always use some form of tracking for your packages. I use UPS or FedEX usually. If it is an expensive item I require the buyer to sign for it. If you are shipping USPS use delivery confirmation (it’s free if you print your postage online). Insuring a parcel through the USPS will provide tracking each step of the way. I recommend requiring insurance for all expensive items.

Item Damage

Some unscrupulous buyers will damage an item if they changed their mind about wanting it. Then they claim that it arrived damaged.

Make sure you take detailed photos of expensive items before you ship them so you can prove its condition before it left you. If you have insurance on the item, that will ususally cover it, but they will likely open an investigation and you will need those pictures to show the original condition.

Knocking on Your Door

When I was just starting out, I had a lady show up at my home at 7am the day after winning one of my eBay auctions asking if she could pick it up. It was Sunday and I was barely awake. I got a Post Office box first thing Monday morning. It is not a good idea to have your home address on the Internet if you have any alternative.

 

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