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How likely is it that my friend has been scammed?

(21 Posts)
PatFenis Sat 06-Apr-13 20:53:37

This week my friend sold a high value item on ebay (over £1000)
The buyer placed a last minute bid (maiden bid) on the item and paid immediately by paypal.

My friend messaged the buyer to arrange collection but the buyer told my friend that he would arrange a courier as we are in the North West and he was near London.

Friend called to tell me that he had sold the item and I told him that it sounded dodgy to me and that if I were him I would refund the blokes money and request cash on collection only. He is too bloody trusting and I'm the complete opposite.

He went ahead with the sale, the buyer had a courier collect the item and next thing we know is that the buyer has raised a NAD with ebay and paypal has put a block on friends account.

Now my friend is a very trustworthy bloke, he is a serious collector of high end items (boys toys), has been for donkeys years, he knows his stuff and what its worth so there is no way he would have sold a doozy. He was only selling the bloody thing because he had his VAT bill to pay.

What is likely to happen next and will he get his money or his item back. I'm tempted to tell him to take it to the police with it being such a large amount of money. Anybody had any experience of this?

Thanks in advance smile

RedPencils Sat 06-Apr-13 20:57:49

I've no advice but it doesn't sound good at all. The community forum on eBay might be able to offer better advice.

PatFenis Sat 06-Apr-13 20:59:16

Thanks Red, will try there also. I have told him to call ebay helpline but they aren't open again til Monday morning sad

fergoose Sat 06-Apr-13 21:01:49

the only way the seller can keep the money is if they have tracking info from the courier - if they don't have that, then yes they have been scammed.

Cash on collection only unfortunately. If I was them I would be contacting the police immediately.

fergoose Sat 06-Apr-13 21:04:00

Actually, sorry - NAD - that means not as described does it? Actually, yes, tell your friend to escalate the dispute now, then when the item is returned they can refund. And just hope that the buyer doesn't switch the item and give them back something different.

If they tell the buyer they wish to check their security markings first and that the item is in the condition in which it was sent they will then refund them. No item, no refund.

crazydrunkevilhamster Sat 06-Apr-13 21:05:15

From experience the buyer always gets the refund unfortunately sad

PatFenis Sat 06-Apr-13 21:06:05

Oh bloody hell, will the courier have left a receipt with my friend? He didn't mention it. I feel really bad for him because he is such a lovely trusting bloke.

Makes me sick. I will be seeing him tomorrow, we go carbooting together. I will suggest we drop in to the police station on the way home - gutted!

PatFenis Sat 06-Apr-13 21:08:25

Yes Fergoose, the buyer says its not as described. I did tell him that if he was going to allow a courier to collect then he should security mark it. I don't know if he did. He does have tons of pictures of the item though.

PatFenis Sat 06-Apr-13 21:08:58

Crazy sad not fair is it!?

fergoose Sat 06-Apr-13 21:10:32

no ignore me - I thought you meant the buyer had said they hadn't received the item - I read your op wrong

If the buyer is stating not as described then all your friend can do is escalate the dispute and tell them to return for a refund

And tell your friend it always has to be cash on collection, and never ever let a buyer arrange their own courier. If this item has been damaged by the courier your friend cannot claim from the courier for the loss as he didn't have the contract with them. The buyer can return the damaged item, claim a refund from the seller, and also claim from the courier for the damaged item. And your friend receives back an item which is damaged/broken and potentially worthless.

PatFenis Sat 06-Apr-13 21:20:42

Thanks Fergoose, I will show him this thread tomorrow but to be honest I have a bad feeling about this. I sensed something wasn't 'right' from the beginning. I did tell him exactly what you have just said (I do lurk here for your advice on ebay matters and they have served me well) but he just couldn't see the issue bless him.

fergoose Sat 06-Apr-13 21:23:06

well I hope I am wrong - it does seem dodgy though. Is the buyer claiming the item was damaged in transit or not as described in the auction?

PatFenis Sat 06-Apr-13 21:32:59

He is saying that it isn't as described in the listing. The listing was very thorough and other people had asked questions about the item which my friend had answered in great detail and made publicly viewable. I have just looked at the listing myself. There were actually 3 bids on it, I must have misunderstood my friend, he must have meant the bloke only bid once <divvy>

crazydrunkevilhamster Sun 07-Apr-13 11:31:43

Yup PatFenis it really isn't fair

MandragoraWurzelstock Sun 07-Apr-13 11:45:10

this is good in a way - once they have opened a NAD dispute they can't open a not received one. So the proof of delivery issue is bypassed already.

The buyer may well win a dispute but will have to return the item at his own expense to get the refund.

Considering he already paid for the courier to London, he won't be too happy to do this I imagine, so you might be alright.

In that case your mate will just get a negative feedback which he can reply calmly to.

I wouldn't escalate yet - I'd just continue to insist it was as described, sellers do occasionally win - especially if he can get some kind of evidence that it was as described (paypal won't accept photos, but may ask for other proof)

If the buyer does return it, as long as it isn't damaged then he'll have the item back and can re-sell.

However the buyer will need ONLINE tracking for the item's return and that costs a blooming fortune if the thing is large or heavy. (I had this with a sofa once - in the end the seller came and got it but it still cost me 40 quid) If he doesn't return it with online tracking showing it's been delivered, then he won't get his money back and the case will close.

ShootingStarsss Sun 07-Apr-13 11:49:58

This happened to a friend of mine and after 3 months this is still ongoing.

They sold a designer item, sent by recorded delivery but what the buyer done was opened a dispute to say it was a "fake" it wasn't they then had to return the item for a full refund, they didn't return original item, they put a fake in the box and returned that, friend left with now fake item and no money.

I suggest your friend calls the police.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sun 07-Apr-13 11:54:47

It is worth sending photos anyway, especially to counter any specific claims, because PayPal can look at them at their discretion.

For £1000 I really hope the item has been marked somehow, so your friend knows they are getting the right thing back. It's very likely to be a fake, otherwise.

ShootingStarsss Sun 07-Apr-13 11:57:02

By the way apparently this is a known scam on eBay, not even sure how eBay could stop this one.

fergoose Sun 07-Apr-13 12:14:43

which is why it is best the seller escalates it now - then the buyer either has to return for a refund or do nothing, and the seller gets their money back.

The seller will have the buyer's address from paypal, so if the buyer does try to scam them sending back a different item the seller can go to the police and file a small claim against the buyer for the money.

PatFenis Wed 24-Apr-13 22:30:05

Just to update ...paypal have refunded the buyer and the buyer has not returned the item. My mate is still waiting for a response from ebay after emailing them on Saturday to find out what the hell is going on.

He didn't listen to me when I told him not to trust the buyer to send the item back using their own courier and that he should send his own - he has emailed the buyer several times and had no response.

He said he was going to call ebay/paypal today but I haven't heard back from him since so don't know what the outcome was.

I told him to go to the police with all of the transaction detail print outs - I hope he listens to me this time sad

fergoose Wed 24-Apr-13 22:54:29

they did what??

How did the buyer get a refund without returning the item - did they claim not received instead of not as described? He needs to go to the police and fast.

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