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I think I've been taken for a fool on eBay - please help

(69 Posts)
emsiewill Mon 31-Jan-05 21:43:58

I feel so stupid.

I won an auction for a TV/DVD/VCR package on eBay on 14 December. The amount was higher than I can pay using my card on PayPal and I was informed by PayPal that it would take at least 4 working days to set up a bank account. As the seller wanted payment within 5 working days, and not wanting to get any negative feedback, I paid by personal cheque. The amount was £350 plus £70 delivery. They had a feedback score of 1051 (around that anyway), and the feedback I saw was OK.

They acknowledged the receipt of my cheque on 26 December, and it cleared my bank account on 4 January. Since then, nothing. I've tried to email them, but got an automated message saying they were having problems with their emails and to call. I called and called and called. Each time I have left a message, and had no response. I made my daily call today and got what sounded like a fax machine.

I have checked eBay today, and discovered that they are no longer registered with eBay. The recent feedback they have had (ie since I paid) has been pretty bad - not non delivery, just really late and not always what people thought they were getting. I have started a "item not delivered" thing with eBay, I have also emailed again, and am writing to them (had the address to send the cheque to). I have said I will take legal action.

Has anyone got any other ideas of what I can do to try and either get my goods or my money back? Or do I just have to put this one down to experience (a very expensive experience) and steer clear of expensive items on eBay from now on.

(Never had any problems with eBay before, btw)

oatcake Mon 31-Jan-05 21:46:35

sounds bad. sorry.

pinkdiamond Mon 31-Jan-05 21:50:46

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pinkdiamond Mon 31-Jan-05 21:52:10

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misdee Mon 31-Jan-05 21:52:54

ask the bank for a copy of the cheque. i think they can do this (is that right).

tamum Mon 31-Jan-05 21:53:06

Poor you. I think if they're NARU there's precious little you can do through eBay. The only thing that might be worth a try is putting a message on the Community boards to see if anyone else has had problems with the same seller (you have to be careful though- I think there are rules about naming people). I have seen people get together like this when they've been defrauded by the same seller and then going to the police en masse. If there are lots of other people who have been defrauded by a similar amount you might stand some chance, but I'm afraid it doesn't look all that good

tamum Mon 31-Jan-05 21:53:54

You can't leave feedback anyway if they're NARU, so that won't help, sadly.

Gwenick Mon 31-Jan-05 21:54:27

Tamum - it depends on whether ebay itself had anything to do with them becoming a NARU - if Ebay have been involved they 'may' do something - definitely DON'T put this down to experience.

vict17 Mon 31-Jan-05 21:54:48

perhaps also go to the CAB for advice?

tamum Mon 31-Jan-05 21:55:51

Well, they may, but I doubt it. By all means try, but they usually quote Caveat Emptor.

pinkdiamond Mon 31-Jan-05 21:57:33

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milliways Mon 31-Jan-05 21:57:40

If you report it to police and get a copy of BOTH sides of your cheque, they can trace the bank account that was credited (details are printed on the reverse of your chq). May be useful if a fraud case is persued. You can get a letter sent to the address of their bank account via their bank (will forward it for you if you provide Stamped envelope.)

emsiewill Mon 31-Jan-05 21:59:05

I've kept all emails that I had from them, have my bank statement, I have the name and address of the person I sent the cheque to, which is why I'm writing to them.

Is there anything else I can do through eBay apart from the process I started today (item not delivered)?

Just looked on the forum, and someone there says it sounds like a hijacked account - how can they tell. Someone else says report to the police - can I do that?

misdee Mon 31-Jan-05 21:59:46

you can report it to the police, and you should.

ripley Mon 31-Jan-05 22:00:01

You poor thing. You can buy expensive things on ebay but you have to be very very careful. The most expensive thing I bought was for £700 and I was very nervous and I double checked everything before I bid on it.

Contact your bank and let them know what's happened. As you paid by cheque, you should be able to trace details of the bank account it was paid into and therefore find out all of the sellers details. Call the police straight away too - they have committed an offence so you might be able to pursue it through them. I would also do a search for their last items that they sold to see if you can find a pattern and contact any of the other buyers to see if they are in the same boat.

Feedback isn't a solid reason for a seller to be legit. Anybody could have hacked into the account and stole an identity. Look at some earlier auctions of his and compare it to the recent ones to see if there is a difference. If you want any more advice go on the q & a discussion board - there are always loads of people there to help. Good luck.

pinkdiamond Mon 31-Jan-05 22:00:27

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tamum Mon 31-Jan-05 22:01:02

You can certainly report it to the police. I guess they're suggesting a hijacked account because of the previously good rating, but they could just have gone out of business I guess.

emsiewill Mon 31-Jan-05 22:01:52

Can I say here who it is?

cupcakes Mon 31-Jan-05 22:02:40

Do follow through the complaint with ebay - I had a very similar thing happen a year or two ago (although for only £10) and ebay were very thorough in chasing up the seller. They even talked about reimbursing me but the value I paid was under their threshold for payment so maybe they could do something there?
This seller also became unregistered with ebay in the time I was waiting. In the end I did receive my item - very late and with no explanation at all. I believe they were leant on by the legal bods at ebay.
A while later I received an e-mail from another buyer who was also having a problem with this seller (they had contacted me via the feedback I had left). They also thought they had been conned but did eventually receive their item too.
Fingers crossed this is not a scam but just a very shoddy seller - hopefully you will receive your item eventually.

tamum Mon 31-Jan-05 22:02:56

I can't see any reason why not. If you're at all worried just put a link to one of their completed auctions (not yours unless you want people nosing round your feedback too!)

paolosgirl Mon 31-Jan-05 22:03:29

Wonder if it's worth contacting your bank, as you have been defrauded. I used to work in a bank, am trying to think back. They can get the fraud team onto something like this, I'm sure. They will be able to trace the account it went into, and it may turn into a money laundering investigation.

emsiewill Mon 31-Jan-05 22:06:23

Here's a link to their feedback

paolosgirl Mon 31-Jan-05 22:08:51

Seems like you're not alone then....oh dear

cupcakes Mon 31-Jan-05 22:08:53

On ebay:
contact us (from help menu) then:
Report Problems with other Ebay Members then,
Fraud Concerns for Buyers then,
You paid for item but never received it
This will take you to an email form.
Is this the route you've taken?

ripley Mon 31-Jan-05 22:12:25

On the bright side, most of his customers did eventually get their products, and he probably automatically got suspended just from the negs alone. Definitely contact the bank/police/ebay though.

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