Ebay - am I about to be scammed?

I sold a fairly high value item (£600) on the basis that it would be picked up from my home.  The buyer has paid for the item through ebay.

Now, I have had a message that the buyer is out of the country and will send his friend to pick up the item. The buyer has loads of good feedback, and lives a few miles away, so it all feels pretty genuine. 

Are there any precautions that I should take? For example, I want the friend to sign a receipt when he picks up the item. Any other suggestions?

One potential difficulty is that the buyer will return home eventually and not like the item. He'll them perhaps want to return it and get his money back. Is there a time limit for this?

I'm just selling some of our stuff, and I'm not a dealer, by the way.




No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
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  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 72,184 Ambassador
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    edited 30 November 2022 at 2:42PM
    That sounds like the typical collection scam. However, eBay now protect against claims for INR on collection items, you will need to message buyer via eBay and insist that person collecting has the QR collection code that you need to prove collection, be polite but be firm, you need to collection scannable code or else you won’t release item.

    incidentally this applies whoever collects , even if the buyer themselves came you would still need the code. 

    As for returns, it all depends whether you have returns enabled or not. If so then buyer can return, at their own cost for the 14 or 30 days specified in your policy. If you don’t have returns enabled then they would need to find a fault to return and even then on a collected item that might be difficult. 
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • This could well be a scam. 
    In order to protect yourself from an "item not received" claim through eBay, the person collecting the goods needs to turn up with the QR code or collection code number from eBay. This was emailed to the account that paid for the order.

    In order to protect yourself from a "payment not recognised" claim through eBay, which can be made via the buyer's card company or PayPal depending on how they paid you, you need a signature from the actual buyer - not their friend, family member or associate, it must literally be the exact person on the account.

    Refund the payment and tell them that the person collecting can bring cash. It doesn't even have to be a scam for you to be out of pocket on this, I had an actual customer do this over an item they collected from my business. A few weeks later they initiated a claim as they didn't recognise the payment, and even though I had the signature of their father in law who collected the product and messages from them through eBay confirming they'd bought it eBay was unable (or unwilling) to fight the claim from the card company. They got their money back, and we had to get them to pay us directly for the goods that they'd already received.

    Interesting that they're just down the road from you. Do you have any proof that the person you're talking to through eBay is the owner of the eBay account? E.G. have they called you from a landline phone number attached to the eBay order, or anything like that?
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 72,184 Ambassador
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    This could well be a scam. 
    In order to protect yourself from an "item not received" claim through eBay, the person collecting the goods needs to turn up with the QR code or collection code number from eBay. This was emailed to the account that paid for the order.

    In order to protect yourself from a "payment not recognised" claim through eBay, which can be made via the buyer's card company or PayPal depending on how they paid you, you need a signature from the actual buyer - not their friend, family member or associate, it must literally be the exact person on the account.

    Refund the payment and tell them that the person collecting can bring cash. It doesn't even have to be a scam for you to be out of pocket on this, I had an actual customer do this over an item they collected from my business. A few weeks later they initiated a claim as they didn't recognise the payment, and even though I had the signature of their father in law who collected the product and messages from them through eBay confirming they'd bought it eBay was unable (or unwilling) to fight the claim from the card company. They got their money back, and we had to get them to pay us directly for the goods that they'd already received.

    Interesting that they're just down the road from you. Do you have any proof that the person you're talking to through eBay is the owner of the eBay account? E.G. have they called you from a landline phone number attached to the eBay order, or anything like that?
    I’m not aware of any signature requirement - also, how do you know who bought it and who’s collecting and where do you get a copy of their legal signature (is that even a thing?) to compare it to?

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/help/posting-items/selling/setting-postage-options/local-collection?id=4181&st=3&pos=2&query=Offering%20local%20collection&intent=Collection%20items&lucenceai=lucenceai&docId=HELP1136
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,093 Forumite
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    You have been warned above so if it's a collection only accept cash 
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 72,184 Ambassador
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    MikeJXE said:
    You have been warned above so if it's a collection only accept cash 
    Sellers cannot insist on cash, if you want cash then don’t use eBay. If seller refunds then they still pay all the FVFs and cannot force buyer to repay. 
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • RobM99
    RobM99 Posts: 2,517 Forumite
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    This is a common tactic used by scammers in the guitar world. "My courier will pay you cash on collection". 
    Now not a gainfully employed bassist.
  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,093 Forumite
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    soolin said:
    MikeJXE said:
    You have been warned above so if it's a collection only accept cash 
    Sellers cannot insist on cash, if you want cash then don’t use eBay. If seller refunds then they still pay all the FVFs and cannot force buyer to repay. 
    Sellers can refuse to sell it to you 
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    You say "Now, I have had a message that the buyer is out of the country and will send his friend to pick up the item. The buyer has loads of good feedback, and lives a few miles away, so it all feels pretty genuine." And that's how scammers operate.

    If you have been meticulous in your messaging with the buyer (that is, every single message sent and received goes via the ebay messaging system) then you do have a money back guarantee. 

    However, I would probably want to refuse to hand over anything to anyone who came to collect a parcel on behalf of someone else. If the buyer is out of the country then he's hardly likely to be desperate for the item, is he?

    I'd also want to report this to eBay and ask their advice, even if it is a genuine request. No harm done.

    For an item costing £600, you have to protect yourself in the first instance. No matter how 'fussy' you might appear to anyone else. 

    I also recommend, if you haven't seen it already, a programme from the BBC called 'Dirty Rotten Scammers' which is full of great advice and information. You really would be surprised at the number of scams that operate and also, at the cheek of all scammers.  I think it's still on iPlayer and it's in conjunction with the Open University. Very educational indeed. Even for those who think they are 'tech savvy'.
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 72,184 Ambassador
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    MikeJXE said:
    soolin said:
    MikeJXE said:
    You have been warned above so if it's a collection only accept cash 
    Sellers cannot insist on cash, if you want cash then don’t use eBay. If seller refunds then they still pay all the FVFs and cannot force buyer to repay. 
    Sellers can refuse to sell it to you 
    Quite right, a seller can never be forced to sell, but those FVFs will soon mount up if they keep cancelling sales . If cash is the only option, then use a site that allows sellers to set their own terms, and that isn’t eBay. 
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
    the_lunatic_is_in_my_head Posts: 7,556 Forumite
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    edited 30 November 2022 at 4:33PM
    Thing with this is if the buyer hadn’t said anything OP would have no idea whether the person collecting was the buyer or someone else so out of interest which bit is a scam? 

    I agree about scanning the collection QR code.

    Just to add interestingly eBay says

    A copy of the eBay order details, signed by the buyer at the time of collection

    Is proof of collection under the money back terms but I wouldn’t put much faith in this.
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