Ebay seller sending an empty package

fwor
fwor Posts: 6,801
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I've got three Ebay single-item orders that I'm waiting for, and today I received a small Jiffy Bag addressed to "The Occupier" at my address, with a fake return address on it (the postcode in Manchester doesn't exist).

It wasn't completely empty. All it contained was this printed slip:



Is this a known tactic? I did a forum search and no obvious similar threads leapt out.

My guess is that they will never ship what I ordered, and when I record it as "not received" they will submit the tracking ref for the empty package, which will show as delivered - case closed.

Is there a defence, if that's what happens?
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  • RedImp_2
    RedImp_2 Posts: 234
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    I suppose you could record a not as described dispute 
  • As you mention three single-item orders, I'm assuming all from the same seller?  If so I would at least wait for the other two parcels to arrive.  It's possible (note: I am not saying likely, just possible) that they send all three in one package to save paying for three heavier parcels, but for some reason feel they have to have three different tracking numbers.

    But if that doesn't turn out to be the case, yes it does feel distinctly scammy.
  • fwor
    fwor Posts: 6,801
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    I can't record it as a dispute of any sort, because the sender has made sure that I can't identify it as relating to a specific order.

    No - the single-item orders are all from different sellers. I have no way of knowing which one this shipment is associated with.

    As suggested, I don't think there is anything I can do other than wait to see which ones arrive and which don't!
  • If you start an item not received case, the seller simply provides the tracking details showing item is delivered. 
    If you start an item not as described case you will be required to return the item, and the seller will state the item hasn’t been received?

    I don’t know what you’d do in this case - best bet is to contact eBay customer services and inform them, as soon as you have identified the seller…..
  • fwor
    fwor Posts: 6,801
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    Agreed - I can't really make any progress at all until I can figure out which one, so I won't know for a few more days yet. All three are based in China - two shipped directly and one presumably paying a distribution company in the UK to do their shipping locally - so it's almost certainly the latter.

    It's not the end of the world (the highest value one is only a tenner, and the other two are around a fiver) but it's just frustrating if this is going to be the start of a more widespread con.
  • steviebabes
    steviebabes Posts: 2,025
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    Does this empty package show as delivered? I can't quite read the reference number above the QR code.
  • Kim_13
    Kim_13 Posts: 2,217
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    It seems clear that this seller has no intention of sending the item - if there is a delay and they were hoping to get around it with a tracking number that would arrive in time, why would they not just send a tracked letter? This was a LL (the most vastly increased price wise) so it feels like they were going for a size that could conceivably contain the item they were supposed to supply.

    I’d echo GadgetGuru’s advice, and if forced to open a case, go with the SNAD (after first messaging the seller concerned to say that you’d have no problem with items arriving separately, but you only ordered one and still received this insert - and no item. If there is a record via eBay messaging of contacting whichever seller it is stating this before opening a SNAD, surely the seller can’t very well claim that you didn’t return what was sent. Don’t eBay still tend to side with the buyer anyway if there is a dispute over what is returned (or is the point of the false address so that the return never tracks as arrived at the location eBay would be expecting to see it has arrived at?)
  • fwor
    fwor Posts: 6,801
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    Does this empty package show as delivered? I can't quite read the reference number above the QR code.

    Thanks for the suggestion - I now understand what happened.

    This actually relates to a previous different order from several weeks ago. That item was not delivered by the predicted date, and when I raised a case, the seller immediately entered "updated shipping information" onto Ebay's system. What I didn't realise (until Steviebabies suggested that I checked the tracking ref) is that this empty package is what they sent me as soon as I raised the "item not received" case.

    As luck would have it, Ebay closed the case in my favour the day before the empty package arrived, so the seller is down the cost of shipping me an empty Jiffy bag!
  • Well now you know, you can report them.  One report will likely do nothing but if they keep doing this and people keep reporting, they may yet face some consequences.
  • fwor
    fwor Posts: 6,801
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    Well now you know, you can report them.
    I'd like to, but the problem is I don't know how! I know I've seen "Report this Seller" somewhere on one of Ebay's pages before, but it doesn't seem to be an option anywhere now.

    I could (in theory) use the "Report Item" option, but it doesn't help, because Ebay only allow you to choose types of misbehaviour that they already know about. They don't seem to know about this type of scam, so there is no option to report it!

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