Cash On Collection? Not Anymore, Perhaps...

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There have been many changes to EBay recently, and because sellers can no longer leave negative feedback there is an increased desire to jump through hoops to satisfy the buyer. This is, as we shall see, something scammers are all too happy to exploit.

The first order of business is to hunt down auctions for items to heavy to post - and of course, usually the larger items go for a higher price too. Here's a typical example:


At this point, the scammer needs to do two things:

1) Ensure he wins the auction, and
2) Pay by Paypal extremely quickly so as not to give the seller time to remind them that the method of payment should have been (as requested) cash on collection (not that this matters too much, as you'll see later - doing so would only probably land the seller in more trouble).

Once the Payment has been made, it's so much hassle for the seller to reverse the payment and make the buyer (as they see it) do extra work and thus risk a random negative feedback mark, they'll usually just sigh and accept the payment method given.

Once this is all done, the buyer usually makes up some excuse as to why they can't collect the item and - importantly - ask if they can select a courier of their choice to pick up the item.

At this point, the "courier" turns up, collects the item and then "loses" it. The buyer then files a claim with Paypal to say they never received the item - Paypal will then likely settle in favour of the buyer, who promptly walks away with both item and money.

A similar situation to the example laid out above can be seen here. Effectively, this problem is on the increase because EBay want you to use Paypal whenever possible. As per a recent change to their terms and conditions, you have to offer Paypal as a payment option even in situations where you're selling items that are too heavy to post and cash on collection would be the only sensible (and more realistic) option:

"In line with the recent change requiring all listings on to offer PayPal.....This means sellers must not act in any way to discourage buyers from paying by methods that they offer in their listing."

Effectively, if someone wants to pay with Paypal on what would previously have been a "cash on collection" auction, they can do and the seller can't argue otherwise. As one poster here notes,

"Do ebay really believe if you sell a item for say ?300.00 a seller will take paypal and allow a collection?


The only choice a seller has is to NOT list expensive items on eBay which will be collected. That's the only way eBay will listen when enough sellers do exactly that."

On reflection, I think I'll just save myself some hassle and chop up the unused coffee table I have sitting in the corner....

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This page contains a single entry by Christopher Boyd published on June 20, 2008 5:37 PM.

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