Monday, June 11, 2012

eBay Scam Prevention Idea

I previously wrote about my first attempt to sell an expensive, extra cell phone on eBay, and attracting overseas scammers both times. After the second time I called eBay, and they promised to add "filters" to my account that would prevent it happening again. Well, all the filters accomplished was to raise the bar and attract a (slightly) more sophisticated scammer. (Hint: any buyer email with a plea and a gratuitous "God bless" thrown in is probably an overseas scammer ;) )

Stipulated that I am an eBay newb, but I can think of an approach that seems like it would fend off such scammers. Have an option--recommended for all newb sellers--to require the bidder to have a PayPal account with a $20 balance. Upon winning the bid, PayPal places a hold on that balance, until the full payment is received. If a scam, the $20 is forfeited, of course. Not likely that will happen, scammers won't leave a money trail with real money in the first place. The point is deterrence.

The money doesn't have to go to the seller, it can go to eBay. Don't want to create any incentive for sellers to invent scammers for their own profit.

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