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Ripped off on Ebay - what are my options?

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Ripped off on Ebay - what are my options?

Old 02-20-02, 05:25 PM
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Ripped off on Ebay - what are my options?

I recently sold a PS2 game to somebody on Ebay, who paid with an eCheck via Paypal. This person had plenty of positive feedback (enough for me to trust them, in my opinion) at the time, so I went ahead and shipped the game out before the check cleared, which is usually how I do it.

However, a few days after the game was shipped, the check still hadn't cleared, and this person began to receive negative feedback for non-payment. Now, two weeks later, I get a notice from Paypal saying the check has bounced.

This person received the game, according to the USPS delivery confirmation. I sent them an Email early this morning demanding that they either pay me, or return the game. I got an Email a few hours later claiming that somebody had fraudulently used her account, and that she had no idea what I was talking about.

This is clearly a lie. For one, she has a neutral feedback from over a year ago that reads "Not completed - someone placed unauthorized bids on bidders account." Now am I to believe that this happened before last year, and that it's happened again? Unlikely. She's used this excuse before, and it probably worked, so she figured she could use it again on me.

Secondly, I conversed with her after the auction ended, and her writing style and demeanor were exactly the same then as they are now.

Thirdly, if her account had, indeed, been hacked and she had notified Paypal of this, then they would have immediately shut her account down, pending a review - which they haven't. I can speak from personal experience that this is what they do under these circumstances.

She's clearly lying about this, and I very much doubt that I'm the only person she's done this to. She claims to have an attorney looking into it, yet she refuses to give me his name or telephone number.

Yeah, I shouldn't have sent the game out before the check cleared, and it's only $35, but do I have any options here at all? She's blatantly stealing from me, and I can't just let it go. Neither Paypal or Ebay seem to have any policies to protect a seller in a situation like this, so what can I do? I was thinking I could file a complaint with the attorney general's office in her state, on the assumption that she's done this before, but would that actually do any good?

Any advice here would be appreciated.
Old 02-20-02, 05:41 PM
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You had e-mail conversations with her before this happened?!?

So, she's claiming that someone managed to (a) hack her eBay account; (b) hack her paypal account; (c) hack her e-mail account; and (d) steal mail packages from her address. Yeah, sure, that's believable.


There's the obvious negative feedback route -- and reporting her to eBay. But that won't get your money back. (eBay transactions are insured to a point against fraud... you may want to read up on the site and see if you're covered. I doubt it, but it can't hurt.)

You should also report her to Paypal (and let them know that she's claiming that someone "hacked" into her paypay account). But that won't get your money back either.

I think your only route that may (stress on may) recover the funds is to file a charge against her for mail fraud. I believe this situation qualifies, even if she did not pay you through the mail.


Even after doing all of this, you may still be out of luck. But, you'll probably feel better.
Old 02-20-02, 06:20 PM
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I thought e-checks through paypal were supposed to clear within three or four business days?

I think you have lost the money. One thing you can do is to write a nice letter saying what happened and include copies of the emails, then send it to both the police department where she lives and to her state's attorney general's office.

What city and state does she live in?
Old 02-20-02, 06:26 PM
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Threaten to turn her over to a collection agency. That may scare her into paying you to avoid the hit on her credit rating.
Old 02-20-02, 07:19 PM
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I've already filed a non-paying bidder alert with Ebay, and notified Paypal of the situation. I'll hold off on the negative feedback for a few more days, on the off-chance she comes to her senses and gives me my money. If I don't get paid by Saturday, I'll fill out complaints with the USPS and the attorney general's office in the state of Florida. She's in Lauderhill, Florida.

Would a collection agency even be an option for only $35? I'm not terribly concerned with the money, really (though I would like it back, of course) - it's the principal of the thing. I'm not sure what angers me more: the fact that she stole from me, or that she came up with such a completely ridiculous excuse to try and cover for it. The whole situation is just infuriating.
Old 02-20-02, 07:52 PM
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From my ecperiences with Ebay, not very many. I've been a sort of a victim from 2 Ebay sales. Basically a couple had seperate Ebay accounts (one for Him, one for Her). Turns out their son found their passwords and started bidding on all kinds of cds, games and concert tix's. I had a cd and concert tix he wanted so he bid on both items, one as the father and the other as the mom. When he won both auctions, I sent email's for weeks trying to get payment. Finally had to turn him in for non-payment. Of course at this time I'm still thinking it's two different people. Well, Ebay suspended both accounts and Mom and Dad sent out an email saying their son was "acting childish" but bottom line they weren't paying for anything he bid on and won. And before Ebay could suspend the accounts the son trashed all the auctions he won with negative and profane feedback. Luckily he didn't get to leave me any feedback.

The only thing Ebay did for me was to refund the charge for the auction.
Old 02-21-02, 01:21 AM
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Originally posted by POWERBOMB
And before Ebay could suspend the accounts the son trashed all the auctions he won with negative and profane feedback. Luckily he didn't get to leave me any feedback.
Ive been worried about this actually. I have had a few non-paying bidders on some recent auctions. Tried getting in touch with them via email, and then even by phone. I file a non-paying bidder alert, then if they dont respond still within 10 days, I leave them negative feedback, block them from my auctions, and relist the item. Ive wondered if they would come back and be vindictive...thankfully they havent (yet). On the last one, I got the feeling it was some kid...hopefully his mother banned him from the Internet and thats why I never heard from him.
Old 02-21-02, 03:06 AM
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I have a question thats a tad off topic:

I see that a lot of us here buy and sell on Ebay, and often enough someone comes and posts about their expericances with a deadbeat buyer or seller. But I never see anyone post the persons ebay ID. This would help us all and keep us from dealing with this person, it would help even more than some negative feedback imo. So are you allowed to post the users ID or is this a forum no-no?
Old 02-21-02, 07:14 AM
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Micheal:

You have her name and address from sending her the game...have you tried calling her? It's easier to hide behind an email address, but confronted on the phone is more difficult to deny her responsibility to you.

I had a fellow DVDtalk member not send his DVD to me. I called directory assitance and got his number (at that time I found out it was his dad's number). After explaining to his father why I called (and apologizing for "having to do this" ) he shouted at his son, did you not send this guy his movie? Well, within four days the movie arrived.

I appreciate why you are doing this.....it's a matter of principle. I would stand by your right to get paid. And, do whatever is reasonable to resolve this situation.

I's appreciate letting us know what happens. We all might be able to learn something from your experience.

Best of Luck
Ron
Old 02-21-02, 10:28 AM
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Ron,

I got her number from Ebay. Been trying to call it for two days, with no luck. I assume she's screening her calls, since I always get a machine and my calls are never returned. Of course, she could have given Ebay a fake number.

Just called directory assistance and got a completely different number. Why am I not surprised? Time to see if I can make anything happen with this one.

I'll post later, if anything comes of it.
Old 02-21-02, 03:48 PM
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Well, the second number turned out to be valid. I finally got a woman to answer, and she hung up on me as soon as I said the name that she's used on all her Emails.

Now that I have a valid number, at least I have something to work with. I hope she doesn't mind me calling when it's convenient for me. At 3am.
Old 02-21-02, 05:17 PM
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I wanna be like Mike!

I hope you make your point with her...especially at 3am. If she had nothing to hide, she wouldn't have refuse to talk to you. I think I would turn over her phone number and address to the proper authorities (the post master comes to mind-since it would seem to fall under postal fraud). And, I'd probably contact the others who have posted bad feedback and take action as a group....at least pass on her number to those she has swindled. I'm all for making her life a living hell and teaching her a lesson (mob mentally taking hold, must stop the urge to ...)

Do you have any "lawyer-friends" who could fire off a threatening letter to her?

Can Ebay do anything with her phone number? How about the local cops (but I'm sure they have enough to deal with) I would love to turn on an epsiode of "Cops" and see the patrol officers stroll up to her house to reclaim yours and most certainly others cash and games that she has stolen.

Enough fun for a day. Good luck Mike and keep us up to date on your situation with her.

Ron
Old 02-21-02, 05:24 PM
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Originally posted by Michael Parks
Would a collection agency even be an option for only $35?
I'm not really suggesting you actually use a collection agency...sometimes the threat alone is enough for the deadbeat to pay up (rather than destroy their credit).
Old 02-21-02, 06:13 PM
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Well, I just got another Email from her, which says she's alerted Paypal of her account being hacked, and they haven't closed it, because they're "watching it." Paypal emailed me this morning saying that they had no record of her making any such claims with them. I received a similar Email from Ebay an hour or two ago. She also claims she's going to sue me for "deformation of character." Whatever that means.

At the very end of her email, she says:

"I never said I didn't receive anything, I have received several things in my name which have been returned to sender because I never ordered anything. So if one of these was yours its been sent back."

Now, I'm not sure, but this almost sounds like she's trying to send the game back, without actually admitting that she's done anything wrong. Still, she's had the game since the 11'th, and if she had marked it return to sender, I surely would have received it by now. She might have panicked and mailed it back after I started Emailing her, in which case it could show up here in the next few days. I'll have to wait and see.

For anybody who cares, the Ebay user ID of this person is heavenlybridals. I've also been able to tie her to the following ID's: manowarschild, danaroth, and kbancroft. This has all been reported to Ebay, and I'm waiting on them to do something about it.
Old 02-21-02, 10:34 PM
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Virginally posted by ENDContra
Ive wondered if they would come back and be vindictive...thankfully they havent (yet). On the last one, I got the feeling it was some kid...hopefully his mother banned him from the Internet and thats why I never heard from him.
They can be vindictive and leave any kind of feedback they want as long as they have not been suspended or canceled their account. But you can always refute any feedback they leave for you.
Old 02-22-02, 04:51 AM
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Originally posted by POWERBOMB
But you can always refute any feedback they leave for you.
You can reply by leaving follow up comments to the feedback they leave for you but their feedback wonít be removed unless it meets EBayís criteria here. Iíve successfully had a couple of feedbacks removed - One because they made reference to a non-existant EBay investigation and another because the deadbeat chose to use "vulgar" language in the FB he left for me.

The feedback system is really open to abuse particularly by these moron deadbeats who get a kick out of bidding and not replying or emailing. I had $700 worth of bogus bids in just this last week spread over two high value items. One bidder wouldnít pay unless I inlcuded another DVD box set that was not in the item he bid on and the other bidder used the hoariest old excuse in the book - "my son bid on the item". Thing is with this scumbag, I offered (because Iím sick of paying fees for listings that deadbeats wonít pay on) to let him PayPal me 10 bucks to cover my fees and he flat out refused. This guy had pretty good feedback too, I say had because he no longer did after I left my comments.

In the end though I find that EBayís hands are tied by their own rules and regs in most cases. I even saw one bidder who had a feedback rating of (-4) and he was still allowed to bid even after I pointed him out to EBay. He mustíve stiffed some other poor bastard after that because he was eventually de-registered but you have to wonder what the hell is going on if low-lifes whoíve never honored a bid are still allowed to stay registered.

Michael sheís clearly jerking you around. Iíd leave her the harshest possible feedback and report her to the authorities.
Old 02-22-02, 10:03 AM
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Michael:

On what basis is she using for her "deformation" suite? Is she following the thread at DVDtalk? If so, be an adult and pay the man!!!

I checked out her feedback on manowarschild...man how could she be allowed to get another account? Don't they tie it to a CC number...eventually she'll have to run out of different CC's. She really does need to learn a lesson (besides spelling).

Ron
Old 02-22-02, 11:08 AM
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Since you used USPS, I would contact them. They take fraud very seriously. I would then contact here local police station. In most instances, if the post office is involved, they will follow up with the complaint by visiting the house. This is usually effective, and has worked for me in the past. If there's more than one seller she's not paid, it might help to contact them. If there's a few people who contact the authorities, they might move quicker. You have to remember that unless you're living in a city, most local law authorities have the time to devote to these things.

good luck,
jonathan
Old 02-22-02, 12:50 PM
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There is always some type of fraud occurring on eBay but if you thought that was bad, take a look at this:

EBayís figurine scandal
Auction site merchant disappears with the goods

http://www.msnbc.com/news/713634.asp
Old 02-22-02, 03:54 PM
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The problem with filing a fraud report with the USPS, at least with the online form, is that it only seems to be set up to help buyers who've been ripped off - not sellers. Same with the forms at the Attorney General's office, and the National Fraud Information Center. I'll probably have to contact their offices by phone to get anything done. As soon as I get a few hours of free time, I'll get going on that, and contact the police in her town and see if there's anything they can do, or if they have any other complaints filed against her.

This nut has been threatening to sue me since I first contacted her about all this. She even went so far as to accuse me of being the person that hacked her account. Can you believe that? Absolutely insane. I'm still waiting for her to give me the contact information for the lawyer she mentions in every one of her emails, too. Her crazy emails have actually started to amuse me a little. The more I point out the absurdity of her lies, the crazier she gets.

Paypal told me to send them the delivery confirmation number, and they'd see what they could do. I did that this morning, so I'm waiting to see what happens there.

I've also contacted all the other sellers who's auctions she's won, and given them her real name and phone number. I believe I've tracked down her work number as well, but I haven't been able to confirm it yet. Hopefully, it's right, and I'll be able to inform her employer of her actions.

For now, I'm going to wait until Monday before I take further action. She vaguely alluded to the fact that she may have mailed the game back in her last Email. I'm reasonably sure she didn't, but I can wait a few days to find out. If I get my game back, I'll just leave negative feedback and be done with it.

Frankly, I'm a little nervous her make-believe lawyer is going to slap me with a character deformation lawsuit. I'll have to buy a make-believe suit and go to make-believe court and everything. Man, that's a hassle I just don't need!
Old 02-25-02, 08:41 AM
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Michael:

The sooner you realize that nothing is her fault the better of you'll be in adjusting to "Wonderland." By the way, I know a excellent make believe lawyer, who has never lost a make believe case.

Good Luck
Ron
Old 02-25-02, 01:01 PM
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Well, it's Monday, and I still haven't received the game, or the $35. No surprise there. She told me on Friday that she had mailed my game back last Tuesday. Yet another obvious lie. There's always the chance that she mailed it back on Friday and it could show up tomorrow, but I'm certainly not expecting it.

I did manage to get Ebay to terminate her account and investigate any other accounts she may have started, though. Kind of a useless gesture at this point, but it's something.
Old 02-25-02, 01:29 PM
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Originally posted by Michael Parks


I've also contacted all the other sellers who's auctions she's won, and given them her real name and phone number. I believe I've tracked down her work number as well, but I haven't been able to confirm it yet. Hopefully, it's right, and I'll be able to inform her employer of her actions.

F
wow, remind me not to piss you off..
Old 02-25-02, 02:15 PM
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I appreciate the fact that Michael is standing up to her. From reviewing her past auctions, she has ripped off a fair number of folks. I would imagine she'll continue to rip off others, unless someone like Michael stops her or puts the fear of god in her.....if we all accept her petty thiefs as not worth are time to resolve, she'll continue to feed off of the rest of the honest people on Ebay. I appreciate and applaud his efforts....it's time she own up to her dishonesty.

Just my 2 cents
Ron

PS: I don't think anyone here is willing to take on her debt to Michael by sending him the $35? If not, it's hard to critical of his efforts.
Old 02-25-02, 04:16 PM
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Originally posted by RonBoster
I appreciate the fact that Michael is standing up to her. From reviewing her past auctions, she has ripped off a fair number of folks. I would imagine she'll continue to rip off others, unless someone like Michael stops her or puts the fear of god in her.....if we all accept her petty thiefs as not worth are time to resolve, she'll continue to feed off of the rest of the honest people on Ebay. I appreciate and applaud his efforts....it's time she own up to her dishonesty.

Just my 2 cents
Ron

PS: I don't think anyone here is willing to take on her debt to Michael by sending him the $35? If not, it's hard to critical of his efforts.
whoa, I wasn't picking. I was admiring his efforts, by implying that I wouldn't mess with him. I think he's doing a good, I've had to deal with people who won't send money and kepp lying and lying and it's not fun. SO if it came off wring, I'm sorry I also applaud his efforts....

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