Recently I’ve had to deal with an absolute moron on one of those e-commerce websites. You know the type… basically an online yard sale. Back in the day, more than 20+ years ago when I first joined, it wasn’t too bad. Sure, every one of those websites has its problems, but as the saying goes… if you sleep with dogs, you’re bound to get fleas.
Here are a couple of tips to help protect yourself from the scammers and other financial predators on those sites.
1. Only list items that the total price sells for less than $100.
This is because, if a seller claims the package ‘never arrived’, ‘was damaged in transit’, or any other excuse… the insurance included with priority mail ($100) will cover any loses.
2. Never combine shipping costs if a buyer wins several auctions.
This goes back to #1. Never sell anything that exceeds the insurance limit. If possible, break down higher priced items into smaller lots. Combining lots, while beneficial to the buyer, will inevitably come back to bite you in the ass.
Interestingly enough, the website to which I’m referring (not to be named), automatically sides with the buyer as long as the buyer claims an item won was ‘not as advertised’. It doesn’t matter how clear pictures for the items are, how much information you provide about the item, etc., the buyer will be given the right to a refund. That’s also true if you’ve clearly stated in your auction that returns are not accepted. You must understand, the website is a glorified online flea market… no matter how many billions of dollars they earn a year. Nothing is allowed to get in the way of their profits. Scammers thrive under these conditions.
My advice to you is to think carefully before placing anything for sell online. Try other methods first. Online auction sites allow bad actors to thrive.
“The only winning move is not to play.” War Games (1983)
Be safe out there!