eBay is settling a lawsuit brought by a seller, and in reading the complaint, it appears that the seller also ran into a scammer, an aspect not explored in his complaint.
eBay agreed to settle a lawsuit over its practices and fees relating to Buy It Now listings (while disputing the allegations). Luis Rosado tried to sell his car on eBay in 2011, listing it on three occasions beginning in February. The seller objected because when a buyer clicked the BIN button, eBay delisted the car, but when the buyer didn't pay for the item, eBay wouldn't reactivate the listing.
He had paid $36 each time he listed/relisted the car, and he said eBay did not let him relist the item for the time remaining after the buyer came up empty.
Here's the part of the seller's legal complaint where it appears from his allegations that he encountered a scammer:
"On March 8, 2011 - the seventh day, with fourteen (14) days remaining - a buyer clicked on the "Buy It Now" button. As a result, eBay automatically delisted the vehicle, thus preventing any other person from buying it.
"However, instead of purchasing the vehicle by depositing funds into Plaintiff's PayPal account, the buyer requested that Plaintiff cash a certified check for more than the purchase price of the vehicle and send the difference back to the buyer."
The second paragraph describes perfectly what's known as advance fee fraud. Wikipedia describes it here
"Many scams involve the purchase of goods and services via classified advertisements, especially on sites like Craigslist, eBay, or Gumtree. These typically involve the scammer contacting the seller of a particular good or service via telephone or email expressing interest in the item. They will typically then send a fake check written for an amount greater than the asking price, asking the seller to send the difference to an alternate address, usually by money order or Western Union. A seller eager to sell a particular product may not wait for the check to clear, and when the bad check bounces, the funds wired have already been lost."
Luckily the seller, Rosado, didn't fall for what had all the signs of a scam, but the fallout formed the basis of his lawsuit - eBay ended the listing (seemingly unaware of the buyer's attempted scam), even though the seller had paid for the full duration.
We'll have more about the lawsuit settlement in Monday's newsletter (available now here
) and what you need to know about filing a claim to get a piece of the $1.2 million settlement if you are eligible.