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Wed Jan 20 2016 09:53:37

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to Shady Customers

By: Reader

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Dear Ina, 
I so appreciate your blog. I learn something new every time I read it. I have a situation that has baffled me and perhaps some of the readers can give me some advice.

My mother and I live at the same address, have separate selling accounts on eBay, and sell similar items. At Christmas there was a buyer who purchased an item from my mother and a few days later purchased a similar item from me. 

My mother and I of course have the same return address on our packages since we live at the same house. Two weeks after the buyer purchased our items she opened a return request on my mother's site and didn't return the item, but returned some small, worthless trinkets. 

After much back and forth and a case being opened up, my mother won the case because the buyer admitted on eBay email she didn't send the correct item back. She said she did ship the item back yet it never showed up and she could never produce a tracking number. 

Three weeks later, the woman starts demanding that I refund her money. There was no return, no return request, nothing. I told her to open a return request (which she never did), ship the item back, so I could then refund her. 

She ended up opening a PayPal case against me, saying she sent the item back to me. Here's the scam . . . in her case she used the SAME tracking number she used when she sent the worthless trinkets to my mother. The same tracking number for the case found in my mother's favor. 

In my PayPal case I uploaded our eBay email interactions, the eBay case details which were found in the seller's favor, and indicated that the woman used the SAME tracking number in that case as she's using to say she returned my item.

I was dumbfounded when PayPal found the case in the buyers favor!!! I had proof she sent a used tracking number, from a case already closed by eBay in the (seller's) favor, but PayPal said as long as she had a tracking number showing delivery to my house that's the only proof they needed! 

Help! I can't even believe a scam this blatant can be found in the buyer's favor. Is there anything I can do? Is there something else I should have done?
Signed,
Perplexed




Comments (21) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 20 10:23:02 2016

Call Paypal and talk to a LIVE person, this was probably decided by a bot, and was never read by a human at all.





eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jan 20 10:41:49 2016

I'd contact the buyer, tell her you're filing a mail fraud complaint against her, and with the evidence you have she can expect to be spending the next several years in prison. And then file a complaint with the Attorney General of your state against PayPal.

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

This user has validated their user name. by: iBuyers

Wed Jan 20 14:58:53 2016

If PayPal did not authorize a return and the buyer shipped it back prior, also you did not agree to a return in eBay messages then PayPal will grant an appeal. Otherwise, they will not.

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jan 20 16:51:08 2016

@OP - You might also consider either you or your mother acquiring a post office box so this issue will not arise again.

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Jan 20 19:01:49 2016

When you have something like this, you have got to call.  Log in the info as you did, but you need to follow that up immediately with a phone call.  Don't allow the computer program to review the claim and decide one way or the other.  Get a human involved.  It is the only way to have a positive outcome.

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

by: Redlion This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 21 00:21:08 2016

Wouldn't this fall under the mail fraud category?  Try contacting the USPS postal inspector.

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

by: samanthanmignon This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 21 02:04:12 2016

Redlion:

 I totally agree with you. If someone took interest, it would be a breeze to trace, for proof. It is all on record.

 TO Perplexed:
I would definitely see the  Postmaster and explain how you were scammed; It needs to be done, if for no other reason, than, to show  scammers that there CAN be consequences. The Postmaster can tell you. I have heard from other people, that the USPS  takes mail fraud, pretty seriously.
 

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jan 21 02:50:32 2016

I agree with the others, this would be mail fraud and filing with your local PO is a good idea.  However this won't be a fast fix nor is it likely to help you get your money back from PP.  That will still require you to call PP and try to get this sorted out.

If this is the first time this has happened, I don't think you need to separate your address by some means, but if it becomes a problem, then of course a more drastic measure needs to be taken.

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 21 03:51:36 2016

Stuff like this happens to all sellers. Fair or not, doesn't matter. The seller is the fall guy most times. Rip offs and thieves know this.
File charges of mail fraud with the Post Office then on a local chat site. in her city, post her name and a copy of the mail fraud charges filed against her as a warning to others not to deal with her. Hopefully, her sister will call and tell her she made the daily gossip page.  

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

by: Go tell the Spartans This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 21 08:23:08 2016

Fraud on eBay in not new, as a matter of fact below is a response we received when we appealed such a fraudulent return:
Hello *******,
I am contacting you today in regards to the *********************, eBay item# ***********, you sold. My name is Cyndy and I am a specialist for eBay's Resolution Center. I want to make sure you are taken care of today. I understand that you have received the item  back and it was not the item sent originally, and you may have taken a complete loss on this transaction. We know how disappointing this can be for any seller in any line of business, and for this we truly apologize. Let’s work through this together.
Your appeal cannot be granted as eBay does not cover faulty returns. I advise you to look at your options outside of eBay at this time.
I would like to give you some immediate steps we recommend you take if you feel like the buyer you were working with has committed a crime to ensure you are covering your bases as a seller.
1. Report the Buyer
2. Block this Buyer's Username from being able to purchase from your profile.
3. Contact your Local Authorities - Local Police Officer or Law Enforcement
Here is how to Report a Member:
1. Log into ebay.com.
2. Click Customer Support on the top right of your screen.
3. Choose the Contact eBay tab.
4. Choose the most appropriate topic between Buying, Selling and My account.
5. Select the Report a member option.

Here's how to add a member to your blocked list:
1. Click the "Site Map" link near the bottom of most eBay pages.
2. In the "Sell" column, click the "Block Bidder/Buyer List" link.
3. Click the "Add an eBay user to my Blocked Bidder/Buyer List" link. You may need to sign in.
4. Enter the user IDs of the members that you want to block, and then click the "Submit" button.
Members on your blocked list won't be able to bid on or buy your items or use the "Ask a question" link in your listings to contact you. However, they will still be able to contact you through the "Messages" section of My eBay. If the blocked member tries to bid on or buy one of your items, they'll see a message letting them know that you have decided not to let them bid or buy.

We do appreciate you being an amazing Seller on our site and hope you do understand our decision in this tough situation.
Thanks,

Cyndy S.

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

by: Biglouis This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 21 09:14:08 2016

The buyer has both the item and your money so they have a debt with you. Sell the debt to the sleasiest redneck debt collection agency you can find for one cent.

The DCA will make their lives a misery.

Ask the DCA to record the debt with all the credit reference agencies which should trash their credit rating.

Put their name on the fraud file which should invalidate every insurance they have if/when they come to claim. Imagine having no health or auto insurance in the USA.

Your may not get your money back but you can get revenge.
Enjoy it!

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 21 10:38:35 2016

One of you needs a PO Box or to have an #A and #B behind your street address.  Easily solved, but I would be disputing the PayPal return big time!

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Jan 21 11:28:35 2016

OP... We feel your pain. Other posters have suggested filing mail fraud complaints they offer solid advice.

Have you considered creating different addresses by adding a non existent floor - apartment - suite number designation to the address on file for each account and using those updated addresses for your ebay and PayPal accounts??

123 Main Street Floor 1 (mom) and 123 Main Street Floor 2 (you) would create the impression of a multi floor building and should not result in any confusion for the Postal Service that would effect delivery of mail or packages.  It would also help clearly differentiate accounts as far as eBay and PayPal are concerned.

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jan 21 13:36:23 2016

Oh Ric you are a clever one.  That is such a creative idea.  Well done!

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 21 14:10:45 2016

Expect more lousy service from Paypal.  After all, Donohoe is in charge there now.

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jan 21 14:16:45 2016

JD is not in charge of PP.  Schulman is.  

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Jan 21 21:05:51 2016

@Ric - While your idea of floors is good, there might be a problem with USPS delivering packages with a "floor" designation. Just like USPS will not deliver to a multi-family dwelling without an apartment number or unit number, I can foresee them also not delivering to a single-family dwelling with a "floor" number on the basis that the building has no floors so the street address may be wrong. I don't think they'd take into account the addressee's name.

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Jan 21 21:21:54 2016

@iheartjacksparrow, I have a friend in town who sells on eBay under two separate accounts and they use this method without issue.

When setting up the address, the street address is listed before the floor designation, USPS looks only at the street address, not the floor designation.

Also, as the carrier making a delivery will likely also have mail going to the same street address but possibly to two individuals with different last names i.e. mother & married daughter in the same house the carrier would not/ should not have any problems completing deliveries with the floor designation.

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

by: rosachs This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 22 01:23:47 2016

I have, for over a decade, used "suite" numbers on my home address when ordering products online -- it's a super-easy way to track who's sharing your information.  Same thing with adding a fake middle initial to the name, or a fake first name if you care to go that far.  It's amazing how many eBay purchases have ended up generating spam USPS mail as well as spam email alike!

As to postal deliveries - I've been told that the USPS delivers to the address, not the suite/apt/floor/name when dealing with residential addresses.  So unless someone takes the time to look every address up on Google Earth Street View, they're unlikely to make the connection.

This can be further aided by a wife using her maiden name so as to not be connected to her husband, or a mother using her maiden name so as to not be confused with her daughter.

Using a fake name is illegal if you are attempting to defaud.  If you are attempting to defend against fraud, I don't think it would be considered illegal.

eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S   eBay Sellers Sharing Same Address Susceptible to S

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 22 11:09:10 2016

@Biglouis:

> The buyer has both the item and your money so they have a debt with you.
> Sell the debt to the sleasiest redneck debt collection agency you can find
> for one cent.

While that's an entertaining thought, the reality is that collection agencies don't operate that way, and don't purchase debts from John Q. Public. (If they did, everyone with a real or imagined beef against someone else would be doing this daily.)

If you know of a specific collection agency that does purchase debts from eBay sellers, then certainly please post their contact info here.

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