Monday, July 10, 2006

eBay buyers commit fraud, too!

Jesus Christ. Internet scams are popping up to the left and right of me. Maybe it's because I make so many transactions online that the law of averages just catches up with me.

I recently sold a T-Mobile Sidekick mobile phone on eBay. The phone was barely used and in near mint condition. I got a pretty good price for it and packed it and shipped it with great care.

After the buyer received the product, she emailed me with the following bullshit message:
Jack, I have been tossing and turning last night, and became nausea because I spend $ on this pager and I am finanically struggling. I am hearing impaired and I live on this pager. The screen isnt working and didnt look right at all. I wouldn't send any negatives on your feedback because I am not that kind of person. I would send everything back to you, the pager, the case, chargers. You have been kind, and I feel upset about this. I need the $ back and look for another pager. I really need one . It might happen during mail? Please respond asap. Thank you. "cuntgal"
I was immediately suspicious because I know I took great care in shipping the product. I took a look at her eBay feedback history. The last positive feedback that she got was for a Sidekick phone back in April (3 months before purchasing my phone). I was pretty confident that she damaged the older phone and planned to scam me for a discount or free phone.

Here was my reply:
The Sidekick that I sent you was in near perfect condition. I packed it very carefully in bubble wrap and I cannot imagine that it got damaged unless you received the box crushed. What do you mean when you say that the screen doesn't look right? Can you send me a picture? What is the IMEI of the Sidekick that you are referring to?
The IMEI number is like a global serial number that spans all mobile phones.

She emailed me the pictures but they were blurry. I could barely read the IMEI on the phone and she never sent it via email. I didn't really want to deal with a big hullabaloo, so I told her I would refund $50 of the purchase (it was not insured) or I would give her $75 if she shipped the phone back to me.

She was both stupid and greedy. She wanted the extra $25 and she shipped the phone back to me. The picture of the phone with the IMEI was not the same unit that she shipped to me. The IMEI in the picture was xxxxxxxxxxx2689. The IMEI of the one she sent back was xxxxxxxxxxx9758.

Also, the phone was registered to the username "cuntgal". You could not see this on the phone because the screen was severely damaged. Since I have a lot of development experience with the Sidekick, I was able to take screenshots off of the phone. She also had a lot of games that I have never purchased still on the phone. This was clear evidence that she used the phone for many weeks before it was damaged.

I can say without a doubt, this cunt was trying to scam me. The most incriminating evidence is that the picture she sent me does not match the phone she shipped me. Guess what, cuntgal? You get nothing!

Some of the differences to note:

  • The IMEIs simply do not match. The one I shipped her ends with 2689. The one she shipped ends with 9758

  • The item she photographed says "Sidekick II". The one she shipped me does not.

  • The item she photographed says "PV-100". The one she shipped me says "Model: PV-100".

  • The item she photographed is not damaged near the camera. The one she shipped me is clearly damaged near the mirror and lens.

Here are some tips you can use to prevent this from happening:

  • Before you ship an item, take a picture of the Serial Number and make that picture part of the eBay posting.

  • Ask the person to send you clear pictures of the item and the damaged box.

  • You can also add a non-damaging mark to your item so if they ever ship you the product back, you will have to confirm this mark.

  • INSURE ALL ITEMS WORTH MORE THAN $100 at the buyer's expense.

  • ONLY offer a refund if they return the item to you. When you receive it, make sure that it is the exact item that you shipped. If the serial number is on a sticker, make sure they did not just peel off your sticker and slap it on the damaged product.

Here's a great link regarding someone else who has run into this issue:
eBay Buyer Scams


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