Ebay Scams: 4 Steps to Take If You Bought a Fake Luxury Item
Ebay is one of the long-standing websites where you can buy preloved goods - from medieval coins to designer handbags. Having said that, long-standing doesn't mean safe. There are several eBay scams are extremely popular.
Why does this happen? Ebay is basically a marketplace that connects buyers and sellers. Obviously enough, some of these sellers might be shady and not have your best interest at heart. That's why you have to be aware of the most widespread scams and always stay alert, especially if you're purchasing a valuable item.
How eBay Works and Why Are There Scams on eBay?
There are two main types of marketplaces where you can purchase used goods. Some of them have strict moderation and check every listing (Vestiaire Collective), others act more like bulletin boards and just let sellers post almost anything they want (Facebook Marketplace). eBay is something in-between as it relies on community review.
However, not every seller is honest and not every item is legit.
When it comes to expensive items, eBay lets you list any item. They don't review the listings straight away so any seller can post any item if it's within eBay guidelines. Next, as the listing is up on the website, users can report it if they notice something suspicious.
As a matter of fact, in many cases it's extremely hard to notice that something is wrong only by examining the listing, provided that scammers might have a solid 100% feedback profile. Consequently, there are scam listings that are scams.
Top 3 Most Popular eBay Scams
In this section, we'll list the post popular eBay scams and how to avoid them. This is something we learned hands-on while buying on eBay or via our customers.
1. Purchasing from a scammer
This type of scams might involve practically anything, from selling a fake item to shipping an empty box.
How can sellers with 100% positive feedback be scammers?
Unfortunately, almost all popular eBay scams suggest that a seller has a 100% positive feedback.
Every marketplace offers the possibility to rate sellers. One assumes that if a seller has a lot of positive reviews, they're legit. Unfortunately, whenever there's a system, there are people that try to sneak in.
In fact, as a company that provides designer handbag authentication services, we are often asked to review eBay items. Practically all the time sellers look legit and have hundreds or thousands of positive reviews.
How can this happen?
There are two main reasons.
When collecting feedback in your profile, eBay doesn't differentiate between reviews collected as a seller or a buyer. All reviews are shown in the profile.
If you are buying a designer item from a seller with positive feedback, make sure you check two things.
First, that this is feedback for selling items, not buying.
A lot of scammers boost their eBay profiles by buying/selling a lot of cheap items, such as postcards, stationery or make up. Such items cost less than $10 and sellers are likely to review the transaction straight away. As a result, each positive review costs them $1-$5, meaning it's relatively easy to build a profile that looks legit in just a month or so.
What you need to do is go to the seller's profile and check their feedback. Examine the items that they bought or sold.
Here's an eBay seller that has 86 positive reviews:
If you want to check seller's profile, click their alias and go to Feedback section. Then you can see the feedback for buying and selling, as well as for which item this feedback is.
In the Seller's Feedback section you can see items this seller sold and their price, unless it was an accepted offer. While you're scrolling through feedback, you can notice several red flags.
First, these reviews mostly come for very cheap items ($10-$80). Second, there are consecutive reviews for the same item (you can tell it from the same item ID, or Marker. Third, these reviews come from unregistered sellers.
None of these standalone red flags would necessarily suggest that the seller is a scammer. However, altogether they make the profile look suspicious.
It's not a secret that there are sites that sell existing eBay profiles, including profiles from legit sellers. And that's exactly the reason
2. Payment outside of eBay/Payoneer
Ebay has a built-in payment mechanism, which allows to ensure financial protection of all the transactions that take place on the marketplace.
All eBay transactions are processed through Payoneer. Nevertheless, in some cases a seller might offer to complete the transaction outside eBay, for instance, via Venmo, CashApp, or bank wire. They justify it by saying that they have to pay eBay fees (which are around 10%-15% depending on the category). For you the total cost of transaction will be cheaper, however, the risks will dramatically increase.
As you find an item you're interested in, make sure you're paying via eBay's Buyer Protection system. In this case, if there's a problem with this transaction, chances are eBay will side with you and you will get your money back.
3. Purchasing a fake item
If you're hunting and designer item, there's an additional scam you need to avoid. When it comes to designer items, the most popular eBay scam is selling a fake.
So whenever you're about to spend a considerable sum on a luxury bag, make sure you use designer bag authentication services. Using some help from a professional will help you to ensure that you're not wasting your hard-earned money.
What To Do If You Purchased a Fake
You received the item and you feel or know that it's fake. Can you still have your money back? Yes. Just follow these 5 simple steps to take if you purchased a fake item on Ebay and within a month you'll get back your money.
1. Check that the item you received matches the item in the original listing
Why do you need to do this?
Some scammers use the following trick: they steal pictures of an authentic item and when you purchase, they send you another item looking pretty close to the one on photos.
You need to make sure which kind of issue to indicate when you file a claim on ebay. It's either 'not as described' or 'not authentic'.
- If it's not the same item, just take pictures of this item and file a 'not as described' claim.
- If it's exactly the item you purchased, continue reading.
2. Authenticate the handbag in question
Authentication is the most important step of the dispute process. A lot of people buy their first designer item on ebay and other preloved marketplaces. This experience may be quite scary provided that you are not sure what a real item looks like.
After surfing several authentication articles, you may be totally confused. Most articles on the web either offer general advice that's not applicable to specific items or are simply not true.
IMPORTANT! Make sure you order authentication that provides a certificate and ideally lists the reasons why the item is not authentic. Depending on the brand, it's usually $30-50 (if it's not Hermes).
At Bagaholic, we have three authentication options and the best one is a certificate with a detailed explanation of why the item is authentic/not authentic. This explanations include 10+ pictures. Click here to purchase.
- If it turns to be authentic, just calm down and enjoy your new purchase :)
- If it's fake, continue reading.
3. Go to Resolution Center and report a problem with your transaction
File a claim and enclose the authentication documents.
At Bagaholic we offer 3 options of authentication. For ebay disputes we provide a certificate with the verdict as well as detailed explanation on why the item doesn't look like an authentic Louis Vuitton / Gucci item. The options are below.
After reviewing the case, Ebay will most likely side with the buyer so you don't have to worry about the outcome.
The most interesting thing though is that you may not realize that the item's fake during a lot of time. That's why authentication is required BEFORE the item is purchased.
Want to Authenticate Your Luxury Handbag?
If you need to authenticate a Louis Vuitton item, please order one of the three types of authentication:
Verbal Authentication $10
- good when you need a certificate for any reason,
Certificate of Authenticity $25
- good when you need a certificate for any reason, either to sell the bag with the peace of mind or to return a fake bag to the seller if you purchased a fake
- includes a permanent certificate on lvbagaholic.com
Certificate of Authenticity with a thorough explanation $50
- good when you need a certificate and you need to know why the bag is authentic/not authentic for any reason, either to sell the bag with the peace of mind or return a fake bag to the seller if you purchased a fake.
- includes a permanent certificate on lvbagaholic.com
- includes an explanation of why the item is fake (detailed pictures and comparisons with an authentic bag, more than 10 pics included)
PLEASE CHOOSE ONE OF THE OPTIONS BELOW