|The Compaq Desert - Mojave, California|
I've sold things on eBay and Craigslist (and similar sites) many times before. I'm not new to this. But it sure seems different this time around.
I listed my gear on eBay, and within hours it sold. Or so I thought. The buyer sent me this message:
I just bought your item for my grandson birthday next week. Please confirm your correct PayPal email address to me so as to be sure via Payment and also to avoid Paying a wrong account. Send the invoice and don't forget to include a note with the correct paypal email on the invoice. You can also send me paypal money request to my email.Aside from the poorly written text, it might seem like a reasonable request, but it's not. It's a scam. And it violates eBay rules. So I sent this message back:
It's not necessary for you to have my email address to make payment. For your protection, you should only pay by using eBay checkout. Click Pay Now in one of the following places:1. Next to the item in your Purchase History.
2. On the item listing.
3. On the email you received from eBay to let you know you won the item.
Once payment is received, your item will be on the way.I knew, of course, that I wasn't going to get paid. But eBay wants you to make an effort to collect, so this was my effort.
The scam, in case you are wondering, is this: the buyer gets your email address and then sends you a fake email that appears to be from PayPal saying that you've been paid (and the email is pretty convincing). Thinking that you've been paid you mail off the item. By the time you realize that you never received any money it's too late and the buyer stole your stuff. This is why you should not give out your PayPal email on eBay when a buyer requests and why you should always verify on PayPal's website that you received the payment (and not trust any emails that appear to be from them).
What sucks about this is that I have to wait a minimum of six days before I can attempt to sell the item again. eBay makes you wait 48 hours before reporting a non-payment, and then they make you wait four days after that before an item can be re-listed. That's time that I might have sold the camera to someone else.
So not only did this pathetic scumbag attempt to steal my stuff, but they made me do electronic "paperwork" that I shouldn't have had to do (wasting my time) and delayed the legitimate sale of my stuff. Thanks. You're a real winner, pal.
Craigslist is crawling with lowlifes. At least in California it is. This is pretty widely known. I posted an ad and so far have received four questionable responses (putting it nicely).
The first "buyer" contacted me with a ridiculous message that I immediately ignored. It was obvious that this wasn't someone who wanted to buy my stuff. I'm sure his intentions were to rob me in some way.
The second person wanted me to drive nearly three hours away to meet him. My experience is if someone legitimately wants to buy your stuff they'll travel to buy it. I offered to drive an hour closer or even mail it upon receipt of a payment, but they declined. My gut told me that this person was more interested in robbing me than buying from me. Always meet in a public place that's well lit with lots of people and security cameras around. Better yet, meet at a police station.
The third person was "out of the city" and "willing to pay $120 in addition [to the asking price]" so that he can send it "oversea as a gift to my pastor son." I just needed to give him my PayPal email address (see the eBay scam above).
The fourth "buyer" wants to pay me above asking price because it's a "wedding present gift" and he wants to "come up soon lemme if you are ok with that." Also, he "can send the money upfront to [me] first." Same old scam.
It's crazy that there are so many people spending all of this time trying to rob folks of their property. These lowlife crooks put in tons of time and effort to do this. It seems to me that if they put that same effort into applying themselves that they could hold a decent job, make good money and be productive citizens.
Instead they waste my time. They try to steal my stuff--stuff that I worked incredibly hard to pay for. It's not cool! I'm not using Craigslist ever again. eBay is not far off. It's reached the point of absurdity. The thieves, crooks, lowlifes and criminals have ruined these websites for you and I.