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Is eBay in trouble? – a tale of rampant scammers and woeful tech support on venerable auction site


ebaywoes small Is eBay in trouble?   a tale of rampant scammers and woeful tech support on venerable auction site

Very interesting article on The Consumerist about the increasing difficulty of selling a laptop computer on eBay without it being ‘won’ by Nigerian scammers. It looks as though eBay is suffering from a growing problem in terms of fraud and criminal activity. The worst aspect of the whole sorry tale is the pathetic user support this chap received from what is supposed to be one of the wealthiest web sites in the world. If that’s all they can offer, then things will continue going downhill and users will move elsewhere.

 Let it be known here that though I may not be the smartest person in the world, I’m not stupid. His email went on to explain (in poor English) that he was ‘on business trip to the Nigeria,’ and that he was willing to pay me $1000 through PayPal for the laptop. Shortly thereafter I received an email from ‘PayPal’ (who is now apparently sending out their customer service emails from gMail), stating that I had received a payment, but that it would not show up in my account until I emailed them back the tracking number for the parcel. Very clever, but once again, I’m not stupid.

 Is eBay in trouble?   a tale of rampant scammers and woeful tech support on venerable auction site

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



  • http://www.myconfinedspace.com adam

    I think the real question is “who does already know that ebay is in trouble” when it comes to high priced electronics?

  • Ichy

    Don’t forget people selling ‘clones’ of high priced cellphones.

    Its ridiculous, eBay never protects legitimate sellers. Only scammers and buyers.
    These days, selling a $1 or less item costs $1.25 to list…what a joke!

  • Matt

    I’ve had the same crappy customer service from eBay UK. They just send standard response email after standard response email. None of them actually read what you’ve written. I’ve really gone off the site.

  • http://ewaay.com SANKAR

    YES EBAY NOW IN TROUBLE FOR MANY MORE BUYERS R NOT GET DIWALI PROMO GIFTS AND NOR REFUND THE AMOUNT IF THE BUYER NOT RECEIVE THE ITEM
    EBAY HAVE MANY MORE FRAUD SELLERS AND EBAY TRUST AND SAFETY TEAM NOW NOT WORKING AND MANY MORE ISSUES HAVE SO PLS DONT FOLLOW EBAY

  • Bob

    eBay and Paypal: They're so crooked they can't even stand up straight in a business meeting!
    Buyers and sellers are being cheated consistently. Some sellers have lost their businesses attempting to recoup their losses using the legal system.
    Cheating is a way of life for these big shots. And I cannot understand why there
    hasn't been news of the people [buyer/sellers] winning a Class Action lawsuit
    against these crooks. It disgusts me.

  • Bob

    Continued from my first post:
    Further, I'm now afraid to sell anything on eBay for fear of being ripped off by unscrupulous buyers.
    My friend sells transmitters using his own website. Recently he was cheated
    by two different buyers who claimed they didn't receive the item.
    And even though he insured the item against loss and had proof of delivery,
    Paypal withdrew money from his account and refunded it to these miscreants.
    He tried to fight them but to no avail.

  • Bob

    Continued from my last post:
    I also learned that there is no statute of limitations where chargebacks are
    concerned. I called my own bank and they verified this.
    So, a guy wins an expensive MacIntosh vintage stereo from an eBay seller.
    Then he paints it black, ruining its value. Then he decides he doesn't want
    it and files a chargeback.
    He informs the seller that he did, undeed, paint it. But now he doesn't
    want it.
    eBay refunds his money and the buyer never even ships the [now ruined]
    stereo back to the seller!
    And this isn't even the worst of it…..
    Dear eBay/Paypal: I do hope you misanthropes reap your just rewards
    and shatter into one-hundred thousand little pieces.
    And then you can take your broken pieces and place them on another
    auction website.
    I'm sure the people would love to get a piece of you all!
    Thank you.
    Bob [St. Louis Mo.]

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