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By Enrique González

Does eBay give more reliability now?

I am not a regular user of eBay, although I have been using it for many years. I remember in the early years when I started using it, eBay (at least in Spain) was a very insecure place, despite what they say in the page, if a buyer does not pay you or if a seller is not serving you order, you stayed with nothing because nobody helped.

It seems that things have improved somewhat, at least for one personal experience. A few weeks ago, I had a problem with a seller. I won an item in an auction, and the salesman told me to pay by bank transfer (he was Spanish) rather than by Paypal, because the issue of the commission of Paypal. In this case i did not care, even though the Paypal fee that the seller is saving, is charged to me like bank transfer fee. The seller seemed reliable (lots of positive votes).

Once paid, i got an email from eBay saying they have removed the item because the seller violated an eBay rule. So, they removed the item once the auction was finished and once paid, and they do not tell me why. For more indignation, i see that the eBay seller account also has been canceled. Of course, the seller stopped answering emails.

The thing looked like a scam with the connivance of eBay.

The first thing I did is to open a dispute on eBay for merchandise not received, although I thought it would be useless. At the same time, i sent emails to eBay helpdesk explaining what had happened. The payment was a bank transfer, so i thought that i can return the money, claiming it to the bank where i made the transfer. But this can not be done without the permission of the owner of the destination bank account, which obviously did not gave permission.

Later, eBay tells me by email that i can report the issue to the local Police. That looked like a complete "hand washing" by eBay, but it took a turn a few days later. At my insistence on knowing the identity of the seller, i got a phone call from eBay (the first that i received from them in my life) where they said that can not reveal to me who is the seller but they have been in contact with him to identify himself.

I can imagine that the seller received a call from eBay, because the next day, the salesman who had been silent all this time, suddenly sent an email to me asking for forgiveness, telling me a strange story, but promising me that I will receive a refund.

So this story finished well, but the point is that despite all the security measures you take, a lot of people is still trying to scam on eBay, but eBay seems at least somewhat safer now than before.

  • Date25-05-2011
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