I have very limited experience with E-Bay. That being buying a pin for my Wife that was only released in Euro-Disney about 10 years ago. And running a successful virtual business in Lord of the Rings Online using their auction house, nicknamed, “Ring-Bay”. Ring-Bay has a lot of similarities to E-Bay in functionality, so I was not a total fish out of water when I started to recycle my son’s college text books using E-Bay.
The first set of books had a set of teething problems, and frankly, were not worth the time and effort when it was all said and done.
The second set was interesting. The first was an email to me about one of the books. In Ring-Bay, people don’t email you about side deals. She asked me if I would close the auction early, she would pay be the princely sum of $20. Which was exactly 2 cents over the minimum asking price. I spent far too much mental angst if I should reply at all to this email. The auction had only 36 hours left to run, and there were zero bids on it. So her offer would at most get her the book 24 hours earlier. I had set the “Buy it Now” at $35 dollars. So for $15 more this conversation wouldn’t need to be even asked. In the end, she got the book for $19.98 plus postage.
One tip when deciding if you are going to resell books, is not all books are the same size. Another one I sold was in a 3” binder. That one took an upgraded box to ship. Once again, I am thinking this process is not worth it.
But I am also in this for the experience, so having some is worth it. If I save someone who reads this a misstep, then it is worth it.
The next one was very interesting. And to give you a spoiler alert, it was a scam. They offered 4 times the “Buy it Now” price. I had initial excitement, that maybe this resell books was worthwhile. I had also just finished a 600 mile drive from Myrtle Beach, so all my critical thinking synapses were not online. It read:
I'm offering you $400.00 for the textbook Management Leading & Collaborating in a Competitive World 12th edition because i won't be able to wait until the auction end due to the nature of my work am always very busy to check my eBay inbox but you can text me#6265224317 saying offer accepted to ease up the transaction. Thanks
Just how many red flags are in this email. They are highlighted in red. He offers too much, my Buy it Now was set at $100. He is generating a sense of urgency with “won’t be able to wait”. Text me, takes the conversation off line and unmonitored by E-Bay and espouses convenience with “ease up the transaction”
Inexperience and fatigue affected my decision making, so I did text him. About an hour later came a quick staccato of 7 replies. Which on reflection must be copy/pastes, and not a finger typing messages. The details are that his PayPal account has been hacked, and he has not time to open a new one and so he will send me a bank check. Two more red flags, as we are now leaving the secure payment systems set up by E-Bay to one that is controlled by the scammer while emphasizing the urgency again.
There were a couple more, but I won’t further boor you with the details. I sent a follow up email stating I am not willing to deviate from the payment process established by E-Bay and haven’t heard from him since.
This particular scam is outlined as Number 1 on the “Scams to Avoid” if you’re a seller at this link, http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-ebay-scams-to-be-aware-of/
The old adage, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is, still applies.