Who would have thought that online auction can be so hot today. Even my mom, who is not IT savvy, knows what eBay is.
I had my fair share of experience as an eBay Merchant. I think more than a year I was a merchant on eBay Australia before deciding to retire temporarily to concentrate on other matters.
Figuring out how to get maximum exposure to your products was challenging and interesting at the same time. In this post, I will share you about this incident where I was nearly conned.
That particular product that I was selling was an Apple iBook Laptop. The listing price was about AUD500.00 I think. I already had a few bidders interested in purchasing that laptop.
Then, I received an e-mail. The e-mail read something like:
“Hi there, I’m interested in purchasing the laptop you have got listed on eBay. I’m willing to pay AUD2000 for that laptop if you let me buy it now. I’d like to complete the purchase outside of eBay.”
That guy was willing to pay AUD2000 (4 times the amount of my listing price) for that laptop with the condition that the transaction must be completed outside of eBay. Due to my naivete, I thought, man, this is a good deal!
Further e-mails were exhanged to discuss these things further. He said he’ll transfer the money through Western Union.
I then asked him, why is he willing to pay so much for a rather cheap laptop that is easily available on eBay. His reply was:
“I am a man of God serving in Africa. I take care of many children who has never seen computers at all. I need the laptop urgently to give to these children as a present. I don’t mind paying a bit more as long the children are happy.”
I thought to myself, hmmm… ok…
By now, I’m starting to get a bit nervous.
Then, the so-called e-mail from Western Union arrived in my mailbox. The e-mail stated that AUD2000 has been transferred to me and I am now able to ship the laptop to the recipient.
The first thing that aroused my suspicion was the e-mail address it came from. I think it was something like email@example.com. Also, at the bottom of the e-mail, it says, “Get your free e-mail account here at www.######.com”
Furthermore, there were numerous grammatical mistakes in that e-mail. Grammar mistakes from a professional and reputable company? Hmm…
Also, images of Western Union on that e-mail looked really fake. It looked like it was a copy-paste kind of thing.
There was also a transaction number to confirm of the payment. I then decided to call Western Union (the number I got from their legit website of course) to confirm the payment. Surprise surprise, no such payment exists.
I then e-mail the “Man of God” giving him a piece of my mind. Of course, naturally, no reply from him.
Lucky for me, I didn’t lose the laptop.
For aspiring eBay merchants out there, do take care and always be vigilant! If it sounds too good to be true, then maybe it is!