Being the honest person that I am, I never imagined I would be scammed online. It seems though, more and more in our world, scammers and hackers have started to reshape society. Mostly I wonder, how can they sleep at night knowing they’re deliberately cheating innocent people out of their money? I follow a lot of American resellers on Instagram and finally I thought, I’m going to try this! I knew it wouldn’t be smooth sailing to start but I was willing to give it a try. The first three items I sold quickly via offers, items I didn’t pay a lot for that were pristine quality and a brand people were after. I didn’t make much but I felt like I was learning a new venue for thrift resale.
Before you ask, why eBay and not Poshmark (or similar) these are based in the US and most do not allow Canadian sellers. Canadian versions of these websites are often very low traffic so there is little incentive to exert the effort. The other side of the coin is the astronomical price of Canadian shipping. You can ship across the USA from Canada for under $10 CAD, but anywhere in Canada – even 1 hour away – is $14 minimum. This is why I tend to only shop where I can get free shipping, to be totally honest.
In September I sold these few items and shipped them off to the US with tracking as it came to just $10 when I was expecting much higher. No problems at all. Next comes the valuable item: the rose gold Salvatore Ferragamos. I snatched them up when I saw them thrifting with the intention of keeping them, only I didn’t find them comfortable after a day at work. If they had been a size smaller perhaps they would have worked out better.
They weren’t mint, they had scratches, toe nail grooves on the inside – but I hadn’t found anything like them online. They were just beautiful. I received an offer for $20, I declined. I received an outright purchase for the full amount of $50 that I was asking. I was delighted! I even added a variety of shipping options with this product, some with tracking and some without but clearly stated. As expected, this international buyer chose the cheapest non-trackable option. I wasn’t about to ship them with tracking as mail carriers have rarely done a satisfactory job tracking my items when they’ve left Canada. For this client I even considered using a tracked option, except Canada Post said $75 to this country. I had never heard of the country in question, although when I mentioned it to my employer in passing – he said its one of the tiniest, wealthiest countries in the world. Who knew? So I packaged it up, shipped it out – I was so delighted with myself and how easy the process had been.
First red flag for me was how much money eBay took in fees including fees on top of my shipping cost. I get it, they have a business to run, employees to pay. Second red flag came just 3 weeks in when the buyer opened a claim that they had not received the package and demanded a refund. Uhh what? Its barely been 3 weeks and its going to the farthest corner of the planet. I’ve ordered plenty from China and it rarely comes within 1 month of purchase, up to 3 months in many cases! However, I realized that day that I am a patient buyer, many are not.
I sent a very professional response indicating that from Canada it could take anywhere from 1 month to 2 months for arrival. I also explained this was also during Canada Post’s strike! One bad thing lead to another very quickly. They waited another week and without a word to me, this morning they filed another claim directly with eBay. Within 10 minutes of me receiving the notification email that the client made a claim – eBay had taken the money from my Paypal account and given it back to the buyer. Poof! Gone!
I was so distraught I started Googling…. ohhh and there’s the rest of the red flags. eBay has turned into a sea of buyer-protected scams that very rarely side with the seller, despite overwhelming proof that they followed the rules exactly. Forums basically said, even with proper mail tracking, scams are happening and eBay will never side with the seller. All around I’ve been reading about veteran sellers abandoning the platform – which now makes perfect sense. It happened to me in the first item of actual value, but never again.
I suppose there is a reason people say, stick to selling locally or through a legitimate consignment business near you. Too many of us honest individuals are being taken advantage of, especially at this time of year… and thats really sad.