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Posted 22nd Dec 2022
Hi I sold an iPhone off eBay . Buyer has said they have received the packaged with no phone inside !.
I took photos before sending it off and Royal Mail took an image before delivered clearly showing the packaging had been unopened .
This is the images the buyer sent .
Does anyone have any advice
I am worried eBay with favour the buyer


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  1. Avatar
    Report the buyer to eBay immediately. There will be an option for fraudulent claim. You have all the proof, weight on receipt, pictures before item was sent and when it was delivered. eBay will not always take the buyers side as people always seem to claim. Report the buyer and also go onto the chat and relay all the evidence you have.

    Sad thing is liars and thief's have become more common than simple honesty there's far too many chancers out there. Worst comes to worst you will have to raise a claim with royal mail. What tape was used? Clear tape? Next time use a fragile tape and do it in different patterns and take lots of pictures before sending so if the courier has opened it and resealed it, it won't match the unique taping method
    Let us know how you get on.
    End of the day unless you have someone continuously filming you from packing until you drop off at the post office counter there is no way you can prove what you have actually sent.
  2. Avatar
    If you insist on using eBay, create an iCloud account, have it signed in on the phone you’re selling. 

    Buyer cannot use the phone until they acknowledge they’ve received it, once you’re money has cleared from eBay, give them the password, or remotely remove it from the phone. 

    If they play funny buggers, all they’ve got is a bricked phone. 
    Suppose they could sell the screen unless that's tag locked too
  3. Avatar
    Put a PIN on the phone.

    Buyer will prove receipt when they attempt to use it and will have to contact you for the PIN (edited)
    Great idea, OP just needs a time machine now (edited)
  4. Avatar
    They will side with the buyer no matter what you present as evidence. I stopped selling on eBay for this very reason.
  5. Avatar
    Don’t. Use. EBay!
    Bit late for that now isn’t it. Who marked this as helpful (edited)
  6. Avatar
    Tell the buyer you will report as stolen. Do you have the IMEI number. They will end up with a bricked phone
  7. Avatar
    Film yourself putting the item in and sealing the box. Stick unique stickers/scribbles-on-paper on the sealing flaps and film yourself giving in that same box at the place it's sent from. Sellotape all the way round over the paper so you can't remove the paper without damaging the box.

    I'm going to be selling some Oneplus Z2 earbuds so I'm going to do just that.
    @Qesharak (edited)
    All of that means nothing to ebay.
  8. Avatar
    Do a bit of detective work on Ebay. Look for recent feedback they have given of received from purchases and message the other sellers to ask if there had been an issue with the sale. If they come back and say yes, I would contact Ebay with the information and your buyer - even open a police case against them. I had similar with a lower value item, when I confronted them with the information from other sellers and said I was going to the police they suddenly found the item had fallen out of the packaging and they now had it.
    Was a newish buyer feedback of 2 maybe. There was a screenshot earlier but now gone
  9. Avatar
    Oh dear a buyer with only 2 positive feedback, did you note the phones IMEI number ? You could tell the buyer that as it has been reported as lost the IMEI has been passed onto the police and the phone will be blocked
  10. Avatar
    The weight printed on your receipt should confirm that there was a phone inside. Unless of course there was an issue with sending a battery through the postal system?
    It looks like Tracked 48, where a maximum weight is chosen when purchasing a label. Delivery offices have never weighed a Tracked 48 item I've dropped off. (edited)
  11. Avatar
    This might sound daft, but you should investigate the picture's metadata to see what device it was captured on. They might just have been stupid enough to have taken the picture on the phone you sent them.

    Otherwise it's tricky. Unfortunately Goods are the seller's responsibility until they come into possession of the Claimant. The law in this area is a complete mess (I work in this field) and it is so vague it allows buyers to essentially take the p*ss if they know the weaknesses in the law.

    A decision should be based on the balance of probabilities. If you have an account in good standing, proof of postage, weight of parcel at the point of sending and the knowledge that the Claimant received the parcel then, I would decide (if the claim came through my company) that it's more likely than not that the phone was delivered with the parcel.

    I would make sure I mention the above to ebay in any communication with them.
    ebay should cover the cost of issues , that would be the solution, refund the buyer and refund the seller.
    Ebay should have things set up for accounts doing it multiple times. (edited)
  12. Avatar
    definitely report to eBay and let the buyer know the police are involved. Claim the IMEI has been recorded and will be blocked as part of the investigation.
  13. Avatar
    Apart from being polite and flagging the IMEI as being lost/stolen there’s not really a lot you can do except to go through the eBay motions and hope that eBay either side with you or are feeling generous and compensate both you and the buyer.

    As pointed out by others, this is one of three reasons I stopped using eBay to sell ages ago, use Gumtree or FB marketplace these days, you are limited to local buyers so can take a while to sell but at least there’s no associated stress.
    My thoughts entirely, that's why I only sell on Gumtree now, local collection and cash only, much less hassle.
  14. Avatar
    They have said this . What shall I say ?
    Seems like a scam , there attitude is fishy
  15. Avatar
    There is always a chance that the item was removed and the box taped up again.
    However, I doubt somebody in the supply chain has stolen a phone that cost £60.
  16. Avatar
    Currently in a similar scenario.
    Sold a PS4, buyer received item as I sent tracked.
    Buyer says item does not work and wants to get a 85% refund essentially.
    Buyer has 90+ good feedback but from Germany (saw this afterwards).
    I have sent proof of item working beforehand (some random pics I had from my son playing it) and also messages letting Ebay know that I contacted buyer repeatedly and that I refuse partial refund and want to provide a FULL refund to buyer in return I want my item back (i am willing to even pay a pre pay postage label).
    Still waiting for Ebay to probably side with the buyer and essentially give buyer a PS4 with games for £10-15 hehe.
    Down on postage. Down on ebay fees. Down on the product probably seeing as Ebay always sides with buyer.
    Probably get bricks in return package.
    NEVER ever again with Ebay. Never.
    u ship international? if you don't and they use forwarding service say that in the case which means they bypassed ebay policy and ebay should side with you. and why partial refund? it doesn't work that makes no sense.
  17. Avatar
    No truer words to be said.
  18. Avatar
    That sucks, but can never be 100% that it wasn't in there.

    On the plus side, at least it was only £60
  19. Avatar
    Thank you
  20. Avatar
    Weight is your only friend here. Hopefully the box you sent can be distinguished easily with weight. The heavier the box you sent was, the more likely the chance of you winning is. If the total package weight on the receipt is anything below 500g it'll be rough. Anything above you'll at least have a fighting chance being able to claim that the box weighs X amount, phone weighs X etc. (edited)
    I've never had a receipt for Tracked 48. Weight is chosen by the sender as s maximum, and the item isn't weighed on drop off
  21. Avatar
    Claim off Royal Mail
    Already told him that in my previous comment.
    That's the last resort. They haven't even opened a claim. Liar liar they will get caught out...
  22. Avatar
    I know ebay like back of my hand mate. So eas just bit of a surprise that they didn't deny advising a buyer of opening a fraudulent not as described case. It's disgusting. I have had 2 negatives in 14-15 years. My ratings are all 5.0 /5.0 and they help out dude acting like this.
  23. Avatar
    What is the latest with this now? Latest update?
    Hi there, I pm'd op with direct instructions on how to proceed this was the reply posted back.

    Thank you for your message . It says i am banned from Pm so I can’t respond to your message .
    I have contacted eBay and they have said they will favour me and close the case in 2 weeks . Hopefully they do .
    Thanks for all appreciate it .

    I knew ebay would not side with the buyer when taking all the evidence into consideration. It's a good outcome

    Merry Christmas to all who commented and tried to help the op
  24. Avatar
    Can't believe people are still using ebay, so many scam artists among buyers and sellers now.
    I still use ebay as there also lots of chancers and timewasters on other platforms.
  25. Avatar
    What was his profile like, feedback, is it a new buyer etc?
  26. Avatar
    What's their feedback like and what feedback they have left other sellers.
  27. Avatar
    call their bluff, tell them thank you for letting me know, I’ll report it as stolen..

    or you get on chat first, claiming the buyer is being fraudulent..

    also, don’t sell an expensive item, to someone with 2 feedback
  28. Avatar
    Who would scam an old £60 iPhone?
    Somebody with no money...
    This is the problem isn't it, you can never be sure.

    Logic would dictate the scammer would purchase a new Iphone if this was the initial intention but (A) thieves are often dumb and (B) they may not have the money to purchase a more expensive phone in the first place.

    Unfortunately it is impossible to prove where the box fell empty.
  29. Avatar
    Some years ago I had the same experience with ebay iPhone. I was the buyer in that case!!! I was not lying it was true…. There was no phone just an empty box!!!!
    i did open a case with ebay, the seller provided weight and all that they had. In the end ebay gave me a refund. Not sure what happened with the seller unfortunately.
    sorry… if this is not what you wanted to hear but just put your case forward and hope for the best!!!
    I took images before sending it off . It was packaged the same way I received it .
  30. Avatar
    100% buyer trying it on. No chance of it being the courier based on how they've written the message below.

    You have 0 chance on eBay so deal with it outside of eBay. To some not worth it for £60 but I have always pursued ebay fraudsters by whatever means possible. A guy from Norwich once tried it on me, using a doctored Royal Mail letter to try claim my tracked item to him was not received. Caught him out within seconds and told him what he was doing was fraud and could cost him legal action from RM as well as his job (searched him on Facebook). He crapped a brick and closed the case he had open. Also changed his number
    I agree, if it had been opened they would have took images of the parcel as received and would have said it arrived opened,not that something is missing (which is an actual phone,not like they're saying a small piece is missing)
  31. Avatar
    Did you reset the phone? Can you do find my phone to their address?
  32. Avatar
    Am surprised that all sales aren't requested to have an IMEI saved as part o the sale by eBay - in cases like this, but otherwise eBay has always had some issues with always siding with a buyer in these cases.

    However the feedback may also come into play, i watched this video recently and remembered it, reading this similar story here.
    Jesus, waffles on for almost 7 minutes saying nothing other than shilling his own websites and channel. 
  33. Avatar
    Wouldn't do instant refund. Let them open case at least. Got a feeling ebay would refund him and not take it off you with evidence you have. They not behaving perfectly at the moment though either. I had a buyer buy something on 2nd December. I posted straight away. The buyer changed his mind on 9th before item arrived and reordered he says off someone else so said he would return my item wasting my £8 post costs. As item took 3 weeks to arrive ebay advises him to open not as described case so then buyer telling me I have to pay for return aswel. Now at this point I thought ebay would say no we didn't but all eBay said was this is the process. So telling buyers to open a fraudulent not as described case is the process. Nice and to add to this insult the buyer maybe tampering with item now to back up his not as described nonsense because he went from saying opened a case as told by eBay rep to do so to then saying seals opened on my item so may not be complete or tampered with.

    Oh and let him return the empty box if he wishes. I only once had buyer scam me by returning something different to what I sent and I recieved the item even though knew he was pulling a fast 1 and ebay refunded him and it didn't come out my pocket. (edited)
    Sorry what is a surect refund? Surect is not a word and while I sympathise with your experience he cannot simply open a case as not as described just because a change of mind. Seems like you didn't respond and use evidence of messages with ebay properly and they sided with the buyer due to the delay. Seems a strange occurrence and I struggle to believe that ebay would let a buyer report as not as described, when the case was opened you could have clearly got ebay involved instead of accepting a return based upon a change on mind. You should have appealed after the decision. You shouldn't have been left out of pocket with an item that was sealed and down on postage. (edited)
  34. Avatar
    1 last thing. Strange thing is I can't add a message on this case. It's 1 way traffic
    Seriously maybe try and speak to them on the phone if you can be bothered, they can't be allowed to falsely claim not as described..you have the messages as proof that he changed his mind before he'd even received the item. Don't let him get away with it man
  35. Avatar
    Been an eBay member now since 2006 . I still buy off of there but have not sold anything for years. The charges, the scammers , the red tape that surrounds it all is just too much agg.
    Now I just use marketplace or gumtree , yeah I know just as many scammers on there but I decide on a price and that’s it plus no selling fees.
    I know what you mean it can be a headache sometimes, after I've sold my remaining items I will just keep the account open for buying, especially with the strikes people have no patience and I no longer want to deal with the bombardment of messages, where is my stuff I ordered on this day ect..
  36. Avatar
    Thing is, and I don’t mean offence but what if it’s you scamming him? How would HE prove it. That’s the problem with eBay it always looks favourable to both sides, just depends which way you look at it
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