eBay - Scammed?

35
Posted 17th Jul 2020
Bit of a peculiar situation.

I sold a Game Boy Advance Game named Pokemon Fire Red which is very collectable these days, presumably for the nostalgia benefits. Sold via eBay Auction with No Returns Accepted. The reason for this is because there are a lot of fake/replica Cartridges out there which are worthless.
I have owned mine along with the GameBoy Advance since New, including the original box and manual and am completely sure it is an original and genuine cartridge.
I took a YouTube video, along with taking the back off the cartridge to include the circuit board of the game. Unfortunately these were taken after the listing went live but

I emailed everybody that had already bid in the auction since somebody else had asked me to check the authenticity (They were happy with the circuit board!)

One of the people that already bid was the ultimate winner of the auction. He had re-bid AFTER I sent the close up photos and Video as a courtesy, including a video of the cartridge going into the GameBoy and loading up.

He has now received the Cartridge and sent a Return request - I quote - "Hi mate, I have recieved the item, the game case feels a bit loose and the game case looks alot lighter than the photos." With the Return Request of "Doesn't match description or photos"


I then replied back stating I had sent him the Video & Photos and what do you mean by a bit loose. There's only one screw on the back of the cartridge and it can be tightened. He can also take the back off the cartridge at the same time and thereby confirming it's the genuine game, because I 100% know it is. I said that I put no returns because there are a lot of fakes out there and somebody could swap the cartridge and send me a fake.....

His reply to that is: "I can't take it apart as I don't have the right screwdriver for it. So basically you sent me a fake and because you said "no returns" I can't send it back. I'll escalate the case to eBay then"


It sold for £65 and that money was a surprise gift for a family member who is in financial troubles. I'm just really angry that I feel he is playing me by being so vague in his replies, with no photo evidence of what he means. And I'm frustrated knowing that eBay are going to eventually always side with the buyer I have 854 feedback, 100% positive. Obviously I'll get a negative on this but the way he replies just screams alarm bells of a scam to me.
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Sounds like he has swapped it with a fake? There is no way to prevent the return or him benefiting from fraud. However, you can still get your money and will get to keep the returned item. Complain to ebay about everything. Once the return is done and you get the item back - if you feel the item was exactly as described and he has lied to abuse the ebay money back guarantee complain to ebay throughout and also report the buyer using the report buyer button. Make sure you file a written report - make reports against them on everything you can that apply, as these add up on their account and when there is a pattern they get banned / put on a watch list etc. Also if you feel he has done fraud and you have photos / video of what you sent (especially if he sends you a different item back), make sure you 'appeal' after the return has been closed and he has been given a refund. You will get your money back, but it won't come from the buyer, it will come from ebay. So you both get your money. The Appeal is literally the only stage where anyone with a brain deals with your case and these staff are also based in the UK. Up until the Appeal, everything happens in favour of the buyer automatically regardless of what evidence you upload so you can't win and the buyer can't lose. You can only win on Appeal but by this stage they can't recover the money from the buyer - it comes out of ebay's own pocket. They will also remove any negative feedbacks he leaves if you can show that he has scammed you in any way.
So I escalated the case to eBay at midnight, when the option became available.

eBay have already responded and found in my favour, refunding me the money. However they are also going to refund him!!

The buyer himself never responded to my message yesterday which mentioned his job. He has therefore forced my hand and I have now emailed West & Mid Wales Fire Service of their employee's fraud, along with the full story, photos, videos and crime reference number, explaining I have already got my money back but it's not the point; if he will do it online, he will do it to vulnerable members of the community as part of his job.


Full message from eBay is below in case anybody is interested.


---

Hello,

Thank you for contacting eBay regarding “Pokemon: FireRed Version (Nintendo Game ” (293637645265) for which the buyer “Removed for HUKD purposes ” has opened a return request.



I have reviewed all case details and I’m glad to share that I’ve closed the case in your favor. Please allow 24-48 hours for your funds to be released back into your account.

I am sorry to learn that you received a different item back, I can assure you that situations like these are very few and far between on eBay. As the buyer has returned the item back, under eBay policy and the UK Distance Selling Regulation we are obliged to refund the buyer but you need not worry as the refund will be from eBay and you need not take any further action.


I appreciate all the efforts you have put in to make sure that the item gets delivered to your buyer. You are not required to take any further action. I want to highlight that we have guidelines to make sure we are making things right for you. We have systems in place wherein you may escalate the case to us, if the returned item is not in the same condition. Probable this is not the experience you may have on our site, however if you come across some situations like this, let us know. Your protection is our responsibility.

We sincerely appreciate the great service you have been providing to your buyers. Thanks for choosing eBay!
Edited by: "Firefly1" 24th Jul
Tell them you have marked the game in a hidden place and expect if you receive it back to find that hidden mark and that you have informed eBay of this. See what they say to that :-)
I have well and truly been scammed

Reported to Action Fraud.
Reported to eBay online.
Waiting for eBay to call me back.

And the bloke is a Firefighter in Wales, his name is on their page congratulating him for 1 year service.

I'm not dropping the issue.
I'll see what eBay have to say next.
35 Comments
Sounds like he has swapped it with a fake? There is no way to prevent the return or him benefiting from fraud. However, you can still get your money and will get to keep the returned item. Complain to ebay about everything. Once the return is done and you get the item back - if you feel the item was exactly as described and he has lied to abuse the ebay money back guarantee complain to ebay throughout and also report the buyer using the report buyer button. Make sure you file a written report - make reports against them on everything you can that apply, as these add up on their account and when there is a pattern they get banned / put on a watch list etc. Also if you feel he has done fraud and you have photos / video of what you sent (especially if he sends you a different item back), make sure you 'appeal' after the return has been closed and he has been given a refund. You will get your money back, but it won't come from the buyer, it will come from ebay. So you both get your money. The Appeal is literally the only stage where anyone with a brain deals with your case and these staff are also based in the UK. Up until the Appeal, everything happens in favour of the buyer automatically regardless of what evidence you upload so you can't win and the buyer can't lose. You can only win on Appeal but by this stage they can't recover the money from the buyer - it comes out of ebay's own pocket. They will also remove any negative feedbacks he leaves if you can show that he has scammed you in any way.
Had the exact same issue the other day but was with a pool heater , had a rite nightmare & in the end I refunded the buyer £50 from
The original £200 as I didn’t want the hassle .

I sent the new factory sealed item and the claimed it had been used and damaged , I was certain they was trying to swap me a broken one
If I was in your situation, my first port of call would be ebay customer services.

Yes they always tend to rule in the buyer's favour and the odds are stacked highly against the seller but I wouldn't go down without a fight.

I would put all my evidence in front of them and force them to review it.

You have little to lose by at least trying.

Good luck
Cancel your PayPal account so they can’t take the money back. Also tell buyer with the photos and video you will goto small claims to get your money back as they have broken contract or committed fraud if they swapped board out, or say you have there address and leave it at that..

now the the other side who’s to say you never put a fake board in after video?
It’s not nice when this happens but why say it’s a gift for family in financial trouble what has got to do with any of this? Is it to try and get sympathy because eBay/PayPal won’t care what the moneys for...
I had a situation when I sold my Pokemon Alpha Sapphire 3DS game on eBay. The buyer claimed the game wouldn't work it said it was for a different region. I replied saying the only reason it could say that is if your console is for a different region. They said it's a UK console, I began to get worried I would get scammed. Then it got to the buyer telling me her son is autistic and has been wanting this game for some time and is very disappointed that he can't play it, and he collects videogames and is highly intelligent and doesn't lie. I explained I am a lifelong Nintendo fan and would never try to scam anyone, and that I am still fairly new to selling on eBay. They took a photo as proof but it clearly showed Pokemon X which is a different game. eBay allowed a return to take place. I received an American Pokemon X game. eBay allowed me to keep the money whilst also refunding the buyer. I could not get back the return postage cost which eBay took from me.

In hindsight, eBay is not a good place to sell things. Face to face selling via FB Marketplace / Gumtree etc is a far better and safer way
Even saying you don’t accept returns won’t stop buyers returning. You could try to call his bluff and say once received back you’ll check the security markings to confirm they have returned the correct one. Also report your suspicions about the buyer to eBay as it’s all to common with some buyers now as it’s easy money for them, they get the genuine item to either keep or sell on. I remember a post recently on here where the seller had an issue with the buyer claiming they hadn’t received the item only for the buyer to have already listed it for sale on there eBay account.
MrWalle17/07/2020 08:40

Even saying you don’t accept returns won’t stop buyers returning. You cou …Even saying you don’t accept returns won’t stop buyers returning. You could try to call his bluff and say once received back you’ll check the security markings to confirm they have returned the correct one. Also report your suspicions about the buyer to eBay as it’s all to common with some buyers now as it’s easy money for them, they get the genuine item to either keep or sell on. I remember a post recently on here where the seller had an issue with the buyer claiming they hadn’t received the item only for the buyer to have already listed it for sale on there eBay account.


I hope eBay acted on that !
Tell them you have marked the game in a hidden place and expect if you receive it back to find that hidden mark and that you have informed eBay of this. See what they say to that :-)
Really sorry I don’t have any information that can help but this happened to me about 3 years ago, when I sold a GBA micro on eBay.
I don’t think I’ve sold on eBay since and probably never will. I know you always get less for you money but I always
41413889-mZUWB.jpg
stick with selling to shops now.
bobdylan17/07/2020 09:43

Tell them you have marked the game in a hidden place and expect if you …Tell them you have marked the game in a hidden place and expect if you receive it back to find that hidden mark and that you have informed eBay of this. See what they say to that :-)


I like that - also say you will use this, along with the video evidence of which you didnt put on YouTube to report the case as fraud to the police and small claims court!
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deleted11933
nintendofan1017/07/2020 10:27

Really sorry I don’t have any information that can help but this happened t …Really sorry I don’t have any information that can help but this happened to me about 3 years ago, when I sold a GBA micro on eBay. I don’t think I’ve sold on eBay since and probably never will. I know you always get less for you money but I always [Image] stick with selling to shops now.


£40, vs £65.
Even if you lost all your money 1 time in 3 (Which wont happen) you would be better off selling on Ebay in this scenario.
IF the price is very similar then CEX is more sensible. However, if CEX suddenly went into administration and your item had been posted out then you will be up a creek without a paddle. That is why I would be paranoid about selling a console etc.
MrWalle17/07/2020 08:40

Even saying you don’t accept returns won’t stop buyers returning. You cou …Even saying you don’t accept returns won’t stop buyers returning. You could try to call his bluff and say once received back you’ll check the security markings to confirm they have returned the correct one. Also report your suspicions about the buyer to eBay as it’s all to common with some buyers now as it’s easy money for them, they get the genuine item to either keep or sell on. I remember a post recently on here where the seller had an issue with the buyer claiming they hadn’t received the item only for the buyer to have already listed it for sale on there eBay account.


I like this security markings thing.

Op you should try it

markmc99917/07/2020 10:53

I like that - also say you will use this, along with the video evidence of …I like that - also say you will use this, along with the video evidence of which you didnt put on YouTube to report the case as fraud to the police and small claims court!





bobdylan17/07/2020 09:43

Tell them you have marked the game in a hidden place and expect if you …Tell them you have marked the game in a hidden place and expect if you receive it back to find that hidden mark and that you have informed eBay of this. See what they say to that :-)



Some great suggestions here
Edited by: "notalwaysright19" 17th Jul
Yeah you've been scammed, PayPal always sides with the buyer he will get his money back and you will lose out, welcome to eBay
Thank You very much everybody. I'll give him an opportunity to provide evidence before accepting the return regardless. I'll then appeal the refund depending on what he returns.

I'll post in a week or two what was the final outcome
deleted1193317/07/2020 11:03

£40, vs £65.Even if you lost all your money 1 time in 3 (Which wont h …£40, vs £65.Even if you lost all your money 1 time in 3 (Which wont happen) you would be better off selling on Ebay in this scenario.IF the price is very similar then CEX is more sensible. However, if CEX suddenly went into administration and your item had been posted out then you will be up a creek without a paddle. That is why I would be paranoid about selling a console etc.


I understand what you are saying. It just seems to me that everyone is just trying to scam everyone online these days.
In cases like this, act professional and say if the item is faulty you will gladly accept a return once they send you photo / video evidence of the fault.

You can also add a note to say that due to a high number of scammers if the item is returned and has been swapped with a fake you will report it to the police as fraud/theft. You will have their address so this should hopefully be enough of a deterrent if they're thinking of scamming you.

I've sold thousands of retro games / collectables on eBay and 9/10 times the deterrent is enough to make not even attempt it.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!
Edited by: "codebee" 17th Jul
Police won't really want to know there is a well known youtube video which proves this
they have more followup videos on their channel too.

However message the buyer saying full refund will be given if item returned is same as you sent out otherwise they will be reported to Action Fraud (they do pursue ebay gumtree etc scammers).

If they dont send item back don't give a refund but if paypal sides with the scammer pay £2 debtguard.co.uk/services/letter-before-action/ and if still no response take them to small claims court with your evidence and represent yourself.

Good luck

Also @ashmac I saw your thread I noticed you sold a bargain ( bought for profit which is fair enough) but I agree with one of the other comments on your thread. It was probably Very.co.uk sending you a return.

I've had this on one occasion with a very high value item but what I did was contact the buyer ask him for the serial number then registered the product (uploaded original receipt) with the manufacturer. Within 4 days I got a message from the buyer saying wow thank you I have had an engineer come and replace the main unit for free. I then forwarded him an email with warranty for the product to last him until 2023 if anything else happened to the expensive product he bought!

Always worth registering the product for the buyer
Edited by: "sjr1974uk" 18th Jul
Well guys.... This is the end result:

I received this item back (and nothing inside the box, just empty apart from that cartridge):
41472041-wlh9g.jpg41472041-zGBxK.jpg


I posted this item to him originally:

41472041-LPWxP.jpg
I have well and truly been scammed

Reported to Action Fraud.
Reported to eBay online.
Waiting for eBay to call me back.

And the bloke is a Firefighter in Wales, his name is on their page congratulating him for 1 year service.

I'm not dropping the issue.
I'll see what eBay have to say next.
oh no that's awful. what a pity. I wonder if you should message him and say that you'll be taking it further- maybe he'd be forced to fess up or drop the case? what a nightmare. hope it works out.
Firefly123/07/2020 18:12

I have well and truly been scammed Reported to Action Fraud.Reported …I have well and truly been scammed Reported to Action Fraud.Reported to eBay online.Waiting for eBay to call me back.And the bloke is a Firefighter in Wales, his name is on their page congratulating him for 1 year service.I'm not dropping the issue.I'll see what eBay have to say next.



I hope you get him sacked. I would involve the police and speak to his employers as his prints will be all over it. He will be doing alot of other fraud / theft if he is doing stuff like this.
Edited by: "Master_Yoda" 23rd Jul
Just message back saying you have his name, address and place of work and request the actual item back instead of the knock off.

If he has any sense he will comply.
Edited by: "Towelie" 23rd Jul
Firefly123/07/2020 18:12

I have well and truly been scammed Reported to Action Fraud.Reported …I have well and truly been scammed Reported to Action Fraud.Reported to eBay online.Waiting for eBay to call me back.And the bloke is a Firefighter in Wales, his name is on their page congratulating him for 1 year service.I'm not dropping the issue.I'll see what eBay have to say next.


Sorry this has happened to you.

Someone pull the same trick on me years ago on Amazon.

So frustrating.

Hope you get somewhere with eBay and you get your money back.

People like this ruin eBay. I rarely bother with it anymor
Got an email saying that ebay are updating their Money Back Guarantee Policy. Thought ok about time, they're finally waking up and doing something to tackle all these fraudulent buyers... NOPE... "The time a seller has to respond to return requests or an eBay Money Back Guarantee (eMBG) claim will change from 8 calendar days to 3 business days." ???? They're actually tweaking things even more against sellers... What planet are these imbeciles on??
Towelie23/07/2020 19:00

Just message back saying you have his name, address and place of work and …Just message back saying you have his name, address and place of work and request the actual item back instead of the knock off. If he has any sense he will comply.



samwants2save23/07/2020 18:28

oh no that's awful. what a pity. I wonder if you should message him and …oh no that's awful. what a pity. I wonder if you should message him and say that you'll be taking it further- maybe he'd be forced to fess up or drop the case? what a nightmare. hope it works out.



Master_Yoda23/07/2020 18:31

I hope you get him sacked. I would involve the police and speak to his …I hope you get him sacked. I would involve the police and speak to his employers as his prints will be all over it. He will be doing alot of other fraud / theft if he is doing stuff like this.



myusernamehasgone23423/07/2020 19:10

Sorry this has happened to you. Someone pull the same trick on me years …Sorry this has happened to you. Someone pull the same trick on me years ago on Amazon. So frustrating. Hope you get somewhere with eBay and you get your money back. People like this ruin eBay. I rarely bother with it anymor


Thanks guys.

He only claimed the game was a bit loose & the colour was off......So he has no excuse for the missing items. Thanks to Master Yoda, I have a 3 minute video of the unpacking of the returned item and our surprise of just how far he had scammed us (I had the screwdriver ready to look at the circuit board but no need :().


I spoke to eBay over the phone and they have got me to upload the Action Fraud documentation and photos of the product I received whilst I was on the phone to them. eBay said I could raise the issue with the buyer in the mean time. So I've sent him a message with the link to the unpacking, explaining that he may have left the correct game at his Fire Station, and pointing out he never said any items were missing; yet they clearly are now missing. I also said it's his last chance for anybody to consider this an error rather than fraud.

eBay said I can raise the case further tomorrow evening. Definitely Small Claims Court if eBay give him a refund. Depending on how he replies to this message, I will be contacting his employer once eBay reach their outcome.

I literally have so much evidence that any court should find in my favour. Happy to spend a few hundred for CCJ if required, it's really not the money but the principle that this is unacceptable.
"I've sent him a message with the link to the unpacking, explaining that he may have left the correct game at his Fire Station..."

Brilliant
Excellent work.

Hopefully the message will be enough - lovely touch saying he might have left it at the fire station, that should definitely get him worries.

Keep us posted on how it goes.

Is it the same cart come back to you then? Assuming not from the pics? Case different too but I've never got into Pokemon so not sure if it is just missing the slip case?
Towelie23/07/2020 19:46

Excellent work.Hopefully the message will be enough - lovely touch saying …Excellent work.Hopefully the message will be enough - lovely touch saying he might have left it at the fire station, that should definitely get him worries. Keep us posted on how it goes. Is it the same cart come back to you then? Assuming not from the pics? Case different too but I've never got into Pokemon so not sure if it is just missing the slip case?


Nope even the Cartridge is unfortunately the replica cartridge; he's sent one that has a going rate of £2-£5 on eBay. My Cartridge is at least £35-£45.
Mine had the original circuit board - which I even took photos of AND sent them privately to him before he placed his final bid. His is just a cheap Chinese knock-off. I presume it does work but already sold my GameBoy on eBay in the last couple of weeks so unable to test.

He's even on the local Welsh buy&sell Facebook page stating he buys all old console games ! He really should keep his social media profile a little lower.
Firefly123/07/2020 19:51

Nope even the Cartridge is unfortunately the replica cartridge; he's sent …Nope even the Cartridge is unfortunately the replica cartridge; he's sent one that has a going rate of £2-£5 on eBay. My Cartridge is at least £35-£45.Mine had the original circuit board - which I even took photos of AND sent them privately to him before he placed his final bid. His is just a cheap Chinese knock-off. I presume it does work but already sold my GameBoy on eBay in the last couple of weeks so unable to test.He's even on the local Welsh buy&sell Facebook page stating he buys all old console games ! He really should keep his social media profile a little lower.


Good detective work.

Please keep us updated.

Hope this get resolved quickly for you.
A fraudster buying copies then original claiming there is an issue and returning the copy only to them sell original on Facebook.
good job op! the buyer- a so called i pillar of the community (fire fighters are always held in high regard) one wouldn't expect such shenanigans.... I do hope that for his own sake- he comes to his senses and let's up confirming it was 'an error'. what a farce.
OP, you are doing the right thing. I could never do such a thing to a person like the buyer did but it doesn't surprise me that there are people like that. They deserve whatever is coming and you need to fight back.
Like others have said, please do keep us updated.
Yet another ebay scam by the sounds of it, hope you get it sorted out.
I never use ebay to sell anything any more just not worth the almost inevitable agro.
So I escalated the case to eBay at midnight, when the option became available.

eBay have already responded and found in my favour, refunding me the money. However they are also going to refund him!!

The buyer himself never responded to my message yesterday which mentioned his job. He has therefore forced my hand and I have now emailed West & Mid Wales Fire Service of their employee's fraud, along with the full story, photos, videos and crime reference number, explaining I have already got my money back but it's not the point; if he will do it online, he will do it to vulnerable members of the community as part of his job.


Full message from eBay is below in case anybody is interested.


---

Hello,

Thank you for contacting eBay regarding “Pokemon: FireRed Version (Nintendo Game ” (293637645265) for which the buyer “Removed for HUKD purposes ” has opened a return request.



I have reviewed all case details and I’m glad to share that I’ve closed the case in your favor. Please allow 24-48 hours for your funds to be released back into your account.

I am sorry to learn that you received a different item back, I can assure you that situations like these are very few and far between on eBay. As the buyer has returned the item back, under eBay policy and the UK Distance Selling Regulation we are obliged to refund the buyer but you need not worry as the refund will be from eBay and you need not take any further action.


I appreciate all the efforts you have put in to make sure that the item gets delivered to your buyer. You are not required to take any further action. I want to highlight that we have guidelines to make sure we are making things right for you. We have systems in place wherein you may escalate the case to us, if the returned item is not in the same condition. Probable this is not the experience you may have on our site, however if you come across some situations like this, let us know. Your protection is our responsibility.

We sincerely appreciate the great service you have been providing to your buyers. Thanks for choosing eBay!
Edited by: "Firefly1" 24th Jul
Nice update.

I think you should send the knock off copy back but send it to the fire station addressed to him.
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