Worried About eBay Scams? Follow These 4 Reseller Rules!

The internet can be an incredible place of opportunity – and of opportunists. That’s right, we’re talking scammers. Most people out there are just like you, working hard to make an honest buck and build a business. But unfortunately there are enough of the OTHER kind of eBay user to merit an entire article on:

HOW NOT TO GET SCAMMED ON EBAY

Buying and selling comes with risk no matter which platform you go with. Buyers have to worry about getting a damaged item, something different than they ordered, or nothing at all. As a seller however, there are a whole host of other ways scammers can take advantage!

How do scammers target sellers? (It might surprise you!)

One big way scammers decide on their targets is actually based on how new the seller is. But how do these scammers know if you’re new to selling on eBay?

It all has to do with your feedback rating. Sellers who have been doing business on eBay for years have built a large backlog of feedback. They could have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of reviews! These prove that they are experienced and knowledgeable about the platform.

If on the other hand your account is brand-spanking-new, you’re likely to have few or zero reviews. This is a big neon sign for scammers saying, “I’M BRAND NEW TO EBAY AND HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO SPOT A SCAM!”

They’re not counting on you reading this article! We’re going to help show you how to spot eBay scams and avoid losing out on income while reselling on eBay. 

RULE #1: Don’t Send the Item Until You’ve Gotten Paid

If you’re a new seller, you might be eager to get the item shipped out as soon as possible to prove that you’re reliable and speedy. It’s true that having quick shipping times can help boost your reviews and keep your buyers happy, but you’re going to need to resist the temptation!

The payment might be taking a while to clear, but if you think, “Eh it’s just a matter of time, what could go wrong?” you’re putting yourself at risk of losing that money AND the item. 

We’ll say it once again, in case it needs review:

Do not ship your item until the buyer has paid and the transaction has clearly gone through.

RULE #2: Keep the Receipts

Sometimes sellers are contacted by eBay, telling them that a buyer is disputing a charge on their credit card from one of your sales! This is known as a “chargeback”, and it can be a big pain in the butt.

It might not necessarily be a scam – some people genuinely forget they bought something, see the charge, and think their credit card has been compromised – but regardless, you’re going to want to make sure that you have a few items of proof to make sure YOU don’t get accidentally or intentionally screwed out of your hard-earned cash!
Make sure that when you ship the item, you have tracking on it, and that you are shipping to the listed address. This way if the charge is disputed, you have hard proof that it was a legitimate sale and you’re entitled to the income. 

RULE #3: Never Ship to a Different Address

Buyers sometimes realize they accidentally have an old or incorrect address listed, so they’ll reach out to you asking that you ship to a different address than the one on their account. 

It can be tempting to accommodate their request, since you’re trying to be a responsible, helpful business owner. HOWEVER, there is a very good reason you should NOT ship to a different address than the one listed on the buyer’s eBay account:

If you ship to an address not listed on the buyer’s account, eBay will not protect your sale. 

If the buyer says they didn’t receive the item, you could lose out on your income when eBay refunds them. That’s true even if you have written messages that document the buyer’s request to ship to a different address! Scammers can take advantage of that to get free stuff and scam you out of your payout.

If a buyer DOES ask you to ship to a different address, you will want to advise them to:

  1. Cancel the sale
  2. Change their address on their eBay account
  3. Buy the item again

RULE #4: Keep the Convo on eBay

Since eBay takes a percentage of each sale, it can be tempting to move your transactions and conversations elsewhere. There’s a good reason that platforms like eBay exist though! If you move off of eBay, you lose out on the protections eBay provides. 

Never give a buyer your personal information, and decline any requests to contact them off of eBay. You’ll be glad you did!


Running an online business always runs the risk of scammers trying to take advantage. But by following these simple rules and using your own common sense, you can resell safely on eBay and build your successful reselling business!