Escrow other than ebay approved Escrow

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Talking from experience sellig an item in 2004

I sold a 2nd hand Laptop to a lady in London, UK. Being a English man myself I automatically had a disadvantage as I immediately trusted any person from the UK.
The lady wanted the item sent to her London apartment and wanted to pay via Escrow. I cant remember the website name but it was a well built Escrow site with a easy web address. I checked out the website, it was a Canadian based site and had a list in google and yahoo. It gave a Telephone number and address in Canada. although a international call to there "call center" became expensive as i sat in a 10 minute queue.

I sent the item via Fedex to her after payment was confirmed in this escrow website.
The website sent me a professional email to say the money had been received via there payment center, i signed into the website and checked there and the payment showed as held in the escrow account. I confirmed with the escrow company i had sent the item.

A week or so later after not hearing from the Buyer via email I thought I would do some investigation. I got in touch with the Canadian Police to confirm this Building and company. They said this is not a registered company and the building address at which I quoted is not a Escrow company.
I immediately rang Fedex UK as the item had already arrived in customs there and got them to stop postage and return to me. And tried via countless emails to get in touch with the buyer saying that the escrow company was a fraud but she was part of it and had no reason to keep in contact.
Within 3 days that website no longer exsisted no trace of it what so ever and the domain name "Whois data base" was empty.

I managed to get the laptop back in my hands safely but I was now AUD$700 short in fedex costs.

At least i got the item back and was in a situation where i could resell it and recover some of my debts but the fact of the matter was I was to blind to see the facts.

So if you are selling expensive products on ebay and the buyer wants to pay via Escrow make sure you only accept ebay approved websites. Check out the ebay help site and read up on escrow and how it should be used.

Save yourself the sleepless nights and debts of expensive postage costs do it the safe way the first way

Good luck
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