How to spot and avoid fraudulent bidders. Fraud is a ex

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Fraud is a expensive crime for sellers and it costs us greatly.

I will let you know a few tips to avoid having chargebacks and fraud committed on your items.
This may not be relevant for every single item on eBay that you sell but as a seller of high end mobiles and technology (>$500) I stick by a few rules

Zero Feedback Bidders:

I find these the worst as either they will fall into a ghost account (defined below) or they are relativly new and bid up to crazy prices and then don't pay, or pay via Paypal using a stolen credit card and you get a charge back
I avoid zero feedback bidders at all costs as they are usually nothing but bad news on any expensive items.

Ghost Accounts:

These accounts are set up many years in advance for so that bidders may look like legitimate as they are "old" members.
They usually have low feedback for the time period they have been on eBay, recently a bidder from 2006 with 3 feedback won an iPhone 5 I was selling.
If these members bid on your expensive items it can be a concern as they will usually not pay and waste your time or they will pay and after a while you will get a chargeback if paid with Paypal.
Many of these accounts where registered before all the verification processes existed like they do now.
Also many will have the most recent feedback from a few years ago and have been dormant.
I personally would be suspicious about any account with no activity for 1 year.
eBay will close accounts after 5 years but will tag the account as dormant if it doesnt have any sign-in, selling, or bidding activity for at least 1 year or longer.

Under 20 Feedback:

These accounts vary in age, the most suspicious ones are the ones where only low value items that are mainly useless, this activity is also bad for business as these bidders get a good amount of feedback and then use it against you as you will feel safe but when they pay using PayPal and you get a charge back sometime later.
Many of these will be very similar to ghost accounts as they stay dormant for a while and then have a sudden rush of activity which may have started when you first posted your item.


Paypal is a secure payment when the bidder is Verified, and they have reasonable feedback on eBay from their join date.
Any Unverified or UnRegistered payments for expensive items should always be questioned as they are not secure forms of payment, even if PayPal says safe to post.
I would never accept PayPal if an item is being picked up as you will have no seller security, Cash or Bank Deposit should be used.
Bank Deposit is preferred by all sellers as it may take a day or two, to receive it but its the most secure and the bidder cannot reverse.
Pick Up, If you have the time this is usually best as you deal face to face, PayPal should never be used for pick up.


Always and I mean ALWAYS used either Australia Post Registered Post and add Person to Person as if the bidder if using a false identity they will not be able to retrieve the item, or use Express Post Platinum (I use) as you will get online tracking and it will display the same of who signed for it.
I also take a photo of each item next to their addressed satchel so if there is any dispute photos can be provided.
I hope this helps you selling your item securely and keeping your hard earned money in your pocket.
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