Avoid buyer scams, fake buyers and frauds on eBay/PayPal : Part II

On the previous blogs we briefly discussed the protection for PayPal purchases. “Buyer requirement on eBay” is another useful tool to filter the users based on history/profile. Although this reduces the number of allowed users to purchase your item it takes a lot of hassle out of your transactions and saves a great deal of time and money that you may lose later.

To edit your buyer requirements on eBay, do:

  1. In My eBay, under the ‘My Account’ column, click the “Preferences” link.
  2. In the Seller Preferences section, click the “Buyer Requirements” link.
  3. Click on the edit link.
Let us start by changing the “buyer requirements” step by step (The recommendations below are based on experience):
  • Buyers without a PayPal account (Recommended): With this selection you will block the users who do not have a PayPal account. This is basically because most PayPal users will pay faster than the others or because of sellers protection introduced by PayPal. Also, more and more buyers are using PayPal so it is an attractive choice for buyers too. Please don’t forget that when you can receive the payment faster then you can also send the items faster and therefore you can maintain a better customer experience.
  • Buyers with Unpaid Item strikes (Recommendation: 2 Disputes/1Month): This is to avoid the buyers who have not paid for a number of items in a period of time.
  • Buyers in countries to which I don’t ship (Recommended): Unless you are offering your service worldwide you might want to consider selecting this one. I have seen sellers who forgot to change this setting and later on received a negative feedback because the buyer expected them to ship the item.
  • Buyers with policy breach reports (Recommendation: 4 breaches/6 months): To block the buyers who have been reported. This is not necessarily negative but may be 4 times is enough to get the taste.
  • Buyers with a negative feedback score (Recommendation : -1): To block buyers who have received more negative than positive feedbacks.
  • Buyers who may bid on several of my items and not pay for them (Recommendation: 5 items unless feedback is over 5): To block buyers who are bidding or buying your items in a period of time without having enough history to credit their purchase.
  • Buyers with no credit card on file: This basically gives a hint if the buyer account is a serious account or just a normal account made in 5 minutes. The buyers are verified in this case.
If you know more ways to protect sellers from scams, frauds and fake buyers please do comment.
Please also see the Part I.
http://www.scrobbld.com: A new way to manage your eBay and PayPal orders.

eBay Policy Update: Sellers must offer paypal

“eBay wants to ensure that the marketplace offers buyers safe, appropriate and convenient payment choices for the marketplace. eBay requires all sellers listing on eBay.co.uk to offer payments through PayPal (with some exceptions). PayPal is not only convenient to use, but it also offers buyers and sellers protection assistance against fraud, chargebacks and theft of financial data …” [1]

eBay has always indirectly encouraged sellers and buyers to use PayPal and has now made it mandatory for sellers to offer PayPal as a payment option. Though other payment services such as credit cards, bank transfers and cash in person (on collection) are still allowed (for more details please see references). Following the policy above, no cash or instant payments are permitted.


1. eBay Policies: Accepted Payments Policy

http://www.scrobbld.com: A new way to manage your eBay and PayPal orders.

Pros and Cons: Printing Postages on eBay/PayPal

eBay offers online printing of postages and address labels via PayPal [1,2]. The services offer online printing of postages as well as tracking number. For UK users there are discounts on ParcelForce packages but no discounts for Royal Mail packages.

The steps to print postage (shipping, address labels) are quite straight forward:

  • On eBay, go to sold items page
  • Select the transactions you would like to print postage for
  • Click “Print Postage Labels” button on top or bottom of the page
  • Login to your PayPal
  • Select weight and size of the item
  • Pay for the postage
  • Print the postage

For a complete guide please see the references. Here are the pros and cons of this service:

Pros of eBay/Pay Pal Postage

  • The postages can be paid through paypal
  • The tracking number can be printed online
  • The proof of postages will be on PayPal ( More towards seller’s protection )

Cons of eBay/PayPal Postage

  • Postages should be printed one by one: Multiple printing is not available at the moment and therefore the weight and size should be selected and price paid for each postage one by one.
  • Efficiency and Speed: Further to the point above, logging in PayPal each time is a very slow process.
  • Pricing : In comparison, franking machines and postal service websites often have better offers for postage prices, which is going to be a big number when sending high volumes of packages.

This issue will attract the attention to services that can quickly generate the address/shipping labels to be printed and used with franking machines.

In the later blog posts we will discuss a few more options available to online sellers. If you know any service that you are specifically interested in please drop a comment.


  1. eBay and PayPal postage printing guide for US: Print Shipping Labels with Online Postage USPS
  2. eBay and PayPal postage printing guide for UK: How to Print your Postage Label – Royal Mail and Parcelforce

http://www.scrobbld.com: A new way to manage your eBay and PayPal orders.

Avoid buyer scams, fake buyers and frauds on eBay/PayPal : Part I

A serious seller is the one who clears up the issues that will happen along the way to his knowledge. Buyer scams, fake buyers and frauds is a very familiar term for sellers and specifically eBay sellers.But how to avoid those scams?

The answer is very simple and it has been mentioned in paypal’s seller protection policy in detail. If the account is a confirmed address and verified and you send the items by recorded post PayPal will not charge back your money. So get verified it is very simple and important.

Please also see Part II.

http://www.scrobbld.com: A new way to manage your eBay and PayPal orders.

Tweet Tweet! Follow us on twitter

We now have an account on Twitter, the micro-blogging website. For short and sweet messages, we will be using twitter to make announcements; and for not-so-short and sweet messages we will continue to share our thoughts/announcements/ knowledge /etc. on this blog. It can also be used as a means for one liner communications between you and us. So go on and start following us on twitter!

FOWA, here we come!

We have booked our places for the Future of Web Apps conference, to be held during 8-10 October in London. If you are planning to go to the conference, then do drop us a line and we will be thrilled to see you there. Look out for Farshad Fahimi, Ian Morgan or Piyush Goel in the conference list to connect (you will be able to see it once you have signed up for the conference).

I just received a PayPal dispute, What should I do?

If you received a PayPal dispute, don’t worry. It may not be the last time so let’s see what we can learn about it. Online sellers are not perfectly protected but there are always precautions to avoid the disputes or win the cases if it happens.

Why did I receive a PayPal dispute?

Basically disputes are for two reasons:

Non-receipt: In the case of tangible items there is a chance that the buyer might not receive the items.

Not as described: This is when the description of the sold item is not the same as what was sent to the buyer. PayPal only provides this service for tangible goods.

What happens when you receive a dispute?

PayPal will send you an email and let you communicate with your buyer. However the conversation will be archived on PayPal website if it needs to be reviewed later. A PayPal dispute has no negative effect on your account unless it is not resolved in a timely and professional manner.

What should you do if you receive a PayPal dispute?

In the first stages of a dispute the best thing is to log into your PayPal account and try to see the problem from buyer’s perspective, pinpoint the problem and try to resolve it between yourselves.

How can you as a seller win a PayPal dispute?

In the case that the dispute is escalated:

Non-receipt: PayPal introuced the seller protection policy to protect sellers but you should consider a few things before sending the item if you want to be protected:

  • Sellers should have a verified account.
  • Item is shipped to an eligible address (Can be checked on the transaction page).
  • Proof of delivery (Copy of shipment record).
  • For items over a value (differs by country) you need a signature from recepient or in other words use a signed delivery.
  • Send the items in 7 days of payment (this can be checked through proof of shipment and tracking).

Not as described: To avoid not as described disputes a seller should try to describe the item accurately and detailed to avoid any misunderstanding. There is no specific policy to protect sellers in this case.

PayPal dispute escalated: Now What?

If a PayPal dispute is escalated by the buyer or seller it means that the parties could not resolve the dispute through communication therefore they would like PayPal to supervise the conversation to resolve the dispute in a timely manner. In case the buyer and seller do not come to a resolution PayPal will decide which party gets to keep the money.

There are a number of choices when a dispute is escalated:

Non-Receipt: If the seller has the above mentioned (seller protection policy), e.g. proof of postage and tracking, he can add the tracking number to the transaction. It is always a good practice to check the status of the order (delivered or not delivered) in the courier page.

Important Note: If you are not qualified for seller protection (e.g. you have not sent the item in 7 days of payment), it is very likely that you will not get your money back. Then it is a good idea to contact your postal company and ask them to return or pick up the item.

Not as described: In this case you have multiple choices to resolve the dispute:

  • Refund the buyer.
  • Ask the buyer to return the item for a full refund. In this case the buyer should provide a tracking number for the returned item or he/she will not win the case.
  • Try to resolve the dispute with a partial refund.
  • Disagree with the claim. You should be able to provide sufficient evidence from your online description (e.g. on eBay) or any other documentation that the buyer was aware of the description prior to the purchase or prove that the item was in the condition described (here you can be very creative but I don’t know if it works).

At the end of the day, the best way to resolve a dispute is to communicate quickly with the buyer and pinpoint the problem. It saves a lot of your time and trust me it will pay off when the buyers come back to you again.

‘Not as described’ policy is biased to protect the buyer, if you have ideas to contribute to prevent/resolve such issues, please follow it up in the comments.

UPDATE: Please note that our blog has moved to http://blog.scrobbld.com/

http://www.scrobbld.com: A new way to manage your eBay and PayPal orders.

Update: The New Interface!

We have been super busy making the Scrobbl’d service better for you in the last few weeks. And we are extremely excited to show you a glimpse of what we have been upto and how we were getting along with the task.

We have revamped the interface and it now looks significantly different to what you have used on Scrobbl’d before. Hopefully, and we are quite sure about it, you would agree with us that it is more user-friendly now and will significantly increase your productivity. Below is a teaser of the new interface (click on the image for a larger view). From the screenshot you can probably guess some of the features that have been included but for now you will just have to use your imagination, our future updates will be describing more about the features in detail.

Scrobbld Screenshot

(click on the image for a larger view)

We are carrying out further user tests and continuously improving the service before we release it for you to use it. If everything goes to plan it should be a matter of 2-3 weeks for you to get your hands dirty, we’ll keep you posted.

And of course, thanks for being so patient!

I can’t track the item on Royal Mail, Why?

Not Delivered

“Recorded Signed For™ items are only tracked after the item has been delivered. Depending on whether the item was sent first or second class, this may be a few days after posting. Please try again later.

Information on your item is not yet available online.”

When trying to track your item on Royal Mail website you receive the above message, you might ask yourself these questions:

1. What is the point of using a signed service when the item can only be tracked after delivery?

2. When the item is delivered I can see that it is delivered. Why do I want to track it then?

Consider you purchased something online and have not received it. You ask the seller to give you the tracking number and after sending and receiving about 10 emails you manage to get it. Now you see the above message and you run out of patience. And you might think who is to blame. Basically only in a few situations you get the above message:

1. The item has not been dispatched or in other words the tracking number is either fake or without any value (value is the paid postage supporting the tracking method).

2. The item has been dispatched but not delivered.

3. The item is lost.

4. The item has been delivered but not scanned.

So if you read the above carefully you will notice that in a transaction there will not be any other scenario. Why would anyone need Royal Mail signed delivery then?

  1. Seller wants to be able to prove that the item has been delivered (Either to the buyer or to a payment service like PayPal)
  2. The chances to be able to put claim for the lost item is higher.
  3. Seller has promised the buyers to use a signed service but also wants to use a more affordable one.

In total signed delivery is useful for situations where we have to prove the dispatch of items (Remember that it is not possible to prove the content and there is no insurance for claiming the exact amount of loss, moreover there are other limitations for a claim that I will discuss in another post).

Signed service is not useful for situations where:

1. You trust the receiver.

2. The item does not have any value.

3. The item is valuable (more than £34). This amount is not fixed.

4. You want the item to be delivered faster (Signed delivery does not mean that the service speed is any different. Both signed and unsigned deliveries go through the same channels).

If you know reasons for why one should or shoudn’t use Royal Mail’s signed service, do share them in the comments.

http://www.scrobbld.com: A new way to manage your eBay and PayPal orders.

Why use PayPal? What do I get?

PayPal is the choice of sellers specially when starting up an eBay or Online Business. While many might disagree with the claim, this is true in real situations. Why? Here is a list of possible reasons:

1. PayPal is easy: Setting up the PayPal account is easy and fast. The following videos are a simple guide on how to start PayPal. Click here for first and second video.

2. PayPal is safe: PayPal is the preferred payment method for most eBay buyers and sellers. PayPal payments are protected for up to £500 under the PayPal Buyer Protection Programme. Also, sellers protection program protects the sellers from unfair buyer claims.

3. PayPal protects personal information: You can use Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express with PayPal. Plus, when you pay with PayPal, you do not expose your credit card number to the merchant. Moreover, merchants hide private information from buyers unless necessary.

4. Sellers can see the payments cleared immediately in their PayPal accounts. They don’t have to wait for payments to be cleared to be able to send the item. In comparison to other payment methods like postal orders, cheques etc. this payment method speeds up the order processing.

5. For new sellers PayPal takes out the unimportant aspects of a transaction and lets beginners concentrate on improving their service and increasing their sales.

6. For sellers there is a choice of softwares to integrate their PayPal orders and automate their dispatch and keep track of their stock etc.

http://www.scrobbld.com: A new way to manage your eBay and PayPal orders.