Ask HN: Have you seen this eBay scam? I am out $277

I bought a "Dr.ZX Hitachi Excavator Diagnostic Tool Dr. Zaxis palm version" from a top rated eBay seller sjsino99.

The seller reported the item as delivered, but I never received it. The seller used Speedpak to send the item, Speedpak then sent it via USPS. eBay shows my correct residential address, however the item was delivered to a PO Box. I asked my town's postmaster about this item's delivery and he said that not only did the item only weigh 1 oz (the item itself should be heavier), but that it was addressed to a PO box the whole time.

I contacted eBay and they refuse to provide any support as the Speedpak tracking link shows the item as successfully delivered. I provided them with images showing my address as the correct shipping address on ebay and comparing that to the USPS link, but they closed the case in just a few seconds anyways.

I tried to leave negative feedback for this seller, but the feedback was removed, leaving unsuspecting buyers to think this seller is a good one like I did.

I think the seller scammed me by sending an empty package to an incorrect address via speedpak and getting a tracking link saying it was successfully delivered. What do you think? Have you experienced anything like this?




Many years ago I ordered what I thought was a 256MB memory stick. But I received 32MB stick. I didn’t notice seller said Mb vs MB. But priced it was in the 256 megabyte price range… it was only time I got scammed out of money. I filed case, provided docs and got some money reimbursed, but not everything.


Yes, I've had this scam a long time ago before. In my case eBay support was helpful and I got a refund.


Yep, that’s an eBay scam. You’ll probably have to file an arbitration or small claims against eBay over it, if their support won’t listen.


I got scammed in a similar way as well.

I go directly to AliExpress/Alibaba now, since a lot of the cheaper stuff I would buy on eBay was essentially resold from the same suppliers. Had nothing but positive experiences with those.


I got scammed on AliExpress as well. It was for a $150 watch. The site went black after I filed the complaint, but AliExpress would not allow the return (it was like a fake version of a real watch sold on AliExpress, kind of like shipping a photo of the real item).


You have to look at seller reviews and history. I only order from ones that have significant history.


pretty off topic --

Recently I have been getting acquainted with Aliexpress. For eBay, I look for significant history with over 99% positive feedback.

For Aliexpress, is there a positive feedback threshold you hold yourself to? Recently I bought some 3d printer parts from TriangleLab (which I know is reputable) but they had a ~98% positive feedback rate which gave me pause.


I had a seller send me the wrong item on aliexpress. It was an IR remote control, they sent an RF remote instead (they look similar but operate completely differently).

I filed a dispute including a video demonstrating the item being wrong.

Aliexpress made them refund half the price, but it was their mistake and the item is of zero use to me, so it didn't feel good. I still order stuff on aliexpress because it's so cheap though...


We went through a similar scam from a hijacked eBay account. Account supposedly USA, they exploited a bug w some kind of UPS international handoff and got more than one bogus delivery from one intl shipment to a different zip code. I had to reverse w eBay as it was obvious fraud. That one sounds tougher but charge it back that is clearly fraud, then tell you State AG that eBay is harboring fraudsters.


Try reddit r/scams


I had the same scam, but with a US gold eagle ($2,000 coin). I filed a report with the postal inspector, but I guess I learned to not buy expensive things online.


I never have, but I've heard about things like this. Often times eBay just doesn't care they really have no incentive to care either. I've had defective items sent to me and when the seller doesn't care eBay for sure doesn't care.

The one way to make sure that everyone cares is always use a credit card when purchasing. Your credit card company works for you and they will always care. Your credit card company doesn't care about eBay or the seller or anyone else but you. File a dispute they will look at all of the evidence eBay will be required to provide counter evidence and if eBay or the seller shipped to the wrong location the credit card company will find in your favor.

Filing a dispute will also be the quickest way for eBay to take notice and attempt to resolve it outside of the dispute process. Because when you file a credit card dispute they immediately pull the money out of the seller's account and issue you a temporary credit back. That's why the credit card dispute process is the best dispute process because filing a dispute with eBay there's no monetary incentive for them to do anything. But when the credit card company yanks the money back now it hit them in their pocketbook and if they do nothing by default it'll be awarded back to you.

I have never lost a credit card dispute process but I also don't dispute very often only in legitimate cases similar to what you described. I've disputed in cases on products that the seller indicates are non returnable but what they shipped is different than what is in the pictures of their posting. The credit card company still finds in my favor and the sellers just out the money.


Yeah, I guess my mistake was to pay with Paypal with money directly pulled from my bank account. Ugh. Ebay owned paypal for 13 years and spun them off a few years ago, but they still seem to be in bed together.


Update: the postmaster in my small town sent me the USPS internal documentation proving the item weighed only 1 oz and went to a totally different address. So either the seller or shipper are committing fraud probably. The seller has not replied to any messages. eBay closed both my dispute and appeal within minutes of opening them. I guess we will see what PayPal does, but I don't have much hope as they are in bed together.


Definitely fraud. Won’t USPS Office of Investigations look into it?


File a Paypal dispute, this is separate from dispusting on ebay

Funny enough, Paypal even tells you not to dispute on ebay

>2. Your order never arrives.

>All you have to do is log in to your account and open a dispute to get the refund process started. If you made the purchase on eBay, start here instead.


Being on the other end of this, PayPal can be quite good with disputing purchases


> eBay just doesn't care and they really have no incentive to care either. Your credit card company works for you and they will always care.

So why does your credit card care? The only reason is because you might cancel your cancel card, or you might use it less often because you perceive it as risky, or you might bad-mouth them to others causing them to lose reputation.

But eBay should care for those same reasons. You might cancel your eBay account, or you might use eBay less often because you perceive it as risky, or you might bad-mouth eBay to others causing them to lose reputation.

I happen to agree with you that complaining to your credit card is more effective than complaining to eBay. But I don't think it's because of the reason you stated. It's some other reason but I'm not sure what.


The reason your credit card company cares more than eBay or PayPal or any of these other non-credit services care about it's twofold. First I do believe it's because you're their customer and there is a lot of competition in the credit and banking industries. eBay doesn't have a lot of effective competition in its area. There are other auction sites and other places to purchase things but not all things are listed everywhere and so you don't have the ability to just pick and choose where you purchase from specially for odd items. For choosing which bank is going to issue your credit card you have many many many choices and they all work about the same and differentiate themselves based upon their extra amenities and services.

The second reason your credit card company cares is because of the Fair credit billing act. It is written into law that they must have this chargeback policies and so forth and these other consumer protections. If it wasn't law would they have them probably not but because it is law they stand behind it and it becomes a feature that they were forced to issue that is a good selling point. Because unlike dispute policies written and enforced by a company all by itself with no law behind it if you disagree with how the dispute is handled by your credit card company you actually have legal protections and legal recourses behind it.


Federal law requires for them to care. Your bank doesn’t love you.