Does this sound like a scam? (eBay/Paypal auction)

I just sold an item on eBay, and as it is a somewhat high priced item (just went for $1525), I am a little wary of scams. I haven’t used eBay in some time, so I’d love for some Dopers to tell me what they think about this:

It’s an Alienware Notebook, and the winning bidder, despite my saying that I would only ship within the US (the person who bid is actually IN the US, but wants me to ship it elsewhere). I prefer to use Paypal, and she’s going to pay me that way. This is the note she sent me after she won:

She then gives me an address for someone in Nigeria.

Is this fishy, or am I just being overly paranoid? The reserve for this item has been met, and she’s getting set to send me the payment through Paypal right now. She’s paying the extra for shipping - is someone going to get burned here? Or is she just legitimately new to this whole thing?

Tell me about PayPal. Once the money hits your account it’s yours? Or, is it like a checking account… where a check has to clear, and even if it does clear, it might really not clear.

The point is, that I’ve heard a number of people get screwed out of things because money is put, and then removed, from an account. In the meantime, you’ve mailed the machine and it’s gone.

I also have a red flag with the Africa and Nigeria thing. I don’t know why, but a lot of these things seem to have some sort of an international flavor to it.

It sounds like a scam to me. But, if you are confident that when that money hits your PayPal account, it’s yours, then the risk is minimal.

But if your gut is telling you something, it’s probably good to proceed with caution.

There is no online or mail based transactional payment system in existence that the Nigerians have not figured out how to scam somehow, Paypal can easily take the money out of your account when the fraud is discovered days or weeks from now. Even if they have good feedback they have probably phished the password of a good account and hijacking it to use in their scams.

I would never ship any thing to Nigeria ever unless I had delivered cash currency in hand, and even them I’d check to make sure the money isn’t counterfeit.

Bottom line chances (IMO) are 99.99% that you’re being set up for a fleecing. DO NOT ship the notebook. Cancel the sale and get a sale credit and re-list it with a strong admonition that you will not be shipping overseas.

We all want to think well of others, but when selling online the best policy is caution and the word “Nigeria” is the reddest of red flags.

I would tell her it’s a shame she didn’t read the auction fully, but that you will only ship within the US. Therefore, you’ll be happy to ship it to her, and then SHE can ship it to Nigeria herself. If that’s not acceptable, cancel her win and offer it to the next highest bidder or repost it (whatever the rules are for ebay, I don’t know). But no, I wouldn’t ship it to Nigeria.

Even if she agrees to US shipment I still wouldn’t send it. Even if it’s sent in the US paypal can still pull the credit if the transaction is determined to be fraudlent, and you’re still out the notebook. The request to ship to Nigeria makes the whole thing stink like a scam. Get a listing and sale credit and find another buyer.

DEFINATELY A SCAM elizer_bethy is withholding their feedback scores.

Contact ebay security center with the email you received and posted here, ask to sell to the second buyer portmagi who looks legit. Let ebay security guide you, but whatever you do don’t post the item to elizer_bethy untill you have the greenbacks in your hands.

This is the scamiest scam that ever scammed scam.
Do whatever steps are needed for the next highest bidder to be the winning bidder (second chance, or something like that, it’s called) and report that user with a copy of the email to their fruad department.

Scam Scam Scam, if there is no way for her to be scamming you out of money, she may file a claim saying she never got the goods, and you would probably have to pay her back- I doubt it is possible to isure a package to Nigeria. If the item selling price is not a huge bargain, why the hell would she not buy him a new one?
As said above, for any transaction, the Nigerians have found a way to scam it. If you had the money in legal US cash in your hand and all the accounts you used were checked and closed I still wouldn’t do it- and when you have a second highest bid that you are ok with- no way.

Thanks, all. My gut doesn’t usually talk to me unless it wants pizza, so that should have been my first heads up. Always good to get a better perspective on it - having not used eBay in sometime, naturally, I worry a bit about the all-dreaded negative feedback. :rolleyes: Also, I wanted to make sure my bullshit meter wasn’t just pinging because of all those Nigerian emails we all see so often.

I sent all the information to eBay security, and wrote a polite response to the high bidder “regretfully” informing her that my terms were violated and I would not be able to sell her the item.

Turns out my second highest bidder is in Canada, and though that also violated my terms, I’m more flexible within North America, so might have been willing to work something out, but then he wrote to me and said he had no idea he’d actually be this close to winning and was going to be leaving town on business for a couple of weeks and wouldn’t be able to pay me until he got back. Well, shit, people.

Frankly, I think I’m tired of eBay. :dubious:

You could just ship Mr. Nigeria a ‘P-P-P-Powerbook.’

I’d bet it’s a scam. Those Nigerian cons are getting more creative. I recently posted about a local woman who was on our news. She was a professional looking for a job. She was contacted by a Nigerian Co. who claimed to be expanding into the U.S. They offered to hire her as their rep. and the salary they proposed was impressive. She took the bait and it turned out to be the same old check scam. She rec’d. a couple of big checks and was told to deposit them and send a cashiers check to Nigeria, she fell for that too and that was the last she heard from them.
If it says Nigeria, I stop reading.

You may also be breaking federal regulations about technology and software that can’t be shipped there. Have you ever read the license for the high security encryption pack from microsoft? You originaly could only download the 128 bit encyption pack after filling out an online form for where you lived, and agreeing not to export it to almost every country. They said the federal government wouldn’t allow them to send the pack unless you filled out the form.

You might not get burned, but you should stick to the auction requirements, that it will not be shipped outside the U.S.A.

Who am I kidding, there’s not a chance in Hell that you won’t get burned.

Just wanted to thank you guys - it smelled like a scam, and indeed it was. I reported the entire transaction to eBay, and, surprise surprise, the user is no longer registered. Never got another email from them, either. Good enough for me. Also, eBay just wrote back to tell me that I received my Final Value Fee back because of it, and hoped I wasn’t soured on using them because of my bad experience. That was nice.

As many years as I’ve been using the internet, I still sometimes need to double check to make sure I’m not being scammed, or whether that rat I smell is real or just my own armpits. Thanks, Dopers. :cool: