Have I just been scammed on Ebay?

So I was shopping for a memory stick for my camera on Ebay, I bid one one, win it and pay for it via paypal. During the process, I notice that the seller of the item has 0 feedback and is located in China. Hmm, I think, sounds fishy, but it’s a $30 item, and Paypal has me covered for items up to $200, so let’s give it a shot.

A day or so passes, then I receive a bunch of emails from Ebay, indicating the name of the item, and telling me the seller has been suspended and his items removed. Aha! I think, so it was fishy after all. I dutifully file a claim via paypal.

Then, I receive an email from the seller saying that my item has been shipped. Bwuh? I go back and look more closely at the emails from Ebay, and I note that:

While they refer to the name of the item exactly, the item NUMBER doesn’t match the item number of the item I had won.

Nowhere on the email does it refer to the seller by name.

The seller’s account has not been suspended, nor has his items been pulled, as far as I can tell.

So what the hell just happened? Should I withdraw my claim with Paypal? Was this email some kind of scam?

Here is the full text of the email I received:

You may not have been scammed. The seller may indeed be genuine and may have shipped you the item. Only time will tell. I’d log into eBay and go to “My eBay”. There you can see if the item is still listed as a recent auction won by you: if it is, then eBay has not cancelled the auction. In addition, on “My eBay”, check all recent messages to you from eBay to see if there is any problem that eBay is officially telling you. If the messages you got are not also on “My eBay”, then they are scams of some sort.

I checked on ebay - I did indeed receive the messages on My Ebay, but at the same time, it does not appear that the seller’s auctions have been cancelled, either. I thought maybe it had been some other item that I had bid on but did not win, but the title of the item matched the item I DID win exactly.


Check the links in the message…could be a phising attempt if they don’t link to an ebay page…

Have you ever used “Live Help” on eBay? (there’s a link at the very top right on the homepage) I used it the one time my account got hacked and it was a really good experience. They might be able to tell you how to proceed.

Forward a copy of the email to spoof@ebay.com - they’ll tell you whether it was genuine or not. If the transaction hasn’t disappeared from your ‘my eBay’ page, I’d say the email is a malicious hoax or a phishing attempt.