I am the subject of an ebay ripoff

For an item received not as described, ebay says “eBay facilitates a communication process between the buyer and the seller.”

Doesn’t seem wildly promising.

Might work- my son bought sneakers through ebay, they turned out to be counterfeit, the seller admitted it during the dispute process, and after I escalated it to a claim , buyer protection reimbursed me some of the cost.

Doesn’t this count as fraud? That would be a criminal complaint, not civil. Hit him with that and see what happens.

I once bought a pair of NHT SuperOne speakers with no tweeters on Ebay. They were supposedly in excellent condition. The seller said “I didn’t say they came with tweeters.” I wrote a lengthy complaint, citing NHT specifications that established that the definition of a Superone was a 2-way bookshelf speaker with a 6.5" woofer and a 1" soft dome tweeter, and what I got were thus not Superones. I got a refund in a reasonable time, but the she still acted like I was being unreasonable.

I think it’s criminal too, so I have sent him am email threatening him with legal action. I demanded a reply by this evening, but nothing so far.

Amazing! I have had a reply:

What do you think: genuine or not?

All fine and good, but there’s no way I’d wait almost eight weeks to resolve this. I’d want my money back or the right laptop within a week.

That’s just what I told him.

I’m waiting for him to get back to me.

Could be genuine, however I would assume not. The longer you wait, the less options you have available to you. Demand an immediate refund.

I’ve sold a bunch of notebooks on ebay. There are a few possibilties here.

1: He’s selling it for a friend and the friend mis-stated the laptop parameters

2: He made an honest mistake in the listing, but this is difficult to believe as notebooks are pricey units, and he knows (apparently) you got the wrong notebook, and (bizarrely) has tried to convince you that they’re the same.

Assuming (best case non-scam scenario) that he was sloppy and screwed up and is now trying not too take too much of a haircut on the deal you need to proceed cartefully.

Unless he’s a retailer it is extremely unlikely he has the notebook he advertised & you want, so stop asking him to make good on the item. It’s not going to happen. YOU NEED TO GET YOUR MONEY BACK- PERIOD!

Selling on behalf of other people used to be against eBay rules (years ago, when someone tried to pull this crap on me). In my case, nothing was delivered at all (it wasn’t a very big purchase). Then he tried to palm me off on some “friend” who was the “real seller” (later saying “it’s not my fault he doesn’t read his mail”) I logged a complaint with eBay, and got a refund after they contacted him. Of course, he copped an attitude to the end.

You relied on HIS rating/reviews (not the zreo rating of his ‘friend’). HE posted the auction, and HE accepted your bid, sealing the deal. HE is responsible. I know a lot of people who won’t touch a deal from a low-feedback seller at all. (and that’s giving him a huge benefit of a doubt on his “friend”)

The rest of the details “out of the country”, “selling for a friend”, using third party account info, “will be back in 2 months” (too late to complain to eBay – or Paypal, had you used it) all sound like classic scam lines to me. Even according to his version, the “error” is his, not yours, and you deserve immediate action-- but if I read your complain correctly, he acknowledged listing a false model number, which makes it a fraudulent listing. If “they are the same” why not list the right one?

This bears repeating:

Unless your latest round of emails results in a happy outome for you (I’m not holding my breath) by tomorrow (Friday), I would immediately advise you to tell this person that you were given incorrect information, he has not been able to recitify what you were told you were buying with what you were sold, and that you want a full and immediate refund. I would then begin looking for legal services on the next business day.
Dude, either this guys is terminally stupid or he is trying to rip you off.

Once again, good luck.

I’ve just got this email from him:

This implies he doesn’t have the correct laptop. But does it imply I’m actually going to get my refund?

Just out of interest, the listed laptop is available retail for £1299, and the one he sent me for £999, so it’s not the world’s most adventurous ripoff.

If eBay mediation of SNAD process does not resolve it to your satisfaction, you can escalate it to the next level (eBay Standard Purchase Protection Program) - the next item in that grid on the linked page

Might I recommend posting details of the problem on the eBay UK community Q&A board? - the folks there have quite a good nose for this sort of thing and will probably be able to tell you whether you’re being fed a standard spiel. They’ll also be able to give you ebay-specific remediation advice.

Thanks for the advice. I wasn’t aware of the board before.

Yes you can. It’s a federal crime, but you don’t need more to do it.

I’m sure this is not possible in the UK; all you need to give someone to enable them to send you money by bank transfer is branch sort code and account number; this is insufficient information to make a withdrawal, indeed, attempting to do so will at best simply result in polite refusal.

For a UK seller, you may get protection from the ‘Distance Selling Regulations 2005’


Here is oneplace to start.


To the OP; I’m not sure whether the communications you’ve received from the seller/account holder are in earnest or if they’re just an attempt to string you along; in any case, I would recommend that you tell him that further delay is completely unacceptable; that he should resolve the situation to your satisfaction within, say, four days or that you will initiate proceedings for fraud.
In terms of the kind of ‘satisfaction’ you should be seeking, IMO, I would keep the laptop and push for a partial refund of whatever value you feel is appropriate to make up the difference in price. If the machine is of insufficient spec for you to use, then you can resell it once the current issue is resolved.
If offered a return/refund deal, do not under any circumstances part with the hardware until and unless you have a full refund of your payment in your grubby mitts (in which case make sure you receive the refund by a method that cannot be recalled or revoked) - for example, bank transfer, which cannot be recalled after 24 hours have passed.