Just over 45 days ago, I sold my ancient, broken-down (but still mostly functional) 2006 MacBook to a guy in Nigeria. I had it listed on eBay, and I kept getting zero-feedback winners who backed out each time (grrr…). I finally made a second-chance offer, and it was accepted - by a guy in Nigeria. I had specified in the listing that is was US only, but I thought “what the hell - if he wants to pay for the shipping, why not.” So, I invoiced him for the $52 laptop with $76 of shipping, and he paid via PayPal promptly.
Shipping to Nigeria does not come with tracking, at least not for the $76 I paid. So, I waited each day for him to file some type of complaint. And, the days passed, one by one, until the magic 45 day limit had come and gone (45 days is the limit under which a buyer can file a complaint with eBay).
So, I think I beat the odds, and I guess this just proves that not everyone is a scammer in Nigeria.
It’s actually kind of sad that a whole country’s reputation can be defined by the (maybe not so few) bad apples that lurk the Internet.
Do you remember the P-P-P-POWERBOOK! story that went around from 10 years ago? A guy was selling his real PowerBook on eBay. When a scammer tried scamming him out of it with a fake escrow account, he sent the scammer a three ring binder with P-P-P-POWERBOOK! written on the cover and FireWire ports drawn on the side with a Sharpie, old keyboard keys glued on…