I was recently selling some high value consumer electronics on eBay on behalf of a friend.
Due to the excessive weight of these items I decided to post to the UK only, or even to have the buyer collect.
After all, I wouldn’t want their package damaged in transit.
With this in mind, I quite clearly set the auction up with the postage option quite clearly stating UK only.
As expected, I received several emails from prospective buyers asking about the item’s condition, technical specifications, etc.
However, far more people wanted to know if I would ship to Nigeria, Holland, Greece, Russia, etc!
Obviously I declined, even going to the point of posting a couple of these questions, with answers, at the bottom of my listing so that other viewers would get the point (of course that didn’t stop the emails coming in!).
Anyway, the auction duly ran it’s course.
I had to cancel a couple of bids from foreign buyers who bid regardless, but eventually it was won by a new user in the UK.
As ever, I was suspicious of a newly registered eBayer bidding on a high value item but at least they were going to give me a UK address and I NEVER post without receiving cleared payment.
I guess, with my cynical nature, that I should have expected something like the email the buyer then sent me –
I AM WRITING TO INFORM YOU OF WHERE THIS ITEM WILL BE SHIPPED TO .
I WANT THIS ITEM TO BE SHIPPED TO MY SON IN LAW WHO IS CURRENTLY IS WORKING AND RESIDING IN NIGERIA ,THRU THE UNICEF..AS AN HIV / AIDS MEDICAL PRACTITIONER.
I WILL BE MAKING MY PAYMENT VIA MY ONLINE ACCOUNT WITH THE UK POSTAL MONEY ORDER COMPANY AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE TOMMORROW MORNING .
THE PAYMENT WILL BE ISSUED AND SENT IMMEDIATELY TO YOUR ADDRESS .
AS SOON AS THE PAYMENT IS MADE , YOU WILL RECEIVE AN EMAIL CONFIRMATION MESSAGE TO THAT EFFECT FROM THE UK POSTAL MONEY ORDER COMPANY IMMEDIATELY . YOUR PAYMENT WILL BE RELEASED AS SOON AS YOU SEND ITEM TRACKING NUMBER .
ALL I WANT YOU TO DO IS TO GET THIS ITEM SHIPPED OUT TO HIM VIA ROYAL MAIL SIGN FOR PRIORITY EXPRESS SHIPPING …3 TO 5 DAYS SHIPPING .
HERE IS THE SHIPPING ADDRESS :
52 OKESANYA ST.
ZIP CODE :23401.
SO PLEASE GET BACK TO ME NOW WITH THE SHIPPING COST .
WAITING TO HEAR BACK FROM YOU NOW .
A postal money order company in the UK?
Hmmm, never heard of one of those – you just go to the post office, hand your cash over, buy a postal order and send it don’t you?
Interesting that he mentions sending payment immediately then goes on to say that the payment won’t be released until he is notified of the tracking number on the parcel!
He’s also happy to pay before confirming what the shipping cost will actually be. (I have a funny feeling that if I had emailed him he would have accepted any ridiculous amount because he was never going to be paying anyway)
Oh hang on, what’s that address?
Am I stupid?
It goes without saying that this guy got reported to eBay (he’s no longer a registered user… at least not with that particular ebay id anyway).
Selling fees were recouped but I still had the hassle of relisting.
This isn’t the only one either.
From 11 listings I received 108 emails from either buyers or prospective buyers asking me to post abroad, despite the fact I only post within the UK.
I also received offers to end auctions early for more than the items were worth but that’s another story….