So over the past 2-3 months Ive been learning about how things go wrong on EBay. Over the past few years Ive been able to sell my older iPhones on eBay and generally had no problem recovering most or all of what I had paid for the phone. To all those people who have bad things to say about the iPhone, it does seem to have remarkable resale value. In fact you could actually run a small business buying and reselling new iPhones on eBay for more than you paid. I suspect theres a bit of a black/grey market for iPhones in countries where its not for sale.
With that said I decided to do a favor for my friend who had some older iPhones collecting dust. I volunteered to put them for sale on eBay. The first iPhone sold as expected like all iPhones on eBay. iPhones are really just commodity items that always sell, no matter if they are broken. Then I put a second iPhone for sale and it sold above its original value. But then the buyer complained about a major defect. And so trying to keep my good eBay ratings, I promptly settled a return using up 3 weeks of time, and losing out on shipping costs. I also learned a lot about the intricacies of all the special procedures you need to follow with eBay and PayPal to achieve a proper return. Then I put the same imperfect iPhone for sale again on eBay. It sold for a bit less, but still a good price. But then the buyer never paid. I learned that the buyer was new to eBay, in fact only 2 hours new. I then wasted another 2 weeks figuring out how to handle a non paying buyer properly. Now this past week I sold the same iPhone again, and it sold for even more.
Hooray! Finally! Then the buyer tells me hell pay me an extra $100 if I rush ship to his friend in Africa. He also follows up with the fact that he just got sent to work on an oil rig in Belize so I cant ship direct to his US address. I decline his offer and he replies trying to convince me to go forward with the deal. Within a couple of hours eBay sends me a notice that theyve cancelled the buyers account because of fraud. I then spend another hour with eBay customer support working thru the proper protocols so I get refunded my selling fee. eBay charges your credit card a percentage of the winning bid no matter if you get paid or not, so you need to follow special protocols to get refunded if the winning buyer refuses to pay or you may not get refunded.
Now I am back to square one, putting an iPhone for sale on eBay, hoping that another fraudulent buyer doesnt mess things up again. And here I was looking so forward to proudly handing my friend a nice chunk of cash and seeing the smile on his face. Is eBay filled with fraudulent bidders or am I just unlucky.