I know, exciting stuff.
But I’ll get to that in a later post, for now I just wanted to write about how the small amount of research I’ve done into selling our Bugaboo Cameleon online has completely freaked me out.
I have always assumed that the safest and easiest way to sell a bulky and expensive item like a pushchair is to specify ‘collection only’ and get the buyer to pay through Paypal, because your money is protected through Paypal, right? But it seems that scammers have been using Paypal’s great buyer protection policies to their advantage. To quote from this Ebay guide on selling pushchairs:
“Another scam going is not just for prams but as they are bulky items alot of people will not offer postage/couriers which is understandable..People pay by paypal on collected items, they get the item home and then later open a case with paypal as they have not received the item.You as the seller cannot prove that the item was collected – paypal need a tracking number in all cases – this you do not have if an item is collected! Once again the buyer wins – Paypal is fine for all the genuine ebayers out there but it benefits the fraudsters and not the sellers in the event of a claim”.
Huh? So if I offer my pushchair for collection only, in the event of a dispute I have no proof that the buyer collected the pushchair. As a result, the Ebay guide advises to accept cash only for any ‘collect in person’ sales. But for a Bugaboo Cameleon we are talking a lot of cash, which not only makes me nervous but would surely make any genuine buyer nervous (I’m sure they’d rather pay through Paypal and know that their purchase is protected, I would!)
The other option is to forget ‘collection only’ sales and allow postage on your listing. Use a reliable courier company like Parcelforce, giving you power over tracking the item and certainty that it has been delivered to the buyer. Mark all parts of your pushchair with one of those UV pens, so that in the event that the buyer claims the item was damaged on arrival, you can request they send back the item and check that they have sent your pushchair back and not a different, damaged model that they are trying to replace for free (Yes, apparently this sort of sneaky activity is happening a lot on Ebay at the moment where selling pushchairs is concerned).
We bought our beat-up old Maclaren through Ebay, and the seller gave us a full demonstration when we went to pick it up which I remember thinking was a bit unnecessary. But now I wonder whether she was just trying to cover herself in the event of a claim.
Of course, even by doing everything you can to protect your sale, there is no stopping someone if they decide to completely make up an issue with the item and you could get caught in the Paypal claims process for months before you see any of the money from your sale, even if you know you are in the right. Seeing as we would need this money to pay for our new pushchair, this is time (and money) that we couldn’t afford to lose.
I think at the end of the day, if we decide to sell our Bugaboo, we will have to risk it and hope it all works out. I like to think that after all my years of Ebaying, I would be able to spot a buyer that doesn’t feel right or genuine. I’ve certainly had my fair share of people try to pull scams on Ebay, mess me around with payments, and not follow my strict ‘collection only’ rules. God, I hate Ebay these days.
People have suggested using other sites, pushchair specific sites, Facebook, etc, but as far as I can see, they will all still involve either paying by Paypal or in large amounts of cash and are therefore open to the same possibilities for claim disputes as sales through Ebay.
Honestly, the thought of all this hassle is almost enough to make me want to just stick with our existing pushchair even though I know it’s not best suited to our ‘newborn plus toddler ‘needs.
Would love to know your thoughts on this one.Have you ever sold an expensive item online? Are there any other steps I can take to protect my sale? Am I worrying unnecessarily? ….Does anyone have a double buggy they would like me to review? ; )