I had my first experience of being ripped off by an eBay seller today, after buying 2 tickets for Coldplay at the O2.
Having used eBay for six years, everything has always gone smoothly in both buying and selling and, like most eBay buyers, I checkout the profiles of those I'm buying from in depth. How long they've been on eBay counts for a lot, and whether there is any negative feedback.
This time, the seller had 23 positive feedback messages as a seller of concert tickets and looked trustworthy therefore. However, as the concert gets closer and the tickets hadn't arrived, I went onto eBay to send the seller a message and was told that they had been removed from the service.
I sent eBay a message to report the seller and my lack of fulfillment, and got a message back saying that eBay is only liable for claims and coverage of sales unfulfilled for a maximum of 60 days from the auction date.
I had paid by PayPal, so I reported this as a claim to PayPal who said they would follow it up.
The next thing I get is an email from "Davey" on eBay, saying that he's with the police and wants to know about my bid with "Frankie", the seller of the Coldplay tickets that are yet to arrive.
So I reply with details and my telephone number and get a call this morning from PC Davey, who tells me they caught this woman who has been fraudulently dealing on eBay. He thought she had ripped off folks to the tune of about £4,000, but got a long list from eBay this week of additional buyers and the total was more like £10,000.
She's in jail now, apparently, and would I fill in forms for compensation.
So I ask, "is compensation likely?"
"I can't tell you", he says. "All I can say is that she has no car or house and hardly any money in her personal bank accounts. She does have a business bank account, so if we can get into that then maybe."
In other words, unlikely.
The interesting aspect of this is that eBay takes no action or liability after 60
days. The words they use are:
since the listing ended more than 60 days ago, you can no longer open a case in
the eBay Resolution Centre ...
We feel that
60 days is a fair amount of time for the buyer and seller to try to resolve the
problem. It also allows for difficulties with the postal service and personal
I don't agree.
If eBay is offering a service that includes buying tickets for concerts months in advance, then they should be accountable for fulfillment.
eBay also claim to offer an insurable protection of up to £500 for purchases made through PayPal, as is this order. In the case of a fraudulent seller such as this, I expect to see that protection provided. We shall see what happens on that front.
Equally, the fraudster was darned stupid, as they were bound to get caught using bank accounts linked to PayPal, or so PC Davey tells me. Thank heavens for PayPal I guess.
I'll let you know if I get compensation but, all in all, this case proves to me that eBay is robust, just a bit flakey about selling tickets online, so in future I'll use Viagogo or Getmein.
Meantime, if anyone has 2 Coldplay tickets spare, please let me know :-)
Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...