Although millions of people enjoy seamless transactions on eBay, others get scammed out of money. Unfortunately, not all eBay sellers are honest. If you purchased a bigger ticket item using this online auction site and got scammed, there are several options for fighting back.
If you believe that an eBay seller scammed you but are not 100 percent sure, start by trying to contact that person to discuss your concerns. Sometimes, the problem is nothing more than a miscommunication, but if the seller does not respond or responds but refuses to refund your money, you need to take the next step.
Next, you need to notify eBay of the incident and determine if their policy protects your purchase. If not, contact your credit card company or bank right away to see if you can stop the payment or have it reversed. Often, they can unless you made the purchase using a debit card. However, if you paid through PayPal and you get no resolution from your financial institution, you need to file a claim. PayPal has a team of investigators who will track down information and monetary transactions to confirm or deny a claim.
Even when working with PayPal, you should contact your local law enforcement agency. Most police departments have teams that investigate cybercrime, including scams through eBay. They too will conduct an investigation. Depending on the situation, your local police will contact the appropriate agency in the city and state where the seller lives. Sometimes, pressure from the police is enough to get a refund.
If all else fails, you need to seek legal advice from a reputable attorney who specializes in dealing with eBay bid rigging, false advertising, and downright theft. The attorney will first determine if the merchandise that you bought has protection under the law. For instance, if you purchased autographed sports memorabilia, it might be immune to a claim. However, if there is no protection, the attorney may send a cease and desist letter to the eBay seller that also demands a full refund of your money.
If the eBay seller does not do the right thing, you can then file a claim in small claims court for a loss of $5,000 or less, or your attorney can file a civil lawsuit for a monetary loss higher than that. Your attorney will provide guidance throughout the process, and in some instances, the state may charge the seller with a criminal act.
An attorney who specializes in internet crime will not only investigate your legal rights but also weigh the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit. Please note that you must take appropriate action within 45 days of paying for an eBay item. Although frustrating, you have viable options for fighting a dishonest eBay seller. Even if you do not ultimately file a lawsuit, the right attorney can offer advice as to the best way for you to proceed.