Friday, September 01, 2017

Swapping eBay for Swappa

As with many times in the past I upgraded my mobile phone, and I sought to sell my older model. I erased the phone, cleaned it up, took some pictures, and with eBay's assistance quickly listed the phone. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there's a new minimum guaranteed price feature if a couple required tweaks were applied to the listing. Great I thought to myself the phone was going to sell for even more than I suspected it was going to.

Alright, a week later the eBay listing closese above the minimum. Wait for the buyer to pay. Wait for the buyer to pay. Wait for the buyer to pay. Begin dispute process. Several more days pass, and the listing and fees are nullified by eBay. Agreed that the buyer was bogus, no fees, and relisted, so we're back on our way to selling the phone again.

Several days into the second listing for the phone I am solicited by a buyer via eBay's messaging. The buyer was traveling abroad from their native Netherlands. Send the user an invoice, and they would pay via Paypal directly; oh, and I am supposed to preemptively take down the eBay listing. Take the scammy bait, and I send off a paypal invoice. I get a pretty good looking Paypal payment spoof email, and the address I am supposed to mail the phone is in Nigeria. Log into my Pay Pal account, and there's no balance; clearly this is a scam. I look up all the eBay/Paypal spoof and scam reporting addresses and forward all the correspondences.

Ok, I let the second eBay auction listing go to its natural conclusion. Get a couple questions within the last few minutes by a buyer, and that buyer wins the auction. An hour goes by, two hours go by, a day, and eventually enough time passed without payment to file my third action of trying to sell this phone. Again, the buyer turned out to be a bust, and the item gets relisted for a third time.

Fast forward, there's a winner of the third auction, and this time there's an invoice followed by a successful legit Paypal payment! Great, my money is in escrow, so I go over to UPS, and I send off the phone to Florida. Phone is received by the supposed buyer, and a couple days later the Paypal dispute email comes in -- the buyer's account was reportedly illegitamently used to purchase the phone on eBay. I felt comfortable from the outset because selling through eBay and collecting through Paypal I was covered by Paypal's Seller Protection. Paypal ultimately ruled in favor of the buyer's account and repays the buyer, and I am unaffected by this decision because I sent the phone off in good faith as described and covered by Paypal's protection.

The summary for selling this phone is three auctions, four scams, I'm paid, some rando got my wiped iPhone 6, Paypal bought my phone, and eBay lost a customer. All this took five weeks duration and lots of time dealing with a shitty purchasing ecosystem.

In contrast, after that sale was completely done and past, I needed to purchase another new phone, and I went to Swappa. I looked over the available offerings, and the phones were priced well in a marketplace setting. I purchased a phone, and within a week it arrived in the listed condition. That was easy, and the purchase too was covered by Paypal's protection.

TL;DR I will be going to Swappa in the future for my cell phone exchange needs. eBay is broken.

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