I know I usually write about travel and travel related topics, but what recently has happened to me was so outrageous, that I thought I needed to share the story with the World. ebay international buying
I have been a big fan of EBay and I do lots of shopping on EBay, even though everyone shops on Amazon these days. I believe in the sharing economy and I want to help people, who try to make a small income from selling their goods on the platform. However, after this last incident, I wont shop on EBay ever again and I warn all my dear readers to avoid EBay as well.
About EBay for those, who dont use it: Some seller on the other side of the World posts his item for sale. EBay expects the seller to provide accurate description of the item. Then, you can buy it or bid on it and in the end, you can make the purchase using PayPal. You dont know who the seller is and your payment information is hidden by PayPal. PayPal also offers a 180 money back guarantee, but it s complete BS.
Here is My Story:
I bought a New&Sealed Factory Unlocked GOOGLE Pixel 2 Black 64GB Android Mobile Smartphone on EBay on January 10th from seller t-gadget located in Malaysia for £355 ($452).
I was super excited about my new phone for a four month until the screen went blank and it stopped working. ebay international buying
The New Phone Turned Out to Be a Refurbished One
After, I opened the phone and noticed that the cover plate display connector was missing. See 1:57 of the video of what it should look like inside the phone: ebay international buying
The connector would have held the LCD screen connector to the body of the phone, but because it was missing, the LCD screen connector moved from the body and it stopped working. I took it to a store and they told me that it was a refurbished phone that s why it was missing.
I went on Reddit and read about other customers, who had the same problem, with their phones. They sold them refurbished phones on EBay and these phones stopped working soon afterwards. https://www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/9f8k4r/og_pixel_static_screen_unresponsive_bootloop_no/
Then I checked the box of the phone and I realized that the box was not sealed. It is the first sign that it was a refurbished phone, but it didn’t occur to me in the beginning. Soon after I ordered another phone from Google and the phone was sealed with a tape. So I was deceived by a seller on EBay.
Returned the Phone to The Merchant, Who Disappeared with It
Since, an important part of the phone was missing, because of poor refurbishment, I got in touch with the seller, who said that he would replace the phone and basically admitted that it was a refurbished phone. I sent the merchant the phone for replacement and after that I was never able to contact him again. I received the following message on EBay, when I tried sending him an email: You are attempting to communicate about an invalid item. So, I assume the merchant blocked me. So at this point I was phoneless and I lost my £355.
I contacted EBay and PayPal, because I received a phone that was not as described and PayPal’s buyers protection program is supposed to help out customers in such cases, however I learned that this wasn’t the case.
My case was refused twice by PayPal, the customer service representative told me that I could have removed the part inside the phone to claim my money back. It was a shock to me to hear something like this, after I sent them photos of the non-sealed box and the phone with a missing part inside. After this, I contacted EBay again, they told me that only PayPal can refund my money at this point.
This seller is in Malaysia and even if I go to the police, they won’t be able to take action against somebody, who is in a different continent. PayPal and EBay facilitates cross country payments and offer buyers protection, however it is clear to me, that PayPal is not protecting customers against fraud.
What’s Left To Do?
So, I m not the kind of person, who will let this go, so I decided to go after this fraudster and sent a legal letter to PayPal sending them my evidence and demanding my money back from the seller. I gave them a month to respond, if I don’t hear from them, the letter will be sent to court. It is my first time to take anyone to court, but I m determined to take this case as far as I can to get my money back, because I was an innocent victim of a fraud and I want to make sure the World knows about this incident and people will stop using PayPal and EBay.
Do not buy anything valuable on EBay. Only buy electronics from the company that produces it. So if you want to buy an Apple product, purchase it on their website. Don’t trust EBay or PayPal. Avoid them at any cost.