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I got scammed??
May 14, 2012 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Did I just get scammed on Ebay?

I ordered Optimum Nutrition Mint Chocolate protein shake from ebay because I found a great deal and it was pretty cheap with free shipping! Unlike bodybuilding.com, it was a bit more expensive. Anyways, I decided to buy from the ebay person.


On May 7th, I received a protein shake Optimum Nutrition Mint Chocolate. I thought it may have been from the ebay seller but it was from bodybuilding.com! I was thinking, "This is crazy...$50? I didn't buy this from bodybuilding!" So I called bodybuilding on that receipt to make sure the charge wasn't on my credit card. They told me the credit card last digits but it didn't match mine. They told me that I had received a stolen product and that I have the choice to send it back or pay for it 20% off. I was thinking 20% off was a good deal so I chose to buy it.

Over a week later, I decided to check back on my protein purchase from Ebay. I looked at the tracking # and it said it was already delivered only I had never received it. I'm so confused. I think it's very fishy that I had received a protein shake that same day from Bodybuilding....So that means I paid two times for one shake!!

Besides, that seller has good ratings but never responded to my messages. I'm worried that this was a scam only I can't prove it because it said it had already been delivered to my door!! I never saw the protein shake from the ebay seller...

What do I do?? I can't prove this!!!
posted by Asian_Hunnie to Law & Government (39 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Also, Bodybuilding is a well known active site with a good reputation. Please help me...this doesn't sound right =(
posted by Asian_Hunnie at 11:40 AM on May 14, 2012


I would call your credit card company.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:40 AM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is it possible that the eBay seller had credits or a discount with bodybuilding.com (i.e., employee discount), sells the product at a profit on eBay, and then has bodybuilding.com fill the order?

Personally, if I ordered on eBay and received THE EXACT ITEM from someone else on the day it was supposed to be delivered, I'd assume the product I received was the product I ordered, regardless of its provenance.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:44 AM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


But how can I prove this? =( My ebay said that the tracking # shows the product was delivered. But doesn't this sound extremely fishy that I happen to have the same product from a reputable company that same day?
posted by Asian_Hunnie at 11:44 AM on May 14, 2012


You called the number of the receipt. Is that number on their website as well?
posted by jwells at 11:45 AM on May 14, 2012


Is it possible that the eBay seller had credits or a discount with bodybuilding.com (i.e., employee discount), sells the product at a profit on eBay, and then has bodybuilding.com fill the order?

They could also somehow be using the bodybuilding.com affiliate program, which pays back 15% for new customers.

They told me that I had received a stolen product and that I have the choice to send it back or pay for it 20% off. I was thinking 20% off was a good deal so I chose to buy it.

I think you were screwed once you paid here. Now bodybuilding.com has two payments for the same order, but nothing to tie them together, so no reason to refund them. At best, the eBay seller can possibly refund you the money based on the item they ordered never getting delivered to you.
posted by smackfu at 11:52 AM on May 14, 2012


I don't understand why you paid bodybuilding for the product. Were they going to send the cops to your house? If they had payment information (i.e. last 4 digits of card that was used to buy product), it wasn't stolen. Someone bought it from them and sent it to you at a lower price (which probably violates bodybuildings policy but is not what i'd call a scam)

This seems pretty straightforward.
posted by sarahnicolesays at 11:52 AM on May 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fishy? No. You ordered it from person on eBay. For whatever reason, they fulfilled the order via Bodybuilder.com (again, probably because they had a discount/coupon/credit; whether this is consistent with their policies is not your problem). You called them up, and they said it had been paid for with another credit card (in all likelihood, your eBay seller). Then you offered to pay again.

Bodybuilder.com is not just randomly sending you the exact item you ordered from the eBay seller.

So, yes, it seems like you may have paid twice. I'm not sure who will take sympathy on your situation to give you a refund, but call your credit company (but given that you agreed to pay at the 20% discount, I'm not sure they'll be in a position to help you).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:52 AM on May 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


*sent it to you at a higher price. They paid less and made a profit.
posted by sarahnicolesays at 11:53 AM on May 14, 2012


Bodybuilding got scammed and you got scammed it would seem by the ebay seller. They likely had someone buy product from them with a stolen credit card. So now Bodybuilding doesn't have the money for the product it shipped to you. So of course they'll want to recoup their loss by charging someone for it....and you did it.

At least that's my guess for what happened.
posted by inturnaround at 11:56 AM on May 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think you guys are understand what I'm talking about. The two are not connected.
I talked to a staff of bodybuilding.com and they said

" The Fraudulant person uses someone else's credit card to purchase from our site. Once they purchase the products they then sell them on ebay as if they were there own to make a profit in cash.
Swoll Joel: And they send you the box that we sent them
Swoll Joel: Which is why it says bodybuilding.com
Swoll Joel: But it does not have anything to do with us."
posted by Asian_Hunnie at 11:56 AM on May 14, 2012


That's exactly what I (and other people) said happened.

Bodybuilding fulfilled the order to someone else. That person sent it to you. The payment method they used is irrelevant to you. It was paid for once - you should not have paid again. It was probably purchased with another card that was linked to a discount rate.

Where is the confusion here?
posted by sarahnicolesays at 12:03 PM on May 14, 2012


Asian_Hunnie: "They told me that I had received a stolen product and that I have the choice to send it back or pay for it 20% off."

In the future, if the package arrives by US postal service (rare, these days, I know), you can direct them to the USPS policy on unsolicited merchandise.
posted by radwolf76 at 12:03 PM on May 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Do you still have the box the protein powder came in? Is there a tracking # on the box? Does the tracking # match the tracking # provided by the seller on ebay/paypal?

If so, then call your credit card company and dispute the payment you made directly to bodybuilding.com, because they're getting paid twice for one shipment of protein powder.
posted by de void at 12:04 PM on May 14, 2012


Asian_Hunnie: the problem is you called up body.com, alerted them to this and agreed to pay.

You did not, AFAWK, order the same protein from ebay and body.com so that you would have expected to get two parcels, no? Why should anyone send you randomly stuff you did not order/pay?
The shipping # you can see in your ebay history should be somewhere on the parcel, if I am not mistaken.
posted by travelwithcats at 12:06 PM on May 14, 2012


What do you mean the two are not connected? They're directly connected. The shake you received is the one the ebay seller ordered from bodybuilder.com on your behalf, apparently using a stolen credit card.
posted by ook at 12:08 PM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


You received a Bodybuilding.com product. According to the return address on the box, was it shipped from Bodybuilding.com? If so, then the Bodybuilding.com staffer you spoke to was mistaken ("And they send you the box that we sent them"-- not true), and you should correct them and escalate the situation until it is resolved.
posted by acidic at 12:11 PM on May 14, 2012


Did they have any evidence the cc # was stolen? There's all sorts of reasons someone might sell something on ebay that they previously bought legitimately.
posted by brainmouse at 12:12 PM on May 14, 2012


I don't think you guys are understand what I'm talking about. The two are not connected.

I think how it works is you order cheap shake mix from eBay Seller. eBay Seller uses stolen credit card to purchase shake mix from bodybuilding.com and have it shipped to you. Seller now has money from you for no cost to themselves, and you have shake mix paid for with stolen CC.

I presume this slightly convoluted scam means that a) they keep a good eBay record (because their customers receive their orders OK), and b) they are not connected to the fraudulent CC transactions (because nothing is sent to them).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:12 PM on May 14, 2012


Okay, so what do you think I should do? I feel like you guys are basically saying that it's my fault and I should just know better next time. Damn, call be an idiot, naive, or whatever but this has never happened to me before. It's not the same tracking # as the one from ebay either.

All I'm asking is, what do you think I should do? It isn't right that I paid for the same thing twice.
posted by Asian_Hunnie at 12:13 PM on May 14, 2012


I don't think that Bodybuilding.com has any proof that the person who sold you the protein powder stole a credit card to pay for it. That is a leap of logic.
The eBay seller sold you protein powder which s/he bought. You know s/he purchased it from Bodybuilding.com, so it wasn't stolen goods. It was paid for by the seller, and you paid the seller, and you got your goods.

I once won an auction for an iPod shuffle on eBay, which arrived at my house brand-new in an Amazon box. I almost didn't open it because I hadn't ordered anything from Amazon, but I did, and there was my iPod Shuffle. The eBay auction finished at less than the going rate on Amazon, and clearly Amazon had been paid.

It is weird, I'll grant you, but there is plenty of reason to believe that both of our transactions were entirely legal up until the point when you paid Bodybuilding.com twice for the same protein powder. That's where it went wrong.
posted by aabbbiee at 12:14 PM on May 14, 2012


Of course it's not right, the only think I think you can do it file a complaint with eBay. Bodybuilder.com may not care who did it as they got their money from you, but maybe they care enough to find out that this was a serial scammer.

But be prepared to eat the cost of the second phantom protein.
posted by inturnaround at 12:15 PM on May 14, 2012


It was about $8 cheaper. I didn't know it was stolen =( So am I really the culprit here?
posted by Asian_Hunnie at 12:16 PM on May 14, 2012


I don't think that Bodybuilding.com has any proof that the person who sold you the protein powder stole a credit card to pay for it.

They would if the original cardholder noticed that they were being charged for items they didn't order and reported their card stolen. Happens all the time where the initial transaction goes through, the item gets shipped but the seller doesn't get the money from the CC company because the card was then reported stolen.
posted by inturnaround at 12:17 PM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didn't know it was stolen =( So am I really the culprit here?

Not at all. But you were going to be the beneficiary of something illegal even if you were unaware of it. I'd argue that you didn't have to pay Bodybuilding.com for anything and have them fight it out with the ebay seller, though.
posted by inturnaround at 12:19 PM on May 14, 2012


This is what might have happened (I'm making up numbers):

1.You bought the product from ebay seller for $25.00.

2. ebay seller then buys the product from bodybuilding.com for $20.00 and has it shipped to you. The ebay seller probably had some sort of discount.

3. You received the product - and it looks like it came straight from bodybuilding.com (which it did) because the ebay seller ordered it on your behalf.

4. The ebay seller made $5.00 on the purchase.

5. You call up bodybuilding.com confused that you received the product straight from them.

6. Bodybuilding.com checks the credit card receipt. It does not match yours because it is actually the ebay seller's card/card they used/card they stole.

7. For some reason bodybuilding.com thought the card used to purchase the product was stolen. Therefore, you received stolen property.

8. Bodybuilding.com gave you a choice to return the goods or get a discount on the product.

9. You took the discount and yes, really paid twice for one item.

You are not naive. This really sucks. Have you used/opened the product? Can you call up bodybuilding.com, explain what happened, tell them you've changed your mind and will return the stuff?

I don't know what to do about your original ebay order, though, because I think it did arrive - just that it arrived straight from bodybuilding.com and apparently was purchased using a stolen cc.
posted by Sassyfras at 12:20 PM on May 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think you're stuck with this, unless you can get some traction with your credit card company/bank, or unless you can call Bodybuilding.com back and convince them to refund you the second amount.

They would if the original cardholder noticed that they were being charged for items they didn't order and reported their card stolen. Happens all the time where the initial transaction goes through, the item gets shipped but the seller doesn't get the money from the CC company because the card was then reported stolen.

I don't see that this has happened here. I see that Bodybuilding.com asked if the OP's credit card matched the buyer's credit card, and it wouldn't even if the card was legit and not stolen.
posted by aabbbiee at 12:22 PM on May 14, 2012


Dispute the charges with your credit card company/PayPal.

Leave horrible feedback on the eBay sellers site.

File a complaint with eBay.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:38 PM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, the ebay seller gave you a shipping #. A parcel with that number did never arrive, right? (Double check the # on the box). Although the online tracker says it arrived at your house - does it say it was signed for? Could it be at a neighbor's?
Then try to get your money back from both.
posted by travelwithcats at 12:41 PM on May 14, 2012


Googling "bodybuilding.com ebay scam" pulled up similar complaints to yours, it's apparently been a big enough issue for bodybuilding.com that the website retained the services of a fraud detection company specifically to deal with eBay vendors using fraudulent or stolen credit cards to dropship product to unsuspecting buyers.

Were I in your shoes, I would file a fraud report with eBay and (assuming you paid with them) Paypal in an effort to retrieve the money you paid to the eBay seller. For now, you're going to have to assume that money is gone, that first link I posted above shows that your situation will be difficult to explain to ebay/paypal even without the added complication of your voluntarily agreeing to pay bodybuilder.com.

As a separate transaction, decide if you want to keep your Minty Chocolate powder with its 20% discount that you have also paid for. If you don't want to keep it, you could return it to bodybuilding.com but you might have to pay for the return shipping costs.

I guess in the future, steer clear of buying this sort of product from eBay as it seems like it's a common target for scammers. Also, consumables from eBay, eww.
posted by jamaro at 12:54 PM on May 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


s/powder/shake
posted by jamaro at 12:57 PM on May 14, 2012


Jamaro is right. Your course of action should be to file a dispute with Paypal to try to get your money back from the eBay seller, and buy direct from bodybuilding.com in the future. Was all this extra hassle worth the money you saved?
posted by MegoSteve at 1:29 PM on May 14, 2012


It was about $8 cheaper. I didn't know it was stolen =( So am I really the culprit here?

As a buyer, I can tell you it's unlikely you're get your money back by demanding anything. And since you don't have any leverage as an individual consumer (big corporations hold all the power in transactions like this) you're unlikely to get your money back. I think your best course of action is to call Bodybuilders collections department but don't tell them this long story (it's complicated and will just raise red flags). Instead, say that you ordered product both from them and from an authorized reseller, and that due to confusion on your part about who was going to ship the product, Bodybuilder never sent the product out. Most likely, they will look up the credit card charge to confirm that you were billed, then transfer you to customer service, who will look up the tracking information, see that nothing ship, and send you another batch of the same product. Not quite your best option, but as least you get something rather than nothing.

I have to say, you really did yourself a disservice by offering to pay. Never offer to pay for something - it's a surefire way to get double-billed. You should have asked them to prove that the vendor wasn't an authorized reseller before allowing yourself to get charged like that. The onus was legally on them to do so.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 2:30 PM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would contact your credit card company and tell them that bodybuidling.com misled you (which is true since they had no authority to demand payment from you) and the charge on your credit card to bodybuilding.com is therefor fraudulent. It sucks for bodybuilding.com if someone is reselling their products illegally (if that's even what's happened here), but the answer for them is not to take money directly from you.

You could also report to eBay, and try to get money back from the seller in principle, but that seems like a much less effective way to get what you deserve, which is a refund on one of two of your purchases.
posted by grog at 3:29 PM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why not pursue this with eBay? It appears the seller sent you stolen goods.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 4:42 PM on May 14, 2012


After so many calls, I actually do think I would get my money back on this one. I'm not so stressed about it anymore. Oh, btw, the tracking # on Bodybuilding was the same one on ebay.
posted by Asian_Hunnie at 6:42 PM on May 14, 2012


What the ebay seller did is called drop shipping, and many reputable websites like amazon.com and walmart.com do it, it's a very common practice. Instead of carrying the inventory themselves, the just recieve your order and have someone else send it straight to you, instead of to them and then to you.

bodybuilding.com may be in the wrong here. The product was paid for (by the ebay vendor), they knew it was paid for, even told you that it was paid for. Of course, it very well could be that they tried explaining that it was paid for, and you convinced them otherwise, or that they decided it was easier to let you pay for it again because you wouldn't accept that it was paid for.
posted by BurnChao at 5:10 AM on May 15, 2012


I was just coming in to say what BurnChao said first. I have some prints listed on eBay and will be using my printer to drop ship them when they sell.

There's no inventory taking up space in my house. There's no upfront investment on inventory since it doesn't exist until I order it. And if the buyer somehow finds out who my printer is and wants to check something against their card, the printer won't have any record of them ordering because as far as the printer cares the customer never ordered anything.
posted by theichibun at 8:48 AM on May 15, 2012


Re-reading the question more, there's two different ways this could be. Unfortunately, from the structure of the statements each time you mention the price difference, its open to interpretation. "Unlike bodybuilding.com, it was a bit more expensive." could mean the ebay price was more, or the bodybuilder.com price more. "It was about $8 cheaper." again, "it" could refer to either price. So I'll break down both scenarios for you:

If the bodybuilding.com invoice is $8 cheaper than what you paid to the ebay seller, it was a regular drop shipment that happens all the time. This SOP for many businesses, and not a big deal. Nothing wrong happened.

If the bodybuilding.com invoice is $8 more expensive than what you paid the ebay seller, then the ebay seller is probably using stolen credit cards.
posted by BurnChao at 11:19 AM on May 15, 2012


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