PayPal scam?
July 17, 2011 8:33 PM   Subscribe

PayPal scam?

I just sold a camera lens on ebay to someone in Isreal. Then she sent me a message and said this: "hey there, i will need ur paypal email address so i could directly send there money (as i have it separated in a few visa cards\) thanks."

The lens is only $200, so why does she want to separate the payment by paying a little bit of it on a few different credit cards? My worry is that she is using stolen credit card numbers and doesn't want to rack up too high of a charge on any given one.

I don't know... she has 100% feedback after 69 evaluations.
posted by Eiwalker to Shopping (9 answers total)
It might not be a scam but unless you have proof that she received the item then she can initiate a Paypal complaint and they will give her the money back. If she pays with several different cards then you would need several different tracking numbers so as to not have her place disputes on all of them. Of course she may be a clueless buyer as the clueless and scammers are often hard to tell apart.

Your best bet is to ask her to agree to cancel the transaction and read up on buyer protection on ebay/paypal as there are fairly specific rules you need to follow when selling higher value goods in order to protect yourself. The keys are to only ship to confirmed paypal adresses (these have been vetted against a credit card address) and to always ship with tracking for anything you couldn't afford/ don't want to lose and to get signature confirmation on any amount over 250 dollars although you may want to double check the amount as I've been off ebay a while.

Selling internationally is more risky (i'm assuming you're from the US) as its harder to protect yourself and even selling domestically has risks. It may also be better to have a strike against your ebay account (if she can figure out how to file one) than to risk the money. Its not the most ethical action but to me there are quite a few
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 8:45 PM on July 17, 2011

I don't know... she has 100% feedback after 69 evaluations.

Only meaningful if she sells a lot of stuff. Only buyers can leave negative feedback, so if you never sell anything, you will automatically have 100% positive feedback.
posted by jon1270 at 8:46 PM on July 17, 2011

Oh and buyers on ebay can now only have 100 feedback as they cannot receive negatives from sellers so essentially the 69 feedback are not telling you much. Although you may want to look at what she buys to see if this is an odd purchase, ie. she buys mostly pokemon cards, or if she has been on a spree with high value items, a sign of a stolen account.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 8:47 PM on July 17, 2011

Best answer: Paypal seller protection doesn't cover multiple payments on a single item. So while this may not be a scam paying like that would leave you unprotected as the seller.

posted by oneear at 10:21 PM on July 17, 2011 [4 favorites]

This is reason #203 why I don't accept international buyers on my eBay auctions. No, don't give her your PayPal address. If she doesn't pay, file a report with eBay that she didn't pay so you get your listing fee credited back and then sell it again.
posted by brownrd at 10:42 PM on July 17, 2011

For whatever it's worth, I've done this before--back in the day, I didn't have a credit card, but had multiple prepaid cards. I'd often end up with $10 on one card, $40 on another, $120 on another... And it was a pain in the ass to have to convince people to let me pay them on multiple cards, it was also a pain in the ass to effectively lose that $10/$40/whatever. (Doing this online, where I could double-check dollar amounts and make sure that I was actually paying $10.44 on the card that had $10.44 left on it, was easier than doing it in person at the local coffeeshop, where I risked having the card turned down if I'd mathed it up wrong.)

This was some years ago and I don't know if PayPal even accepts prepaid cards anymore, but I wanted to toss out a possible alternate explanation.
posted by MeghanC at 12:03 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

PayPal functionality varies depending on the country, or locale, if you will. It is not possible, as b1tr0t suggests, on the Israeli site to Add Funds to the account using a credit/debit card. Of course, she could sign up for a second account and send the money to the first one, although a lot would be eaten up in fees.

If the user account is Verified, this proves that the user has access to credit card transcripts for at least one of the cards (mail or online bank). The process to get Verified also takes a week or two.

Seems like a very strange situation, though...
posted by Aiwen at 7:42 AM on July 18, 2011

Best answer: I wouldn't be too concerned as long as she sends *ONE*, and only one, paypal payment for the full item amount + shipping.

If she wants to send multiple payments then tell her no due to the inability for you to meet the seller protection requirements.
posted by de void at 8:01 AM on July 18, 2011

Best answer: PayPal's levy on received payments is a percentage plus a flat fee (of $0.30). So if your buyer pays you in ten payments rather than one, you pay the same percentage but ten times the flat rate fee. You could refuse on that basis alone.
posted by henryaj at 10:41 AM on July 18, 2011

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