How to get anything over $750 for free on eBay (and why you shouldn’t) – Nick’s Car Blog


I was recently scammed on eBay when I sold some car parts and the buyer claimed he didn’t get it despite the package being marked as “Delivered” by FedEx.

The scam is super easy, and anyone can do it, so I’m sharing it here to bring greater awareness to this problem and hope that someone at eBay reads this and does something about it…but even if they don’t, I hope that even just one eBay seller sees this and that I can prevent them from having the same thing happen to them.

Before I tell you how the scam works, and how you can avoid it (or take advantage of it), let me get this out of the way: Noel Silva of 418 Main Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719 is a scammer and thief. Do not trust him, do not hire him, do not date him, don’t let him around your kids, and definitely do not do business with him. His phone number is 508-717-7232.

How the scam works (aka how to get things for free on eBay as long as they cost over $750*)

The scam is quite simple – buy anything you want as long as it cost over $750 (including shipping).

If the seller does NOT require signature confirmation, then you can pretend you never received it…simply wait until after you get it, then file a Dispute claiming you didn’t get it, and eBay will refund the full amount (including shipping) back to you, and you get to keep the item.

It doesn’t matter if the item is marked as “Delivered” by the shipping company, or if the seller is a power seller or has a great track record – eBay always sides with the Buyer as long as it’s over $750 unless there is a signature confirmation from the shipping company to prove you got it.

If they did require a signature, you’re stuck with the item – but most sellers do not do this as it something that eBay themselves doesn’t make clear and buries deep into their Help Portal that you’re unlikely to read or see until it’s too late…even if you buy the shipping label through eBay, which I’d imagine most sellers do, there isn’t anywhere that suggests let alone requires Signature Confirmation, so the seller would need to go out of their way to check the box for Signature Confirmation because they were aware of the scam or are otherwise very thorough people. I would imagine some of the Power Sellers on eBay know about this rule after they likely got stung by this too, so if you really want to do this, you’re best off looking for sellers who don’t do a ton of volume and you should probably only do this if you actually want the item in case they do require signature and you’re out of luck on getting a refund.

What’s crazy is that it doesn’t matter how many times the seller calls customer service, how good their seller rating is, or even if FedEx says the item was delivered and you have receipts proving you dropped it off (all of which I did), eBay will always side with the Buyer. This seems like an insane loophole, yet it remains wide open.

What really sucks for the seller is that that refund comes directly from the Seller’s pocket – including shipping, which the seller already paid to FedEx (or UPS/USPS)…eBay also keeps their fees, so the Seller gets extra screwed in the process.

For me selling this $1,000 part resulted in the following loss:

  • -$1,000 car part value (I’d argue it was worth more, but that’s what it went for)
  • -$122.75 in shipping refund to the buyer (what he paid for shipping)
  • -$74.88 in actual FedEx label costs (purchased through eBay)
  • -$27.47 in packaging costs (I had FedEx do this as I wanted to make sure it arrived safely)
  • -$148.75 in eBay fees that they collected (and kept!)

TOTAL LOSS: $1,373.85

Now you’re probably asking why I didn’t insure the package – of course I did. I opened a claim with FedEx seeing if they’d step in and help…but FedEx shows the package as delivered, so they denied the claim since it isn’t their fault that eBay decided it wasn’t delivered…and neither the buyer nor eBay has any proof it wasn’t delivered. In fact, the only actual proof in this case shows that the package was delivered based on the tracking number, along with receipts I have to prove exactly when I dropped it off.

For the record, here is the link to the original listing:

And here is proof it was shipped & delivered:

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