When sifting through your latest storage unit purchase you come across a Toshiba laptop. You know it will sell quickly and rush to list it online. Almost instantaneously you get a response .... plus they are willing to include an extra $100 for shipping! Turns out they are purchasing it for their pastor's daughter who's a missionary in Africa! How sweet of them right??? Think again.
This common scam comes in all shapes and colors, but often involves PayPal. As you can see from this real life email, the eager "buyer" asks for your PayPal email and then sends you a fake PayPal email. The email falsely claims you've received payment or that you've received payment but the funds are temporarily being held because you're an infrequent seller. Don't ship anything! Don't even click on any links in the email because PayPal identity theft is another scam.
To avoid doing business with scammers, collect the buyer's PayPal email & send them an invoice. Then, if you receive an email confirming payment, instead of clicking on the email to log in, open a new window and type in paypal.com. Once you log into your account, payment will appear in your PayPal account even if PayPal has a hold on the funds. Do not do business with a buyer unless you see their payment in your PaylPal account after independently going to the PayPal website (ie not from the email)!
Problems can still arise however, even if you invoice the buyer and properly confirm payment. Here's a few more tips to ensure you are protected by PayPal.
#1 Before shipping look at the "payment details" to see your Seller Protection eligibility. PayPal recommends you do not ship unless you are fully eligible for Seller Protection! If you are not eligible, or only partially eligible, this indicates the buyer has a high dispute rate. It is not a reflection of your product or your selling history. You can reverse the payment without penalty if you are ineligible or only partially eligible for protection.
#2 Don't ship until you have the green flag. A red flag means an e-check is pending or PayPal is reviewing the transaction.
#3 Only ship to the address listed on PayPal. If the buyer contacts you to ship to another address, ask them to contact PayPal to change the ship-to address. And it's okay if the address is "Unconfirmed," that just means the billing and shipping addresses are different.
#4 Upload shipping tracking information upon shipment.
#5 Signature confirmation is required if the price is $250 or more.
Stay tuned ... next week's email covers real life storage auction success.
Protecting our Members,
Your Storage Treasures Crew
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Here are a few links you might find useful:
Professional Self Storage Auction Tips
How To Locate A Storage Auction
Self Storage Units Containing Cars