Avoid eBay Decoy Scams (They're more common than you think)

Avoid eBay Decoy Scams (They're more common than you think)

Posted by Dan Miller on Oct 28th 2021

For nearly 25 years, eBay has dominated the online market with a user-friendly interface, easy online store setup, and superior buyer protection. Unfortunately, this ease of use has also resulted in rampant fraud throughout the site. To be clear, eBay is loaded with mostly reputable sellers. We even had an eBay store for a couple years. 

When you're browsing eBay for decoys (or any product), if you find a deal too good to be true, it probably is. Here are a few tips to avoid purchasing stolen merchandise on the site:

  • Take a second look at the seller's profile. Avoid sellers that have zero or very little feedback, and note that many reputable eBay stores will have a secondary presence on the web - either an online store or social media - that can be verified.
  • Avoid purchasing anything that is too good to be true. A new, unopened item that is marked well below the price of other online retailers is highly suspect. Keep in mind that eBay charges fees as high as 10% above any other e-commerce platform, so heavier discounts will be typically be offered on standalone websites, not eBay. 
  • Be wary of abnormally long shipping times. An eBay user that's fraudulently purchased from us has more than a two week lead time on his products, which gives him a buffer in case the store he drop ships from discovers the error (more on that below).
  • Poorly worded descriptions may indicate the use of Google translate by foreign scammers, as noted in the actual example below:
    • "Please video and pictures when you unbox the package to resolve every problem of your item. If you have any questions, let send a direct messenger"

Here's how the scam works for the fine folks doing the scamming:

1. Scammers find a product on a reputable website, such as Cabelas, Mack's Prarie Wings, or 

2. The scammer will post that product for sale on eBay, often at below market value, and sometimes at a steep discount. 

3. When the product is purchased on eBay, the scammer utilizes stolen credit card numbers to purchase the product from one of those websites, and direct ships it to the end user. Most of the time, the eBay buyer has no idea this purchase was fraudulent, because the transaction went through and they receive their product.

4. The credit card user notices the unauthorized transactions, and files a claim, resulting in a chargeback to the retailer. 

Ultimately the best action you and others can take is to educate yourself on these types of scams, and pass the information onto your friends and family. If you believe you've made a fraudulent purchase on eBay, you can typically cancel the order prior to shipping. Users and listings can and should be reported as well. 

Check out this fraudulent eBay user that has made multiple purchase attempts from Superior Decoys for an example of all the red flags we mentioned.