This is certainly a subject to be mindful about, as a lot of red flags can be raised when selling your wares via the internet marketplace. Websites like eBay and Paypal are generally all right, seeing as they are popular websites who utilize security technology (which can be spotted by searching the bottom or top of your screen for a lock symbol). Sometimes websites also use “VeriSign,” which is an authenticity agent.
Also, at least PayPal offers “Seller Protection,” which enables its qualified users to be covered by the site in the event of an “unauthorized purchase.” To qualify, users must be U.S. citizens (or shipping from an U.S. locale). Other countries can face similar programs, too (check the website itself to see those particular terms and conditions).
However, sometimes people run into trouble when they try to ship their purchases overseas. Sometimes certain activity can appear as “fraud.” Here, take note, so you can try your best to avoid similar situations when selling your unwanted stuff online.
One user had sold one of her items online, as commonplace and as mundane as any other transaction would be. The transaction, though, happened to be with a party on foreign soil. And the credit card linked back to making the purchase happened to belong to an Eastern European country, but with this new stamp: that it had been “stolen.”
Nonetheless, Paypal took the money out of the account and left it overdrafted. Not only was she now locked without her money, but without the item she had sold off in the first place!
“It took time and it hurt,” she said in an interview.
From there, she made the logical choice to contact PayPal, but PayPal told her that because she had no solid proof of delivery (she did have some nice feedback left on the item, but that doesn’t count towards proof) she was not covered by the Seller Protection Act.
This apparently can be a prevalent and harmful issue when working with overseas buyers on sites such as PayPal. One seller said, in an article with USA Today, that about “70%” of his foreign sales were somehow linked back to fraud. Particularly in countries such as Russia and those in Eastern Europe.
In these situations, before you find yourself in a comparable rut, it’s best to make sure whoever you are selling to – ESPECIALLY if they are from another country – is, in fact, a real person that you can trust. That is probably the #1 step you can take. Send out an initial email, establish some kind of bond, and then go forward from there.
Other concerns you should have regarding are relatable to other concerns you should have with your credit card. A lot of it, per se, boils down to knowing with who you are dealing with, what you are dealing with and monitoring your credit account activity to make sure it hasn’t been compromised.
As a rule of thumb, it doesn’t hurt to stick with trusted and mainstream websites, when selling online, i.e. eBay and so forth.