You Have to Watch For the Scammers

As with any aspect of life, there are going to be those less than honest people trying to get something for nothing.

The latest “scam” I’ve had to personally deal with was with a DVD I sold.

Most of the DVD’s I sell are from my personal collection. My husband Errol and I have always been avid movie watchers, and enjoy finding a good series on T.V. Because he goes to work very early in the morning, he is most often in bed quite early at night. Too early for most of the shows we watched. So he wouldn’t miss them, I would buy them on DVD and we could watch them whenever we had time.


Now because of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and many other internet streaming sources, DVD’s really aren’t necessary. We can watch just about any show we like at anytime on one of these services. We saved some of our favorites, but put the rest up for sale on eBay.


Because these DVD’s were ours, they have been opened. I use eBay’s product catalog to find the movie or season that I’m listing, and then describe the condition of the DVD as best I can, making sure to note any scratches or wear of the discs or case. EBay’s product catalog provides a stock photo and full description of the movie or T.V. show you’re listing. It takes all the work out of it for you and gives accurate information.

A few weeks ago, I sold a 5-disc set of Law & Order SVU Season 8 for $12.99 with free shipping.

I mailed it out and forgot about it. Two weeks later I receive a return request for this dvd set. The buyer stated that they had purchased the wrong season. I find it odd that it took them 2 weeks to figure this out. My assumption is that they watched the season and were now taking advantage of my 30 day return. They returned it to me for a full refund. Basically, they rented it from me for the $2.66 it cost them in postage to return it.

I was quite frustrated and made a comment on the Facebook page eBay sellers helping each other that I felt like “eBay box” (as opposed to Redbox). I truly believe that the buyer purchased the DVD with the intention of watching it and then returning it for a full refund. Because my DVD’s are previously watched, and therefore open, I couldn’t think of a way to guard against this.

As usual, my eBay friends came through for me with a great idea. Their suggestion was that I lessen the price of the dvd and charge shipping. Instead of $12.99 with free shipping I should perhaps charge $3.99 plus $8.99 shipping. I would be receiving the same amount either way, but if the buyer wanted to return it, they would only receive the $3.99 back. It would definitely discourage buyers from using me as a DVD rental!


I’m still working on last week’s project of numbering all of my inventory into specific boxes, so I haven’t had time to change my DVD listings yet. I am going to switch to charging for shipping on the $10 and above DVDs, which would be mostly the seasons, as soon as I do finish. I think it will make a big difference in the rental scam!


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