- 5 years ago
- Wedding: December 2013
I am selling my wedding dress online. This has been a new experience! I am writing this post as a shoutout to all the REAL brides out there that are getting in on the online wedding dress action. BE CAREFUL!!! I know it seems like only dumb people fall for scams, but I want brides in particular to know about this danger. I always thought that the person taking the largest risk was the buyer and that there was very little risk to the seller other than the usual identity theft schemes. Here’s what I learned…
I posted my wedding dress for sale yesterday. I used several sites, including weddingbee classifieds, oncewed, preownedweddingdresses, and tradesy.
Since posting my dress for sale yesterday, I have received several resposes to my ads. Of the 9 or so responses I’ve received, just 2 of them have been legitimate possible buyers. Apparantly there’s dressbuying sharks out there trying to scam you (and me!), and these sites are shark-infested waters.
All of these scam attempts have had the following things in common:
1. The person will attempt to get you to use paypal for the transaction. (Paypal has limited seller protection. READ the policies if you plan to use it and protect yourself!)
2. The person will ask you for your paypal account ID within the first couple of emails exchanged.
3. These people generally say that they are purchasing your item for a friend, for their girlfriend, sister, wife, aunt, etc.
4. If applicable, the person’s site login (for example, weddingbee login etc.) will not indicate any activity on the site other than contacting you.
5. The person will have a hotmail, yahoo, or other easily obtained email address. Always ask the person for a professional, work, or school email address before continuing with the transaction.
6. The buyer will state their job without your inquiring of it (for some reason) and will tell you they have a high-profile or highly respectable job such as doctor, military, scientist (there was one oceanographer! hah!), stockbroker, etc. I thought maybe this could be to get you to trust them?
7. The person will misspell some words or have poor grammar / poor use of english. Hey, now I’m not the grammar police or anything, but it’s honestly something I’ve noticed that all the scam attempts have in common!
8. The scammer may or may not ask for pictures of your dress or other sale item. Of the scam attempts I’ve received, about half asked for pics of the item and inquired heavily about possible flaws or defects, just like a legitimate buyer would.
9. They may tell you that they’ve hired a “shipping agent” and may also state that this agent does not take any form of payment other than wire transfer. They will then ask you to wire transfer money to the “shipping agent” for them in order to purchase the garment, likely because their “job” where they are “travelling for work” is far from a place where they can send the money themselves.
10. The person will tell you they are travelling/working out of town/overseas, etc. They will use this as an excuse to request that you “use their shipping agent” and will not want you to send the item via USPS, Canada Post, etc. This is because you will get a tracking number from USPS/Canada Post when you ship the item, and they don’t want you to have one. The scam is to have you pay their “shipping agent” a very large shipping fee (usually around $500) and they tell you that they will pay additional money to you for the shipping in their paypal payment. They will, and then, if you used their “shipping agent” then you will not recieve a tracking number, they will recieve your item and dispute the claim with paypal. Paypal requires a tracking number to confirm reciept of the item, and then paypal will refund the money back to the scam artist, and they also have $500 from the wire transfer.
It’s embarassing, and call me a dummy if you will, but I honestly didn’t realize that some of these were scams until they refused to use traditional methods of shipping and insisted that they get my paypal ID right away. Also, using western union for pretty much ANYTHING is a big red flag. Don’t worry, I didn’t actually fall for these scams.
I hoped this helped some brides today, and didn’t just point out to the scammers where they’re going wrong, hahah. Please remember, don’t give anybody your paypal ID, phone number, address, or anything other than your first name. They don’t need to know any more about you than that, if they even needed to know your name.
Stay safe on the internet, Bees! And good luck selling or buying your dress online! 🙂