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I have my Mid-2013 MacBook Air up for sale on eBay, and have already had to go through resolution processes after previous auctions were won by obvious scammers (fake PayPal emails, etc.)

What I want to know is, how can I be sure that I will:

a) get paid the amount it sells for; and crucially

b) NOT be liable for any kind of automatic refund that a potential scammer might apply for through PayPal or eBay?

It might seem on first glance that when funds are in your bank account, you can ship the item out risk-free. But much googling has unfortunately told me that this is not the case; scammers will complain to PayPal that they never received the item, the item is defective, etc, and Paypal will side with the 'buyer'. Given that my Air is in perfect condition, how can I ensure that once I receive money, it will stay with me? (Can I specify bank transfer payment only, for example, and is this safe?)

  • Where are you located? The protections offered by Paypal vary country by country. – Myles Sep 9 '14 at 19:02
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    Located in Germany, but selling through eBay UK with a UK PayPal account. – legatrix Sep 9 '14 at 19:09
  • sites like ebay and amazon are always going to be among the leaders in biggest gateways to fraud on the planet. Your safest bet is to sell it locally. – Kai Qing Aug 28 '18 at 18:44
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Just ship using a reputable courier (definitely not Yodel or Hermes!) that requires and obtains a surname and signature which you can view on their website (Citylink, Parcel Force to name a couple). Then remember to submit the tracking details when you mark the item as shipped on eBay.

If the buyer is still brazen enough to claim the item never arrived, Paypal (in my experience) don't even entertain their claim. If however they claim the item arrived damaged/not as described, it could be trickier to defend. I'd recommend thoroughly documenting your item with photographs and recording the serial number, just in case you need to provide the details to Paypal. Again, in my experience, this has been enough to protect me from any fraudulent claims.

To answer your second question, I don't believe eBay permits you to specify 'No Paypal', but if they did then yes, bank transfer is 100% safe (short of someone using stolen money to pay for the item, in which case you'd be guilty of money laundering thanks to the UK's wonderful laws on such things...)

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    Please provide a citation for your claim that bank transfers are 100% safe. – Nate Eldredge Sep 10 '14 at 18:29
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    They can't be reversed... ergo, they are as safe as the cash they are made with. – James Sep 10 '14 at 20:29
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Paypal UK has a page here: https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/seller-protection

Basically they don't just take the seller's word for it, there is a resolution process. The biggest thing you can do is make sure that you deliver it in a way that requires signature.

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