We have never had so many possibilities when it comes to buying as today with the Internet. Especially when it comes to second-hand products, where platforms like eBay or Wallapop make it easy for you to find the product you’re looking for at a decent price. But of course, where there is business there can always be people willing to cheat you and keep your money for nothing.
That’s why today we’re going to give you a series of tips with which to try to avoid the most common scams of this type of platform. We will start by telling you what these deceptions are so that you are alert, we will continue with a list of tips to avoid them, and we will end with a review of the internal payment methods of both platforms, which make an extra layer of security.
Always keep in mind the most common scams
Most scams that you can find are almost always the same, and you’ll see them on almost any platform you’re using. The most common of these, the one from which other frauds also arise, is to ask for advance payments or for methods external to those offered by each platform.
They can claim errors or more easily, but the fact is that they will try to coax you to make the payment directly by bank transfer. This way they can disappear without leaving you an option to claim or simply deny that you have made any kind of payment.
It is also quite common for some scammers to publish deceptive ads in which you do not see a real photo of the product being sold, but a press image of those that appear published in any medium. This way, when you go to buy you have no way of knowing the status of the product or if its description fits the reality.
There have also been cases in which an unguarded user has not realized that what he was really buying is the photograph itself. Imagine your face if after spending a good hundred euros on that video game console that you wanted so much what you get is just a picture.
Closely related is the issue of counterfeits. You find that mobile, purse or product of great cost relatively cheap and you buy it. The payment and shipping are done correctly, but when it arrives you realize that the product is not original, and that you have paid a fortune for an imitation that could have cost you half.
And finally, another of the most classic deceptions is to buy a product that does not really exist. This may be because the ad was simply false or because they have copied another ad to use their photos, but it is also false that you are going to buy. In both cases, as we have mentioned before, you will almost always be asked to make payments in advance and in some external platform.
How to avoid this type of cheating
Whether you are on eBay, Wallapop or any other platform there is a series of basic tips applicable to any of them that you can follow to avoid any of these deceptions. You can summarize in not being too confident and always look for the possible trick to a purchase, but better let’s go deeper with our full list of tips …
- Do not trust any product whose price is much lower than usual: This is a common feature that usually have the vast majority of scams that are made through these services. If you see a suspicious price, the second step should be to start investigating the seller who has put it up for sale.
- Investigate the seller: All these platforms usually have a reputation system in which users vote for sellers after making a purchase, and where they also comment on how things have gone. Here you could find the messages of other users who have been scammed, so you should try to search among the comments for any indication of suspicious activities.
- Read well the comments of other users: It will help you to detect possible frauds, especially if you see that a seller has a low grade with enough bad grades or an account that has been created to sell only that product. If you see that you have practically all the positive ratings you can relax a bit, but never quite because there is always the possibility that some of these votes are false.
- Be careful with those who do not put real photos of a product: Many will be sellers or small stores that simply have not removed the mobiles from the boxes. But in the case of second-hand products, they may simply be trying to fool you by showing you what they want you to believe you are going to buy without it having to be that way.
- Do not hesitate to ask for the photos you need: Sometimes even with real photos you may not appreciate the details of the state in which the device is located. That’s why it is never safe to ask for more photos in which to see their real state, and especially the logos that certify that you are buying something original and not an imitation that has the same look or design.
- Read the full description of the product carefully: As we have said before, without knowing it you may be buying a photograph instead of the real product, and so that this is not a fraud by which they can expel the seller will have it directly or indirectly in the description.
- Ask the seller all possible questions: Do not stay with any doubt about the product you are going to buy, and ask the seller all the questions you think necessary about its operation and real state. The second is more important than you think when in the descriptions all are limited to saying that it is “in perfect condition”.
- Be careful with the emails you can receive, especially if you are a seller: A common deception is to send fraudulent emails telling you that you have been paid without that. And for the buyers it is also possible that they send you phising by mail with links that send you an exact copy of the original website to deceive you.
- Always check the product before paying when you make purchases in person: Do not complete the operation until you verify that the product and its physical condition are the agreed ones, since this way you will avoid that inside the box there are unpleasant surprises like an imitation or something else instead of your last generation phone.
- NEVER make payments outside the platform itself: Wallapop, eBay and most buying platforms include secure payment systems in their own web pages where all the measures are taken so that you can recover your money in case of deception.
- Suspect if they ask you to pay outside the official platforms: Yes, we repeat it because it is very important. They will almost always be trying to cheat you, so do not listen to them. If you buy something on a platform that does not have this type of system, always pay in hand after checking the product or directly look for another platform with secure payments.
How are payments by PayPal and Wallapop
Wallapop and eBay are two of the main platforms for buying and selling second-hand products, and each one has its payment methods. Wallapop has a mixed payment and shipping service that you can only find on your platform, while eBay uses PayPal, a payment system that belongs to you but you can use it on more sites. Everyone has their security methods and their guarantees.
Paypal and its guarantees
PayPal is a payment system in which you create an account using an email, and where you can attach your credit and debit cards. Acts therefore as an intermediary. When making the payment you pay PayPal and this in turn to the seller, offering you a series of guarantees in case something goes wrong. These are the advantages offered …
- Refunds: If you buy an item that does not correspond to its description, PayPal allows you to return it. It will make a refund with what you have paid for the product and the shipping costs.
- Claims for products that go wrong: It will allow you to start a dispute to solve the problem. If you do not solve it with the seller, you can tell PayPal to make a decision after listening to both parties.
- Protection against unauthorized transactions: It also allows you to open a dispute when you believe that you have not made one of the payments that appears in your account. You will have to provide all the information you can to prove it.
- Free return: When buying in countries such as China, a refund service is included for return expenses. If you do not agree, you must give the payment identifier number and the amount that has cost you to return it, and it will be added to your account as a refund.
Wallapop shipments is totally different
Initially Wallapop searched for its own payment system called Wallapay. But this has been eliminated, and the only option we will have from the next update of the app will be its payment system and shipping Wallapop shipments.
- Wallapop Shipping: This is the payment option for when you are going to ask for an order to be sent through emails. Something similar to an internal PayPal, but subject to sending the order and not delivered by hand.
- Free shipping: Wallapop is allied with Correos to offer free shipping costs. When you make a purchase, the seller will get a code that will show in the Post Office and identify the product.
- Free return: When you receive the product, Wallapop gives you 48 hours to verify that it is the product for which you had paid. If not, you can return it for free.
- Dispute Resolution: If there is a conflict with a product that is defective or does not conform to the description, Wallapop enables the possibility of starting a dispute whenever the transaction has been made, including chats, on its platform. Claims can be made within 48 hours of receiving the product in the email support.
As you can see, Wallapop offers guarantees similar to PayPal, but it is not so versatile and you can only use it in purchases within its own platform.