Thursday, May 04, 2006

BIN (Buy it Now) Scams on eBay

Fraud on eBay has victimized a lot of people AND eBay rarely admits fault, or takes effective action against the fraudsters. The latest activity seems to be BIN (Buy it Now) scams.

Ina Steiner of AuctionBytes reports:

"Over the past month, eBay sellers on U.S. discussion boards have been discussing the problem of Chinese "BIN bandits" on eBay. The problem described by posters is that newly registered, zero-feedback members from China are buying BIN (Buy It Now) items from eBay sellers in a systematic fashion, and not following through on the transactions."

It seems the intent of these BIN (Buy it Now) scams is to get the merchandise shipped (0ff-eBay) and pay for it via a payment scam. This might be done with fraudulent cashiers checks (rampant in the world of internet fraud), or with one of the fraudulent debit/credit card numbers (sold in Internet Relay Chat) chatrooms OR even with one of the counterfeit money orders that are flooding the world of Internet scams.

Another problem with this scam is eBay refunding the fees to sellers when one of these BIN bandits backs out of a transaction. There seems to be a lot of "negative feedback" regarding eBay's process to get the fees refunded. Allegations are that the process is full of red tape and it often is difficult to get a refund.

Ms. Steiner stated in her article:

"One seller alleges that in a previous BIN bandit episode that lasted over 7 months, eBay only took action when sellers flooded the California and New York Attorneys General's offices with complaints."

Another speculation from the article is:

"Some eBay sellers have speculated that the BIN bandits might be members of eBay's affiliate program who receive generous compensation for sending new bidders to In the U.S., affiliates can earn between 40 - 70 percent of eBay's revenue on winning bids or Buy It Now transactions within 7 days of an affiliate action. Affiliates also earn between $12 and $20 for each new active confirmed registered user (ACRU) driven to eBay ("

Link to article from AuctionBytes, here.

eBay is taking limited action, but only the sort that won't limit their profits. For one, they suggest only using PayPal (which they own and profit from) and there are a lot of people out there, who prefer other methods of payment.

The article refers to a lot of this coming from China, but other points of compromise could be Nigeria, Singapore and those Eastern European nations. "Buy it Now" fraud seems to be the latest mutation of Auction fraud, which sometimes includes Advance Fee scams.

When reading the AuctionBytes article, I came across a great site dedicated to fraud on eBay (eBayMotorsSucks). The site is very up-to-date and a great resource to protect people. I highly recommend it.

Here are some previous posts, I've done on Auction fraud:

Do It Yourself Hacker Kits

25 Ways to Avoid Auction Fraud From a Seller's Perspective

eBay's Fraud Hall of Shame

1 comment:

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