In October, I sold my first generation MacBook Air on eBay, and got a buyer within a day for the £500 "Buy It Now" price. "Buy It Now" requires using Paypal, and the £500 (minus commission) appeared in my Paypal account¹. After a bit of to and fro, the buyer got in contact, and suggested that he come and pick it up. Saving about £30 of shipping, and sorting out the sale faster, strike me as good ideas.
The "buyer" said he couldn't come, sent one of his "employees". A very courteous man came to pick the laptop. In hindsight, he seemed slightly uncomfortable, and looked like he was very happy to see how easy it was going to be.
The spooky thing is that within 40 minutes -- note, not 3 hours, not a day after, not the day before) -- within 40 minutes of the laptop getting picked up, the holder of the eBay and Paypal accounts submitted an "unauthorised account activity claim", leading to "payment reversal" (me owing £500 to Paypal²).
During my call to eBay's customer support, I was told that "I had nothing to worry about" (I'm guessing that would be the case as long as I repaid the £500). Paypal promptly sent a mail mentioning they needed my help, but with very little possibilities from my side ("no courier tracking number? Give us the money now").
Surrey Police failed to find the culprits, with the 2 mobile numbers associated with the con only being pay-as-you-go phones (topped up in a little convenience store in North London that only keeps a day's worth of CCTV).
So my advices:
- If you sell anything via eBay using Paypal, send it recorded, and keep the receipt.
- If you bought a MacBook Air first generation with the serial W88500DJ12G, it's stolen, send me an e-mail.
And as opposed to Mssrs Lodge and Reakes, Paypal didn't reimburse me anything, and I'm £500 out of pocket.
¹: I'll pass you the details on eBay referring to a closed Paypal account that meant I got conned two days later than the "buyers" anticipated.
²: On an account that was already closed, see ¹.
Update: Added mention of eBay's ludicrously bad customer service.