Search This Blog

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Cashier's Check on eBay.

I recently received the following email:

I feel like I’m writing to Dear Abby, but you two ladies really are the inspiration of so many of us out in blog land and the eBay world, that I just knew you could give me advice :) 
I just had a buyer contact me about a listing I have for a pair of shorts and this is what she said. 

" Hi! Would you consider taking a money order, I have great feedback, Thanks Lavonne"

The auction still has a few more days till it ends but I checked out her profile and she does have great feedback. What concerns me is that right above her question was a little warning flag from eBay that said

Do not respond to the sender if this message requests that you complete the transaction outside of eBay. This type of offer is against eBay policy, may be fraudulent, and is not covered by buyer protection programs

I didn't know if this constituted something that was against eBay policy and should be reported?? Please tell me you have dealt with this before?? My questions just proves that I'm still a "greeny" in the eBay world! Any advice and help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks, Whitney

Whitney, I'm so glad to hear eBay is going well for you.  

To answer your question, I do accept money orders/cashier's check.  I think you'll be fine letting her pay with a money order as long as she purchases the item through eBay.  

The warning you are receiving refers to people who want you to take the item off of eBay and sell it to them privately.  This scam is also done on  From what I understand, the scam is done by the buyer sending a cashier’s check larger then the purchase price, and then asking for some sort of reimbursement later in the form of you sending them a check back.  Later you find out their check was fraud, but because you reimbursed them they get your bank account number, personal information and the money you thought you were reimbursing them. 

So, just have her make a bid through eBay and if she's the winner bidder then the transaction will still take place through your eBay account.  Once you receive her money order, which it may take as long as a week to receive, make sure it cashes (which I’ve never had a problem with) then you can note you received payment and ship her the item.

I hope this information helps and keep up the great work.
Remember to find value where others may not see it, especially yourself.


  1. Hi Laura =^..^=
    I found you (my dear trash) two days ago ... Fabulously fun blog!
    I am working my way through the archives.

    Hopefully you won't mind my butting in with my two-cents, I wanted to comment on this post/question because it's commonly asked of me when folks write as new sellers. Oh Laura, Remember when eBay was simple, sigh, remember those days? ::grin::

    Firstly, I will upfront note that I too will HaPpiLy take a money order. I know it's not eBay rule-policy-kosher, too bad I still do it! (I offer to combine shipping on four sites off eBay WITH my eBay shoppe sales as well --and you KNOW eBay would have kittens if they figured that one out!) So, I've been selling on eBay since 2000 and until recently this wasn't even considered questionable --in reference: to take a MO or personal check. As far as I am concerned, it's the buyers risk, not mine as I only take a money order from approved clients and won't refund any portion of it. No eChecks, No personal checks, no exceptions.

    Of the thousands received, I have zero negative feedback. 'Nuf said.

    Secondly however ... I sorta think you should warn followers/eBay newbies that it IS considered illegal on eBay to take anything but PayPal as payment. If they are sticklers -- Yes. It is against the rules. (as is telling your customers that "insurance is optional" as ebay now requires you to pay it on your end. Sigh. So many don't understand this one, it's really an entire post of it's own. (there is a way around this one too ... in case anyone wonders ... glad to share.)

    I digress. Back to the subject ... According to eBay rules ... You may ONLY take PayPal as payment (which in the off chance anyone doesn't yet know, PayPal is owned by eBay--hence the requirement to only use PayPal (duh) so they can rake in money hand over fist ::ahem:: I suppose, and not allow money orders, etc. claiming it's all to "protect" the seller & buyer (on a note here, I won't allow eChecks through PayPal either -- because it's not much different than taking a personal check. If the buyer is short funds, you are stuck with the bank fees. I recommend blocking eChecks or they are automatically accepted.)

    ANYway ... just a word to the wise. Know the rules, make informed choices, and if someone wants to risk $$ make it clear the risk is theirs if they want to take it. Personally I am always flattered when asked to accept a MO as it reflects TRUST in my reputation. I love love LOVE repeat customers and will bend over backwards to be sure they are happy. My customers become friends and I adore them. Feedback is everything on eBay. Like it. Or not.

    Although I do my eBay business a bit differently than you at-My Dear Trash, we have in common admitting it's addictive! I oft wonder what my wardrobe (which is in my own opinion, wonderful) would look like if I didn't hit so many "sales" ... because I refuse to pay retail for much of anything. Hee. For heavens sake, even my house is vintage!

    Were I only closer to AZ (I'm in Northern California) or you were nearer to me ... we would have a blast playing. Alas, perhaps someday we will meet! xo wish you were here, love zU

  2. Have you ever had someone ask you to change the auction to "buy it now" and then they never bid on that auction? This has happened to me twice now and I'm getting frustrated with it as it ups my fees! Do you do this for people or just say no?

  3. Contrary to what zUzU said: It is NOT illegal on eBay to accept payments other than via PayPal! EBay also accepts electronic payment methods ProPay, Moneybookers (now Skrill), and PayMate. Sellers are also allowed to accept paper payments (checks or money orders) if a buyer asks to pay by that method.

    I find it ironic that zUzU thinks she is such an authority on eBay rules when she freely admits that she takes transactions off eBay on a regular basis. Do this at your own risk; you will NOT have the benefit of Buyer Protection nor any other eBay safety net. Being asked to take a transaction off eBay is usually a big red flag warning that you are about to be scammed.

    ZUzU also states that she will not refund any portion of a paper payment. This is poor seller practice and a ripoff for the poor buyer who asks to return an item or needs a refund for whatever reason. With electronic payment methods, your payment is trackable and can if necessary be refunded by eBay, should an unreasonable or low-integrity seller refuse to make the refund themselves. EBay may take it out of the seller's pocket, if they feel that it is justifiable to do so, or they may pay it themselves if they don't feel that the seller is at fault in the matter.

    ZUzU, you are in sorry need of a refresher course on eBay rules and policies — and the integrity to work within them.

  4. =^..^= goodness.
    I didn't mean to ruffle any feathers!
    I was only trying to help not upset someone. Perhaps I didn't make it clear enough what I was trying to say? What I wrote was totally taken entirely wrong!

    I think I can clear up a couple of things ebetsy misread.

    I certainly didn't mean I take transactions off eBay the way suggested. If someone asks to complete a sale of a listed item off eBay it's not cool and I say no. What I was saying is I will allow customers to COMBINE SHIPPING with items purchased from me on other sites. Like if they know I have a shop on etsy. The items are not related to anything I sell on eBay and it simply saves folks money if they are shipping to one address. So when they ask, I say, sure! It's not ripping off eBay, it's just eBay asks us to not advertise our other ventures (unless that has changed.) You are still protected by eBay policy if you accept mulitiple payments in one invoice.

    I didn't know eBay had changed policy on accepting Money Orders. They at one time stated we couldn't due to protecting both buyer and seller. Good to know that has changed. I always thought it was harsh and continued to accept MO when asked as I had customers that only paid that way. It was at my risk. I do appreciate knowing of the change, but perhaps the information could have been offered a little more gently?

    When I said I don't refund any portion of a money order, I meant in reference to the "scam" thing Laura wrote about. I was accused of poor policy. What Laura wrote about & to what I was referring to, is not the same thing as someone returning an item. I am diligent about my offerings, trying my very best to accurately describe & take nice pictures. It's worth it as I haven't really had troubles with needing to refund, having only had it occur twice. It was due to my error. I am human and missed a spot, and that's my fault. I trust that people are honest, and refund in full, keep the item. I had something get lost once and I offered credit in a higher amount or refund of what she paid including shipping. She knew my auctions and chose to take credit. Everyone's happy :)

    I truly believe people are good.
    I don't really understand why ebetsy jumped to the conclusions she did. I apologize if I hurt her in some way, or if she's had a bad seller experience in the past. I know it wasn't with me. I have been a successful seller for as long as I have because I do treat my customers with respect.

    I try my best to keep up with eBay policies, but they change so often I miss stuff or maybe I misread some? Maybe I was tired and what I wrote sounded differently on the comment than I meant it. Dunno & again, I apologize. I do know I don't deserve to be called names.

    ::wishing:: everyone a wonderful week -- and ebetsy, please write to me! I know something upset you deeply and I really want to talk. Maybe you could help me from your eBay experiences! I promise I'm not at all like what you seem to think. xo zU

  5. I would like to also add my 2 cents. When asked by a buyer, I do accept money orders, but specify they have to be US post office money orders. I have NEVER had a problem with money orders. As for eBay's policy: it is not "illegal" to accept money orders or other form of payment. It's just that ebay does not want you to "advertise" this on your listing. Yes, eBay owns Paypal; and yes, they do make money on the fees. But I think it's just good customer service to accept money orders because many folks don't like using Paypal. Sometimes a buyer will ask the question before bidding; that way they'll know they can pay with a m.o. if they win/purchase the item.

    As to the 2nd question, my policy is to NEVER end an auction early with BIN, because I may get more if I let the auction run its course than if I accept a BIN. Recently, against my better judgment, I ended an auction with BIN at the request of a buyer. Turns out the buyer never bid on the item; and someone else bought the item. Then a few days later, someone else asked me to do the same. I politely told them no and the item had multiple bids and was my highest seller. I think it's just best to be consistent.

    Thank you all for your advice and help. We are all here to learn from one another; and we all do our best. And although we may not always agree, we do not need to be disagreeable. 'Nuff said.

  6. Thank you Rita! Great advice. I have been selling on ebay for years but only recently inspired my MDT to take it to the next level. It's a little confusing as what to do on instances like these. I think I'm done with BIN requested auction changes!

  7. Let me just confuse everyone! When I received this email from Whitney- I responded with a "I never take money orders" I worry about the scams out there and I feel paypal offers more than enough paying options. Another benefit is that by having all of my payments go through paypal it's easy to keep track of my earnings for taxes (post coming soon on this) I guess it's just personal preference.