Category: Buying and Selling

Social Media Accounts For Sale

People buy and sell social media accounts – for a variety of reasons and you might think this is illegal, but it isn’t. Some consider such accounts to be assets, and some go the trouble of creating and beefing up social media accounts in order to maximise the sale price.

This is definitely sketchy behaviour and immoral in many cases, but not illegal.

This largely relates to Facebook accounts but there is a market for new accounts with all of the social media networks.

Some Reasons Why People Buy Social Media Accounts

  • Advertising and Marketing companies. Facebook can impose restrictions or ban dodgy advertising. Hence, these companies can use a lot of accounts to run advertising campaigns on multiple accounts simultaneously and when accounts are limited or stopped by Facebook, they switch to other accounts.
  • Social media accounts traders and retailers. There are people and companies that make it their business to buy and sell accounts.
  • Anonymous users. Some users want to hide their identity perhaps due to unpleasant experiences online or perhaps for nastier reasons.
  • IT companies may need multiple accounts to test their tools and APPS.
  • Spammers filling the Internet with garbage no-one wants to read.
  • Scammers sending out their illegal messages to cheat people.
  • Fake news purveyors.
  • Conspiracy theorists.

Facebook accounts have higher prices if they are old. The older the account, the higher the price. Some accounts on Facebook can even cost several hundred dollars.

Buying these used accounts is not illegal but it does violate Facebook’s policy and terms and conditions. If you buy or sell you may be penalised by Facebook.

Example Prices

  • A basic Facebook account with some details may cost a few dollars.
  • A more detailed Facebook account that has been verified may cost more like $10
  • An established Facebook account with followers and posts may cost more especially if registered as an American user.

The more subscribers an account has then the more valuable it can be.

Do not buy or sell any social media accounts. Whatever you want them for – there are probably better ways to get and use such accounts.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Amazon Brand Protection

Amazon is the biggest retailer on the planet and most of their sales are not actually Amazon products but sold on behalf of other businesses using the Amazon platform and Amazon is a huge target for all sorts of scams and other types of fraud.

Amazon Brand Registry Program

This is Amazon’s way to tie brand owners more closely into Amazon and give them extra functions and services to protect and build on their brand. It is particularly useful if a product maker has multiple retailers selling their products online.

Amazon Describes The Benefits As :

  • It helps a brand to have control over their product listings
  • It ensures that the information given about a product is accurate
  • It helps to increase product sales
  • It helps protect the brand
  • It enhances the brand content
  • It helps improve efficiency
  • It helps to list the products without UPCs or EANs
  • It eases the listing of products
  • It helps create different product variations
  • It eliminates bad listings
  • It comes with enhanced customer support
  • It offers enhanced image search to match any fake logo(s) or product(s) through images

Who Qualifies to Use the Brand Register?

  • Sellers who sell their products under their brand name
  • Sellers who are manufacturers
  • Sellers who are actually private label brand owners
  • Sellers who produce white label products
  • Sellers who are actually distributors and who have the authority to own a trademark’s content in Amazon

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Amazon Listing Hijack

This scam is nasty as it takes business from legitimate sellers and can blacken people’s names who know nothing about the scam being perpetrated using their name.

A scammer picks a high selling product on Amazon and then sets up entries on Amazon selling that same product and using copied photos and descriptions etc.

The scammers may simply duplicate the product entry on Amazon, take orders and then disappear but the most damage is caused where the scammer buys counterfeit products and sells them as if originals. The fakes, by their nature, will be inferior to the originals and complaints will lead back to the original seller whose reputation is then damaged, as well as not having made the sales.

The Amazon Buy Box

Typically, smaller companies may go to great lengths to ensure they have high quality products that no-one else sells and have put a lot of time and money into building a brand, only to see a scammer cashing in on that hard work.

Amazon has something called the Buy Box for certain products and this is where a supplier can be the ‘King’ of selling that item, but unscrupulous sellers can push in and take advantage of that on the same screen.

For some categories of products, Amazon automatically designate one seller as the default seller of a product. If a customer clicks the “Add to Cart” button, the seller that owns the Buy Box will get the sale (unless the customer specifically changes to purchase from a different seller). This is called Buy Box hijacking. Scammers selling counterfeit goods can undercut your pricing and take control of the Buy Box – killing your sales.

Their product quality is not going to be as good and they are likely to use your company details and contact details for complaints, so the result can be unhappy customers who blame you and you lose more sales.

Amazon know all about this scam and if you report an Amazon seller it will be dealt with in time. The process means you have to complain to the seller first and only if they fail to respond then Amazon will take action.

If you face this problem, start the complaint procedure with Amazon straightaway and collect all the evidence you will need.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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How to Pay Online Safely

There are many ways to pay online, depending on which payment providers each retailer chooses to allow.

You can pay by credit or debit card and that has the benefit of a bank to complain to if you are ripped off by a retailer. However, there is also the risk of the retailer having access to your card details and the risk of a data breach at the retailer.

If you choose a service such as PayPal instead then only they have access to your card details and any retailer you buy from using PayPal will not see the details.

1. PayPal

You register with PayPal and connect your card or bank details then use PayPal for online payments. When you make a Purchase with Paypal the service takes the money from your card or bank account.

It is a good idea to use 2 factor authentication with services such as Paypal so that any scammer would need more than a login and password to gain access to your account.

2. Alternatives to Paypal

There are many online payment services similar to PayPal and many are cheaper to use than PayPal.

  • This is Business News Daily’s choice for the best online credit card processor for online businesses. Stripe is one of the most popular PayPal alternatives, particularly for online businesses. The service is easy to integrate into business systems and to customize using their simple API.
  • This started as mobile point-of-sale transactions, but can be used for online payments via invoice or website.
  • This for service-based businesses with a high volume of international transactions. It is known as a cheap way to send money internationally.

3. Prepaid Payment Cards

If an online shop only takes credit or debit cards and you don’t want to use those cards, then a prepaid card can solve that problem. You can buy a prepaid card from a reputable supplier and use that instead.

These cards hide your identity as they are more like cash.

4. Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay is a service that lets you use the payment methods already associated with your Amazon account to make payments for goods or services on third-party websites. This reduces 3rd party costs.

5. Amazon Cash

Amazon cash is similar to the Paypal cash option and you can buy the cash card and use it just like cash on Amazon.

6. Mobile Phone Payment

Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are all highly secure and available on your smart phone. Whichever you choose has to be linked to your bank account or card then can be used for pay for a wide variety of goods and services online.

You can also use mobile payments when you’re shopping in-person. Just select the payment method on your device and scan it with the card reader instead of swiping a physical card or using cash. When done properly, there’s no need to touch anything besides your phone, making it a safer way to pay during a pandemic.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Ivana and The Gumtree PayPal Scam

Ivana and her husband had a car to sell.

They thought they would try Gumtree.  After all, Gumtree is British and it works for local people and especially for large items that the buyer collects.

In the case of a car – no point advertising for more than a short distance from home and it definitely needs to be collected. You can’t put a car in the post box.

The car went on sale but attracted little attention.

Then this arrived

“Great! please consider it sold and remove the adverts online as i am willing to pay your asking price? because i need to buy it for my cousin asap as a surprise gift, i have read through the advert and i’m totally satisfied with it,sadly i would not be able to come personally to collect due to my hearing loss and I’m just recovering from heart surgery so I’m home-bound. can i earn your trust, hope i wont be disappointed? I have a courier agent that would help me to pick it up at your preferred location after you have received your money and cleared to your account and i’ll pay you via PayPal today once you get back to me with your PayPal email and full name. Where is the pick up location so that i can inform the courier agent about it now? Await your response”.

Ivana recognised this is as a well-known scam.

  1. The buyer contacts you via email rather than a phone call
  2. The buyer offers to buy the item immediately, at full price, doesn’t ask any questions and is extremely keen.
  3. The buyer cannot visit to view the item and has a sob story to explain this.
  4. The buyer wants to send a courier ASAP to collect the item
  5. The buyer tries to circumvent paying by Gumtree by offering another method (this means that if you are scammed, Gumtree cannot help)

Quite often these scammers say they will pay by PayPal and you might wonder how someone can scam you if they’ve sent you money on PayPal.

The most common ways are

  1. They don’t pay but instead send fake emails that look like PayPal emails telling you that the money has been paid. Always check your PayPal account rather than accepting an email as proof and never click on links I an email to access your PayPal account.
  2. They pay using a stolen PayPal account. When PayPal find out it’s stolen – you don’t get to keep the money.

With Gumtree, cash payment on collection may be the safest approach.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

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Music Magpie

Music Magpie ( is for selling off old stuff – particularly CDs, DVDs, computer games, books and a growing range of other items.

Music Magpie say they are the quick and easy way to declutter and get cash for your stuff, which is why millions of people use them every year to sell their CDs, DVDs, Games, Books, Blu-Rays & Tech. They have paid over £350 million to more than 6 million customers.

It is quite simple to sell to Music Magpie – you select the item you want to sell from drop down lists and they give you an approximate valuation.

If you agree with that value, then you send them the item and get the money.

However, the problem in these types of transactions is that the offered price may turn into a much reduced price once they receive the item and revalue it and that will cause issues with the seller.

As long as the company offer fair prices then most sellers should be happy, but many people think Music Magpie been offering unreasonably high prices, knowing that almost all items that are sent in, are then down marked in price and it’s difficult for the sender to say no at that point.

There are numerous reviews of Music Magpie on Trustpilot and it seems there are more complaints than there should be.

e.g. 1  Got an email statement to say magpie was giving me £6.50. Right. No wrong. The original statement was £8.90. Another complaint. Sent email to magpie. Np response as yet. Absolutely terrible service.

  1. Terrible. Daughter’s iPod was valued at £40; when I send to Music Magpie I received a revised valuation of £4 as a “technician” had diagnosed a non-functioning lcd. I asked for it to be returned and sure enough everything functions perfectly fine.
  2. I purchased an iPhone from Music Magpie around 9-months ago. It then suddenly stopped working around 3-months ago. I sent it to be repaired immediately – hoping for a quick fix. 3-months later and many “standardised” emails probably sent via robots. I am still without a working phone. In fact they even suggested sending it back to me still broken as they were unable to fix it but didn’t want to replace or refund the phone. I’ve never received worse after-care from any retailer in my life. I will never use this company again because of their inability to honor their warranty. I suggest you do not get bought in because of the low prices, and shop with a legitimate retailer instead.

Be careful if you buy from or sell to Music Magpie.

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