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Put An End To Ebay Mystery Payments
By: Developer Shed
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    Put An End To Ebay Mystery Payments
    by Rick Rouse

    If you are a regular seller on Ebay, no doubtyou have received a "mystery payment" or twoalong the way. A mystery payment is where youreceive a payment for an auction with nothingon it to give so much as a clue as to what theperson is paying for (or who she is for thatmatter). I once received an envelope with a$20 bill in it along with a note that said"Thanks!". Nothing else, just the cash and thenote. I just about drove myself crazy figuringthat one out.

    I used to get at least a couple of these mysterypayments each week. But no more. Determined thatI would never receive an anonymous payment again,I devised a simple but (almost) foolproof methodof preventing them.

    This is how I do it:

    Lets make up an Ebay item number, say 234895745.I take the last four digits of the item number andmake it part of my address. For example, using thenumber above, I would send my payment address tothe buyer like this:

    John Doe
    123 Elm Street
    Anytown, Anystate 12345

    The AC can be anything that you wish to make it.I use a short acronym representing the item soldin the auction just for a little extra clue incase there are two auctions that end with thesame four digits. (This is possible but it hasn'thappened once during the two years that I've beenusing this technique.)

    Of course the numbers 5745 are the last fourdigits of the Ebay item number for the auction.By sending the address in this format, I alwaysknow which auction the payment is for. I stillmay not have a name or anything else, but atleast I know where to start tracking down thesender's identity.

    Give this technique a try. It isn't fool-proofbecause the buyer could decide to just omit thecode from the address. I've been using thistechnique for 2 years now without even onefailure. With any luck and due diligence inits use it should work well for you too!


    Rick Rouse is the owner of RLROUSE Directory & Webmaster Resources. He is the author of several popular articles and ebooks on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and traffic building. Visit him at

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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