When you begin to Sell Your Art Online, you will find yourself at some point on the receiving end of a scam, especially if your work is high or medium-priced. The sites to be aware of are sites like E-Bay and Etsy and a few of the other high profile sites where you sell original art. Being online brings you into contact with many more scammers than in the real world! so here’s a watch list on how to avoid getting robbed or hacked.
Look out for e-mails that ask you to reply directly to them, and not through the site your work may be displayed on, the e-mails may go something like this :
“Hello seller, I’m interested in immediate purchase of your item, what is the present condition? Do you accept PayPal as mode of payment? I will want you to get back to my direct email for a quick respond – firstname.lastname@example.org or get back to me with your email to reach you direct. I will also arrange the shipping as I have my own shipping company.”
They DO NOT have their own shipping company! if they say PayPal is holding the funds again this is untrue, pay-pal don’t hold funds, and if they do they inform you or let you know there is a problem with your pay-pal account. They will try to get your pay-pal details, so the best way is to not even respond and report the person to the site, they rarely have anything to sell, and profiles are usually blank with a blank avatar. The last e-mail scam I received said they had an Uncle for who he was buying the painting, but he (the scammer) was at sea so was unable to access pay-pal, so I was to send the painting without payment, but I would be paid!
Use your intuition, if the e-mail sounds suspicious, it usually is. When strangers are telling you they are buying paintings for Uncles or Aunties, always be suspicious!
E-bay scams still exist for both buyer and seller
If you are selling art, beware of buyers who have just joined the site and pressed the “buy now” button rather than the auction option on a painting, especially if there is a big difference in the auction price and the buy it now price. If you buying art on E-bay, look for established sellers that have a good rating with good feedback, communicate with the seller, a good seller will communicate with you and give you all the information you require. Watch out for titles such as genuine Picasso, chances are they are not genuine, if you read the small print, you may find something along the lines of genuine Picasso print!
Always report a scammer, the sites will remove them , they cannot afford to tarnish the reputation of the site.
Never give personal details, such as date of birth, full name, address, or anything that someone could use if they hack your account.
Only pay over secure connections, such as pay-pal, where your covered should they not send the goods or the good are damaged or faulty, or not what you expected.
Avoid paying by Western Union or other less secure ways of paying, the sites such as E-bay offer you no protection if you pay this way.
I hope you never get scammed, it’s not nice when it happens, but the more people are aware of scams the less likely they are to keep getting away with it.