US Coins

Writer warns of scams involving shipping, handling costs

Scams involving shipping and handling costs for items sold on the online auction site eBay are discussed by David Larson in the current issue of The Mint Master, the official newsletter of the Utah Numismatic Society.

Larson explains that until eBay officials caught on to the first scam and changed its policies to eliminate the problems, some unscrupulous sellers were charging minimal amounts to sell an item, but larger shipping and handling fees that were not part of the eBay fee structure, meaning more money could be pocketed by the seller.

Sellers pay both an insertion fee, based on the initial price at which an item is offered, and a fee based on a percentage of the final selling price. Until eBay changed its fee structure, the eBay fees did not include assessing shipping and handling costs as part of a final selling price, according to Larson.

The second scam involves a seller claiming to have shipped an item by Priority Mail through the U.S. Postal Service, but having it returned because of a bad address and being assessed an additional return charge. Larson said the seller then seeks additional shipping costs from the buyer before shipping the item that he or she may never have shipped in the first place.

In separate articles, information is provided on how to detect the difference between struck and cast counterfeits of U.S. gold coins, and a favorable review is provided of the Coin World Almanac Eighth Edition, released in August.

Annual UTS membership dues cost $15, $5 for juniors under age 18 and $25 for a family membership. Dues and other correspondence should be addressed to Utah Numismatic Society, Box 65054, Salt Lake City, UT 84165.

The society meets the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Columbus Community Center, 2531 South 400 East, in Salt Lake City. ¦

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