The theme of this international move has been “the big purge”. Room by room, we eliminated things that we do not use. We also set the goal of “no storage” which means leave nothing behind. We are either going to use it in Tokyo, or it goes. The logic being that the boys are heading off to University in 3 and 4 years (scary) so that provides a simplification/downsize opportunity in the very near future.

This is no small feat when we are moving from a traditional big North American home to a place in downtown Tokyo and required a lot bid decisions – primarily around furniture. Over the last 8 weeks we set about selling off a few very big items, like our 10 piece, 100 year old mahogany dining room set.

Which brings me to PayPal and Kijiji. I like classified sites, they are very handy. But when you sell an item worth more than $1K it brings out the pond scum. In this case, the PayPal scammers. Here is how it goes … first they respond to your post with almost the same line every time (I had more than 10 of these):


Anything to add or ads say it all?

The first time this happened, I threw in a few more pictures and some additional color. Here is the classic response or in one case, this was the opening email to me:


Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2012 5:12 AM

Subject: Re: Reply to your “Elte Kitchen/Dining Table only 1 year old – as new – paid $5800.” Ad on Kijiji

I appreciate your reply, I’m very interested and I’m willing to pay $2900, The means of payment will be via PayPal and I’ll pay for any charges that may incur. I just relocated to United Kingdom and I’ll be needing the merchandise here. A shipper will come over for the pick up after you receive the payment.

I await pictures(if available) since I won’t be able to see this in person. What’s your paypal email address so that I can send the funds to you asap.


Which leads to the scam. They will then go into this elaborate scheme which can be broken down into the following steps:

1. They will send you a fake PayPal confirmation email that they have made a payment to you which you will get when they have received delivery with PayPal holding the money in escrow.

2. You must pay for the shipping to get the funds released, but do not worry because PayPal is holding your money plus the shipping fee.

3. You send the money and the whole PayPal email confirmations turn out to be fraud. You lose your money.

The best way to avoid it is in your online ad put at the end “No PayPal payments accepted”. It stopped all fraudulent emails.

In closing, my responses to the fraudsters:


Anything to add or ads say it all?


That I will not take PayPal or ship to another country you pond scum. You should be ashamed of yourself. Just remember: what comes around goes around.

Share with friends. These people deserve nothing. On the plus side, we sold everything with only one item on Kijiji. Everything else simply through word of mouth, emailing a bunch of friends and letting everyone know. A friend tells a friend ….

UPDATE: Don’t tell the scammer to look at this blog post. Play with them. Mess them up. But don’t warn them.

UPDATE 2: If you want to avoid this hassle, simply do what I did when I sold a set of chairs the other day. The last line was this:

No Paypal payments scammers. Cash only.