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This is a pretty big scam that's been happening actually. People purchase a gift sub, sell it on ebay, then dispute the charges which cancels the purchaser's account.
Best to dispute this with both ebay and paypal, in my opinion.

Incidentally, the gift subscriptions sold on the netflix website (which is what those 1-mos to 1 year codes are) are pretty reasonable, just the cost of that length of service for whatever plan plus sales tax. And if you're the purchaser, no one else can dispute the charge ;)


Dispute it with your CC...


Yeah, that's why I always use my credit card to pay for things on eBay, even through Paypal. That way, I can just let my credit card company fight it, rather than having Paypal sit in judgement.


The guy this happened to, is my friend. I found a 12 month subscription and let him know. We had done it last year, but hadn't done another one.

He bought a 6-month subscription. Two months into it netflix sent him a nasty email and ended the subscription. he had to put in his CC and pay like normal. . .

I passed along the advice, but right now you can't trust any of those "4 star sellers" if they cheat people like this.


Why in the world would anyone buy a subscription on eBay instead of Netflix? I don't get it.


That is the million dollar question...


Clearly because they were trying to save a few bucks. That's the only reason to go the indirect route like that.


This is very tough for Netflix.

They have wisely chosen to just give up on these customers. If the customer blames them for a code they bought on eBay from RandomGuy8383, what are they going to do? Eat the cost?

It's a lose-lose situation for them.


On the plus side, NF did close the account and give the duped subscriber the option, I assume, to reopen rather than automatically billing the account in question? (I know even with Gift Subs you're required to have a credit card on file)


Wow, I have never even heard of this. If you appreciate and value the Netflix service, why not just subscribe using the correct and proper methods? I always find it rather amusing when people try to cheat the system and then get pissed off when it goes bad. I don't feel sorry in the least for anyone that does this and then gets their account canceled.

Brad Fredericks

A while back I purchased a coupon code from eBay for a clothing store. Turns out that the seller sold the same code to many people and of course it didn't work.

When I tried to dispute the transaction through PayPal, they ruled in the Seller's favor, even though I had an email from the seller confirming that the code was not working.

It turns out that Paypal won't intervene in a transaction where "virtual" goods are being exchanged - despite that fact that the eBay auction pages always have the big logo saying "guaranteed protection from Paypal," there is fine print buried somewhere deep in Paypal's site that says otherwise - which they will happily point out to you AFTER you get ripped off.

In short, Paypal/eBay has terrible customer service and it's no wonder they're hemoraging both Buyers and Sellers to Amazon's transaction system.


don't buy coupon codes on ebay. there are websites that give them for free.

I approve this message

There's a saying: "It's the stingy person who spends the most." This applies to the person who get roped in on the auction site. (But that person would probably respond by saying "Money's tight. I need to spend less whenever I can." To which I would respond: If money is really that tight for you, why are you subscribing to a DVD home delivery service?)


I think sellers of information rather than direct durable goods might be the first key to suspecting fraud.


I don't really agree with what many are saying. I personally subscribe and that's what I plan to continue to do, since I think it is a great value and service. But let's say someone gave me a gift subscription for Block Buster, which I won't use, since I don't like their service. I decide to sell it on Ebay. The person online should get what I sell him, and if he or she saves a little, that is great. But if the code does not work, he should get his money back.


I guess none of you ever made the mistake of trying to buy Photoshop on ebay and trying to find a true legal release.

ebay is known not just for outrageous fee hikes, but for selling pirated and counterfeitted goods. You can partially blame your fellow ebayers for not giving the negative feedback. Additionally, ebay has been sued by copyright holders such as Symantec and Tifanny for letting copies run rampant. Sure ebay claims to fight these fakers, but they are happy to collect all kinds of fees if noone complains.

I bought a Deadwood box set that ended up being a fake and had to send it back. Tons of people had bought from this seller and not left negative feedback which does make it tougher for ebay to police itself despite not really wanting to, and lose dozens of transactions. Either they could not tell it was a well done fake, or were happy to get a copy. Maybe if less a$$wipes did that they would not have canceled Deadwood early.

The major clue is that if something is usually $99 and selling for $39 on ebay you should be very suspicious. Since ebay won their Tiffany suit they have the unscrupulous attitude of a pawn shop or flea market. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely was copied or stolen off the back of a truck.

So often you save very little, and waste your time on ebay. I have wasted enough time personally to feel compelled to write about it.

Oh and do beware those selling info. ie "where to buy an LCD at wholesale" Were you people born yesterday?


@Sharad, instead of selling something that was a gift to you, perhaps you could avoid the ebay mess and GIVE it to someone else who does want it?

Throttled by Netflix

Don't buy coupon codes on Ebay?
Next thing you'll tell me is that I shouldn't give my money to that Nigerian prince who just needs it to get his gold out of the bank.


I don't see any of these auctions on Ebay. I only see 1 month codes, which you can get for free. Can you provide some more information about what you bought, how much you paid, etc?

You Get What You Deserve

Anybody who falls for this scam is too cheap for their own good. Buy the subscription the right way, from Netflix. If you don't want a gift from someone else, give it away. Credit card companies shouldn't let you dispute the charges on something without proof that you still have possession of it. They are just a tacit participant in massive fraud by greedy asswipes on eBay. If eBay had any integrity, they would force the sellers to verify their identity before letting them make one sale.


I have a friend who used to always go to eBay to buy codes for services. I'll admit he has gotten a few good deals, but his last experience pretty much ruined any deals he got. He bought the codes for renewal of his Xbox Live account, and pretty much the code didn't work and didn't get his money back. I'm glad I just set up payment from the services.

Secret Agent Man

I have a friend who this happened to as well.

Apparently the gift code was purchased using a stolen credit card, and Netflix was notified about it. He didn't get in any trouble or anything, but Netflix did cancel his membership and, obviously (since he was able to tell me the story) told him what was up. He was able to just restart the membership and pay for it normally. But yeah, it's complete crap the people can do this kind of crap on eBay and get away with it.


Personally, I find it interesting that people are acting like buying codes on ebay is "automatically" Shady.

These are exchangeable gift subscription codes, and giving them to someone else isn't wrong. . .neither is selling. I had assumed that these codes were legal and valid. Just like buying Gift Card and the like.

The big problem here is that people looking to buy used "Virtual" Gift Cards on Ebay can easily be duped because EBAY is HIDING negative feedback from other consumers.

THIS is wrong. . .


I did the same thing 2 years ago. Bought one for a year, and it didn't work. Said it was stolen from netflix. Don't buy them off ebay, its not worth it.

dont know how many people ive told YOUR NOT SAVING MONEY IF WHAT YOU BUY DONT WORK avoid buying anything on ebay you cant confirm


I have twice purchased a years subscription from sellers with lots of good feedback off ebay.
Both worked without problem.

Nowadays, ebay doesnt allow subscription sales which is just another reason why you have no real protection.

The REASON people buy them from ebay is they are significantly cheaper. And you dont have to pay tax.

The last guy I bought from said he had one a number of them as door prizes. Ive asked others and they cant or wont tell me where they get them.

I would buy from a retutable seller but not from someone with low or limited feedback.

I have not seen many reputable sellers lately.

In the past, I could have probably saved some by buying from people with no or low feedback but the risk wasnt worth it to me.

Ebay owns paypal and in my opinion, their buyer protection is WORTHLESS because they will do anything and everything to get out of protecting you. So you have no real protection.

I dont know how to pay with a cc on ebay. Paypal automatically takes it from my bank account when I dont have sufficent cash in the account. I could never find a way to change it.

I bought one off Ebay a few months ago and have not had any issues. Sometimes people receive gift cards and do not want them so they sell them on ebay. I have done this myself before.


After having my Netflix account terminated because of the EBay gift certificate scam, I spoke with Netflix directly. They do not discount gift certificates EVER. So, when an EBay seller has lots of them for sale, cheap, you have to ask yourself-- will I get anything for my money? If you get a working code, the credit card the seller used gets reported stolen shortly after you pay and activate the gift code. Then, Netflix gets the chargeback from the seller's credit card company and you then have your gift cert terminated. The seller will be long gone when this happens. They just pop up using new names. Burned and learned!! Ebay WON'T refund your money (they call this "electronic" and not covered under PayPal for a single penny!!) Ask yourself: am I willing to prepay a year, and only get a month of service for the EBay auction price?


KK. They dont discount them but they HAVE given them away in quantity. Years ago, I used to enter sweepstakes by mail. I wont 3-4 spacemaker toaster ovens. While I didnt sell any on ebay, ebay wasnt around then, it wouldnt have been fraudulent or shady if I had.

As I have repeatedly said, I paid extra and only bought from those with lots of feedback over a long period of time and who had been selling them for more than a month so I could ensure there wasnt anything shady going on.

More recently, I asked a seller how he had so many to sell as he had no feedback, he couldnt give a good answer so I didnt buy.

A little diligence could have kept people from getting ripped off.

But, I think ebay/paypal are just slimeballs for not protecting those people who THROUGHT they had protection by buying off ebay and paying via paypal.

If it had happened to me, I would file a BBB complaint. Ebay/paypal is WRONG in not backing up purchases of GCs.

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