Casual acquaintances and friends have complained to me that they have been ripped off on ebay. That they never got their items, or that the items they purchased were mislisted by the seller (a size 6 instead of a size 9) and the seller wouldn't refund or take a return. This is very discouraging for people who want to shop the ebay marketplace. Ebay can be a fun and exciting adventure. It has more stores and items than most people have ever dreamed of and can be done in the convenience of your home, sitting sedately at your computer, sipping a cup of tea or coffee at your leisure, while watching the rest of the world go by pushing and shoving at the malls, and getting tired and frustrated at the same time, while you can just put in a few search words and find whatever you want in the wink of an eye.
I've noted that people writing guides will tell you to watch those shipping charges! Yes, that is a plus, if a seller doesn't charge hefty fees for shipping, but first and foremost I would state: "Watch the feedback from that seller!" Are there any negatives? Scroll into their feedback rating section and look at the negatives. What are they about? Do a lot of people say they never got their items? Do they state they came damaged? Do they state they charged too much for shipping and were slow to ship? Do they state the items they received were different than those listed? These are key problems for a seller, and if they have a large feedback rating, say 100+ feedbacks, with a lot of negatives (over 6 to 10 per month), don't waste your time on them, please!!!! I was looking for an item on ebay, happened to step into an ebay store, looked into their feedback, saw 15-20 negative feedbacks per month. That's a lot of negatives folks! I looked into those negatives, and almost every one of them stated: "Item never received!" That seller, evidently, put up items worth at least $20.00 to $30.00, with a starting bid of $.99 Cents. If the item did not reach his or her desired amount (at least cost) for bid, they wouldn't ship the item, and then if the person complained they never got the item, they said they weren't responsible for items lost in shipment (no tracking?). They had a feedback rating of over 1,000, but they were "Rippers". This kind of unfair business practice makes a bad name for ebay so you must follow this advice if you wish to buy safely rather than sorrily on ebay. If you have a problem like this "REPORT IT TO EBAY", and if you paid through Paypal, also "REPORT IT TO PAYPAL". Ebay has a Chat on the upper right hand corner on the home page. "USE IT!" You can also go into the "SITE MAP" section and report an item never received. Ebay will arbitrate for you.
I found another previous ebay seller, who is no longer a registered user, who was under the ebay name of littlebudda2005. That seller had 113 negative feedbacks in 6 months and 264 negative feedbacks in 12 months. It doesn't matter if he had 1000 positive feedbacks within that time frame, because those negative feedbacks indicated that people did not get the products they purchased EVER! Would you like to be the one who didn't get their purchase? One man paid $178.00 for his item and never got it. He was playing a type of Russian Roulette with ebayers, giving items to maybe 50 people, then not giving them to 3 or 4 people on a regular basis. This is the type of seller you MUST AVOID. Don't be taken in by their cheap prices or great deals, they are out to steal from a goodly number of their customers. They cannot be trusted. Don't be their victim.
If the SELLER TELLS YOU YOU THEY CAN'T TRACK YOUR PACKAGE. Again! Don't buy from this seller. Ask them if they have tracking before purchasing. Paypal shipping gives every ebay store and trader the opportunity to ship with tracking. Every package which leaves our store has tracking, unless it is a tiny booklet, and then we have to ship First Class at the Post Office, since Delivery Confirmation is forbidden on items less than 3/4 Inch thick. We will replace a booklet if it is lost in the mail. Every seller should give that much, as a low cost item is easily replaced if you carry a large stock of that item. But we always ship S.A.G. (Saint Anthony Guide), and have never lost a package to date! Look at our feedback, maybe other sellers could take a hint. You don't have to be Catholic to put S.A.G. on packages, just trust Saint Anthony, as he is the patron for finding lost objects and always helps us in every trial. ASK YOUR SELLER FIRST, IF THEY HAVE TRACKING ON THEIR SHIPMENTS, IF NOT, DUMP THEM! You may be the one who doesn't get THEIR package.
HOW NOT TO GET RIPPED OFF IN A NUTSHELL? Watch Feedback, Look into Postage Fees by launching the shipping Calculators on each listing, if they don't have a shipping calculator (which isn't a good sign), ask them the cost to ship the item, if they send you a quote, print it out, then proceed with your order, if the invoice is above what they quoted you, don't buy the item, but contact ebay and email them your quote. Don't buy from sellers with a large number of Negative Feedbacks, no matter who says they are OK, they are not OK. Make certain they ship your items with packing materials. Specify this when you check out the item that you want it wrapped well so you avoid breakage or damages in shipment. One ebay store seller said, "to wrap your packages and items as though they were going to be kicked at a Rugby event." That is the least the seller could do, is to pack your items well. BE CAUTIOUS BEFORE BIDDING, DON'T RISK BUYING A LARGE AND COSTLY ITEM FROM A SELLER WITH LOW FEEDBACK OR TOO MANY NEGATIVES. THEY MAY BE IN IT TO GET YOUR MONEY AND RUN. LOOK FOR A FEEDBACK RATING OF OVER 100 FOR COSTLY ITEMS. The Feedback system is on ebay for a reason. There are millions of sellers on ebay. Ebay wants to protect you, but you must use the opportunities given you to purchase items safely on ebay. It is an open marketplace, and a good one. Make your picks safely and follow this advice, and you'll not be one of those who "GET RIPPED OFF".
FEEDBACK, FEEDBACK, FEEDBACK......SHIPPING CHARGES, SHIPPING CHARGES, SHIPPING CHARGES!!!! Two important things to look for when buying on ebay. Enjoy your ebay experience by following these rules.
THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING ON EBAY!
St. Anthony Guide!