It's sad but true...we all know that unfortunately, eBay is fertile ground for scams by both buyers and sellers. I happen to be both a buyer and a seller...so I've run into scams from both ends of the spectrum!
If you are an eBay buyer, there are a few precautions you can take to protect yourself form dishonest sellers. These are only a few tips...things I've learned the hard way. Hopefully one or two might be of some help to an unsuspecting buyer out there in Ebay Land. Each and every one of us would like to avoid being scammed, right?
1. Take the time to study the seller's feedback page. I know it is time consuming and rather boring...Just do it...It will give you tons of important information. Don't simply scan the pages...read the comments. Check out the feedback they have left for their buyers also, you can learn a great deal about a seller by the feedback they leave others!
2. Never, never, NEVER buy anything for more than a few dollars from a seller with zero feedback. Yes, I do realize that everyone has to start somewhere...I'd rather deal with a new seller who has had at least some BUYING experience however. Anyone can build up his feedback by purchasing a few items BEFORE they start selling. A zero feedback rating for a seller is a enormous red flag!
I firmly believe that anyone selling on eBay should at least have some experience and history, even if it is as only a buyer. Bottom line....Find another seller who is selling the same item who has some feedback rating.
3. See how long the seller has been a member of eBay. You will see it posted on their feedback page. It reads: "eBay member since---" You do not want to deal with a seller who has recently become a member....Many scam artists sell on eBay in an honest manner for a short time, to establish a history, then they scam buyers once they have had a few sales....Unfortunately, even when these crooks get booted, they then return with a new ID and start their scam all over again. A good rule is to look for sellers who are well established and have been around for a long time. Better safe than sorry.
4. READ THE LISTING COMPLETELY. Understand the seller's policies regarding returns, shipping, and payment. If you are purchasing clothing or crystal, read the measurements. If the measurements are not posted in the listing ASK for them. (This may be the biggest bone of contention between buyers and sellers. So many problems could be avoided if the buyer would take the time needed to take the time to read the listing!) That leads me to the most important tip:
5. Ask questions! Ask questions! Ask questions! And wait for an answer before buying or bidding. If the seller doesn't answer your question in a timely manner, look for another seller...simply move on. If a seller will ignore a simple question before a sale, he will most likely ignore you after the sale as well...and you may need his help with a problem.
6. Read the seller's "About Me" page and "My World" page...there is a wealth of information to be found there! These pages will tell you many things about the seller that may establish or improve your comfort level in dealing with that person. Beside that, they can be very entertaining!
7. Go with your gut...Trust your intuition. If something seems "off" to you, or the deal is way too good to be true...move on. eBay has millions of sellers. You'll be able to find that item and buy it from someone else.
8. Rejoice when you find a seller that you like. When the item you received was just as you hoped it would be...put that special seller on your "favorites list"...and go back to them when looking for your next purchase. It's a wonderful thing to establish a relationship with an eBay seller you trust...and you'll never have to be concerned about being scammed!
I do hope you found this guide helpful in some way. I would appreciate it if you would be so kind as to vote "yes" if you thought it was.
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