Low Starting BidA very common practice is for a seller to offer an item at a ridiculously low price. Example? I would love to be able to link to an eBay auction that shows this taking place, but the one I am looking right now has an MP3 player - new, factory sealed for $23.00 Buy It Now. This partiular MP3 Player retails for about $45.00. The prospective buyer sees this price, and in a flash (in hopes of buying up before anyone else), they click the Buy It Now Button - then buyers remorse sets in. During Paypal Checkout Process they realize that the seller has assessed a $37.00 Shipping and Handling fee. That's right, $37.00 for "Priority Mail" shipment. Their actual cost? $4.05. You have just been scammed. And This happens a lot. A lot more than you might think - to a greater or lesser degree.
Calculated Shipping CostsAnother very common scam or ripoff is the "calculated shipping cost" option. This requires the prospective buyer to enter their Zip code in order to get exact shipping cost prior to bidding. Here's the problem: A seller can add ANY amount to the standard shipping charges when creating the auction. That's right, when the seller is creating the auction, they can select the "Calculated Shipping" function for their auction, and in so doing, they can then add to the "Handling" portion of that setup, any figure they want, as a surcharge for their "handling" of the item. Many people don't want to trouble themselves in clicking on the calculated shipping button to actually find out how much the package is going to cost them to ship, and sellers know this, and exploit it. The first time I got suckered into this was when I bought a Baseball Trading card of Mickey Mantle. The card cost me $75.00 - guess how much it cost me to get it shipped to me? $17.00. No insurance, just came in a Priority Mail box that weighed no more than 5 ounces. Actual cost? $3.85 at that time..now it would have cost $4.05. Ripoff, plain and simple. I never clicked on the calculated shipping button to see that figure, and I would have seen $17.00 - if I would have simply clicked that button.
The Risk in letting the Cat out of the Bag...It is not only the buyers that are reading this, sellers do as well. Those sellers of questionable character are going to take these ideas and use them to their advantage if they are not already doing so - all the more reason to look out for these all-to-common scams on eBay. You would be surprised how often sellers are using these tactics to dupe you out of money. Want to help spread the word? The more people that select the "yes" button for this guide being helpful, the higher up on the 'Guide List' it gets, thus getting more exposure for eBayes to read and learn. It is my goal to completely eliminate these practices on eBay. Possible? Perhaps not, but the more people I educate about this scam, the more money they save, and the less sellers are apt to try and rip people off with Shipping and Handling scams.
Safe Buying Everyone.