This guide is to protect all eBay bidders while bidding on the season’s hottest items, so that the scams that occured with the XBOX 360 don't happen again!
With the approaching holiday season upon us, there are many hot items that are out, and going to be coming out that are going to fetch very high figures here on eBay. This guide is meant for you, the consumer, to take a step back in your excitement and anticipation while bidding, to look for a few very key details of the auction you are bidding on before you get ripped off, wondering where your hard earned money went.
This guide is meant to protect all you eBay bidders while bidding on this season’s hottest items by looking at the scams of the past. Hot holiday items such as Tickle Me Elmo T.M.X., the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, and the iPod Nano 2nd Generation are going to be in high demand this holiday season due to manufacturing shortages, and depending upon consumer’s wishes and patience, will be auctions that will be on the news for their high final sale numbers on eBay. It is important as a consumer that you do not let your impulses, wants, and desires take over your rationality, and ability to read, this holiday season when bidding on these items.
Media hype creates hot holiday items. Last year, the XBOX 360 was in short supply and high demand, and left many holiday shoppers looking for the console empty-handed. Gamers and Parents, not wanting to wait until the turn of the year to wait to play this system, or view the disappointment of their sons and daughters on their holiday when they did not receive it, were willing to fork over hundreds above the retail price for this system. Though many individuals bid on auctions that were false in their description, and individuals were paying astronomical amounts of money for items they thought they were going to receive.
That's exactly what has happened to a few shoppers desperate to get an XBOX 360 last year. Buyers on eBay paid up to $800 for a worthless photo of the gaming system. eBay and other Web sites had multitudes of bidding wars going for the XBOX 360 console, and the frenzy has attracted the cold hearts of those looking to take advantage of the situation of these individuals that truly wanted to have the system. Scammers on eBay set up auctions that appeared to be selling this system that was in high demand, and hoped that someone that needed the goods quick would bid quick, without reading the auction in detail.
Now, here is the second last line of the auction, that I am referencing, singled out so you can see how someone states that they posted that the XBOX 360 was a picture, and it was not false advertising, it says:
- "This auction is not for an XBOX 360, but of a picture of one. I hope you enjoy this high quality item. The XBOX 360 is the hottest thing on the market." Pretty sneaky huh?
- Her winning bid was more than $600. The XBOX 360 retails for $299 for a basic package, and $399 for the premium package, but she received a printed picture of the XBOX 360! The seller responded when questioned that it was listed in the auction that this auction was only for a picture of the XBOX 360.
This was not an isolated incident, and this still continues to happen quite a bit. Here is another example. On the first day of the XBOX 360’s release, a UK gamer was the winner of a similar scam that preys on individuals that did not want to wait for the system to be restocked in retail stores and did not read the auction, and “snaked” the buyer out of $817 for a digital photo of an XBOX 360. The seller hid a little disclaimer within the specs and information portion of the description of the XBOX 360 system, which stated that the auction was actually for a photo of the XBOX 360. If bidders on this auction already new the specs of the machine, they probably skipped through this portion and failed to thoroughly read the auction to see that this seller was trying to scam their fellow eBay’ers.
Here are the basics, yet fundamentals, to follow when bidding on these hot items this, or any, holiday season.
As for everything on ebay, check the seller’s rating. Take a step back in your excitement in your purchase to see how their history online has been. These items are not going to be cheap, and you want to make sure that the seller has had some history on eBay, even if it is only amount of time on eBay. Make sure the seller is trustworthy, and does not have a ton of feedback gathered in the last month, nor do they have many negative remarks against them for their selling practices.
Contact the Seller
Next, you want to contact the seller. See if the seller responds. Ask if a gift receipt is included with the purchase, in case the item needs to be returned. A gift receipt adds a little reassurance that the auction, and item, is legit. It takes about 10 minutes to do, but it will be worth it not to get ripped off.
Read the Auction Thouroughly
You may know all the details about the Playstation 3, or the Nintendo Wii, but taking the time to read the entire auction, including the specs, will flush out sellers with cruel intentions that try to hide little disclaimers in their auction. Scammers, to back up their auction, will put a line in the auction to say that the person was only bidding on a picture of the item, like what happened last year with the XBOX 360, to rip you off.
If the item has a Buy-It-Now price under, or just at, the retail price when all other auctions are going for two or three times more, this should be a red flag to you. These individuals will make the quick dollar and you will never hear from them again, preying on the buyers that want the best deal.
I hope this helps fellow gamers, and to you parents wanting to get your kids the hottest items. Needless to say, that scams like this will be attempted this year with this season’s hot items. The Tickle Me Elmo T.M.X., the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, and the iPod Nano 2nd Generation are just some of the big items this year that individuals will try to take your money on. So please be careful that you are bidding on an actual item, and not a picture, because a picture may be worth a thousand words, but $800 – I think not.