eBay has become a household name for shoppers. A lot the buyers on eBay are not regular internet shoppers but they still shop on eBay. Such is the power of eBay giving simplicity of shopping and top bargains. From time to time, there is some fraud on eBay about fake fashion items, event tickets that do not exist, some expensive electronic items that do not exist.
eBay does its best to intervene and resolve such disputes. As a shopper, you can follow these 10 safety tips to avoid being conned.
1. Check the seller’s feedback. Positive feedback rating of over 95% is good. If there are many recent negative feedbacks, then this is not a good indication. Also, read all the negative feedbacks. Are these negative feedbacks reasonable? What type of response does the seller have for these feedbacks? Does the seller’s defense sound reasonable? Sometimes new members who buy items on eBay are paranoid and they leave a negative feedback in a haste so make sure if the seller has defended himself/ herself in a reasonable manner. If there are too many complaints of the same nature, then it is probably true.
2. The sellers must have identification or recognition seal like PayPal verified, or Square trade or a Power seller seal on the auctions. Such sellers are more reliable. This is especially a good check when you are buying an expensive item.
3. Ask seller a question before bidding on the item. Responsible sellers reply promptly to questions. Also, if the seller has the item, he/ she may be able to answer a valid question otherwise not.
4. If you are buying something expensive, then get the contact information of the seller at http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQtZvbQQsofindtypeZ9. You have to login to your eBay account and send a request. You can get the sellers address and phone number. In doing this, your address and phone number will also be emailed to the seller.
5. The items must have pictures unless it is a service that is sold on eBay. If there is no picture, then the items are probably not there. Almost all sellers will put at least one picture of the item. Let’s assume that the item is there but the seller has been lazy in not putting the picture in the auction ad. Would you like to deal with someone who is so careless? It just shows that the item may not be in good condition, maybe defective or broken.
6. Check description of the item. Research other websites for the same item. Some of the shopping websites to research would be shopping.yahoo.com, overture.com and shopping.msn.com. These sites are adequate for researching items and get the description that you need. The eBay description should match item description on other sites.
7. Research prices for the item on sale. If the item on sale is Gucci handbags, then search for this model of handbag on shopping.yahoo.com. If it retails for $800 on Yahoo and seller on eBay is selling a brand new one for $90, then this item may not be authentic! Large wholesaler are able to sell items for around 50% of retail but something like an original Gucci handbag, it is unlikely that a seller would let go for $90 because these items sell like crazy. Just a note on fraud items, a lot of fraud eBay occurs on fashion items. This is very unfortunate, and eBay has taken a lot of steps to eliminate fraud.
8. If the seller has not mentioned any shipping and handling terms, then ask before bidding. There are many auction ads, where the seller mentions that shipping and handling will be mentioned to the winning bidder. Surprisingly, there are bids on that item! If you start bidding on the item, then it means that you agreed to the terms and condition of the sellers and there is less room for you to dispute later so ask for the clear instruction on shipping and handling.
9. Reliable sellers have clear description on their refund policy. If it is not there, then ask the seller for it. If the seller has no refund policy, then do not bid on the item. If the there is no refund policy in the auction description, then make sure you get the refund policy in an email from the seller. In this way, you have a document of the refund policy.
10. Do a search for the sellers past items on eBay. Check to see if the seller has sold similar items in the past. To search on the past auctions, go to the Advanced Search page. Here click on the items by seller link and type in the seller’s ID and check the box for Include Completed listing. It is always good to check this especially if you are considering buying something expensive.