5 Ways To Protect Yourself As An eBay Seller

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If you are an eBay seller, whether it be for business or recreational purposes, it’s important to know the best ways to protect yourself and your profits.  The majority of online transactions are successfully completed without any problem but on the rare occasion that you find yourself in a dispute, take the following tips into consideration:

If you accept PayPal payments for your international shipments, consider sending your packages exclusively via Express mail, which includes $100.00 worth of shipping insurance at no additional cost.  Many sellers do not realize this, but USPS Global Priority Mail cannot be tracked via the online system.  Although the Global Priority mailers do have a tracking number already affixed, they are trackable only at a main terminal.  If an international buyer files a dispute with PayPal, you may find that the dispute is resolved in favor of the buyer even if you have a tracking number.  Because the package cannot be tracked online, PayPal may rule in favor of the buyer and you will find yourself without the item and the money.

Every eBay seller wants to increase sales and an important part of that is making the shopping process as convenient as possible for potential buyers.  One of the greatest conveniences is offering online payment methods, including PayPal.  It’s important to consider the types of payments you are willing to accept, including those made directly from a checking account or a credit card.  PayPal allows a buyer 45 days to file a dispute and initiate a claim for a refund.  After this time has expired, a customer that paid with a credit card can dispute their payment directly with their issuing bank for several additional months.  In this situation, the seller would incur a chargeback fee from PayPal if they determine the chargeback was legitimate.  Accepting credit card payments often open the door for buyers to initiate disputes many months after a purchase was made.

Always read the feedback of your buyers.  Just as shoppers consider a seller’s feedback when purchasing an item, a seller should carefully review the feedback of their highest bidder prior to accepting their bid.  When it comes to dealing with someone online, a buyer’s reputation and comments posted by other sellers who have dealt with this person before will be one of the most important pieces of information that you can possess.

If you accept personal checks, always ask your local bank about clearing time.  Most recommend up to 10 days, but it may actually take longer for the bank to notify you if a buyer’s check bounces.  In some cases, it can take up to 21 days before you would learn if a check were to be returned.  By that time, you may have already shipped the product only to find out that you are the recipient of a bad check.

When accepting mailed payments, avoid accepting third-party checks of any kind or a form of payment that is higher than the actual total amount due.  There have been instances where online scams have presented themselves in the form of a money order that is excessively higher than the actual amount that was due.  After mailing the money order, the buyer writes to the seller and claims to have made a mistake in sending a very large money order.  They go on to ask that the seller cash the money order and return the excess money along with the goods purchased.  In most cases, these money orders are not legitimate and the seller finds themselves in hot water if they submit to the buyer’s request.

When it comes to buying and selling online, both parties need to know how to accomplish their goal successfully and without having any unnecessary problems.  If you are a seller, the above tips should help to make your next online transaction a safer one.

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