This guide will cover the aspect of 'Too Good To Be True', along with advice and help on buying genuine bargains, and what to look for to be sure you have a genuine seller and auction.
We've all seen it...SLR Digital Camera only £100!
LCD TV only £300!
How can we be sure that these are genuine auctions? Well there are a number of things to have a look at.
First, look at the seller information.
How much feedback does he/she have? If they are offering these high tag items and have no or very little feedback, chances are its a scam. OK, so they have a few hundred or even thousands feedback....is it visible for you to view, or is it 'private'? If it's private, stay well away....if it's visible, click on it and have a look...what is the % of negative and neutral? As a general rule, much more than 1-2% negative, especially with people who have huundreds of feedback, is an indicator that would deter me right away. Do they have recent transactions? If not, and they have great feedback, then you *could* be dealing with a stolen account, especially if they are offering high tag items at cheap prices. If they do have recent transactions, click on a few, see what they have sold before...have they sold expensive items cheaply before and received good feedback? or have they just sold items worth a few pounds...
Also look at the item location. High price items being sold cheaply from abroad are a sure fire indicator of a scam. If the item is in the UK, then what methods of payment do they want? It should obviously be in pounds sterling, after all, what would a seller in Birmingham want with Singapore Dollars? DO they accept Cheques, postal orders, paypal? Whilst some sellers don't accept certain payment methods for whatever reason, a genuine seller of a high price item would be interested in potential sale, and therefore be somewhat accomodating to a potential buyer. Does the item description make sense and read as though the person has a good grasp of English? Don't be scared to ask questions via the ask seller a question link...ask loads of questions....a genuine seller will not have any problem with this at all....a note to the wise while we are on payment methods....NEVER use wire transfer to pay for an item...you may as well throw your hard earned cash to the wind....Paypal do offer protection under certain circumstances, but be sure to read the fine print thoroughly, to be sure you would be covered before relying on this...you may also be afforded some protection from a credit card company in the instance of things going wrong, but again, check with them before you make the purchase, to be sure of their fine print.
Next, check the photo and description. Is the photo an apparently genuine one taken from somebody's home, or is it a stock photo from an online retailer? You can find pictures of just about **Anything** on the internet....is the item description promising money back guarantees or stating that they have hundreds of satisfied buyers? Money back guarantees are meaningless when you are dealing with a scammer....has the item description been copied from a website selling the item? Ask the seller for additional photos of the item. Most sellers will gladly oblige, if they are genuine.
Finally, in the case of smaller items, you may find that the item you receive is a fake. There is a plethora of fake trainers, and football shirts and other sportswear infesting ebay right now. Also many name brand clothing, small electronics, and jewellery items are counterfeit.. Use the criteria above to determine what you are dealing with...where possible, always buy using paypal with their protection, making sure that your seller has the paypal protection logo displayed on their auction, just under their name and feedback. There is no surefire way to guarantee against fakes, but this is a good way to protect yourself if you are scammed..
When buying on ebay, keep these points in mind
- ASK PLENTY OF QUESTIONS
- USE COMMON SENSE
- IF IT SEEMS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS!
I just want to add here, that the majority of people on ebay are hard working, genuine individuals, and millions of transactions go off without a hitch. This guide is just intended to arm you with some common sense information, to avoid you becoming the next victim!