Hi, I decided to write this 'common sense' guide after receiving numerous items through the post off ebay and then being thoroughly disappointed when they turn up!!!
I have been on Ebay for approx 8 years now (power seller for over 18 months) and it never ceases to amaze me what utter and complete rubbish people are happy to send out to their customers.( not me I might add!!) lol
Firstly, is the item genuine? PLEASE DONT ASSUME THAT BEING A POWER SELLER MEANS THEIR ITEMS ARE GENUINE - IT DOES'NT!!!
Check the other items that the seller currently has on auction and check the things that have previously been listed by checking their feedback to see what other items they have sold - if a seller makes all of their auctions private then I would personally steer clear ( after all, what's the big secret??) and also take a second look at sellers that have recently made their listings private since receiving a negative/neutral feedback! why don't they want you to know what their selling??
Usually it's because their items are not the real deal and they dont want you to see how many chanel /chloe paddington bags/tiffany jewellery/abercrombie & fitch swimming shorts they have been listing!! (P.S. MY ABERCROMBIE SHORTS were REAL! I HAVE THE RECEIPT !) you can do an advanced search to check all of the user's completed listings for the last 15 days - just need their user id - which will also give you a good clue!
You can check what they have sold (as a seller )and what they have bought (as a bidder)- this often gives many clues as to their habits! If an ebayer has numerous quantities of a rare sold out item, then again a good chance it is not genuine. Also starting an expensive item at 99p should ring alarm bells!
Use lots of common sense here - if you cant get hold of this item - how can your seller get 30 of them and sell them for a tenner???
Always check out other ebayers guides - which give great tips and clues on how to spot the fake items in the category that you are looking at.
A good question to ask the seller is if they would be happy for you to take the item to an official stockist for authenticity confirmation?? This usally sorts the men from the boys so to speak and if you get no response then you can safely assume that the item is not genuine. A 'real deal' seller would have no problem with a buyer doing this and would probably welcome it!
Ask the seller lots of question ( dont be afraid ) a genuine seller welcomes the chance to communicate with their buyers - a buyer who does not respond or who evades your questions is likely to be hiding something. And if they wont respond when your buying, whats the chance of a response if your not happy with the item?
It really is common sense, but that chanel handbag is not going to be real when the seller has only 25 feedback and has sold 4 in the past month! Which lady do you know spends a £1000+ on a handbag, then doesnt use it, keeps the tags and cards for it and the flogs it on here for £30 starting price???
Some ladies are lucky enough to buy very expensive handbags on a regular basis and not use them - but do you think that they are the sort of person that would be inclined to sit and list one of them on Ebay??? they'd be too busy shopping for the next one!
I always work on the assumption that designer goods are not the real deal unless proven otherwise - a good point to note is that even if the listing states that the item is genuine and authentic it probably isn't. The sellers only do this to prevent EBAYS vero department from removing their auction. Ask for a receipt?/more photos?/how long have they had it?/ why havent they used it? / why selling for such a low price?
Secondly, if you are buying something that is not designer and you want to ensure that the item is - as listed - in good clean wearable condition - then again ask lots of questions.
Don't ever assume that people have the same high standards as yourself! It may sound basic but ask if the zips work, are there any holes/stains? Has it been dry cleaned recently? how many times have you really worn it? where did you buy it from?
Don't think that just because a seller has good feedback that all the items are great/genuine/clean etc Think about how many times you have left negative feedback?? not many times i suspect - neither has anyone else! so still check your seller out as if he/she were new
Lots of sellers state BNWOT - to me when I sell, this means that the item hasnt been worn - is brand new - and the tags have just come off. To a lot of sellers it means that the item has been worn a few times and still doesnt look too bad!
I have often seen listings stating excellent condition, however when I have emailed the seller to ask questions, it turns out that the zip can stick at times and could do with repairing, or there is a small hole at the seam that will need stitching etc etc
Some sellers dont always reveal all - they are trying to get the best price for their goods and omissions of truth will bump up their price!
If a seller is charging excessive postage then do not bid - simple as that. Even if a seller states that they do not accept returns, dont be afraid to return the item - and insist on getting your postage refunded - why should you be out of pocket if they have fibbed about the state of the item??
I always email any sellers now to advise that if the item is not as described, then I will be sending it straight back and expect a full refund. Again if a seller doesnt' respond or responds stating that she doesnt accept returns then dont bid. Ebay doesnt NEED sellers like this and buyers like yourself dont WANT sellers like this.
My Bad Purchases
1) dress with yellow underam stains described as excellent condition!!?? 2) Jewel encrusted dress described as never worn brand new - no jewels just the metal casings & claws??!! 3) Top with torn inside lining and chocolate stains (seriously!!) described as perfect condition
These are just a few and the combined purchase price of the above was £82 !! not pennies!!
Think about all the times that you have paid a few pounds for things that you have just ended up throwing in the bin - why should sellers like that get away with it??. If we all ask more questions of these sellers then the majority of bad ones who sell shoddy items with excessive postal charges will simply give up.
Last but not least, dont be afraid of giving neutral/negative feedback - obviously its easier now as sellers cant retaliate - but a lot of buyers still dont like doing it.
If I return an item and the seller has been really good about it and apologetic then I will leave positive and explain that i got refunded.
If the seller refuses refund and I have to open a paypal dispute then I will leave a negative feedback.
The system is only going to work if the ebayers are honest about their experiences , I hope this has been a little helpful to you and if you want to ask any questions then email me!