Dangers and Pitfalls to avoid when buying.

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Dont lose out to conmen.....


During my time with ebay its generally been enjoyable and fun. Most people who are selling or buying on here are friendly and will do their utmost to help and support you. These people are great and offer better services than some shops ive been to, particularly the big name no nonesense shops.

However wherever there is money to be made there are always people willing to exploit it for their own gain. These lowlifes are a plague to ebay and other online shopping sites and will stop at nothing to generally ruin your life.

When you consider some people are housebound or ill and use ebay etc as their only means of making a living or even just shopping then what these parasites do is no worse than mugging or house breaking.

I have had my fair share of these dodgy dealers and have made a point of learning how to spot them, ive had to learn quick too as my average sale is around £100 and i seriously cant afford to lose even one sale.

Generally speaking the most common of this type of dealer are sadly from eastern or African countries and seem to be centered in Nigeria. Im sure youve seen items 'relisted due to Nigerian scammer'. Its a sad fact that these few people have ruined the reputation of an entire nation.

Ebay have got better at issuing warnings about possible communications from these people and generally kick them off before any harm is done. But in case you get put into the firing line from these people heres a few pointers ive picked up.


  • Never accept payment via Western Union or Bidpay unless you have complete faith in the system. Ebay have taken measures to outlaw the use of western union for any auction payments now.
  • Never send your item before payment is recieved and cleared. if you accept payment via paypal and its a considerable amount its good to wait a few days before sending in case it was a payment from a stolen credit card.
  • Never buy an expensive item from someone with zero feedback. Its unfair to say all new members are crooks but its your money and even if it seems a bargain there will always be another one better.
  • Take the time to check the feedback comments. There are a number of groups of thieves on ebay who leave each other glowing feedback for items that never existed in order to look good to the prospective customer.
  • If a seller has listed multiple items all the same, then email and question how he has so many. If you get a rude answer then your better off buying elsewhere anyway.
  • Never buy bulk lots of items particularly if the seller wont accept paypal. Ive seen items for 20 x Mobile phone £2000 etc etc and they expect you to just transfer your hard earned into their bank account.
  • Always use paypal to pay and accept payments. As with most credit card payments online you are protected should something go wrong and paypal is very efficient at recovering your money. I tend to make all my auctions paypal only now as most people have a bank account and can therefore have a paypal account. Paypal encourages bidders anyway, sales without paypal are subject to considerably fewer bids.
  • When youve sold your item and the buyer refuses to acknowledge you you can claim back your fees and block the bidder from ever buying your items again. The fees can soon mount up if not claimed back nand its your money after all. Ebay will also let you relist the item for free after a week.

Feedback is important both as a seller and a buyer and its good to do your utmost to encourage a good relationship and therefore good feedback. It benefits everybody.

If you should need to file a complaint with paypal for any reason its very simple, just click on resolution center on the main page and follow the instructions. Claims can take 28 days but its better than an empty wallet. There is also the item not recieved process and squaretrade through ebay. Just search ebay help using those keywords.

In short what seems too good to be true....generally is too good to be true. But a little communication goes a long way to making ebay a safe and trustworthy experience.

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