Don't get Scammed by Dodgy Sellers

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Scams have become a daily occurence on eBay, however , there are a few steps
you can take to avoid being scammed when buying on eBay. Prevention is better
than having to deal with it later.

Check Seller's reputation

The first thing to check is the sellers feedback. That would be the number beside
the Seller's ID. A seller with a high feedback rating is generally safer to transact with
but that is not always the case. There are times when members with a high feedback
can have their accounts hijacked or the seller manipulated the feedback system.

It is very easy to increase the feedback rating by buying or selling 1p - 99p items. This
does not mean that everyone who buy and/or sell low value items are scammers though.
Do further checks on the seller.

Check seller's other items

Just checking that the number is a big number just may not be enough. See what else
the seller sells. If the seller sells a range of similar products, has a shop, etc, then they
are probably legit. If the seller has been selling low value items but then suddenly starts
listing loads of iPods, Sony PSP's, XBoy 360's, etc, then be careful.

If the seller is listing 10 identical listings for an item using the same self-taken
picture, then that's very suspicious. If they were stock photos, then consider
whether the seller is a private or business seller. It's reasonable for a business
seller to only use stock photographs but if a private seller with low feedback is
listing identical high value items using stock photographs, then I would avoid
that seller's auctions, especially if an item is in high demand and without enough
to go around.

Read the description carefully

Many bidders / buyers bid / buy before reading the auction description! Some sellers
make listings to appear like they are selling high value items but then reveal that they are
selling information on where to get such items are discounted prices. These are often
links to matrix sites or the Free iPod / PSP / etc sites. There are even sellers who are
only selling pictures of the items and making the listing sound like you are bidding on
the item. If unsure about something, ask the seller first.

Payment method

If the seller insists that you should pay via payment methods like Western Union
(which is no longer allowed on eBay), then be cautious. If they insist on Internet
Banking (wire transfer) or direct bank deposits instead of cheques, then be careful.
These are difficult to trace.

Insist on paying by credit card via PayPal. If paying via PayPal, make sure you select
your credit card as the funding source as PayPal seem to want to make you pay out
of your bank account. This way, you can file a charge-back if something goes wrong
with your credit card company to retrieve your money.

Check to see if you can collect if you live close to the seller. Many sellers will let you,
but some may not as they are not comfortable with it.

Be realistic

Yes, you can find great bargains on eBay but you have to use common sense. If an item
is worth £300 brand new, and the seller is selling the item at £100 Fixed Price Buy It Now,
you just have to stop and think about how realistic that really is. Do the other checks mentioned
previously. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


- Check Feedback
- Check other items
- Read the description carefully
- Pay with credit card
- Be realistic

Thanks for reading
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