Ebay Myths! questions and answers! Q & A 's

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1. Myth: When I buy an item on eBay, I am buying from eBay.
Fact: You can think of eBay the same way you might think of the classified ads section of your local newspaper. The newspaper isn't selling the items listed in the paper. Likewise, eBay isn't selling the items you see listed on their site. Sellers pay eBay fees to post descriptions of the items they want to sell. That is why it is so important to review item descriptions and terms of sale when buying an item on eBay. Every seller is different. Most sellers are trustworthy but some are not.
2. Myth: eBay guarantees the items sold on their site.
Fact: Because eBay doesn't actually sell the item (see above), they also don't make any guarantees about the item's reliability or the accuracy of the item descriptions. On eBay, it's buyer beware. While eBay has a few methods you can use to try to get your money back, they only apply to items eBay deems were "significantly not as described" or that were never shipped. The process often takes a long time and may not be settled in your favour.
3. Myth: PayPal's 100% protection from unauthorized transactions means I'm protected if the seller doesn't ship an item or if the item is not what I expected.
Fact: PayPal's 100% protection only applies to unauthorized transactions. This is limited to a breach in PayPal security that causes your card to be fraudulently charged. Transactions in which a seller misrepresents or fails to ship a product are not covered by this guarantee.
4. Myth: PayPal Buyer Protection offers me all the security I need.
Fact: PayPal Buyer Protection is much more limited than the protections offered by a credit card. The program was initiated by PayPal to encourage more users to make purchases through PayPal using their bank account which nets the company more profits. For the best protection, always use your credit card as the payment method for PayPal transactions.
5. Myth: If an eBay seller has a positive feedback score over 98%, they are trustworthy.
Fact: Total feedback score and positive feedback percent are not accurate reflections of a seller's trustworthiness on eBay. There are many other factors that must be considered such as: number of unique positives, number of unique negatives, number of neutrals, and recent feedback trends (e.g. seller's who have suddenly received 5 negatives in a row after a long track record of positive feedback).
6. Myth: If an eBay user has a negative experience, they will leave negative feedback.
Fact: Because of the way in which the eBay feedback system works, there is a very strong disincentive to leave negative feedback when a buyer or seller has a negative experience. This is because of a phenomenon known as "negative feedback retaliation". Users who leave negative feedback open themselves up to receiving negative feedback in return, even if they don't deserve it. This is why most sellers have what seem to be impossibly high positive feedback percentages.
7. Myth: Neutral feedback is not important. I should only consider positive and negative feedback.
Fact: Because there is such a strong disincentive to leave negative feedback (see above), buyers and sellers often leave neutral feedback with negative comments. This practice is so common that, in most cases, eBay shoppers should treat Neutral feedback as if it were Negative. This is also why you should be very cautious before leaving a Neutral feedback for a successful transaction. If you are generally satisfied with a transaction, you should leave Positive feedback.
8. Myth: eBay aggressively removes fraudulent or misleading listings from their site.
Fact: eBay makes money when sellers list items for sale and subsequently when those items sell. This means that there is very little incentive for them to remove questionable listings from their site. If you've spent any time searching eBay, you've no doubt noticed that there are a lot of auctions that are clearly fraudulent.

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