Ebay is great, and when things turn sour, there's Ebay's Standard Protection and Ebay's dispute console. Or is there? Here's my experience of these tools designed to bail you out when things go awry.
But these two measures can only help so far. Ebay's Standard Protection is great, but comes at a cost. Unfortunately, I was one of four Ebayers who were tricked into buying items that simply did not exist. The seller "did a runner" soon after the auction ended appearing as "No longer registered" once they had received payment. I got into touch with the other buyers and we each made a claim. Although we were refunded the majority of our money, we were still each £15 out of pocket which is Ebay's fee for processing the claim. Incidentally, we paid by Paypal thinking we would be covered by Paypal's Buyer Protection (no £15 fee), but the item was just less than £120 which meant we weren't in fact covered by Paypal. One more thing to check before you bid !! Still, it's a fairly painless process filing a claim and the money does come through fairly quickly.
I've also had to use Ebay's dispute console in the past regarding another Ebayer. Though sadly, after much correspondence, this sad blue-in-the-face Ebayer (is he a Smurf?) reneged on everything he promised. He even had the cheek to post a webpage with a biased edit of emails after declaring he would not stoop so low. He even posted my personal details without my permission. And when I asked him to remove my personal details from his sad webpage, he makes the most pathetic amendments that leave little to any normal, educated person's imagination. He claims to have 17 years experience in IT matters. Though obviously not in users' security, privacy and confidentiality of emails.Worse, he tries to make out I was at fault when all along the item arrived faulty (but not visibly damaged- otherwise, I wouldn't have connected it up in the first place), and after I did connect it up, it then burns itself up taking out my RAM in the process. The most notable damning omission was his email promising to seek compensation from the postal company after we agreed that the item must have been damaged in transit. It is worth noting that another Ebayer also comments on how poorly he packages fragile items - which was probably the cause of my problem. He promised to refund me once he received this compensation, but I guess he has kept the money for his sad self. I wasn't even claiming for the additional damage to my components. To this day, I still haven't heard from this sad Ebayer. His actions speak volumes - far more than any manipulated pictures and words. I've given up on this sad individual despite still being out of pocket and my feedback now at less than 100%.
So really, much depends on how far you are willing to pursue disputes. I hope any Ebayers reading this never have my misfortune in encountering sad idiots who ruin Ebay for the majority of us good, decent and honest Ebayers.