99.9% of ebayer buyers and sellers are totally honest and honorable.. it is only the 0.01% who aren't and so spoil it for the rest of us!
The commonest classic scams are, non delivery, broken items, charge backs and threatening negative feedback... in order to minimize these, here are some of my top tips.
The first thing is always to check your buyers feedback entries, and scroll back to view and read any negative or neutral entries that may have been left by others.
Quickly check what comments your buyer may have left for 'other ebay sellers' ..check out his feedback section 'left for buyers' tab
~ If all is not 100% prepare to be proactive and do the following:
- Check your buyers address out on one of the postal address finders such as can be found at royalmail.com
- Securely wrap and pack your goods to assure yourself the goods will arrive safely.
- Correctly and clearly address your goods (remember ALL parcels labels, addresses and postcodes are read by automated machine)
- Handwriting sometimes is unclear so it is advisable to always type out an address.
- Attach a return to senders address
- Enter any tracking docket number (if present) on the paypal system by logging on to paypal and viewing the buyers invoice, at the base of that page there is a "add tracking details" section, this will email the buyer with the parcels number as well as providing a record to paypal that you have posted it off.
- Retain all your proof of posting dockets etc once goods have been posted off.
- If buyer has paid for goods via a cheque.. wait for the funds to clear before posting off goods, always message the buyer explaining any delay and the reason why. Sometimes a 'bounced cheque' can take up to 14 days to be returned to you, often that is the first time you find out the cheque has not been honored.
- Good ebayers will always leave feedback for you when they get the goods you have sent, if there were to be any genuine problems they would message you at that stage. Some of the bad buyers tend to wait.. and wait.. and wait!.. leaving you no feedback, then low and behold once you leave feedback for them, they message you straight back asking " where are my goods?"... Yeah right???.... This is where a scam can be attempted, they can threaten you with leaving negative feedback or instigate a 'Goods Not recieved Claim' with ebay... if you think about it, these people could feasibly have 100% positive feedback score, if sellers left positive feedback quickly just because they paid fast.... yet, once good feedbacks been left they could claim non delivery from many sellers, when you know in your heart something is just not right and they would have recieved the goods, you can't then go back and change the feedback rating to a negative once left!
- SO NEVER LEAVE FEEDBACK UNTIL FEEDBACK HAS BEEN LEFT FOR YOU!.. this may sound callous, but if you do, you leave yourself wide open. ............. I learnt this rule when I started out on ebay, ... only the other day, (after informing the buyer at the time of posting off of their purchase when to expect to take delivery) I decided to leave positive feedback for a low feedback buyer on an item 23 days after it sold as I had heard nothing from the buyer and presumed all was ok... on the 24th day, I got a message asking when the buyer was "going to get their purchase delivered?"... I forwarded the buyer my proof of posting and informed the buyer that all my good were security marked so I had asking the Royal mail to initiate an investigation and that I had completed the online claims form with all our address details, telephone numbers and ebay invoice detail to help them establish the parcels whereabouts. I suggested they ask neighbours and at their local sorting office before I sent off the signed claim declaration to the Royal Mail...the following day the buyer messaged to say they just recieved a red calling card, and informed me "the parcel had been at the sorting office all along! so now she had got it" Luckily It was "found" somehow I thought it may of been!...
- After posting off over 600 items and recieving many 100's myself, none have gone missing by normal means... I have recieved very good service from the post office, and think they get blamed for many non deliveries when perhaps they shouldn't.
- Maybe also consider posting off the goods via a signed for service (the buyer may have only paid you for a normal postal service).. but for the extra couple of pounds you will be out of pocket, the assurance this service gives is worth it. and it is a saving in the long run as it counters any claim for non delivery
- FINALLY BEWARE of buyers who keep thier OWN feedback score entires 'PRIVATE'.. (not referring to goods with a private listing, ie; Mr Brown purchases some of Miss Naughty Nora's dubious undies that he doesn't want Mrs Brown to know about) ...... if one has got nothing to hide, then there is no need for secrecy with a buyers feedback rating I always think! ... It is always up to you if you wish to go ahead with a sale, you can always fully refund the buyer their money if your not happy in selling to them...