How to Avoid Scams on eBay

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eBay is not always the cheapest place to make a purchase. Sometimes sellers are trying their luck and so always check prices first on a shopping comparison engine like Kelkoo, Shopping.com and Pricerunner.

Don’t buy information only products

Some sellers try to sell lists or links to information which is usually available elsewhere for free. Avoid like the plague.

Read the description carefully

Sometimes it seems you’re bidding for an object on eBay, when all that’s actually up for grabs is a link to a site selling it. Equally, sometimes the seller is actually selling the box an item was sold in and trying to pass this off as the real thing.
Always read the whole description in detail before bidding.

Know your rights.

If you use the ‘Buy It Now’ button, rather than a standard auction, to buy from a UK based trader on eBay, and you’ve all the same statutory rights as buying from a shop. A trader is someone who makes some or all of their living from regularly selling goods. Technically it’s up to the Court’s to decide but it’s usually pretty obvious.

Buy from a private individual and the law says “let the buyer beware”. Providing your purchase arrives ‘as described’ there’s little legal comeback (assuming you can trace them anyway) and the standard seven day internet cooling-off period usually doesn’t apply to auction purchases.

Don’t depend on Feedback

Whilst Feedback is a good indicator of a seller's honesty, it is possible to fake feedback by having multiple IDs, and IDs can be stolen.

Beware of emails

It is common practise to send winners of high value items fake, but sometime very realistic, emails pretending to be the seller asking for payment details. It is wise to only communicate with buyers through eBay Messages.  It is very easy to make an email look like it has come from someone else.

Those pesky Internet Cafes

There are literally thousands of people in web cafes around the world desperate to part you with you valuable cash.  The rule of thumb here is if something feels wrong, trust you instincts.  Here are some situations to avoid:
  • A winning bidder asking you to send an item to his pastor "friend".
  • Unusual payment methods or practices such as overpaying and asking for a refund
  • Stupidly high bids.  A new scam is to bid up to silly levels and then use another ID to offer to buy it from you off eBay with an unsecure payment method such as Western Union

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This Guide was written by Hello Baby - Please visit the Hello Baby eBay Store

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