How to Avoid eBay Scams

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As we enter the world of eBay as a newbie, ready to grab fantastic deals for whatever occasion, we are always reminded to 'be careful' in order to avoid scams. As a new eBay user, I felt energetic and decided to explore the wide range of products from different sellers and keep an eye on products that I liked.

For the first few purchases, everything was fine. I purchased several items for a very low price on eBay in comparison to what was in store and felt ecstatic. I then later found a nice pair of shoes which I'd been wanting since last Summer but didn't end up purchasing it. To my joy, I found it on eBay at a cheaper price and decided to purchase it.

You guessed it. It was a scam. Well, maybe not 100%. But the seller listed it as a new product in box, in perfect condition. Only upon purchasing it did I think of having a 'thorough' look at the seller's feedback which at first sight looked very positive. However, I noticed that they were often purchasing shoes from a particular store on eBay who are known for selling ex-display stock or damaged shoes for a cheaper price. I then found my shoes in the feedback and as I suspected, it was a pair of ex-display stock shoes which were damaged, which the new seller did not mention in their description and had bought it for a very cheap price.

I then waited for my product to arrive and it was as mentioned, damaged. I then tried to contact the seller but no reply. I was about to check their selling page but on my product description it mentioned the seller was no longer part of eBay! They did a runner. So I went to the resolution centre and opened up a paypal dispute, then escalating the claim. I ended up getting my money back but the whole effort was not exactly fun.

Therefore, a few tips for buyers:

  • Make sure the seller has 100% positive feedback. If they have any lower than that, check their feedback in detail and see what reasons people have given and then decide whether it is worthy of pursuing a purchase from them
  • Try to stick to UK sales if you are in the UK and are not too sure about the product as it is very difficult sending the item back if you want a refund due to high postage costs (this happened to me too but I got my money back without having to return it [lucky] but the product didn't look as good in person)
  • If the seller has very low sales, check their past sales and if the description for each is available, look at them carefully too as well as the comments
I'll update more but do keep an eye out and if you need help, visit Quality Street (that's me)!
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