When you buy something on eBay, you are giving the seller your money and hoping that you will get the item in return. However, nothing is certain and you need to be careful who you're dealing with at all times. Unfortunately, there are scammers in this world, both online and on the High Street, and if you don't make the right checks before parting with your cash, then the chances are you won't get all of that money back.
That's why you should always check the seller's feedback rating. This gives you some idea of whether or not you should trust them with your money and a chance to minimise the risk of losing your money.
How to Check The Feedback Score
On each item page, there's a box in the top-right hand corner with the title 'Meet The Seller'. This tells you the seller's name, their feedback score, and their positive feedback percentage, as well as any stars they have earned - take a look at our own feedback for an example of what we're talking about.
Different coloured stars are given to eBay sellers depending on their ongoing score, such as: yellow, blue, turquoise, purple, red, green, 'shooting' yellow, 'shooting' turquoise, 'shooting' purple and 'shooting' red. These 'shooting' stars denote sellers who have a long & credible standing on eBay, so you should be ok with these, but don't discount anyone with lower scores at all - just may sure that the scores are ok and the comments are alos worthy of a look as well - see what other people are saying!
If you click on the seller's name, you can get to a more detailed view of their reputation, and it shows the total number of people who gave them a positive or negative rating. You can also see the history of all the comments that have been left about them, with the most recent first.
What to Look For
You might think that anyone with a very high number can be trusted, but that isn't always true. You should also look at their positive feedback percentage - and you should really consider anything below 99% to be a bad sign and look still further before buying.
Are there any negative comments? What do they say? You should also look at the breakdown by time and possibly ignore any negative feedback that was left a long time ago. You should pay attention if a seller seems to have been left a large amount of bad feedback in the last month or so as well, as this could signify a downturn in the way in which they work.
Thanks for taking a look!