How to spot and avoid fakes on Ebay...

Views 2 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful

Read this and protect yourself from fakes on Ebay, take the time to read it fully

All the time there are over 10 million items for sale on Ebay, and out of these there are bound to be fakes or bootleg items for sale.

Some of these can be very hard to spot and buyers are getting stung by these fake items.

I myself have been caught out with designer clothing, event tickets and games, therefore I want to make sure other Ebayers can avoid fakes!

So here goes;

1) Research what you are buying ----- More often than not there will be obvious signs to a fake, what has been useful to me is comparing a genuine product (let's say a Lyle & Scott Polo) that I already have or have seen, to the one in the seller's photo. The badge may not be as defined, the tags could be frayed, the material a slightly different shade, the imprinted logo on the buttons could be missing. The list goes on but you need to identify marks or details on a genuine one first. HOWEVER, a seller may use a photo of a real item to sell there fake!

2) Check for a returns policy ----- Following on from the above, check what returns policy the seller has in place, if they do not accept any returns at all, maybe you should look elsewhere. Because when you have the item, lets say a designer bag or a ticket, you can inspect it first hand, if you believe it to be fake you need a returns procedure in place!

3) Ask, ask, ask ----- Decent and honest sellers will be more than happy to answer your questions, and even provide you with more photos. If they are reluctant to help you, and cannot provide information about the product or even only have a photo from Google then start to back off and look elsewhere, they will be more than happy to help if they are genuine.

4) That's a good price... ----- Quite simply, if it looks too good to be true, it most likely is! If a new 120GB PS3 is available for £50, ask yourself why, sellers are here to make money, not give items away.

5) Don't make it easy for them ----- Pay by a protected method such as Paypal, if they are asking for cash or a cheque then request to still pay by Paypal, they will incur the Paypal fees but at least it is safer for you the buyer. If you pay by cash and they turn out fake, you cannot get your money back, the will be laughing all the way to the bank with it!
Paypal is much much better because you get to make a payment without the seller ever getting your card details
Or alternatively Escrow, where they will securely hold your money until you have approved the item. I recommend this for very valuable items.

6) Do a feedback check ----- This can tell you so much about a seller. Read through any negative for neutral feedback to see what comments have been made and how the seller responded. If it is overall very good this will give you some confidence when buying from them.
It may be good to see what types of items they have sold, or even if they have never sold and all there feedback is from buying. If they have a consistent trend of sales like the same item and have a business account, you are likely to be safe to buy from this trader, but still do the above checks. If they sell a concert ticket, then some clothes, then some games, all new and for seemingly cheap prices, they could be a fake seller.

Remember: The majority of sellers on Ebay are genuine and are trying to make an honest living. However there is a large percentage that are trying to sell fakes. Items that are easily faked are;

  • Concert, sport or event tickets (check for a hologram and compare them to your previous tickets, ask for proof of booking so you can check with the relevant company - please note that some scammers report the ticket missing after selling it to you and get a new one sent to them, so DO NOT leave feedback until after you have attended the concert. The name on the ticket will not matter if it does not match yours. If you are still unsure ask if the tickets are in hand and ready to post and ask there reason for selling.)
  • Designer clothing and accessories (As previously mentioned, compare as many details as you can such as stitching, imprints on buttons, shades of colours, detail on bagdes/logos, tags)
  • Video games (Games for PS3, Xbox 360, DS, Game Boy and many other consoles can easily be faked, sellers can burn the discs off a personal home computer if they have the right software, it is not just games from overseas such as Hong Kong that can be fake. To avoid these please check photos and see if the casing appears the same and of a high quality, and when you get the game, check the disc for brand names such as Microsoft or Xbox 360. You can also install the game to your Xbox 360 hard drive to ensure it will play fully)
  • DVD's (As mentioned above these are so easy to fake, when I travelled to China there were fake DVD's for sale on every corner for literally a few pence. They are so easy to do, so buy DVD's from a UK or US seller and as above, check for telltale signs such as no photos and reluctancy to help with your questions.

I hope this has been useful to you, I am more than happy to answer any queries you may have and will further expain anything for you.

Happy Ebaying

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides