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There are many types of silver I have come across and after a bit of research here are some hints:
Sterling Silver -  92.5% silver (the rest is another alloy usually copper). 
Sheffield Silver - silver plate which I believe is no longer manufactured
Tibetan Silver - this is a tricky one because sometimes it can contain around 10% silver or less plus other alloys including copper, pot metal (whatever is left over after smelting).  
Bali Silver - as Tibetan silver
German Silver: This is not silver - if someone tells you it is - it isn't - it is a mixture of nickel, copper and zinc
Britannia Silver - 95.8% silver
Then there is silver plate (which speaks for itself - generally electroplated onto a base metal - and is sometimes hallmarked)
Silver-tone - silver in colour but no silver content
Silver-coloured - silver in colour but no silver content
Unfortunately some sellers put Silver in their description and when you read through you find it is silver-plate or silver-tone. 
Please sellers put what Silver it is in your description. 
Buyers if you are unsure what the seller is talking about e-mail them.  If they don't answer then don't bother bidding on the item. 
Not all silver has a hallmark.  Believe it or not American solid silver jewellery does not have to be hallmarked. Silver from Thailand is not hallmarked.  Silver items under 7.8 gms do not have to be hallmarked in the UK. 
Hallmarks differ all over the world.  Again if you are buying a silver piece and you are not sure of its origins ask the seller to describe the Hallmark in as much detail as possible.  For instance (and these are just examples - you can do a lot of research on the net) France uses a boar's head, Hungary a dog's head, Russia a woman's head, Sweden a triple crown, Finland a crown inside a heart, England a lion, Scotland (very rare) a thistle.
So remember: if you are unsure then ask the seller. 
Sellers: please be as clear as possible with your descriptions - this is helpful to the buyer. 
Buyers if you receive an item which does not appear to as described or has been misrepresented in anyway then contact the seller - if this cannot be resolved then contact e-bay. 

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