eBay is the perfect hunting ground for scammers. Here are some tips to avoid being conned out of your hard earned cash.
For the Buyers
1. The golden rule: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
2. Read any small print carefully as you could be buying just a picture or a wheel bolt.
3. View any advert without technical information suspiciously as this may mean you are not looking at what you think you are.
4. Research what you are looking for elsewhere and read review sites as they will be more inclined to be truthful.
5. Do not deal with any seller who requests you send money to a different address than that listed on eBay.
6. Messages in auctions like 'BEFORE BIDDING CONTACT ME' means they want to sell outside of eBay and usually means a request for money transfer and no goods. This is often the strategy used by hijackers of genuine eBay accounts. In addition, beware any eBayers that put their email address in the advert, especially if it's a Yahoo address, as most scammers seem to favour these.
7. Similarly, always use the ASK Seller eBay link to communicate with sellers as this is recorded and will be sent directly to them.
8. Never answer emails purporting to be eBay Customer Reps asking to confirm your address as eBay already know it and do not use anything other than an eBay authorised address. If unsure about a response address simply put it in Google to see who they really are.
9. Asking you to go to another website is a bad sign, and also contravenes eBay rules.
10. Check feedback comments for the seller actually correspond to the items sold.
11. If you buy information through eBay (like an eBook), don't expect Paypal protection when you are not happy with what you have bought, as electronic download purchases are not covered.
12. Do not trust adverts where the location of seller and goods do not match.
13. Be wary of sellers who dont have a track record for selling lots of similar items.
And finally: 14. If you click on an advert and your screen immediately shows the eBay logon screen, DON'T FILL IT IN!!!. I've seen this a couple of times.
For the Sellers
1. Be very wary of requests to ship items to relatives in other countries, especially Africa, put SCAM EBAY NIGERIA into Google and see for yourself. These are usually followed up with fake Paypal emails, often written in very poor English.
2. Be wary of requests to end auctions early for bigger payments.
3. Recognise fake Paypal Payment emails with delivery addresses, especially for items where the auctions not ended.
4. View with suspicion and don’t ship on any BUY IT NOW offers that have ended without payment within a few days. There is no real reason why the buyer would not pay for it then, even taking time zones into account, four days should be viewed as the maximum.
5. Do not accept Cashiers Cheques from Nigeria, they can clear only to be found fake when drawn against the issuing bank and it'll be hell trying to get any form of compensation.
6. Ignore any eBay emails from buyers who write nothing but abuse and threaten to get the effin FBI on to you for not sending them the goods. They just want you to click on the link to see what the item actually was, and then login at some point having followed the link. In addition, never reply to ny of these telling them where to go, as it only confirms your email address is real and you'll start getting lots of spam.
7. Watch out for International buyers of items listed as NO INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING.
8. Always check your Paypal account rather than believe any emails purporting to be from Paypal.
9. Never proceed with sales after you receive an email from Paypal verifying a buyer, its a fake they don't do that.
10. Bad spelling and poor grammar on emails confirming payment or information from either eBay or Paypal will be fakes.