How many times have we seen a designer or hard-to-come-by item listed at a ludicrously low price? Plenty. You check the image of the item and it looks great. Hmm - maybe too great.
Many people selling fake designer goods use images stolen from the designer or store's official website to advertise their fakes. Victims regularly include Tiffany, Abercrombie & Fitch and Monsoon.
So how can you tell? Most people selling genuine items are selling from their homes, shops or offices. Look for some background in the image. Images taken from official sites are usually white-background images with no model/dummy or other backdrop. If you can't be certain, then check the website. If you find a matching image, you know to avoid it.
It seems obvious, but also check for bulk of items. How much Tiffany jewellery or designer clothing is one person likely to have?
Many unscrupulous traders feed on other Ebayer's desire for a real bargain. Even a warehouse store or wholesaler will not be able to sell you a designer item brand new for less than half the usual price. Your "Chloe" bag for £200 from Hong Kong will without doubt be fake and worth about £30.
If your deal is way too good to be true, then it probably isn't.
Sadly, Ebay is getting more and more like local car boot fairs. There are still a good many people selling their own things, and bargains are still there to be had. However, there is a good deal of money to be made by market traders, with no comeback for the unscrupulous. They may get their account suspended, but that only stops them for a little while until they can re-register with new details. Other guides on here show how easy it is to manipulate the feedback system. Sometimes the "featured" section of a category looks like the "spam" section of my e-mail with "unmissable bargains" galore on all manner of things unrelated to the category they're listed in.
Ultimately it comes down to how you feel about your purchase. If there's any doubt in your mind, then put it on your Watch list and sleep on it, or ignore it altogether. Be careful with your money. Just because you wouldn't scam someone or be ruthless, sadly doesn't mean they wouldn't do it to you.
Too Good To Be True?
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3 October 2006
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