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Sound advice based on years of experience about payment methods and the risks associated with them.  For some time members have been contacting me with problems and horror stories, this has been created to share their experiences and advise.

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Do not pay by cash
Ask yourself why would a seller not have a Paypal or Bank account

It is very easy to set-up a Paypal account and link it to a bank account for the transfer of moneys from Paypal to Bank.  As you would not declare currency on the outside of a parcel any Recorded and Signed-for delivery options are for the package not its contents, and it can be easy to denigh receipt of cash.

Do not pay before end of auction
Ask yourself why would a seller want to sell before the end of the auction if waiting until the end may increase the selling price!

Selling before the close of auction gives the seller the option of closing the auction early and doing a deal outside of eBay meaning the buyer has no chance of leaving any feedback comments warning others, has forfeit any protection from eBay and/or Paypal and little chance of proving payment.

Dealing with Asiatic countries
Although almost everything is made in China these days, there is a lot of  Chinese and therefore it follows there will be a percentage of unscrupulous members in ratio.

However it is more of a problem if you consider that it is easy to become an eBay member in China with little or no checks and balances that you have come to expect as part of membership in the UK.  It is almost impossible for eBay to check-up accurately for multiple and repeat accounts and therefore it is mostly left to the members to police, which usually means an 'after-the-fact' reaction.  If you get irritated by someone being banned for fraudulant activities and starting up another account in the UK, it is virually impossible to detect this in China.


  • Never pay by Cash.  -  Do not assume integrity.
  • Never take an offer to buy before the end of an auction.  -  Taking the right steps will reduce the degree of risk.
  • When dealing with foreign countries ask, if it goes wrong how easy will it be to get my money back?  -  Not everyone is on the level.
  • If you are suspicious about something, dont deal.  -  There should be no hidden mysteries.


First step should never be into deep water if you can't swim


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