Hi, I decided to write this guide when I had some trouble when buying a mobile phone on eBay. This guide would also be helpful for those wishing to sell their mobile phone using eBay.
It was quite recent when it became necessary for me to buy a new mobile phone due to my darling twins sucking my old one to death. I decided how much I wanted to spend...looked at new and used costs of the different phones I was interested in...then most importantly I started checking feedback of the available sellers.
When I check feedback I usually look first at the percentage..then I look through the feedback, reading any negative comments...I also look for neutrals as many eBayer will not dare leave a negative comment, for fear of receiving one back..and hence tarnishing their own good name! I always look to see how long the member has been active, and if it is not long check the ID history...which isn't usually that helpful as a scammer with half a brain would probably use a different IP address. If the member has not been active for very long but has a lot of good feedback, I look for duplicate entries and many entries from new members or from members with a very low feedback rating, such as 0 or 1...these are probably checks you should scan for even with longer standing members...especially when making a large purchase. Another good check is to look at some of the item URLs next to the feedback and see how they match up with the comments etc...an extremely obvious example could be: Many thanks for top notch computer..A+ > but when you check the item it is a biro sold for 1p BUY IT NOW.
Since buying my phone I came across an excellent guide to fake feedback and the like...have a read if you get the chance..its title is:
FEEDBACK WARNING!!! GOOD REPUTATIONS CAN BE FAKED
After doing all the checks described above I was ready to start bidding...I started bidding on a phone which was up to around £60...like many eBayers I will wait until close to the end of the auction before I put in my maximum bids in order to try and get the item for the lowest price possible. However, when I went to bid the phone had been bid up to £1000 when the phone would only cost around £200 new! At first I assumed that somebody had made a mistake and entered the wrong amout...but when this happened again and again on the next two phones I tried to win, I realised something fishy was going on! I looked at other completed mobile phone listings and as I had guessed, it was happening a lot!
My theory is that mobile phone sellers are finding "ordinary one off sellers" are providing competition for their highly priced alternatives and they are getting together in order to sabotage items which are ending at similar times to their own. Not only will people think they are getting a bargain at their prices when they think phones are going at such extortionate rates but they are putting the competiton out of the picture. They do it at the last minute so that the seller can't remove their dodgy bid, I have seen one seller have to relist his item 3 times!
My advice to buyers would be to try and get you maximum bid in before this cut off time, then at least the seller can offer you a decent second chance offer. Similarly..to sellers, remember that you can give a second chance offer out to the next highest bidder, so providing someone got a reasonable bid in in time, you don't need to relist.
There did apparently used to be a scam along the same lines where the scammers woud put the price right up with two different id's and have the next lowest offer with another id then withdraw the high bids at the very last minute so that they would get an item at a very low price but it is said that eBay has put a stop to this scam.
I have contacted eBay about these occurences and they say that they are looking in to it.
Please vote if you found this guide helpful in order to bring my points to more peoples attention and help make eBay a safer place to trade!
Another very helpful guide on scams is:
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FRAUDSTERS/SCAMMER ON EBAY