BE CLEVER, OUTWIT THE FRAUDSTERS !
What to look out for :
Here are my top tips :
1. There are multiple pictures of an item. Check the back ground, does it really look like a persons shop or home? If the picture looks "unprofessional" then that is GOOD, although there are some good photographers out there. If suspicious check the persons feedback rating (see point 5 below). If the picture is catalogue quality then the item is probably not available, it may be just a brochure picture!
2. Are there any close ups of the label or stitching? Can you see the underside company stamp on a piece of pottery ? Has the back ground picture suddenly changed when showing the items finer points/close ups ?
3. Is someone offering a RARE item that is DISCONTINUED ? Check through EBAY right through to the final page, is there another one the same, with a different heading ?
4. Someone is offering multiple items of the same type at a really low price, this is fine in the case of usual items, such as household goods, common items. But in the case of "Designer" goods please remember, they are doing this at a profit, so 17 seperate auctions of designer T shirts by the same seller for a few dollars/pounds must be either fake, stolen or very out of date. So what price did they buy them at ? Can you imagine getting a "real" Gucci T shirt for 3 dollars ?
5. Beware of sellers "pumping" up the bids to get more money out of the other bidder. Some sellers create fake accounts and then bid on their own item. Watch out for the same name bidding many times in a row. This, twinned with a bidder with 0 feedback or 2 or so feedback probably means its a "masked" account.
For example :
Mr toby (234) £30
swingrtretx (2) £29
swingrtretx (2) £28.50
swingrtretx (2) £28
Mr toby (234) £25
swingrtretx (2) £24.50
swingrtretx (2) £24
The real bidder was Mr Toby, "swingrtretx" was a fake account created to get more money out of "Mr toby", he would have won at £25 but was tricked into paying £30.
6. Beware of "Fake Feedback", if there is multiple feedback left at the same time by the same person with exactly the same feedback comments then be careful, furthermore if there appears to be a lot of people on the same feedback page doing it. These have probably been created by the trader to make it look good, often these "customers" have very low feedback scores indicating that they are not really active. But then again, it could be a new customer.
(NOTE: EBAY SHOPS are likely to have multiple purchases from a singular person anyway, due to the nature of the business they conduct).
7. Watch out for the devious use of "". These can be used to hide a true meaning. For example "Genuine" Gucci Handbag. The word STYLE can be used to hide a true meaning also. A Gucci STYLE handbag is not a real one.
Please note though, this page is for guidance only. Please dont run away if ONE of the criteria listed matches an item you are looking for, it doesnt mean you are dealing with a criminal. However, if two or three of the items here match then its time to ask questions.
I hope these points have assisted in your search on EBAY. Good Luck.
NOTE : The account names mentioned here were at the time of writing not real and active. If they have become active since then it is purely cooincidental.