Guide to safe buying of Mobile Phones on Ebay

11 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful



Ebay shopping is different from that on the High Street because it is distant transaction and you never see the item you are buying. You must wait to receive it in the Post. That kind of communication involves risks: you may not receive anything or you may receive an item different from what was advertised. Safe buying on Ebay means managing risk. We are going to review a number of points. That will allow us to devise rules about managing risk when buying a mobile phone on Ebay



There are many dishonest sellers on Ebay. Some are lying openly, others by omission. Their goal is to get more money from their phone than otherwise would be possible.



  • the more positive feedback the seller has the better it is, a seller with zero feedback can be perfectly honest person but we don't know that as he still doesn't have reputation; more positive feedback shows as well more awareness and experience


  • is the feedback as seller or as buyer?


  • are there negative feedbacks, if they are about items not received/refund not sent or about items not as described there is very high risk


  • what did the seller sell, did he sell at least one expensive Mobile Phone, did the buyer receive it, was he happy?


  • when did the seller register, yesterday?


  • some seller accounts get hijacked. The sign is that when he was selling CDs or whatever at once he sells last model Nokias for 500 Pounds and there is an email address published in the middle of the item description inviting you to contact the seller about the sale: this is certain sign for fraud. Always check the feedback.


Payment methods

  • the most important point is does the seller accept Paypal. I do not buy from sellers who do not accept Paypal unless they have important feedback number. I don't buy from zero feedback sellers who accept only cheques, bank transfers or postal orders. The risk is too high and Ebay DOES NOT OFFER any protection for listings which don't offer Paypal. If you buy you are not insured. If the seller is dishonest your only recourse is the Police

Buyer protection programmes

  • Buyers are protected either by the Standard Purchase Protection Programme or by the Paypal Buyer protection. Which one applies to the item you are buying is shown at the right up side of the page under the title Buy safely


  • the Standard Purchase Protection Programme insures you up to 150 pounds minus 15 for administration fees which makes 135 Pounds. That is the amount you are covered by Ebay. In a worst case scenario when the seller is outright conman and doesn't send anything or it is lost during delivery or he sent to you used and BLOCKED handset instead of new etc. you will get back only 135 pounds. That is approximately the biggest amount I am bidding with sellers with insufficient or bad reputation. If you paid more you can go to the Police. My personal experience is that I spent more than two hours at the Police station trying to explain them that they have to take my complaint because somebody stole from me and that is a crime and them trying to tell me that I have to leave because I am bothering them. They didn't know which form to fill etc. Later they sent me letter saying that "nobody was arrested"


  • Paypal Buyer protection is up to 500 Pounds which is enough for most Ebay transactions but not every seller is offering it

To be continued…



Explore more guides