eBay Payment Methods

In: Payments

18 Feb 2009

Here are the main points to remember when paying on eBay:

  • Paying by cash is very unsafe, but it can result in relatively fast shipping.
  • Paying by cashier’s check or money order can be just as fast as paying by cash, and slightly safer.
  • Paying by personal check is safer than cashier’s check or money order and provides a nice paper trailbut it can slow down shipment of your item by one to two weeks.
  • Paying by credit card is probably the best way to go, when available (typically via PayPal); it’s fast and safe.
  • For really expensive items, consider using an escrow service. For a fee, the escrow service holds onto your funds until you receive the itemand are 100% satisfied.

The least safe method of payment for a buyer is cash; there’s nothing to track, and it’s very easy for someone to steal an envelope full of cash. Also considered less safe (although better than cash) are cashier’s checks and money orders; like cash, they provide no money trail to trace if you want to track down the seller. Paying by check gives you a minor trail to trace, but when the check is cashed, it’s still pretty much a done deal.

A safer way to pay is by credit card. When you pay by credit card, you can always go to the credit card company and dispute your charges if the item you bought never arrived or was misrepresented. The same safety measures typically apply to credit card payments made through PayPal and other bill pay services although you should check with the bill pay service, just to be sure.

For the ultimate protection when buying an expensive item in a person-to-person option, use an escrow service. Because the escrow service acts as a neutral third party between you and the seller, if you don’t receive what you wonor are otherwise dissatisfied with the itemyou get your money back, guaranteed.

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