Protecting Against Fraudulent eBay Sellers

In: Safety Corner

19 Feb 2009

The first line of defense against frauds and cheats is to intelligently choose the people you deal with. On eBay, the best way to do this is via the Feedback system.

You should always check a seller’s Feedback rating before you bid. If it’s overwhelmingly positive, you can feel safer than if the seller has a lot of negative feedback. For even better protection, click the seller’s name in the item listing to view his Member Profile, where you can read individual feedback comments. Be smart and avoid those sellers who have a history of delivering less than what was promised.

When you’re bidding for and buying items on eBay, you’re pretty much in “buyer beware” territory. You agree to buy an item, almost sight unseen, from someone whom you know practically nothing about. You send that person a check and hope and pray that you get something shipped back in returnand that the thing that’s shipped is the thing you thought you were buying, in good condition. If you don’t like what you gotor if you received nothing at allthe seller has your money. And what recourse do you have?

Remember, when you buy something through an eBay auction, when it comes down to making the financial transaction, you’re dealing with an individualnot eBay. And as you’ll soon learn, every person you deal with behaves differently and expects different behavior of you. In the course of your eBay dealings, it’s not unlikely that you might run into a shady seller who never sends you the item you purchasedor tries to pass off a lower-quality item for what was described in the item listing. What can you do to protect yourself against other users who aren’t as honest as you are?

Fortunately, you can do several things to protect yourself on eBayand, in general, shopping at eBay is no more dangerous than shopping at a local garage sale. This chapter details some of the standard guidelines and procedures you can follow to ensure that your eBay buying and selling experience is not only successful, but profitable and enjoyable as well.

eBay regards its Feedback system as the best protection against fraudulent transactions. I certainly recommend that, whether a transaction went swell or went south, you leave feedback about your partner in every transaction. I know that I check the feedback rating of every seller I choose to deal with; it really is a good way to judge the quality of the other party in your eBay transactions.

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