Ebay is currently one of the world’s largest online Market Places. Every day hundreds of thousands of items are sold and bought on this internet colossus. There are many wonderful advantages to this website, however like most things on the internet, a small minority try and exploit it. There are people out there who want to take advantage of unsuspecting users who are not aware of the dangers of Ebay. They can make a fortune using scams and lies to con people. Don’t be put off using Ebay because of this though, all you really need to know is how to avoid these people and how to avoid getting ripped off on this site.
There are two sides to Ebay. Buying and Selling. And which ever one you are involved in there are things you need to be aware of so not to get ripped off. First of all I will tell you about buying. On Ebay when you purchase an item it’s common practice to pay for the item before you receive it. This can be a danger. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to stop someone taking your money and never paying you! So what are the danger signs?
If you see someone with a very low rating, then this should be a warning. People with either a zero rating or a rating in the minus may not be trustworthy. Be more careful when dealing with people with low ratings. If they ask you for a cheque or ask you to send cash, then this is a really danger. There is nothing to stop then taking your money and running!
Always use Paypal. Paypal is the most popular method of payment on Ebay. If something does go wrong with your purchase, Paypal have the ability to reverse your payment and give you your money back. It’s very rare that this is an issue and they are usually quick to refund your money and it’s relatively hassle free.
Beware of fakes. Depending upon what you are buying there is a danger that the product is a fake. If something sounds to good to be true, then it probably is! Again you can tell a lot from the seller’s rating as to the likely hood of them dealing in fakes. But if you do buy a fake, sometimes it can be very difficult to get your money back, even through Paypal as you will need to prove the validity of your claim.
Beware of false descriptions. Similar to fakes this is something you must watch out for. Someone may say an item is in ‘Mint’ condition, but is it really? Look carefully at pictures, ask for additional pictures if you are unsure and ask questions. If the seller does not reply this may be an indication that he is trying to mislead you. Always be careful when buying and make sure you know exactly what you are getting.
When it comes to selling on Ebay there are also some things you need to be aware of. Never under any circumstances send an item before you have received payment. Some people may claim their payment is pending or the cheque is in the post but never send an item until you have received the full payment. Don’t agree to someone saying I’ll pay half now and half when I receive the item, this is against Ebay policy!
If someone is paying you by cheque, wait till the cheque is in the bank and it has cleared. If you send the item on receipt of the cheque, there is nothing to stop that person cancelling the cheque so you never get your money. This is something always to remember.
Make sure you obtain proof of postage and track your order. What’s to stop someone receiving the item, then claiming it never arrived. In these circumstances they will get their money back and you will have no way to contest the matter. However if you can prove the item arrived safely, there is nothing they can do to claim. Also make sure you pack the item well so as to avoid damage. Make it clear on your listing that you can not be held responsible for items damaged in the post. If you have the proof of postage then the Post Office will have to refund the damaged item.
Be careful when listing items and taking pictures. Make sure you describe your item accurately and are not misleading in any way. The buyer may claim that you have sent them an item that ‘was not properly described’ and this may lead to a Paypal dispute which may see them getting their money back, however if you are careful to describe your items well this should never be an issue.
Overall Ebay is a pretty safe environment to buy and sell if you follow these simple guidelines. There are measures in place to prevent people misusing the site and as long as you use common sense and are aware of the dangers you should never have any major problems. As Ebay say, ‘Happy Bidding’.