It is important to remember that eBay is a lot like a marketplace. There will always be a dodgy guy in the corner, selling things that most people wouldnt touch. The trouble is that, on the Internet, these people can be a little harder to spot. Here are ten tips to help you keep an eye out for the rip-off merchants.
1. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is: This holds for everything in life, but especially for eBay. Things that seem too cheap are usually too cheap for a reason it might be a complete scam, or the items might just be of extremely poor quality. Investigate before you go further.
2. Know the value of what you want to buy: There are people on eBay who regularly bid such high prices for used cameras that they might as well have gone out and bought them brand new. Check around for prices first.
3. Only bid on real things: eBay has plenty of people who are trying to sell all sorts of schemes and scams. It is never worth bidding for these, no matter how cheap they might be.
4. Dont do anything outside eBay: Occasionally people will ask you to send them money outside eBay, to avoid the fees eBay charges sellers. Any money you send this way is entirely insecure dont do it.
5. Be careful where you send payment: People may hack into others accounts, and ask you to send payment to addresses that eBay has not confirmed as belonging to that account you might send your money and receive nothing in return.
6. Look out for sellers who suddenly change what they sell: Sellers can look like theyve made lots of transactions, when really theyve never sold anything of worth. If they suddenly start selling $1,000 televisions, steer clear the chances are theyre planning to run off with the money.
7. Beware the shill bidder: If someone who doesnt seem to have bought anything before is constantly outbidding you on a certain item, be suspicious. It might be a seller shill bidding to force up his items price.
8. Dont use the sellers escrow service: If an escrow service is recommended to you by a seller, it could well be owned and run by them and theyre quite likely to keep your money and send you nothing.
9. Pay electronically: You are more likely to be able to recover any losses if you pay using a credit card instead of sending out cheques and money orders these low-tech payment methods cant be tracked as easily.
10. Buy from reputable sellers: Each seller has a number next to their name, which is their feedback rating. The higher this rating, the more you can trust them.
On that last point, feedback ratings are the most important way that buyers and sellers can protect themselves on eBay and you, as a buyer, have a rating too! Now that you wont get ripped off, the next email will be all about your rating, and what you can do to make sure people know that youre not going to rip them off either.
About the author:
Karen Walker is a professional Life and Business Coach who specializes in helping others discover their passions, and realise their goals and dreams. Cash Flow Quest |
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