By Kirsten Hawkins
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 wouldn’t 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
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
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. Don’t do anything outside eBay: Occasionally people will
you to send them money outside eBay, to avoid the fees eBay
charges sellers. Any money you send this way is entirely
insecure – don’t do it.
5. Be careful where you send payment: People may hack into
others’ accounts, and ask you to send payment to addresses
eBay has not confirmed as belonging to that account – you
send your money and receive nothing in return.
6. Look out for sellers who suddenly change what they sell:
Sellers can look like they’ve made lots of transactions, when
really they’ve never sold anything of worth. If they suddenly
start selling $1,000 televisions, steer clear – the chances
they’re planning to run off with the money.
7. Beware the shill bidder: If someone who doesn’t seem to
bought anything before is constantly outbidding you on a
item, be suspicious. It might be a seller ‘shill bidding’ to
force up his item’s price.
8. Don’t use the seller’s escrow service: If an escrow service
is recommended to you by a seller, it could well be owned and
run by them – and they’re 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 can’t 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
that buyers and sellers can protect themselves on eBay – and
you, as a buyer, have a rating too! Now that you won’t get
ripped off, the next email will be all about your rating, and
what you can do to make sure people know that you’re not going
to rip them off either.
About The Author: Kirsten Hawkins is an Ebay and internet
auction enthusiast from Nashville, TN. Visit
www.auctionseller411.com/ for more great tips on how to
make the most from Ebay and other online auctions.