eBay Fraud: How to Protect Yourself
By: Jenny How
Fraud plays a large part in the internet nowadays mainly because they are more and more people getting on the internet to do things, like selling, buying and socialising.
eBay as a giant marketplace of its own are not spare from frauds everyday.
Protecting yourself from eBay fraud when you are either buying or selling can be confusing if you are unsure of how to proceed.
When you are looking at an item on eBay you wish to purchase, check out the auction page closely. Examine the ad and see how legitimate it sounds and appears. Look at who the seller is and what kind of reviews he or she has gotten.
One of the best features of eBay is how you can leave a review of the seller's professional services, the speed at which he or she sends you the item, and the courteous behavior they exhibit. This is probably why eBay introduce Detailed Sellers Rating, so that buyers can assess the sellers in depth.
Before you purchase an item, take the time to review all refund policies. In most cases, eBay sellers do offer returns to make their listings more attractive. But more often than not, postage costs are never included in refund. If you do not see any logic in the policies outlined by a particular seller, it's best to avoid buying from them.
When using eBay, 90% of the sellers offer payment through PayPal; a merchant solutions system which allows for payment from either your checking account or credit card without actually allowing the website to see your transaction number, keeping your transactions and card numbers safely guarded.
Paypal does not charge buyers when buying online. It is advisable to pay through Paypal and buy from sellers which offer Paypal when buying from eBay.
That's because Paypal does the work to protect you if your items fail to arrive or if you think you've been scammed. PayPal offers buyer and seller protection which includes fraud protection tools and tips on safety when selling and buying products.
It's common practice to review photos of items carefully before pressing the bid or buy it now button. If you look in details of the several photos posted by the seller, you can notice defects or similar issues by studying these.
While this method is not foolproof as images can be faked, it is another method of protecting yourself.
Always trust your instincts; It can be difficult to resist when you found something seems like the perfect sale - low price and great items. One word of caution - when it seems to good to be true, it always is.
You are better off trusting your instinct.
Not buying the item is the best defense you have against being taken advantage of.
In the end, keep in mind eBay can only do so much to assist you in the event fraud occurs. Don't frivolously give out your personal information or buy an item which you have not carefully examined.
You may also wish to contact previous buyers who have purchased items from the seller before and ask their input too, although this is rarely done.
Copyright (c) 2008 Jenny How
Jenny How is full time eBay Powerseller and blogger. Her latest book Learn To Sell On eBay In 7 Days reveals how she started an online niche business on eBay. You can download it free at http://www.jennyhow.com
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