Don’t Get Ripped Off: Tips for eBay Buyers

With the internet phenomenon of Ebay, buyers and sellers from around the world are united in one common marketplace. Millions of people converge on the website each day to sell their wares or to make a unique purchase. However, situations arise when buyers run the risk of being ripped of by the loss of their money and/or product. What are some ways buyers can protect themselves when making purchases one Ebay?

Check feedback. Each Ebay user has a feedback and a listing when he or she became a member of the internet site. The feedback option shows the buyers and sellers who have dealt favorably or negatively with the member as well as those who have a neutral opinion. An Ebay member’s feedback is tallied to show his or her score or percentage of positive feedback. If a person is considering making a purchase from an Ebay seller, read the feedback. A person with thousands of items sold and a high percentage rate would seem to be a better choice over someone with an abysmal score.

Ask questions. If an item’s description or shipping charges aren’t clarified, ask the seller questions. Most items give potential buyers the option to email the seller. Email the seller before bidding to clarify things such as sizes, colors and condition of the item as well as the cost and method of shipping. Some sellers clearly state that the item up for auction is sold as is with no refunds. A buyer who refuses to ask questions and then decides not to pay on a winning bid puts himself or herself in the position to receive negative feedback from the seller.

Payment Options. Each auction lists the preferred method of payment that a seller is willing to accept. Some sellers are able to receive electronic payments via online methods such as PayPal while others opt for the standard method of checks or money orders. If a buyer is not comfortable sending payment via the postal service, he or she may want to bid only on auctions that offer PayPal or vice versa. Never send cash!

Shipping Options. Most sellers will list the shipping methods and amounts. A buyer should look at these amounts carefully. Is the seller charging an exorbitant amount for an item that will be shipped in a letter sized envelope? He or she may want to shop elsewhere. If a buyer offers insurance on an auction, it is a good idea for a seller to purchase this. Most sellers will not offer a refund if an item is broke in transit without insurance.

Location. Where is the seller located? If the seller is located in Canada or the United Kingdom, the auctions will usually be listed with his or her native currency. Some Ebay sellers will not ship items internationally and if they do, the shipping charges will be extra. Watch this carefully.

Buying items on Ebay can be a fun and convenient experience. A person who reads and watches the auctions and sellers carefully will save himself or herself from the aggravation and discontentment of being ripped off.

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