Be careful on eBay

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I have been caught out a few times with sellers ripping me off and I am not scared of leaving negative feedback!
These have been expensive lessons. Here are some guide lines I try to follow:

* Be pleasant!
I have had some sellers and buyers be extremely rude to me for no reason. EBay is supposed to be an enjoyable experience and not something that puts you off coming back again. Besides, it's not hard to be polite and doesn't take any extra effort.

* Read the entire listing.
I don't like having to answer dozens of basic questions when the information is right there in front of them. It wastes both of our time.
This will also cover yourself in regards to buying items. Read the FULL description and ask questions BEFORE bidding. Questions are free and it may save you a lot of money and anxiety in the long run. No one likes hassles.

* Use common sense.
Sometimes people still surprise me with a lack of common sense. From buyers and sellers. Think about things in a fair sense and use common sense. Nothing in life is free and eBay is a trading system, not for greedy people to rip others off.

* Communication.
Always communicate. People do not have ESP and can not read your mind. Most sellers will not assume, guess or know what your intensions are. So if you have any questions or have been held up in payment, let them know at least. It's common curtesy in everyday life and also applies on eBay.
A lot of sellers understand that life gets in the way and will extend them selves where possible.

* Got a problem?
Store and keep all of your details in regards to bought listings. This may come in handy if there are any problems down the tracks. Keep your emails and note that eBay will not accept any regular emails as it is regarded as 'personal' or 'private' communication. Use the eBay message system as much as possible as this is how eBay can track communication if problems arise.

* Out of hand?
If you see or receive anything in appropriate or you are being harassed or threatened...REPORT  IT  ASAP!!
This type of behaviour is what makes eBay an unpleasant experience and should not go unnoticed by authorities.
I have been threatened by a looney and it's not fun. It's annoying and puts a dampener on buying things online.

* Paypal
I love paypal. It's easy and simple, safe and keeps a record of everything, so scammer get caught and when items aren't received and you lose nothing. Claims are simple to make. I highly recommend Paypal over any other type of payment system.

* Feedback
Myself and other people do appreciate feedback. Feedback is a guideline for other sellers and buyers to see how someone is trading. This should not be used as blackmail or a threat. "If you leave me neg fb, then I will do that back to you" etc.
Once you have purchased something the seller should leave you feedback. Once you receive an item and are happy with the goods, you leave feedback for the seller. Simple right?
Well, some sellers will not leave feedback until the buyer has, just to make sure it's not negative. It's lame.
Keep in mind that if you do have a problem with your item(s), it's best to contact the seller first and try to work something out as the seller may not even be aware of any problem. Negative feedback can't be undone, so contact the seller to resolve the issue BEFORE leaving feedback.

And last of all....

* Don't get addicted!
EBay can get addictive for some as you aren't handing over the cash as you go. Before you know it, you may have 20 items and not realise it and postage is to be added on top of that total.
So, don't get sucked into it or your credit card may have something to say about it later.

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