I am writing this guide as a warning to other buyers. On the whole, my Ebay experience has been a good one however I have learnt recently to trust my instincts and to research the negative feedback on sellers before committing to buy.
My negative experience was when purchasing a Vintage board game. I had found a game I wanted for sale from the UK and was happy with the condition etc. I emailed the seller for a quote on postage and was quoted a very high amount. As I had looked at bidding on other games and had postage costs quoted on the same game previously, I knew the game weighed approximately 500g. When quoted a cost of GBP£18 (much higher than other sellers) I knew it was excessive but due to the demand for this game I thought that I could just take this into account when bidding.
Unfortunately for me, I did win this item and immediately asked for the seller to confirm an exact postage cost for airmail. The first response I got was for Surface mail so I emailed again. When he came back to me (after 3 days) he quoted me £20 instead of the original £18. I had checked on the "Royal Mail" website for actual postage cost to Australia by Airmail and found it to be between £5-6 pounds.
I also contacted Ebay Live Help to check on the grounds for withdrawing/retracting my bid as I had started to feel unsure of the seller. Most good sellers will get back to you quickly and also when quoting postage costs initally they do not raise it after they see what their item has sold for. I was advised that the postage was indeed excessive and that I could withdraw from the transaction legitimately.
I did not trust my instinct to do that. Because I really wanted to have the game for Xmas and thought that it would just be ok from my past good experiences I emailed the seller advising payment and would accept that his postage costs were high on the proviso that he would spend some time and effort to ensure that the package was secure and would reach me in one piece.
The seller agreed and I paid my money. With the exchange rate I had paid a total of AUD$83 and was so utterly disgusted when the package arrived torn and almost all the small pieces and cards of the game had been loose in the box. Inevitably most of the contents were missing. The seller had only wrapped the box in one piece of flimsy paper and this is just ridiculous for an international package.
I have now had to go through a process of negotiating with the seller for a refund unsuccessfully and now I am in the process of filing a claim through paypal. I have also had to purchase a new game at a higher cost anyway as the original game is completely useless.
My advice is that when you have any doubts on a seller, before you part with any cash, check their feedback, particularly negative feedback. If there is anything bad that relates to your concerns BEWARE. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS AND LOOK INTO WHERE YOU STAND ON RETRACTING YOUR BID AND WITHDRAWING FROM THE SALE.