How To Spot eBay Scams.

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Shill bidding- This term is an artificial bid that increases an items price on auction. Luckily, eBays rules are able to prevent you from bidding on items that are being sold by friends or family. The only exceptions are Buy It Now purchases, or fixed price listings. Shill bidding is one of the easiest frauds to execute, so many of the shill bidders, are going to be leaving clues for you.

  • Always check the number of bid retractions a bidder has.
  • Are the user IDs in the same format?
  • Watch out for sellers that immediately relist an item.
  • Do the pattern of bids look right?

Postage- Have you ever bid and won an item, and then discovered an inflated postage charge? I like many others, have also had this occurence happen. If the seller is trying to con you, they may be hiding their shipping  prices, or have it in very small print. You are able to change your customised settings so that a postage column will appear in your searches, hence allowing you to do some investigating for those "buying on impulse" times.

Second Chance Offer- Your watching the seconds tick down till your bid wins the auction. But in the last few moments of the auction, you get outbid, and end up as the second highest bidder when the auction ends. A few days after that auction has ended, being the second highest bidder, you receive an email opposed from the seller saying that the winning bidder has declined to pay for the item, and that the item is now available to you, if the payment is sent. If you do not know much about how the second chance offer system works, you may believe that the email is infact genuine. The success rate for pulling this of scam off is very high, and has become such a problem that many seasoned sellers take control of the situation, by stating in their listings, that there are no second chance offers made, and that the bidder should immediately report any offer of the sort to eBay. Always ascertain whether or not the offer is in fact genuine and contact the seller first.

Fake Items- Selling counterfeit items within eBay is prohibited. Some casual sellers may not realise that selling fake items is not allowed, and there can be penalties for doing so. There are sellers whose businesses are actually funding the organised crime. It is a shame that we have to treat our on-line experiences with some disheartenty. There is software available to sellers, that can create multiple eBay accounts that can post positive feedbacks, faster than thought possible. So don't only rely on the sellers feedback.

Item Not As Described- Have you ever seen the phrase in a sellers auction " I am not an expert" in their item description?  Be prepared to ask questions, and try anticiapting whether or not your own perception of what the seller is selling,  will differ from what you have been described the item to be like. And also be aware that some people unfortunately may be dishonest with their descriptions.

Lost In Transit- You have won the item that you have been waiting to get your hands on, and then.. Time goes by and it still hasn't arrived in the post. The mailing systems are pretty good, in many cases it would appear that your item was never sent at all. Most sellers will not accept responsibility for items lost or damaged in transit.

Feedback-  A seller can gain thousands of positive feedbacks in less time than it takes to get a reply from eBay customer service! With such a reliance on feedback it is vital to check exactly how the feedback has actually been gained.

Be aware of the tricks that scammers can and will use. Knowledge will keep you safe.


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