Safe Buying Techniques
In-spite of what some people may say about E-Bay, it is a perfectly safe market place for both sellers and buyers, the latter being the topic of this guide.
The first thing that is important to understand before passing judgement on E-Bay, and any other internet shopping site for that matter, is the current age in which we live in.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 signified not only the end of the Cold War and the uniting of east and west, but the worlds shift from the Industrial Age to the Information Age. The most significant change to occur during this new age was the development of the internet, or the 'World Wide Web'. The interent has united the world in ways that were completely unforseen, and introduced the largest shift or sharing of information the world has ever seen, far beyond any measurable quantity.
The point of this is that the internet and all of its properties, including shopping, file sharing, media streaming and viruses is part of the natural evolution of our world. The information age has awoken the idea of world wide trading from your home office, businesses with virtually zero overheads, overnight billionaires, and most importantly, the idea that putting your brain to work instead of yourself, is much, much more profitable.
To be afraid of the internet and utilising its full potential is ultimately a fear of change and acceptance, and therefore by desperately holding on to obsolete Industrial Age ideas, we stunt not only our own personel potential, but the entire worlds.
Although it cannot be denied that there are many scams and crooks abusing the internet and its users, we must also remember the same scams and crooks were operating before the internet, the playing field is the only variable that has excersised its' right to change. It is important to be carefull when transferring private information accross the internet, such as bank and credit card details, just as it was equally important to be carefull when transferring this information privately.
It is important to remember that a large majority of E-Bay sellers are very serious about their little business or money making operation. The bottom line being they are in it to make money, and in order to make money a seller needs to maintain a good reputation amongst the E-Bay community by providing good quality customer service in all aspects of business.
Thankfully E-Bay has made the internet shopping experience an exciting and pleasurable one, as well as one that can be incredibly financially beneficial. It has done this by the implementation of some of the most effective and fool-proof business safety systems ever seen on the internet, making it easy even for first time E-Bayers to spot the type of seller or buyers we want to avoid, which is a very small minority. These are as follows:-
The Customer Feedback Rating & Comments
The Seller & Item Location Displays
The 'Ask Seller A Question" Button
Customer Feedback Rating & Comments
The tool that I personally view as the most identifiable in terms of buyer safety. This tells us three very important things about the seller; 1. How long he/she has been selling on e-bay for, 2. His actual feedback score and positive feedback percentage (the higher the better for both), 3. The feedback comments left by customers once a purchase has been completed.
Using the feedback ratings and combining the above three factors, gives us a solid idea of how reputable a seller really is.
The Seller & Item Location Displays
These are important pieces of information to aquire before proceeding with a transaction. Be cautious with sellers outside of Australia or who have their product outside of Australia with low feedback scores, and be extremely cautious with seller who do not disclose this information at all. It is wise to request it by use of the 'Ask Seller A Question Button'.
Simply the safest way to pay for items on E-Bay. Paypal offers coverage of up to $1500 on purchased items (refer to Paypal's website for further information), and constitutes very safe trading. If you use credit cards on E-Bay i strongly reccomend registering with Paypal and using it whenever possible. This is not to say that the other payment methods are not safe, and when the previous two safety factors are reviewed one should be able to decide which payment method suits him/her best.
'Ask Seller A Question' Button
Use it to request any information that is relevent to the product and that is not disclosed. Obviously if a seller refuses to disclose that information (providing it is relevent and only relevent to the product) it is advisable to steer away from the seller.
As stated earlier many sellers use E-Bay as a store front, which is fantastic for buyers. Using E-Bay as a store requires almost insignificant overheads, which are in turn passed on to their customers. E-Bay stores are legitimate businesses, and it is a fairly sure bet that they value your business greatly, and will do anything in their power to maintain you as a customer.
I hope that the above information has cleared some of the skeptisism away from your view of E-Bay, and will lead to a happy and safe E-Bay experience. The most important thing to remember is simply to use your common sense when considering a purchase, all the information you need to make a decision is there for you to view, so enjoy E-Bay and the opportunities it present us.
Thankyou for reading,