What to look out for when Buying Online - Buying Safely

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There are many, many items for sale on eBay around the world, but sometimes you may encounter problems in a transaction with a seller, below are a few tips to help keep your buying experiences on eBay positive ones:

1. Always make sure you know the 'Postage Cost' of an item before you purchase it, many times we've seen people purchase $1 and $2 items from overseas sellers only to be faced with postal fees in excess of $50 or more! Ouch! .. If a postage fee isn't shown on an auction page you can always contact the seller by sending them an eBay message and asking them how much it would cost to send to your postcode or country, don't be afraid to ask, as you've got every right to ask and most sellers are only too happy to help answer your queries.

2. Always read the full terms of auction. Most sellers will list on their auction the accepted payment methods, postal methods, and general terms of the auction for you to read and accept when buying or bidding, if you don't understand a term on an auction send the seller a message so it can be clarified for you, this ensures you're fully aware of the sellers' terms of sale, how to pay, when a payment is to be received by, and when you should expect to receive your purchased item.

3. If a seller asks for additional fees or payments - If you win a bid or buy an item and the seller asks you for additional money which isn't stated in the terms of the auction this is known as 'Fee Circumvention' and should be reported to eBay as it's against the rules. All fees should be made clear in each auction by the seller, stated on the auction page for you to be able to read prior to bidding or buying. You can't legally be charged fees that aren't listed in the auction.

4. Paying for your purchase - Sometimes the seller might list terms regarding how a payment is to be made, most times it isn't as simple as putting money into an account over the counter as sellers who sell a lot of the same items will need to see your eBay ID on the payment to confirm that it is your payment, if you use Internet banking you can usually easily enter the sellers required ID into the 'Description' or 'Reference' field of your banking page, if payment is made over the counter keep the receipt/docket the bank gives to you and emailing the BSB number from the receipt/docket can also help the seller identify and confirm your payment in their account.

5. If you'repurchased item hasn't arrived within a fair amount of time you can send the seller an ebay message to enquire. If all else fails and communication from the seller hasn't been good you can choose to lodge an 'Item Not Received' dispute, this will create a window on eBay where the seller can answer your queries regarding the whereabouts of your purchased item and for your concerns to be addressed more seriously, to open a dispute click on your 'My eBay' link at the top of the page, links regarding messaging and disputes will appear on the left hand side of your 'My eBay' members page.

6. It's a given for most, but Communication is the Key to All Things, if you communicate all these things above with your seller then you've communicated well and conducted a good transaction on your part. A few simple steps helps to make transactions fun and simple for both you and your seller.


Good luck and enjoy shopping!

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