Are you interested in shopping on eBay? If you are, you are definitely not alone. Over the past few years, the popularity of eBay has literally skyrocketed. Since eBay is considered an online auction website, one that allows internet users to post their belongings for sale, it generates a huge marketplace with millions of items for sale, at any given time. Although eBay is a great place to do your shopping online, it can be unsafe; however, there are a number of ways that you can protect you and your finances when using eBay to do your online shopping.
One of the most important things that you need to remember when using eBay is that you created a sign in name or a screen name for yourself. That screen name is used so that you do not have to provide other eBay users with your real name. Yes, if you were to make a purchase online, you would need to give the eBay seller your real name and address, but that is the only time that you should do so. You should never give an eBay seller information about yourself, unless you have won an item from them on the eBay website.
In connection with giving out personal information about yourself, you also do not want to give out any other personal information about your finances. eBay uses a secure checkout program, which enables you to make payment arrangements on your own. The most secure way to make purchases online is through PayPal, but many other sellers accept personal checks or money orders. With PayPal, the eBay seller you are doing business with actually doesn't get your credit card information, as all funds are transferred electronically. For that reason, there is no reason to give an eBay seller your bank account information or your credit or debit card information, even if you are buying an item from them.
When buying an item on eBay, you may place most of your focus on the price that the item is listed at, if it is a buy it now auction. If it is in a traditional auction listing, you may be focusing on the current highest bid. While this is important to do, you will also want to place a focus on the total cost of shipping. It is not uncommon for eBay sellers to sell their items for a low price, but charge a high amount in shipping. Also, be cautious of a seller who doesn't provide you with shipping information upfront. Often times, you will find this is a front for a scam. After winning the auction, you are responsible for paying for the product, as well as the shipping costs, which often turn out to be high.
To prevent you from doing business with a shady eBay seller, one who may be out to take your money, you will want to examine the feedback of each eBay seller that you are interested in doing business with. While a few negative feedback ratings are not uncommon, you will want to be cautious of new eBay sellers with even just one or two negative ratings. Basically, when shopping on eBay, you need to use your best judgment. If something looks suspicious, there is a good chance that it is. To prevent yourself from being scammed or losing money, you will just want to make sure that you use your head, as it is often the best sign of trouble to come.
It is also important to mention phishing scams. These types of scams are taking place off of the eBay website, but they are, in a way, related to eBay. There are a number of scammers, who are creating fake eBay emails, as well as fake eBay sign in screens. These emails are prompting you to sign into your eBay account. Once you do so, the scammer will have access to your eBay account, as well as some of your personal information. Do not fall victim to these scams. All eBay messages should appear in your eBay account, which can be accessed once you log in directly from eBay.com.
eBay is a great place to buy and sell on the internet. You shouldn't let the possibility of getting scammed prevent you from shopping online. As long as you keep the above mentioned points in mind, you should be able to do your online shopping on eBay, without having any problems.
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eBay Buyers: eBay Safety Tips You Should Know
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8 December 2007
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