Dos & Don'ts when buying from Overseas Sellers

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Ok, so are you really reading? If you are, then I guess you've either been burnt or afraid to be burnt again.

Here is my story and I'd like to share with you all, thus gather a few Dos and Don'ts before you click the 'Buy' button.

Everybody does eBay these days, and the other day I bought off an iPhone alike mobile phone off eBay from an overseas seller, who is also an powerseller.

After paid by paypal I emailed the seller requesting for a tracking number, as the postage was $50! For whatever reason, the tracking number never arrived in my inbox, fair enough, then I have to keep my finger crossed every second...

After around 2 weeks, I got a letter from Australia Custom! Apparently, it's a counterfeit iPhone mobile phone, and under the Trade Act basically, that means I'm in deep trouble! The letter was extremely formal and request my personal details for Apple Inc for further investigation?!


After three months contacts with several departments at Australia Custom, I finally got out of this deal and requested a refund via paypal, however since the seller was able to provide a tracking number, and I couldn t return the goods for a full refund, the mobile phone has never got into my hand and cost me $200 deduction via paypal and not to mention the level of stress and amount of time I've spent with Custom trying to explain what has happened.

So for you guys out there wondering should you get a cheapy gadget from an overseas seller ( regardless his/her powerseller status), be mindful and be careful. There is nothing cheap in this world, especially when it cost a lot less than it may appears.


1. Try to buy from local suppliers who can provide an ABN or ACN, for your peace of mind, any disputes that paypal or eBay tends to ignore or incapable of handling, by all means, you'll always have your state fair trading and national ASIC  / ACCC to go. For certain industries, you can also approach the national ombudsman if your dispute cannot be resolved via eBay or paypal.

2. Powerseller status is only an indicative misleading flag. There are lots of trustworthy good aussie blokes who have no idea how to operate effectively on eBay to sell his products, while compare to those professional overseas sellers who are usually a team of at least 10 people. No wonder they can respond to your enquire in a 'Timely Manner'.  Think again, have you ever tried to call 3G customer service hotline? Yeap, they were quick on the phone, but you have no idea of what's the other person talking about, I'm dirty, my wife is dirty too? (I'm 30, my wife is 30 too, read it out loud!)  

As long as a seller achieves a $2000 sale three months in a roll and maintain 98% feedback, there you go, you can get one too! Got what I mean?

Always check throughly of the feedback upto three pages. See what's other people's comments, was it something like

'Fast delivery' or

'Reliable Seller, will Shop again' etc

If a buyer mentioned him/her is likely to use this seller again, 80% you are on the right track.


3. Send a quick email or ask a simple question to the seller, and see the respond time. On average, an Aussie company respond customer enquires within 48 hours is reasonable, considering the human resource we've got on our vast land.


And the Don'ts?

Well, personally, I will never ever buy from overseas seller on eBay again, period. Just imagine the hassle for an Aussie seller attempts to sell his/her products on eBay to UK customers, I dont reckon it's actually worth anything especially when it comes to return / repair / warranty claims etc.

Always trust the local Aussie sellers / suppliers is the way to go.


Guys, please vote for me if you think this article is a quality one, cheers!


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