I took a look online and couldn't find anyone except eBay, Amazon's 3rd party (used), etc. If you're carefull about buying on eBay you should be okay. I buy all kinds of stuff on eBay, including some big ticket items. Here's some tips on how to buy as safely as possible:

  1. Find an auction you are interested in
  2. Click on the seller's name
  3. Find out his “Feedback Score”, this will tell you how many times he's bought or sold on eBay. The higher it is, the less likely he's one of those people to sign up for an account, sell a few items, scam someone on a big ticket item, create another account, and so on.
  4. Find where it says what percentage of the feedback has been positive. -Keep in mind that there are always jerks out there that'll complain about ANYTHING and something getting lost in the mail or other misunderstands do happen (but are rare!), so you're not looking for 100% (especially if the Feedback score is really high), but an acceptable number. Also, remember that this doesn't tell the whole story. This includes item's he's bought too, so if he BUYS 99 items a month and pays promptly, then scams 1 seller on a big ticket item, he's got 99% positive feedback. So…
  5. Click on the “From Buyers” tab to see the feedback from people who have bought items from this person. You don't care about what other sellers say about him necessarily, you want to make sure HE'S selling things often and the feedback about items he's SOLD is good.
  6. Look at the dates of the first page of sales -it's a good sign if the person sells things regularly. Yes, individual sellers sell things honestly from time to time, so if everything else looks okay, and you trust the seller (you may want to email them) go ahead, but there is a little more risk there…
  7. Look at the feedback -what are people saying about the seller? Do you feel comfortable dealing with him/her? Also see if you can tell what people are buying from the feedback. The more big ticket items with positive feedback the better.
  8. Click on a few of the recent Item #'s to make sure this person is selling items like the one you are about to buy. This is to make sure they don't sell 99 T-shirts a month -all with great feedback, then scam 1 person on a big ticket item for 1 bad feedback. That's another way to get scammed from people who have 99% positive feedback.

Lastly, make your purchase with a credit card or look into any guarantees on purchases that you can get from PayPal. With a credit card, you can always work through the cc company to refute charges for merchandise you never received, wasn't as described, etc. (You may want to look into the terms and conditions for your cc before assuming anything, though…)

Good luck.

tips_for_buying_on_ebay.txt · Last modified: 2010/06/16 13:42 (external edit)
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