As a registered user with
eBay, you've found something that you want to bid on, but how can
you be sure of how genuine the seller is? You don't want to be conned
out of your money now do you?
How long have they
been dealing on eBay?
Everyone has to start somewhere
on eBay, and while we should not shun 'newbies' extra caution should
The feedback page of every
user will have an ID History link which takes us to a page detailing
when the user joined eBay and details of any ID name changes.
If they are new then consider
contacting them by using the ask the seller a question link on the
item page and ask them for a contact telephone number to discuss
the item further (any user who will not give you a telephone contact
number should be avoided).
If there has been a change
in the user name, then use the ask a seller a question facility and
ask them for a contact telephone number to discuss the item further
(again, avoid anyone who will not give you a telephone contact).
If you bid and win the item,
only pay by using a credit card or Paypal (Paypal
offers a secure method of making credit and debit card payments online,
join up by clicking
here). By using either of those payment methods; if you do not
get the goods or there is a problem with the goods, you can raise
a query and get your money back. If the new user demands payment
any other way - such as cash - understand that you may have no way
of recouping your payment.
Let's take a look
at their feedback...
system is there to let us know how other users have rated their
dealings with this user in terms of Product, Delivery, Communication
and Description. There are three forms of feedback, Positive, Negative
What to look for:
The ratio of postive to
negative feedback is an issue as is the frequence of any negative
or feedback. Generally speaking a minimum of 97% postive feedback
of their feedback total is acceptable and may not lead us to look
further. However, this is not the case when a quantity of negative
and/or neutral feedback has been left against more recent transactions.
If for instance the user had a feedback rating of 100, but there
were 3 negatives left in the last month, we should investigate
further, it may well be that their ID has been taken over by a
If there is a quantity
of negative/neutral feedback that gives you concern, then take
a look at the relevant entries on their feedback page. Consider
the reasons given by other users. Also, take a look at the feedback
rating of the users that have left negative/neutral feedback, there
are those who use the feedback system inappropriately, such as
those who leave retaliatory feedback (this is a frequent problem)
and those who have a terrible feedback record and feel that they
have nothing to lose. You should take all things into consideration,
and if you have any concerns, contact the seller using the ask
seller a question link on the item page and request further contact
information (in eBay unfortunately, you can only request a user's
full contact information after winning their auction, but it does
not prevent you from asking before bidding).
Also, check for a period
of inactivity (many account hijacking cases occur on accounts that
have been inactive for a month or more), again make further enquiries
until you are happy that the seller is genuine.
Use a software tool...
A software tool, such as Hammertap's
Bay Check Pro, is an inexpensive and essential utility to aid
you in reviewing a user's feedback. It enables you to easily view
all feedback, and also to filter out and view negative and neutral
feedback alone, which is something that is not available on eBay
itself. Hammertap also
produce deep analysis software for a more detailed view of a user's
What do they
We've talked about how fraudsters
can take over someone's eBay account to sell items, accept payments,
but not send the goods. The goods involved in this are usually high
value items, and if they are not what the seller usually sells, you
have good reason to be concerned.
We can view previous items
sold by that user by using the advanced search facility in eBay,
or by using the previously mentioned Hammertap
Bay Check Pro.
Is the item properly
Descriptions are the most
important part of any item for sale on eBay and should indicate a
full description of the item and its uses as well as its condition
and its history or details of previous ownership and use (unless
it is brand new and factory sealed). If there is anything lacking
in the description, use the ask the seller a question link on the
item page and ask for further detailed information and/or a contact
telephone number. Any user who will not give you a telephone contact
number should be avoided.