Successful Online Selling

Don't Fall Victim to Fraud on eBay

electronic fraud on ebayEBay has provided immense opportunities and possibilities for individuals who like the convenience of shopping online.

However, it has also attracted fraudsters in equal measure, who have devised – with relative success – ways to profit from unsuspecting eBay users.

While you can easily fall victim to fraud on eBay, you’ll quickly realize that it takes simple common sense and a few tips to guard yourself from falling victim to fraudsters.

You’ll also find that it’s not only eBay where fraud is a possibility; other online places are potential havens for internet fraudsters.

Here are a few tips to help you stay safe, not only on eBay, but anywhere else online that you may shop from.

Firstly, eBay is in fact relatively safer, compared to a number of other online options. Fraud is not very rampant and only a small fraction of the over 85 million potential buyers are affected. Nonetheless, the small risk still presents a threat to any user and, if you don’t take heed, you mind be the unlucky user.

The most widespread type of fraud on eBay is when a buyer pays for an expensive item and never gets it delivered to them. When they try to contact the seller by email or check the seller’s account, they find it’s been terminated. This definitely sounds frightening but it is also very easy to prevent.

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Check seller’s feedback and gauge his credibility


When you’ve spotted an item of interest, look at the seller’s name; the number in parenthesis immediately following it is his unique feedback score.

A detailed feedback report will be displayed when you click on that number. You will particularly want to know the number of repeat customers the seller has, which is a sign of confidence and good service.

It’s especially important to do these checks if you’re buying an expensive item, like TVs, jewelry, and the like. The chance for out-and-out fraud on a $15-$25 item is pretty thin. So, if a feedback score is low but generally positive, there’s not much risk in buying a low-cost item from that seller.

Never buy expensive items from new sellers

Details about the seller’s ID and registration history, as well as where they are registered on eBay, are easily accessible at the top-right hand area. Most fraudulent accounts are not more than one month old. You definitely wouldn’t want to buy a pricey item from a new seller. Before bidding on an item, click on the ‘ID History’ link first.

Don’t pay with cash, money order, or certified check for an expensive item

Majority of legitimate sellers demand accept PayPal or credit cards as default payment methods. You will want to think twice before paying with certified check or money order, unless you’ve verified seller’s credibility and has insisted you pay by cash.

Request for tracking number or delivery confirmation

Most shipping services – such as UPS – track orders to their destination. Likewise, the US Postal Service confirms deliveries. This prevents a seller from claiming they shipped the order when they actually didn’t.

Ascertain that the product you’re buying is authentic

Expectedly, a place like eBay wouldn’t be free from knock-offs and counterfeit products. While the site aggressively tries to root out counterfeits, it cannot achieve 100 percent efficiency; a lot of counterfeits still find their way to the auction site. Once again, where you’re not sure, you are best advised to use the seller’s feedback rating. Another red flag is a brand-name item being sold at a very low price.

There are many other checks you can do ensure your own safety but these general online selling tips are a good start to guard against the vice.

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