Shopping and selling on eBay can be one of the most rewarding experiences on the Internet. However you need to be careful of scam artists who will try to take advantage of you through various types of fraud. If you do get scammed on eBay there are ways you can get your money back. However, it is very difficult to ever catch the fraud artist and it is a lot simpler if you can recognize and avoid frauds from the beginning.
One of the scams that are very common today is fake e-mails that appear to originate from eBay or PayPal or even your bank. Keep in mind that anybody can spoof any e-mail address and send an e-mail that appears to be from somebody else. It is even possible to spoof an e-mail coming from the president of the United States. So when you see any e-mail in your inbox that comes from eBay or PayPal and asks you to log in to confirm your password the chances are that this is a scam. E-mails that you receive of this type will have eBay letterheads or PayPal letterheads and will direct you to a link that appears to be eBay or PayPal. However, if you look closely at the bottom of your browser you’ll generally see that the domain these links point to is not actually an eBay or PayPal domain. It just looks like eBay’s web site, but it is actually a scam site asking you to confirm your password. Once you put in your username and password the fraud artist has it. One of the more popular tactics being used right now is to send a fake payment notification from PayPal suggesting that you have paid for something which you did not buy. The e-mail and includes a link right in the center that says “dispute this charge”, and once you click on that link you are taken to a page that looks like PayPal but is actually a fraudulent web site designed to get you to enter your username and password.
One of the easiest ways to protect yourself on eBay is to use PayPal for all transactions. PayPal is a wholly-owned subsidiary of eBay, and so transactions that are paid for via PayPal can be easily disputed. Since it is in eBay’s interest to maintain a secure shopping environment they are generally very quick to resolve disputes that originate by PayPal. If you buy an item and are not satisfied with it and feel like the seller did not deliver what he promised, it is far easier to dispute that transaction fee with PayPal because eBay can reverse the funds themselves. If you purchased by money order or credit card or some other payment method, eBay does not have the opportunity to reverse charges without going through a third-party.
Whether you are buying or selling items is a good idea to stick with PayPal. If you are selling items it is a good idea to only except PayPal as a payment option. The last thing you need is to get a bad check, or have your buyer dispute his credit card charge. If you have fulfilled your end of the seller’s bargain, then all you’ll need to do is prove that to PayPal and eBay without involving a third-party. Generally speaking, if a buyer is unhappy with a product that you sold and does not consider the product to be in the condition advertised, then you should demand that the product be returned before you issue a refund.
In order to sell on eBay effectively you need to learn how to use reserve pricing. One of the most common schemes on eBay is for someone using multiple accounts to place a low bid and a high bid simultaneously under different aliases. This ties up your auction at the high bid price and allows of the fraud to be carried out when the high bid buyer declines to pay and you are confronted with a low second bid. This scam is effective because the seller feels obligated to sell the item to the second-highest bidder once the auction has fallen through with the top bidder. Placing a reserve is essential to avoid this kind of scam so be sure to set a reserve price at the point where you would not sell the product for any less.
It is worthwhile to note right on your auction page that you reserve the right to back out of selling an item if you suspect fraud. While it is easy to get scammed as a buyer it is even easier to get scammed as a seller. Sellers generally have more experience and can recognize these scams, but you should be aware of the pitfalls of selling upfront before you start selling items on eBay.
EBay is a very safe and secure way to shop if you use it wisely and remain aware of how fraud occurs. It is important to always report suspicious activity directly to the eBay or PayPal. Since they have a vested interest in assuring that reliable transactions occur without fraud you can be sure that they will do their best to prevent illegal fraudulent activity.