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This is a guest post by Samantha Milner who regularly provides content from her own personal experiences.
I am afraid to say that I am a total eBay addict and have been since I bought my very first item in the beginning of 2005. My husband had been using eBay occasionally for about six months and kept telling me how great it was but I just didn’t get it!
Since that first sale though, I loved the idea of being able to get as many bargains as I liked and as someone that always wants to save money it was a dream come true.
The first few sales went really well and I was really milking the bargains that were on offer. However it didn’t take long for me to have a bad experience on eBay. This is no different to what anyone else has experienced when you pay for goods and they are not delivered.
This isn’t necessarily a scam as we all know what the postal service can be like for delivering goods to a customer on time. But without proof you will never know either way whether or not it is the seller not delivering goods or the post office have failed in their service of duty.
I will never give up on buying on eBay as I love it and just because there might be one or two dodgy sellers on their site today won’t put me off and it shouldn’t have you quitting eBay. But you can always way up the risks and make sure that you don’t lose money as a result.
Here are my five killer eBay tactics to safeguard your wallet:
#1 – Always pay by PayPal – Most of us hate PayPal just because of the low customer service that they provide you with and the fact they close accounts on a moments notice. However it is important that whenever you buy goods on eBay that you pay by PayPal. Then you have the added security that if something goes wrong PayPal have a duty to deal with it.
Also when you pay for goods via PayPal make sure that you pay for them via your debit or credit card NOT PayPal balance. This way if PayPal fail to deal with your case you can go to your bank instead for assistance.
#2 – Don’t buy expensive goods on eBay – It is very important that you don’t buy expensive goods on eBay as if something goes wrong you are seriously out of pocket. I never buy goods on eBay that have a higher value than $100 and you should stick with the same figure. At the end of the day we can all afford to lose $100 but can we afford to lose $500?
#3 – Don’t get scammed with excessive postage – It is amazing how many sellers will charge excessive postage costs on eBay items. The reason why they do this is that they are avoiding paying the eBay fees and would rather profit from the postage and packaging fees.
For example if they sold an item for $0.99 and charged $5 in postage they would only pay approximately $0.20 in fees. However if you sold an item for $4.00 and charged a respectable $1.99 in postage costs you would be charged around $1.50.
If I am given the postage costs after winning the bid and I know how much it would cost to deliver the goods I will question it.
#4 – Stick with the 98% rule – The feedback system is in place so that you can have trust in a particular seller. To become a good standing seller or even a Powerseller you need to have a minimum feedback status of 98%. I don’t believe it is difficult to hit the 98% level. Therefore don’t buy from sellers with less than 98% feedback.
Also avoid sellers with a feedback score of less than 10 as these sellers can equally cause you problems.
#5 – Leave truthful feedback – When you leave feedback make sure that it is factual and doesn’t mention any third parties. This is especially important when you leave negative feedback as sellers can get feedback removed for a whole range of reasons nowadays.
Many sellers state that if you leave them negative feedback they will do the same to you which are untrue. Under recent eBay rules sellers can no longer leave negative feedback for buyers giving you fantastic peace of mind.
So there you have it my top five tactics to avoid being scammed on eBay. Next Friday I will show you my top five eBay tips from the sellers point of view.
Thanks for reading
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