Shopping on eBay: 3 Ways to Keep Yourself Safe

| August 1, 2013
Image representing eBay as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Many people refuse to shop on based purely on the horror stories of others. Regardless of what you might have heard or experienced yourself, the majority of sellers on eBay are honest individuals. Even large companies such as Best Buy are using eBay to sell some of their used and overstocked goods. As long as you pay attention to the seller, you can buy new and used merchandise at a fraction of retail costs while having a safe transaction with the seller.

1. Bidding – Many people wind up spending far more for an item than they want to admit. Usually, this is caused by the competition that can spawn against bidders to win the item. If you go into eBay and only bid what you are willing to spend as your maximum, then you will never suffer buyer’s remorse in this fashion. Let those bidding “snipers” take the item at the last minute by surpassing your bid. There is nothing wrong with waiting until the next auction for the item.
2. Seller Information – When you’re looking at an item you are interested in, the seller information is displayed in the top right. This will tell you how good your experience may be if you purchase from him or her.

  • Rating: The number next to the seller’s name is how many times buyers or sellers have commented and rated this particular seller’s experience. The higher this number is, the better.
  • Positive Feedback: This measure is how positive the experience was for other buyers. If this is exceptionally high such as 99.9-percent or higher and the seller has had thousands of ratings, then there is a very good chance you will have a positive experience yourself.
  • Top Rated Awards: Next to this information could be something in the regards of a “Top Rated” ribbon. These sellers have shown an exceptional practice when using eBay to sell goods. These sellers will more than likely provide you with a superb auction experience.
  • Details: By clicking on the seller’s rating number, you can see feedback and items sold in the past 1-month, 6-months, or 12-months back. You can choose to select all of the negative feedback, if any, and read through the problems. Sometimes, the problems are caused from the buyers who would rather leave negative feedback instead of developing a solution with the seller or file complaints on circumstances that were beyond the seller’s control.

3. Shipping – In the center of a particular items page, there is a place for the item’s location. If you are in a hurry for this item, it is best if you buy it from your country of origin. If you are in the United States, buying from Hong Kong may take up to a couple of weeks for delivery. Buying locally within your country saves a great deal of shipping costs and delivery times. When buying on eBay, also consider shipping costs in with the items bid or buy-it-now price when discovering if you are going to save money on retail or not.

As long as you go into using eBay with a tentative mind, you can immediately quell most problems before they even arise. If problems do happen, involve eBay and PayPal immediately. They are your primary source for defense and will handle complaints swiftly. Using eBay doesn’t have to be a scary experience as long as you are paying attention to what you are buying and who you’re buying from.

This is a guest post by Liz Nelson from She is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to: liznelson17 @


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Category: Business, Online Shopping

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