Saturday, January 12, 2008

Online shopping

If you're thinking of buying something on ebay, here's some things you have to remember:

1. Read the item description very carefully. I have seen a lot of listings where the actual product is not the same with the default picture posted on the gallery, and since some buyers do not read the description, they do not receive the item they paid for and would have to spend an extra amount of money to ship the item back.

2. Check the feedback/ seller's profile. As much as possible, do not buy from sellers who have less than 98% positive feedback. The higher the number of buyers, the better. It is helpful to check their feedback profiles and check their buyers' comments. It would also be better if you can find another buyer's feedback for the same item you are planning to buy.

3. Ask questions. If you're not satisfied with the item description, you can ask the seller to describe it more in detail or to provide you with more pictures of the product. This is very important especially if you're buying expensive items. You can also ask the seller to modify the shipping charges especially if you're not in a hurry. Most sellers choose Priority Mail as the default shipping option, so if you don't want to spend that much, you can choose Media Mail instead (only when buying books or CDs).

4. Compare. Ebay has an option where you can compare your items side by side. It can help you save money and purchase a better product.

5. Beware of scammers.

Originally posted by beware-of-fraud. To see the actual post, click here.

Buying expensive items on eBay? Be extra CAUTIOUS! Chances are you will fall prey to a SCAM artist who will CON you into paying for the item by WESTERN UNION and never send the item. The goal of the scammer is to get you to pay by Western Union or other CASH method, take your money and run.

Here is an anatomy of a typical Ebay Auction SCAM. aka ROMANIAN EBAY SCAM:

Scammers hijack hundreds of eBay usernames and passwords daily through fake emails and other sophisticated phishing schemes. If you click on AUCTION TITLE and LOGIN screen appears - DO NOT LOG IN - Login screen NEVER appears on auction detail page unless the scammer injected a malicious CODE directly into the scam auction to HIJACK YOUR USER ID AND PASSWORD. If a login screen appears anywhere unexpected on eBay pages - BACK OUT!!! go to eBay home page and login there and only there.

Once the scammer hijacks an established eBay user ID, they will upload anywhere from 1 to 200 or more FAKE Auctions and try to lure unsuspecting eBayers into negotiating BUY NOW outside of eBay, pay via Western Union for this safe and "good deal"

Here are tell tell signs of Fake Auction:

Incredibly Low Price advertising BUY NOW in AUCTION DESCRIPTION but NO Buy it Now button on the top of the auction.

Item is listed in a WRONG category .

Bidders User ID kept private : Originally, there were eBay members trying to warn unsuspecting bidders who bid on those auctions. So the scammer now keeps USER IDs of bidders hidden so they cannot be warned. Another reason is that scammers shill (bid up) each others auctions to artificially inflate the price and try to create action on their scam auctions.

1, 2 or 3 day listing Real sellers put up expensive item auctions for 7 or 10 days - the longer the auction = the more buyers will find it = more bids = item sold for higher price. But a scammer who hijacked someone's account cannot afford to risk the original account owner or eBay Security Team would discover the hijacked account - thus you'll see those 1 day - 2 day auctions for expensive items.

Seller Location and Item Location are different

Free Shipping or Shipping Charges that do not make sense: No real seller would sell item for 1/3 of what is is worth and throw in free shipping.

Currency does not correspond to location of the seller.

Sellers listed many high priced items in their other auctions or store, all listed at the same time but if you check their past feedback they never sold similar items before.

Sellers advertise their e-mail address directly in the auction text and even puts up their own contact on the seller form. This is the core of their scam.

Their goal is to get you to contact them via OTHER means than Ask Seller a Question link located on top right hand side of the auction page, just under the Read Feedback Comments Link. Instead, the scammer wants you to use email provided in the Auction text or worse, the scammer puts up CONTACT ME/US FORM - if you fill out such a form and click submit - there is a good chance you'll see FAKE LOGIN SCREEN which will ask for your user ID and password. The scammer usually does NOT change hijacked victims' eBay account settings because eBay sends automatic notification to the original owner's email address alerting account owner that someone changed contact email address on their account.

If you wanted to see LOTS OF FAKE AUCTIONS on eBay right now, just search for KUBOTA TRACTOR or KUBOTA LOADER or BASS BOAT or HORSE TRAILER on eBay - sort by newly listed auctions and you will see items advertised by scammers for Buy Now at $3500 with nonsense shipping charges, free shipping, items listed in wrong categories, Bidder User Id Kept Private, 1 to 3 day auctions - pick out those weird list prices like 3.98 or 128.76 in listing of items .. textbook cases of typical eBay scam auction... it has been going on for months and looking there will educate you on what to look for real time while shopping for your item.


I have been an ebay customer for almost 2 years now, and these suggestions proved to be helpful.