F eBAY- The Pluses and the Problems February 2011

NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, February 2011
eBAY- The Pluses and the Problems
By Ian Gemmell, Webmaster,
Computer Pals for Seniors - Epping Inc., Australia September 2010 Newsletter
Open Windows (at) Epping (click to email author)

Beginners Beware

We have Club members who are very active users of eBay, and who do so with very few problems. Some even say they are addicted. We need to understand that people in this category succeed because they understand both the techniques necessary for buying and selling and also the pitfalls which have to be avoided.

eBay has grown rapidly and now has 181 million customers, and at any one time has more than 3 million items for sale. Because of this there are 174 thousand professional users of eBay who make their living on eBay. It is important to realize that you are competing with these.

Search techniques and trading tricks
The first thing you need to understand is you have to know how to “snipe”. This is a technique whereby you only bid in the last few seconds. You can either do this manually or by using a professional sniper. It is also important to understand that all the intermediate bidding is a waste of time. Leave it to the inexperienced operators as you only increase the competition. You only bid once at the end and set your sniping price according to your keenness to win in the bidding.

Fraud – Prevalence and Prevention
eBay go to great lengths to convince us that fraud is not very significant. The fact is that fraud has become the domain of professionals, who become increasingly expert as time goes by. For this reason if you venture into trading on eBay you will have to be aware of the precautions you must take. The most common cause of fraud is non-delivery by the seller, usually because the item does not exist. Precautions which you should take include the following:-

Check the trading history of the seller and only deal with those with a good record. Use eBay’s Paypal facility to ensure that you receive the goods as described. You can also for a small fee when dealing with expensive items use an escrow service. This ensures that the goods are verified before you pay for them.

Ask the seller any questions needed to further describe the item. Be on guard against a scam where sellers provide a fraudulent “proof of dispatch” document to obtain payment claiming that the shippers will only dispatch when goods are paid for.

Use the proven guidelines that if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

Use a universal email provider like Gmail in communicating by email. Use of your regular email address is inviting problems.

Be aware that eBay has been the subject of fraudulent “phishing” emails which are trying to get your user name and password. Never respond!

All you have to do now is to learn all the ways that you can use eBay. Use the eBay Sitemap to find all the links, and use all the information on eBay Help. Best of luck.

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