Shopping on eBay is almost always a safe experience, with millions of transactions taking place every day. Still, as with anything in which money is involved - there is a risk of getting scammed and ending up with a bad taste. brings you these tips for a safe shopping experience.

1) Use common sense

While Trivial at first, this is the most important rule. Use common sense wherever you are dealing in transactions involving money. If you have a bad feeling about a seller for example, or if a price looks too good to be true, do not bid on that item.

2) Read auction details carefully

Do not bid on an item until you have carefully read the item description, shipping conditions and charges, return policy, and examined all the pictures. Never place a bid just based on a title of an auction. Beware of any fine print hidden in the auction terms.

3) Read the feedback comments

Always read the feedback comments of the people whom you are trading with to check for past problems. Look at the buyer feedback, seller feedback, positive percentage, how many negatives. If only a small percentage (1-3%) of the user's feedback is negative then in most cases it is still ok, however avoid sellers or buyers with a large negative percentage.

The absence of feedback doesn't necessarilly mean the member cannot be trusted- everybody starts out with zero feedback. However if dealing with a user with no feedback and it is a very big transaction, take some extra measures such as getting his phone number and making sure you are sending to a Paypal verified address.

4) Ask questions

If you have any questions or require any clarifications about an item don't be shy and ask away before placing your bid. This will help avoid misunderstandings down the road.

5) On unusually large transactions, get the member's contact information

EBay can give you a member's contact information if you are involved in a very large transaction with that member. This includes the member's phone number. If you are involved in a large transaction, and especially with members that have low or no feedback, get the phone number and give that member a call to make sure the contact information is correct and phone number is valid.

To get an eBay member's contact information:
  • Click on the Advanced Search link found on the top of most of eBay's pages.
  • Find where it says Members and click on Find Contact Information.
  • Fill in any fields required by eBay such as member ID an item number.
6) Never agree to make any trades outside of eBay.

If anyone contacts you asking you to end your auction and sell item outside of eBay, or offers you an item directly, politely refuse and require that all dealings be through eBay. When trading on eBay you get some levels or protection which you do not get if you deal outside of eBay such as the eBay purchase protection program

7) Pay thrugh Paypal and deal with verified members

Using paypal is the safest and most convenient way to pay online..

When paying withPaypal make sure you are sending to a Verified user, especially in large transactions. A verified user is one who took extra steps to verify his address and other details. Dealing with verified members also increases your level of protection and makes you eligible for more Paypal protection programs.

When you send a payment to someone, PayPal will show you before sending whether a member is verified or unverified.

Never pay using instant cash transfer services. Never Accept an overpayment for an item and agree to send the remainder to the buyer, this is a widespread method scammers used to steal people's money. If you want to accept money orders, ask for a postal money order and verify it's authenticity in your local post office before sending out your item.

8) Avoid local pickups

If the item does require a local pickup (for example because of its size), make sure to meet in a public place with lots of people, and during the day.

9) Beware of fake escrow services

If the transaction is large and requires an Escrow service (where the assets are sent to a neutral third party and released only upon satisfaction of both parties), use Escrow is eBay's approved escrow company. Be wary of fake Escrow companies, often set up by the buyer or seller themselves with intention to scam you out of your money.

10)  Beware of Phising emails and websites

Phising emails and websites attempt to trick you and get your confidential information such as ebay password, SSN and bank accounts by pretending to be a legit website. EBay will never ask you for your password via email. Also don't believe any emails telling you that you need to reset your password and providing you a link to eBay. The links (which will look like a genuine ebay link in the email) most often will take you to a fake website which looks just like eBay- logo and everything- but was actually only set up to steal your personal information. Never go to eBay through email links. If you want to visit eBay open a new browser window and type into it.

We hope these tips will help you have a fun and safe experience while shopping on eBay. 99.9% of the people you will run into are honest, and we hope you will be honest as well and treat others as you wish to be treated. But to avoid a bad experience because of that small percentage who are not honest, make sure to follow the safety tips.

Happy hunting and a safe trading experience from Staff.

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