Thursday, January 26, 2006

Spotting Fakes and Frauds on eBay

Fake items abound on eBay, and it takes much effort not to be duped by
scammers who peddle these wares. There have been many painful stories
relating how a seemingly legitimate item turned out to be either fake
or defective.

It is possible, however, to avoid these scams if one is careful and
vigilant. Buyers should be wary of any purchase over eBay, and should
take steps to ensure the authenticity of the item and to make sure the
item is in reasonable condition.

Be Vigilant

Buyers should take the initiative by doing plenty of background
research. They must learn as much as possible about the products
before bidding on them. If the seller provides pictures of an item,
they should not be taken at face value. Comparison of these pictures
with the real item helps in this regard.

Many sellers will use pictures from manufacturers that do not
represent the item they are actually selling; buyers should ask the
seller for actual pictures of the item. If the seller balks, buyers
should refrain from bidding. Collector’s items, autographed
memorabilia, and historical artifacts are common items that are
misrepresented on eBay.


Familiarize yourself with the various bodies that certify respective
items. For example, reputable merchants of autographed sports
memorabilia should include a COA (certificate of authenticity) from a
trusted third party. Counterfeit or misrepresented items should be
reported to eBay. When buying on eBay Motors, one may have an
inspection service double-check if the seller is accurately
representing his automobile.

Look at the Feedback

One should analyze the feedback rating of a seller. Analyzing feedback
is another helpful exercise to prevent scams. Sellers who have an
established history of credible sales are usually helpful and
professional to deal with. Negative feedback should be a red flag as
to whether one should pursue a trade with the person. The same thing
applies for those who do not have feedback ratings at all.

Buyers must be careful however, since it is possible that a scammer
has hijacked an account that has positive feedback.

Buyers should make sure they have read the entire product description
on its eBay listing. Things to look out for are disclaimers, damages,
current item condition, years of use, and others. If this information
is not specified, it would do well for the buyer to contact the seller
regarding such.

The Price Theory

If the price for an item is too good to be true, it probably is.
Auctions that carry outrageously low prices should be taken

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Copyright © Jesse Harris
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