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Avoid Ebay Scams

Apr 21, 2008
Although there are not that many scammers out for your money on eBay, the ones who scam tend to be greedy. This means that they focus on high value items to scam rather than scamming low value items. Scams involving cars and computers are the most commonly heard of. This allows the scammers to earn a big sum of money quickly. Furthermore, since buyers rarely purchase such items, they may not be aware of the various scams employed by the scammers.

Automobile scams generally function in the same way. The scammer tries to get you to send them a "deposit" in advance. It is not uncommon for people to pay 25% to 50% of the value of the car before it is delivered. The buyer never suspects a thing even when using an insecure payment method. This is because they are so confident that the seller will deliver it, afterall, the seller wants the other half of the money.

What the buyers who are scammed don't realise is that there never was a car! With the internet, pictures of cars are not difficult to obtain. Experienced scammers tend to have an entire library of pictures of different automobiles. They have just gotten $5000 off the victim and simply creates a new eBay account to scam the next person.

Another form of scamming is when the car is actually delivered but simply does not live up to the description given by the seller. The engine is problematic, the brake pads are worn out, the car is simply in poor condition - it has been oversold. However, an eBay dispute might allow you to obtain a partial refund on the dishonest transaction.

Computer scams also generally follow a pattern. When you lose a bid on a computer, the seller may email you asking if you want to purchase another computer identical to the one you bidded on. This is never a good idea! While carrying out transactions outside of eBay, you have no guarantee that the item will actually arrive. Furthermore, you have just gave the scammer your credit card details! Even scammers with only positive feedback may utilize this scam since you will not be able to leave them feedback regarding this off-site transaction. eBay will also not provide any recourse as this transaction was not conducted through their site.

So then, how do we beat these scammers? The commonsense method would be to thoroughly check the seller's reputation. Ensure that they have sold items of a similarly high value before, rather than a series of cheap items to boost their feedback rating. Also, insist that the money is placed in an escrow service such as the one on www.escrow.com. Although, it generally is a bad idea to purchase expensive items on eBay since items such as cars and computers are commonly available. The small discounts are most definitely not worth the danger. It is the rare, special items that you can't find anywhere else, that eBay is best used for.
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