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Being Wary Of Shopping Online At Auction

May 29, 2008
Over the last few years, a vast number of people have discovered the advantages and delights of online auction sites. These provide an individual with the opportunity to sell for auction any item which he may have, be it a second hand item he no longer wants, a new item, or a specially made product he has made himself.

This provides people with rare opportunities to discover items they may never find elsewhere. It is often a place to look search if you are a collector of any kind, even if your interest is particularly obscure.

Whilst these auction sites are hugely popular and offer many advantages, you do need to exercise caution because, as you are dealing with private individuals, the laws and rights which normally protect you do not always apply. It is very much the same as if you were responding to an ad in the local paper. The newspaper itself will not provide you with any protection should a problem occur, in case the product turns out to be stolen, faulty or only available by post, with excessive costs involved.

When you find an item on an auction site which interests you, there are a number of things you should look out for to help you decide whether this is the right product and the right seller to be dealing with. First of all, read the description carefully - not just the product description, but also extra pieces of information such as location, postage costs, times for delivery, availability for pickup and insurance options.

In some cases an item can be put up for auction at an absurdly low price, which seems a good deal, until you find that the postage costs are astronomical. I made the mistake once of bidding on a movie poster which I bought for $5. Unfortunately I hadn't paid full attention and it wasn't until after I had won the item that the postage costs were pointed out - $100 just to post a piece of paper!

Some sellers are even sneakier, and offer the item at a very low price, with very cheap or even free postage. They then include insurance as an obligatory option, and the insurance costs are huge. This catches out those who check only some of the basic information, but not all of it. Unfortunately, once you have decided to buy the item, you can't opt out without real difficulty, and this will likely to count against you in future auctions.

Once you have checked through these sorts of bits of information, have a look at the seller's rating and feedback. On almost every auction site, sellers have a public profile which allows you to see previous buyers' comments about the seller. If the seller is very new they may have very few, or even none of these, and you should be cautious about bidding in these cases. If the seller has a large number of positive comments, then you are more likely to be safe.

It is also worth bearing in mind the method you use to pay for the item. Some auction sites have a recommended payment system or method.If you use that you have an extra level of protection should things go wrong. Otherwise, if you use your credit card then your credit card company will offer you protection as they do with any purchase.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about luggage, cruises, hotels, and shopping. You will find the best marketplace for luggage, cruises, hotels, and shopping at these sites for bags, luggage, hotels, cruise, and shopping, auction, online auctions.
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