Always read the entire item description carefully before you bid or Buy It Now.
The item description has so much useful information — you should read it all carefully. It will tell you not only about the item itself, but also about other important information like:
• What are the Shipping & Handling costs?
• Where is the item located?
• Will the item be shipped internationally? (There may be extra fees and taxes.)
• What payment options does the seller offer?
• Does the seller have a return policy?
When you place a winning bid, you are agreeing to make a purchase based on the contents of the listing. Before bidding, read the item description carefully!
Always review a seller’s Feedback before you bid or Buy It Now
A seller’s Feedback reflects the experiences that other buyers have had when trading with them. Read the seller’s Feedback before you bid or Buy It Now on eBay to evaluate:
• The number and percentage of positive Feedback
• The type and value of items sold
• Comments included in the Feedback — both the comments left about the seller, and comments left by the seller.
If other members have had similar successful transactions with this seller, you can be more confident that your transaction will also be safe.
So, what is a good Feedback score? A seller must have at least 98% positive Feedback to become a Power Seller. It may still be safe to buy from sellers with Feedback scores below 98%, but you should read their listings closely before you bid, and use the safest possible payment method.
Always use a safe payment method to complete your transaction!
The safest payment options are PayPal or credit cards for those sellers who accept credit cards directly. (The seller will never see details about your bank account or credit card when you use PayPal.)
Not all sellers accept PayPal or credit cards. If a seller doesn’t accept these, then personal checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, and bank-to-bank wire transfers all provide reasonable levels of safety in most transactions… but they don’t provide as much protection if you don’t receive satisfactory goods. The most risky forms of payment are cash and “instant cash transfer” services likeWestern Union or MoneyGram — don’t use these for eBay transactions!
A seller should never ask you pay using a method not included in a listing you have won! If the seller said "PayPal, Credit Card or Check" in the listing, but later asks you to pay by cash or "instant cash transfer” — don’t!
Now, let’s look at some of the finer points of buying safely on eBay.
Some members report receiving “outside of eBay” offers from sellers who insist that the buyer pay with cash or instant cash transfer services. Offers to buy or sell "outside-of-eBay" pose serious risks to the buyer. Purchasing items in an outside-of-eBay transaction may be unsafe, and sending cash or using "instant cash transfers" is always unsafe.
When you buy "outside of eBay ", you also lose the benefit of eBay services including:
• Buyer protection coverage
• Access to seller contact information
Sending money to pay for purchases through direct bank-to-bank wire transfers is usually safe, and often happens for high-value transactions.
Sending money to pay for purchases through instant cash wire transfer services such asWestern Union or MoneyGram is always risky when using eBay because:
1. Generally, you have no recourse if you pay with instant cash services and the item is not delivered as promised. Sending money through these services is just like sending real cash, and there is no way for you to get your money back if something goes wrong.
2. There is no eBay coverage. Items paid for through instant cash wire transfer services are not covered by any eBay buyer protection program.
Buying safely includes communicating safely!
The safest way to communicate with your seller is through “Ask Seller a Question” on eBay. Copies of the emails will be sent to My Messages, and you have the option of hiding your email address if you don’t wish to share it with the seller. In addition, if you communicate with a seller through eBay ’s "Ask Seller a Question" system, eBay may have the ability to warn you if something goes wrong with the seller. You should be wary of any eBay seller who asks you to use another form of communication!
Sometimes you might bid on an item, but not win it. If for some reason the winning bidder doesn’t complete the transaction, the Seller can offer you another chance to buy the item! This is called a Second Chance Offer.
A copy of any real Second Chance Offer will appear in My Messages on My eBay. It will have a blue background with a message saying, “eBay Second Chance Offer for Item…”. If you receive a Second Chance Offer in My Messages with a different subject line (for example, “Message from eBay Member”) — it is a fake!
It is also a fake Second Chance Offer if you receive it outside of eBay and you can’t find a copy of it in My Messages. Don’t respond to the sender, and please forward the fake second chance offer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Escrow services — independent services that hold your payment money until you actually receive an item, then release the money to the seller — can be very useful in some types of transactions, particularly for high-priced items. However, because there are fake escrow services on the Internet, you should approach escrow with caution! For eBay transactions, you should only use one of eBay’s approved escrow services.
eBay does not hold money for the seller in any type of "protection account." If you receive a message from a seller stating that they "have money held in an eBay purchase protection account", it is not true and could be an attempt to defraud you.
If you receive a message or offer of this kind, please forward it to email@example.com.
When a seller is suspended by eBay , their eBay status changes to “No longer a registered user”. Winning bidders are not obligated to complete transactions for items listed by a suspended seller.