Beware: The Dangers of Selling on eBay 101
by: Brad Eden
Copyright 2005 Brad Eden
It's obvious that eBay provides internet users with an online flea market where buyers and sellers from around the world meet to conduct trade.
However, like most traders who are faced with an innovation of this sort, the first question will always be: It is safe?
The answer is yes, but devious scammers seem to be plotting daily to forward their dastardly schemes and take advantage of eBay's power.
So, what is the user's recourse? The users of eBay must learn to gather information and take meticulous care in dealing on eBay. Only then can they be less gullible to scammers.
A common consensus is that bidders are often scammed by sellers. But it is possible for things to be the other way around.
Here is a list of the common problems sellers encounter and the means to handle them.
Fake Escrow Services
A winning bidder may request that an escrow service be used to assure both parties of a fair transaction. Unfortunately, the seller is sometimes duped into using a fake escrow system.
To avoid this situation, the seller must always verify the authenticity of an escrow service. eBay recommends the use of escrow.com. If the bidder insists on his or her escrow service, chances are, that person is a scammer.
Victims of this fraud find it difficult to reclaim their items. They may, however, appeal to the legal system afforded by the state they live in. They must also contact eBay regarding the matter for any assistance they may be willing to offer.
Deadbeat bidders (a winning bidder who doesn't pay for an item at the auction's close) are more common on eBay. If the winner of your auction does not pay, you may leave that person a negative feedback.
As for the listing fees the seller shells out, eBay lays out a four step procedure that sellers can use to potentially recover lost selling fees. If sellers complete the process to eBay's satisfaction, they will receive a Final Value Fee credit and a re-list credit. Filing out an Unpaid Item dispute is the first step toward eBay reimbursing such fees. A person can report an unpaid item up to 45 days after an auction's close.
This occurs when the seller and bidder disagree on some terms of the sale. This may also happen if there is a purported violation of any of these agreements.
If communication between both parties does not help, they may consider availing of a third-party dispute resolution outfit to help. SquareTrade.com is one of these outfits that eBay recommends.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
A seller's life may be made terrible because of the constant scamming attacks unscrupulous individuals undertake. But, with proper information and care, he or she can continue trading on eBay with relative safety.
Payment Methods on eBay
Gone are the days when only cash (or cattle in some cases) was the only accepted mode of payment for trades. As the concept of trading evolved, so did the means of paying for items.
Today's electronic world pushes the envelop further. With the advent of online trading systems such as eBay, many new forms of payment have flourished.
First of all, on eBay, the mode of payment depends on the agreement between the buyer and the seller. Most often, the seller will specify his or her desired payment method. In these cases, the seller often has primacy in the decisions regarding payment modes. However, the buyer may still communicate with the seller regarding a viable alternative if it suits both parties.
The following is a list of common eBay payment modes.
Cash On Delivery
Cash is, after all, still cash. This payment method can be done through a third party courier system or by the buyer and seller meeting each other at an agreed place. The advantage of a cash transaction is that the exchange of the item for payment is done in the presence of the buyer and the seller (or the seller's representative). However, some people will not accept the risk present when two strangers meet.
One popular method of payment is personal check. Writing checks is easy and safe. However, many sellers do not like accepting check because they are easy to cancel.
PayPal is the payment of choice on eBay. In fact, eBay owns PayPal.
Using PayPal is easy, convenient, and relatively safe. PayPal acts as like an internet 'wire transfer.'
After signing-up for PayPal, one may send cash to anyone with an email address using the PayPal system. PayPal also has security features that safeguard against fraud in case there is a dispute between the seller and the buyer. This system is best for transactions up to $1000.
Escrow.com is the payment of choice for purchases over $500. Escrow.com holds the buyer's money from the seller until the seller delivers the item. Only then will the funds be released to the seller. This system makes for a very safe, although highly procedural transaction.
This is the payment of choice for countries that do not carry the PayPal service. Wire transfers are risky because the buyer usually has to wire over the funds before the seller sends the items. The chance for non-delivery of items is high.
Other Payment Systems
The number of third party payment services is steadily on the rise. Their systems for payment vary. However, to be successful they must be convenient to use and safe as well.
About the author:
Brad Eden is a Entrepreneurial Sciences expert with 14 years of industry experience in real estate, marketing and technical communication. He currently consults with IBM in CA. Brad owns & operates a free traffic resource for entrepreneurs. http://www.americanfreetraffic.com