Don't Get Netted by Ebay Fraud
By Grant Copland
eBay listings are surely on the rise. With more listings comes more opportunity for fraud. It's as simple as that. Scam artists put in false listings, and after you have paid you get nothing. Other scams include listing a “rare” item at an astounding price but the thing was made from plastic or tinker toys, not from sterling silver or gold. How in the world can you avoid all of these kinds of scams?
Well, to begin with, you can check their ratings. Ratings are given by people who have had previous experiences with the purported seller of antique sterling silver items. So, if people have provided generally high ratings, then that means you can most likely trust the seller and have confidence that what you are paying for is what you will receive. On the other hand, a negative rating means that the person who is trying to sell you something has done bad stuff before to other people. He might have shipped an item late, or he might have failed to ship an item altogether.
Also, you want to have researched the item that you are considering. You'd like to know who's asking and bidding what for them at other places as well as what they would sell for at retail. If you find a nice piece of sterling silver that goes for $50 on eBay but the manufacturer's retail outlets sell it for $800, well, you will want to take meaningful, reflective pause and think. Yes, in very very rare instances you will find something of very high value sold at a very low cost. However, while some people are dumb they are not stupid. Few and far between are going to be mistakes in pricing on the order of $750.  Also, if the seller seems to have plenty of these items, you'll want to wait until several auctions have gone on concerning that seller before you evaluate what you might really be getting.
Another thing you need to examine are the methods of payment open to you. If you contact the seller and they say, “sorry I only take cash”, then you need to stop yourself from rushing into something. Paypal is the payment method of choice on eBay, with checks and money orders being distant seconds. A reverse search can be done at to double-check a person's Paypal account credentials, too. Most importantly of all, don't deal with somebody who wants to hide their identity.
Copyright 2007,Lemur Holdings Pty Ltd, All Rights Reserved. May not be reproduced, reprinted or published without our written permission.
Grant Copland is the owner of

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