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How secure is eBay(6 posts)

How secure is eBayliu02bhs
Mar 20, 2002 8:59 PM
I'm thinking about buying stuff on eBay. But how secure is your investment?

*Is there any protection against people who take your money and don't ship the merchandise?
*Can you do something if the merchandise doesn't arrive in the condition described on eBay?
*How long does transaction usually take if using Paypal? check? COD?
Not too bad, if you are carefulDrD
Mar 20, 2002 10:46 PM
> Is there any protection against people who take your money and don't ship the merchandise?

Yes - ebay offers a bidder protection of sorts to protect against bad sellers - the exact procedures are described on their website, but I believe they will cover all but $25 of the sale (there is probably some max amount, too)

> Can you do something if the merchandise doesn't arrive in the condition described on eBay?

Generally, you need to work it out with the seller (can be a pain) - best thing to do is look at who is selling before you bid - check their feedback profile - generally, most sellers will do whatever they can (within reason) to avoid negative feedback - best defense against this is to ask questions, and make sure you know exactly what you are bidding on if the description is unclear in some way.

> How long does transaction usually take if using Paypal? check? COD?

Well - it really depends on the seller - paypal gets them cash instantly, and most people seem to ship 1-5 days after getting the cash. With personal checks, unless you have a really trusting seller, they will wait for it to clear, which can take up to 10 days, then they ship shortly after that. Money orders and cashiers checks work well, and sellers ship within a few days of receiving them. I have never done COD (nor seen it offered as an acceptable payment method for many auctions)

Just remember - if you have any questions, ask them before you bid - always check seller feedback before bidding, and research what the item is worth before you buy it. (I generally go 50-60 cents on the dollar for used stuff in good condition, 80 cents or so on the dollar for "new" stuff - sometimes I get outbid, but that's part of the game!) Also - there are a large number of people whom seem content to pay more than retail for used goods - watch out if you get hung up in a bidding war! (also - people like to snipe, so I would recommend taking advantage of proxy bidding)
ebay great - buy from users with high positive feedbackcentury2
Mar 21, 2002 1:30 AM
if you buy from established sellers - you will never have a problem -- and you can save a ton of money -- with a good seller - shipping happens day after you pay
I've bought and sold, some tips....woodes
Mar 21, 2002 5:53 AM
I bought a used Litespeed Classic frame from Ebay ($680 bucks)from a user with no feedback. It was risky, but it worked out in the end.

Most importantly, try to buy from sellers with good feedback...I've sold several cycling items and I'm really trying hard to build up a positive profile because I plan to sell a $1,000 mountain bike soon. People who sell on Ebay tend to do it often, and know that one instance of negative feedback can kill them. Sellers who accept Paypal (like I do) really like it because you get the payment quickly and the item can be shipped ASAP. Waiting for a personal check to clear is a real hassle.

Ebay does have a fraud protection program you should check out. When I notify a winning bidder, I include my full name and address. You should request the same from your seller so that at least you know where he/she lives (they could give you a bogus name, but there's nothing you can do about that).

If the merchandise is not as described, ask for either a full refund after returning the item, or some money back. Of course, you can always leave negative feedback. For example, I sold a pair of Smith Toasters that the buyer claimed arrived broken. They were packaged so carfully that it would be virtually impossible to damage them. Instead of accusing him of breaking them himself (I didn't hear from him until after a week after delivery) I gave him a full refund because the positive feedback was more important to me than $50 bucks. Sorry to ramble on, but I think that Ebay is a great resource (I'm also a hedge fund manager, and Ebay was the only internet stock I bought!!! - still lost money though).
eBay has been good to meDoubleK
Mar 21, 2002 8:14 AM
I have used eBay for the last several months only as a buyer. I have had good success buying out of production Dura-Ace and Record parts for my old sleds. I use PayPal and like the convenience. As others have stated, check the profiles of the people selling, read the descriptions carefully, and only buy from people who know what they are talking about. I try to buy only NIB (new in box) items but I have purchased some used stuff.

Ask very specific questions before bidding like, "Has this derailler ever hit the pavement?" etc., and watch out for blurry pictures. It has been my experience that they usually hide some problems. I bought an old Dura-Ace derailler that was described as "Mint" but when I received the part it had obviously been crashed on. I sent it back and received a refund minus the shipping. I also won't buy anything that is too expensive like, over $250 or so. I think eBay is a great resource for older, out of production items.

Good luck!
Mar 21, 2002 9:10 AM
If you haven't found already, use an email address where you don't mind receiving a lot of unwanted mail. After I registered and used ebay (successfully) a few times, I started receiving a large number of unsolicited credit card offers. A real pain.