When eBay started up in 1995, many people complained that they were scammed. Not because eBay was a bad business, but because bad people used it. Some took people’s money but never sent the item, and others sold fakes or copies as if they were the real thing.
Has eBay changed in the last 22 years? Many people want to know if eBay is safe.
eBay is a Good Place to Go.
Yes, that’s the answer. eBay has added a lot of safety features over the years to keep both buyers and sellers safe. During its early years, even sellers were victims of fraud because some buyers pretended they never got the item even though they did. Buyers asked for chargebacks, got their money back, and kept the items.
Buyers are safe because they can get their money back, file a dispute, make a claim, or return the item. On the other hand, sellers are safe if they have proof that the item was shipped, and if a buyer files a dispute against them, they have the right to answer the dispute.
Policy to Protect Buyers
Several rules are in place to keep buyers safe on eBay. Some of these include verifying the seller’s identity and escrow services, where the money is held by a third party and given to the seller only after the buyer says he is happy with the product.
Money-back Guarantee is something you can find on eBay. This rule applies to almost all of the things that are for sale on eBay. The policy says that buyers can file a complaint if they didn’t get the item or if it wasn’t what was described. But a buyer has 30 days to wait for the item. If the seller and buyer can’t work out their problem in three days, eBay will give the buyer’s money back.
The Buyer Protection Program has the following rules:
- You can return a product just because you changed your mind, but it must be in the same condition as when you bought it. You will also have to pay for shipping the item back to us and a restocking fee.
- If you send something back because it wasn’t as described, you’ll also have to pay for shipping and other costs.
- Most refunds are issued six business days after the item has been sent back to the seller.
- International returns are much more complicated, so you and the seller will have to figure out what to do.
- Only physical goods are covered by the guarantee, and only if the item is not received or is not as described.
- If you want to be covered, you have to meet certain deadlines. You can’t wait a year, then complain and ask for a refund.
Policy to Protect the Seller
Sellers also need to be protected because they spend money on things like shipping, paying their employees, and fees. So that this happens, eBay has a Seller Protection Policy that makes sure sellers also have a great time on the site.
For one thing, you can file a complaint on the site, and if the buyer is rude, the negative feedback will be taken away by eBay’s management. Also, if you can prove that a buyer’s complaint is false, eBay will pay up to $6 for the cost of a shipping label.
If a buyer returns an item that they broke, you can take up to half of the item’s value out of the refund. This means that if you sold an item in good condition for $100 and the buyer broke it, you can only get back 50% of that amount.
Here are some more ways a seller can be protected from buyers:
- Retracted bid without payment. eBay is an auction site. Sometimes, a buyer will bid a lot just to win the item, but then they don’t buy it. In this case, the seller had already paid a fee to put the house on the market. If this happens, eBay will take away the bad feedback, and you’ll get your money back.
- Buyer wants something that isn’t on the listing. For example, a buyer wants a box for a product, but the item description says that it’s not available. Some people might even ask for a discount. In this case, the seller can just cancel the order, and eBay will get rid of the negative feedback. But the buyer’s unreasonable demands must be posted in the eBay message center as proof.
- Events that were out of the seller’s control: If the shipment was late but it wasn’t the seller’s fault, he must show shipping documents to eBay to prove it. In this case, the negative feedback will be taken off, and if the buyer files a dispute, eBay will not charge you.
How can you stay safe on eBay?
eBay is a big shopping center. This means that there is a lot of money to be made in there. Because all transactions involve money, bad people will always be around to take advantage of your weaknesses.
If you are a buyer, here are some ways to protect yourself:
- Read the full item description. You can find it below the picture and general information about the item. Make sure you read this carefully, because some sellers will post a picture of a product but only sell the box. You order the item thinking it’s a wristwatch, but when it arrives, it’s just a box.
- Check the ratings of the seller. You can get a quick look at this information on the right side of the listing. The number next to the star shows how many ratings there are in total, and the percentage shows how many of the people who left feedback were happy with this seller. If you click on the seller’s name, you can find out more about them.
- Do not do business with people outside of eBay. Most of the time, scammers will ask you to pay them outside of eBay. If you do this, you won’t get your item, and eBay won’t be able to help. Most of the time, this happens with high-priced items. Let’s say you want to spend $1,000 on a wristwatch. The seller will tell you that he will sell it to you for $700, but you have to pay through Western Union. Don’t get caught in this trick. You will never get that money back after you send it.
Here are some things you can do as a seller to protect yourself:
- Keep all paperwork, because if a buyer files a dispute, you can only win if you can show eBay that you did what you said you would. Always keep your shipping receipts so you can scan them and send them to the people in charge at eBay.
- Tell the truth about your product. If you say it’s in good condition, make sure it really is. If that product has even one flaw, the buyer will be able to complain, and you will lose money.
- Don’t sell things that can’t be seen or touched. Buyers can easily say that they couldn’t download an item, that the item you sold is copywritten, or that the gift card or voucher you sold didn’t work. Most of the time, the buyer wins in situations like this, and you lose money.
- Use PayPal. PayPal has a seller protection policy in addition to what eBay has. If you use PayPal, all of your transactions will be safe, and PayPal will keep track of who bought what from you. So, if you have a problem with a buyer who is trying to scam you, PayPal will be able to find this person and help you solve your problems.
eBay has grown to become one of the biggest places to buy and sell things around the world. Because of this, it has also become a place where fraudsters and con artists like to set up shop. This doesn’t mean eBay isn’t safe. It’s a great place to do business and a great place to buy things at prices you can afford.
But you should know that there are also bad people there. You can still get hurt no matter how safe a place is if you don’t follow the rules and safety tips. There is a reason why these rules are in place. Years of experience have taught the people in charge of eBay what kinds of scams are out there and what should be done to protect both buyers and sellers.
You will be safe whether you are buying or selling if you do the following:
- Keep to the rules.
- Record everything.
- Know everything about the deal, like the product description.
- Only buy and sell on eBay
eBay is safe in the same way that Amazon is safe. There are many rules and systems in place to keep you safe, but you need to do your part as well.