We only endorse buying from dealers, or reputable auction houses. It’s very tempting to buy from eBay with so many sellers offering incredible bargains. There are also many genuine items available, so how can you tell a fake from an authentic signature? This guide has been prepared to remind you of the pitfalls of buying from sellers on eBay – in short you should always read the full eBay listing, check out the seller as much as you can, and don’t take risks with your money.
Rule Number 1
If an item seems too good to be true, then you can be pretty sure that its a fake, so don’t take chances. Given the cost of advertising on eBay, and the PayPal fees, no genuine seller would start an auction at 99p. We certainly couldn’t! Why would someone who has paid for a photo, stood out in the rain for hours waiting for a celebrity to sign a photo, want to sell the item for 99p?
Rule Number 2
Never never buy anything from any seller who uses the PRIVATE option (Feedback or bidding), unless you are a very very very experienced ebayer!
There is not one single good reason why any legitimate seller would use either of these PRIVATE options, the UACC have banned it, and so should eBay. Don’t fall for them saying it’s all about protecting your privacy, it’s their privacy they are concerned with! Fall for this one, and the chances are 100 to 1 that you will be buying fakes, forgeries or just plain rubbish.
The PRIVATE bidding option prevents you (the buyer) from finding out what they (the seller) has previously sold, it prevents other eBay members from warning you about their fakes or scams, and worst of all, it allows the seller to bid against you without you knowing! (yes that’s right, a seller using the PRIVATE auction option is able to bid on their own auctions and push up the final price without you knowing! Now if that is not cheating, I don’t know what is). So always look out for the PRIVATE auction warning at the top of every ebay listing, and if you see it, avoid it. You will often find these sellers have chnaged the ID many times too, just click on ID History to check. They change their name normally because they have had some bad press somewhere (isitreal.com etc) and so change it to try and hide.
Rule Number 3
Always pay for items using PayPal, if you don’t have an account then open one, worst case pay using your credit card. That way if anything goes wrong you will get you money back, and in the case of PayPal it is a very easy thing to do. If the seller does not accept either, and you have any doubts about the seller, then don’t bid.
There are now an increasing number of fraudulent sellers who are no longer accepting PayPal, why? Because Paypal have barred their accounts because of the number of refunds they have had to give unfortunate customers. If the seller wants you to pay in cash and does not accept Paypal or a credit card then run away. I know PayPal can be a pain, and they are not perfect, but its still by far the best way to safely pay for anything on eBay.
Rule Number 4
Always check the location of the seller. On the top right in the Sellers Information box, it tells you where the seller is registered, does this tie in with what it says next to Item Location? Does it have any location stated at all? If it says ‘Fastest shipper on ebay’ or similar where it should say the location, avoid the seller, (not putting the location is actaully agianst eBay rules). If the registered location is different to the location stated, then avoid the seller.
Please be aware that there are now a growing number of forgers who are in a different country to which they are selling in. The reason is simply because you as the buyer are much less likely to be able to do anything about it. There are also known forgers operating from some of the eastern countries too, Poland Romania, Russia etc.
Also consider this, why is a man in Greece, Cyprus. or Australia! selling David Beckham signed items which he claims to have got in person! Unless you can be 100% certain, stay away from sellers in far off lands, chances are you will also end up being stung for import duty on fake items from a seller you will never get a refund from.