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Thrifty Commandments
#12: Don't profit at the expense of your friends or family
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Article Index
Guide to eBay Buying
Search on eBay several ways
Read the Entire eBay Description
Ask the eBay Seller Questions
Learn About the eBay
Seller
Do Not Buy Outside of eBay
Use eBay Auction Sniping
Software
Wait for the eBay Seller to
Contact You
Use a Credit Card

Mr. Thrifty Principle #4: Learn as much about the eBay seller as you can

EBay estimates that less that .1% of transactions on its site are fraudulent (Mr. Thrifty thinks the actual amount of eBay fraud is much higher). Internet Fraud Watch estimates that eBay auction fraud bilked consumers out of over $15 billion last year. That is a lot of scratch. The best defense against eBay fraud is just plain common sense. There are certain eBay items that attract hucksters more than other. Show caution before you bid on a new iPod or a Babe Ruth autographed baseball bat.

The best way to protect yourself is simply learn about the eBay seller. The eBay feedback rating is a great place to start. Mr. Thrifty has a personal rule that he will not bid on any item which costs more than $20 from an eBay seller that has less than a “50” rating and 98% positive. Mr. Thrifty knows there are some honest people out there that are just getting started, however, he feels they need to build up their eBay feedback rating with someone elses money before he is willing to part with his bling.

A second way to educate yourself about an eBay seller is to look at how long they have been a member on eBay. Again, most eBay scammers are lazy. They are not willing to hang around over a long period of time. They want to make a quick score and move on to their next victim. When buying from someone on eBay, the longer they have been an eBay member the better. Mr. Thrifty shows caution when he sees someone who has been an eBay member for less than a year.

A third way to educate yourself is to look at all of the other items an eBay seller is currently hawking on eBay and what they have sold in the past. For example, if it looks like a seller has been selling $10 “Vote for Pedro” t-shirts for the last year and then all of a sudden is selling 20 plasma screen TV’s, something is awry. Danger Will Robinson! Run away!

Learn about the seller and use common sense.



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