As one of the world’s biggest online marketplaces, eBay offers a space to browse and purchase anything from household goods and electronics, to clothes and even cars, while providing a safe place to sell used items in record time.
However, signing up to an online space as huge as this can be daunting for first-time buyers and sellers – and there are some simple but handy tricks that will ensure you remain safe, while protecting you from cruel scammers.
Speaking in an exclusive chat with Starts at 60, eBay’s CFO and C2C (customer to customer) business leader Gavin Dennis has shared some of his top tips to stay safe online – and they’re surprisingly simple.
“One of the things we take very seriously is the safety of our eBay community, whether that be buyers or sellers,” he insisted.
One thing that is unique to eBay, and possibly the most important thing to keep in mind when buying and selling, is checking the other person’s ‘feedback’. By simply clicking on their profile, you can check anything from their delivery history to the speed of their past payments and reviews from other buyers and sellers who have dealt with them before.
“If someone has good feedback, it gives you confidence that you’re dealing with someone who is a good buyer or seller,” Gavin explained.
“When I myself buy or sell on there, I always look at their feedback. Things like whether they deliver on time, whether they pay properly, are all piece of mind for a first time buyer or seller.”
When you start selling a particular item on eBay, you can choose whether to post the item or have someone come and collect it from you. Whichever you choose, Gavin said: “We recommend you don’t share personal information until you’re sure you’re going to make the sale.”
While eBay can recommend the best delivery options for postage, it’s important to be wary in particular when asking someone to pick it up from your door.
“You should vet the buyer first before telling them where you live (through checking their feedback and speaking to them via their email or contact details they have provided),” Gavin added. “Once you’ve done that, it’s not someone unknown turning up at your house, you can actually see what they’ve bought before.”
Read more: Selling your stuff successfully on eBay
Alternatively of course, buyers and sellers can choose a different location to meet and exchange the product between themselves, away from each of their homes.
While it may seem obvious, another handy tip for sellers is to ensure the money is in their account before handing over the item. Even the most elaborate scammers try the oldest trick in the book now and again.
“Another important thing to do, as buyers or sellers, is to keep all contact information up to date and secure, and make sure you periodically change your passwords,” Gavin added.
“There’s a number of things we do to ensure people feel confident when they buy and sell, especially our buyer and seller protection policies that make sure it’s a safe and fair marketplace,” Gavin explained.
Meanwhile, eBay’s money back guarantee means a buyer has 30 days to return an item and get the money back if there’s something wrong with it or it’s not what was advertised. However, while it’s a reassurance, there are a few things buyers can do to be sure they’re being as safe as possible themselves.
When choosing a delivery option, buyers are given the choice of have the item sent to their door, to a local store via Click & Collect or collecting it from the buyer’s chosen location.
Click & Collect means you can choose a shop such as Woolworths from a list of available options, before timing the delivery to suit you.
“You can save time and get it delivered to Woolies when you’re set to pick up your groceries! It’s really convenient,” Gavin added.
Of course, just like selling, simple things like changing your password regularly, keeping your eBay contact information up to date, checking people’s feedback and keeping private information hidden until you trust the person you’re speaking to are all important.
Of course, even with all this security in place, it’s possible a scammer could slip through the net – but eBay are ready and prepared for that eventuality too.
“The thing to do is to get straight in touch with us,” Gavin said. “We have a 24 hour support help centre with experts online who are ready to help you with any tricky questions or concerns you may have.
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“However it’s important to remember you have the protection there with eBay’s money back guarantee.”
Meanwhile, here are a few more tips to keep in mind when using eBay:
You can have extra peace of mind by using PayPal as they will protect sellers against customers who use false or stolen credit cards or claim that goods were never sent. Just make sure you follow all of PayPal’s seller guidelines.
Make sure you respond to questions and queries promptly. This will keep customers happy and shows that you are dedicated to providing good customer service and selling the product. Check your emails regularly when you have a product listing and answer each one no matter how simple or complex.