eBay Safety Tips for Buying & Selling

  1. #1 Apr 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2015
    In light of all the scamming and problems on eBay; especially the poor tPFer who lost thousands on a Birkin sale; it seems the time is right for fellow members to post safety tips which work for them. Please post tips only and save comments for another thread. Thanks!


    This is a very helpful post from the Chanel forum in regards to getting items authenticated before you buy. It really applies to ALL items.

  2. Now for my tip:

    Open a seperate bank account for Ebay and PayPal transactions. If possible use a seperate bank. This will solve problems of anyone getting your HOUSEHOLD bank account numbers. People do chargebacks and next thing you know, your rent money is gone. Having a seperate account will solve this problem.

    Also a small limit credit card is a good idea. If you wish to make a larger purchase, you can add funds to the account.
  3. My tip:

    Only pay for expensive purchases through paypal on your credit card. And then if there are any problems (i.e. its a fake), that can't be rectified by paypal, you can go to your cc company for a chargeback.
  4. Another tip.

    Always send items of value via a postal method that has tracking and proof of delivery, and then set up a filing system and keep this.

    This is vital for chargebacks and 'item not received'.

    These have been learn't the hard and costly way.
  5. Always use a sellers mark whether it be a marker only seen by you or a tag that cannot be removed unless the buyer is keeping the bag. This helps to aid in the whole bait and switch scams.
  6. Only send to confirmed Paypal addresses - otherwise, if they file a claim, you're out of luck. If they win and don't have a confirmed address, tell them you won't send until they confirm it for your safety.
  7. Excellent thread, stuck!
  8. Another tip.

    Possession of a receipt does not prove authenticity. Receipts can be purchased easily on line.
  9. 1. Tracking postal services only, no matter what the buyer says about 'not being bothered'.
    2. Trust your instincts always
    3. Tell the truth - if you shy away from being honest when a transaction goes bad, you contribute to someone else's future pain
    4. Ebay is a risk, so research, reflect and reassure yourself if you can by contacting your trading partners
    5. Ebay is not a matter of life and death, but it can feel like it. Think before you type/bid/buy/sell etc. Would you do this IRL? If not, pause.
  10. ALWAYS file a copy of all correspondence between you and the buyer/seller. And always keep a copy of all the photos of the product before you sell or before you buy. Both can be used as proof for SNAD claims or to refute SNAD claims if you are a seller.

    Additional tip for sellers, make sure that you take photos (with a camera that clearly shows the date) when you pack your item as proof of its condition when you ship. That way buyers can't file a SNAD against you when it was the post office's fault (trust me, it has happened to me before!)

    Great thread, by the way!
  11. Don't depend on feedback numbers, instead analyze the actual feedback comments. Feedback under 99 percent for an established seller can indicate a potential problem. Always check a seller's feedback at
    Copy and paste the seller's ID in the first box under Negative and Neutral Feedback.

    Be wary of sellers with Private feedback and Private listings. Sometimes there might be a valid reason, but some shady sellers use these to hide complaints from buyers.

    Someone who sells nothing but fakes can still have 100 percent positive feedback. Always ask for authentication in the appropriate Forum here before you bid.

    Remember the Rules To Bid By:
    Sellers can LIE
    Photos can be STOLEN
    Feedback can be FAKED
    If something looks too good to be true - IT IS
    ...and most importantly
    Ebay is not here to protect you, they're here to MAKE MONEY
  12. Just because a seller says it is authentic, doesn't mean a thing. On the flip side, just because a buyer says it is fake, doesn't mean they are telling the truth either.

    Just because a seller says it has been authenticated, doesn't mean it is true. Find our where and verify. Mistakes can be made by SA, as some of our members have found out, they are not experts.

    Be wary of the sellers that require a letter from the store manager denying authenticity before a return can be made. You likely won't be able to get one.

    Post items in the "authenticate this" section of the particular designer thread, just to be sure.

    Check prices, Ebay is not always a good deal. Watch for outrageous shipping charges or factor them into the final bid price.
  13. always use delivery confirmation and anything over 200 dollars use signature confirmation. even if paypal asks for it for over 250 it's better to be safe than sorry.

    you can also self insire with dsi. they're great with claims as well.

    i always print out 2 packing slips when sending something out- 1 goes in to the box for the buyer just in case something happens and the second one i attach the mailing info with the dc number, price etc. then i put it in a 3 ring binder by month and date so i can always find it quickly and easily.
  14. Insurance is for the SELLER, not the buyer! Be on the safe side and include the cost of insurance in your shipping and handling fees, USPS can be brutal with packages.
  15. Know every single tiny detail of the item you want to buy. Research until you are blue in the face and then research again. Don't buy if there's even a grain of doubt.

    Never, ever, ever blindly trust that Powersellers sell legit products. Research your seller first, then the product. Scour their feedback, look at what else they are selling. Do you see twenty of the same Gucci bag? Run the other way!

    Don't always assume a low feedback seller with a designer bag is selling a fake. Check their eBay registration date. Lots of honest people want to clean out their closets and have great buys on legit products.

    And as is always true no matter where you shop: Let The Buyer Beware! You can come to tPF for authentications but we as buyers are ultimately responsible for our purchases.