eBay Safety Tips for Buying & Selling

JoV

Purses are my Passion
Oct 31, 2005
622
4
New Jersey
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!


QUOTE ADDED BY JETSETGO!

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.

I'm going to state this very obvious note every once in awhile because I think it's very obvious but very important.

There are two things you need to be careful of when purchasing a bag online:
1) that the bag in the photos is authentic
2) that the bag in the photos is the bag you will be receiving


While authenticators can help with #1, it's up to you to make sure of #2. Whether it be due diligence, going to a reputable seller, or using a secure form of transaction (e.g., PayPal, Ebay, credit card, etc., if the seller is new to you).

Other things to check for:

  • Professional looking photos, amateur seller - make sure you don't have an amateur (non-professional, meaning, this doesn't look like a business, but an individual selling their own bags) with professional photos - sites like Portero and Malleries have millions of photos of bags up for the taking for anyone to pull a bait and switch and post it on Ebay with their own watermark. Joe Schmoe saying they are getting divorced and selling their wife's bags or grandma's old bags and they have beautiful studio photography is fishy
  • "I only accept wire transfer / bank wire or cashier's check" - I am happy to send a reputable seller bank wire if they accept it as an option (often they will let you save at least 3%), but only if I know the seller, and not to a stranger. More importantly, these trusted vendors offer wire transfer as ONE option, not THE ONLY option. Meaning, they still take paypal, credit card, etc, it's just I'M the one wanting to save 3% and pay with wire
  • "This was a gift from a friend" - it happens, but rarely, that authentic bags for thousands of dollars are given as gifts from a friend. Again, it's possible, but the majority of these gifts are fake
  • Make sure the seller actually has the bag in hand. Many sellers are now doing their own "drop shipping" where they are pre-selling a bag by taking another seller's listing (often from Japan) and posting photos (lots on Tradesy) and then when it sells for their higher price, they will buy from the cheaper seller and then wait for it to arrive to them, then they ship to you. Ask for another photo and make it specific if you suspect this. When I'm buying a croc Hermes bag for example, not only do I want photos, sometimes I'll ask for a phone snap of it next to today's paper. I know, who gets the actual paper nowadays, but you get the point. You want to know not just that it's real but that person with the listing actually has that bag, in their hand.
  • Make sure all photos are of the same bag and not from multiple listings. I see listings all the time where the photos aren't even from the same bag
  • If you see multiple listings from a seller where all multiple backgrounds are different, that can be a red flag too. Usually when you are listing stuff from your closet, they have a similar back drop of your living room, bedroom, or wherever.
  • 100% positive Ebay feedback of an impressive number, but when you look at their SELLER history, it's 0 (all positive buyer feedback), or for selling 500 different small item listings for $0.99. But all of a sudden, the seller has 10 to 30 bags for sale, like they have been doing this forever. The Ebay account was likely purchased on the black market or hacked, and they are "borrowing" the account for a quick set of scams, temporary paypal and bank account, and then they will run with your money.
Do not be fooled by:

  • A sales receipt. Receipts are nothing and they also sell in the underground market for like $50 apiece, I hear. Same thing with boxes, dust bags, etc.
  • If the seller claims there is a certificate from Etinceler, etc., ask to see it, then contact that authentication site and make sure they authenticated that bag. They won't charge you just to confirm that indeed they issued that certificate. Etinceler on their site reports that there are scammers who are faking their own certificates
  • Guaranteed authentic or your money back. Duh. Like they have another choice? This should go without saying because it's the law! Lots of sellers guarantee authenticity, even knowing they are selling fakes, because all they need to do is issue a refund, and they are betting that 2 out of 3 buyers still won't get their superfake checked out, so they still come out ahead
  • Statement of where the bag was purchased. Don't feel relieved just because someone tells you where they bought the bag (Chanel boutique in Chicago). This could also be a lie. I once purchased a fake Chanel where the owner swore up and down that the bag was purchased from Neiman Marcus. It was such a bad fake, too, and the more I told her it was fake the more she got upset that she purchased it herself.
Protect yourself! Breaks my heart reading through the "I was scammed" posts...
 
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JoV

Purses are my Passion
Oct 31, 2005
622
4
New Jersey
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.
 
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Fred&Ginger

Member
Mar 17, 2007
1,231
9
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.
 

Fred&Ginger

Member
Mar 17, 2007
1,231
9
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.
 
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sailornep5

O.G.
Apr 9, 2006
2,230
3
SF Bay Area, CA
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.
 
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Miss Sooky

Member
Oct 22, 2006
3,195
3
Curled up with a book
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.
 
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telicious

Member
Mar 16, 2007
2,877
1
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!
 
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Hyacinth

Authenticator
O.G.
Aug 19, 2006
30,285
12,909
Chicago
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
http://toolhaus.org/
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
 
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shiba

O.G.
Feb 3, 2007
1,133
303
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.
 

hlfinn

ASO The Today Show
O.G.
Nov 3, 2006
19,611
8
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.
 

Jen Loves LV

Member
Aug 19, 2006
2,394
0
Oregon
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.
 

Prada Psycho

#11146
Authenticator
O.G.
Jul 21, 2006
20,945
1,462
Margaritaville
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.