HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF ON EBAY

AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF ON EBAY AS A SELLER

ACCURATE DESCRIPTIONS THAT SELL

Selling on eBay for the most part is a pleasant experience, but every once in a while you run into someone tries to rip you off. Buying and selling bottles on eBay is a popular means of moving items quickly. As a seller on eBay, there are things you need to know to avoid problems. Be sure that you accurately describe your item and do so in extravagant (not exaggerated) detail.  Oftentimes more detail creates more interest. The more interest you can create the more likely you are to get bidders. Be especially careful to describe any damage, issues with the condition of the bottle, stain, hazing, bruises, chips or cracks. Read your description over while trying to anticipate questions your buyers might ask. 

Here's an example of a good listing which produced a single $25 bid by a longtime seller with a 100% rating and over 600 feedback scores.

Really nice 1960's, 12 oz. JACK & JILL bottle from Coca Cola Bottling Co. of Pikeville, Kentucky. While I was actively collecting I only saw a few of this bottle, so it's pretty rare. Condition is perfect, with no damage or wear.

Shipping is by Priority Mail and the cost is calculated by the weight and your ZIP code. I do not charge a packing or handling fee of any kind. Insurance is optional.

I prefer PayPal, but a Postal Money Order is OK, if mailed right after the auction ends.

Please ask any questions before bidding, and thanks for looking.

The first considerations in successfully selling are accuracy and detail. The use of the seller's peronal knowledge about the rarity probably created the interest for the bid. Represent your items this way and you'll avoid many potential pitfalls that can cost you money in relisting and mailing fees.

START OFF RIGHT

Setting a reasonable start price can also save your money.  Take the case of the GUY selling of an Applied Color label soda bottle just this month.  The opening bid price was $0.01.  The final bid price was $0.06.  This guy charged a very reasonable $4.85 shipping.  He's gonna be ripping himself off because by the time he wraps the item and drives to Post Office, he will have more than used his $0.06, not to mention the Ebay listing and final selling price fees. Obviously there was not much interest in the item but the seller could have set a $2.00 opening bid and saved money or at least not have lost money if the item sold for the minimum.

A PICTURE'S WORTH A THOUSAND DOLLARS

Take multiple good in focus pictures of the items that you  sell. I suggest taking pictures of bottles outside, because it is easiest to get a good and accurate picture.  Learn to use your close up setting.  Nothing worse than out of focus pictures. Buyers want to see the lip, base and body of the bottle.  Close ups of labels or embossing are also a good idea. Good bottles sell better when they picture does the selling.  If you want to avoid the cost of additional pictures, offer to send them to your prospective buyers.

GETTING YOUR MONEY

Choosing the appropriate payment method can help you in avoiding getting ripped off.  I always use a secure pay system like PayPal there are others are just as good but often times if you're selling to a buyer you'll have some additional protection through your payment company. Never send an item before you received payment for it. Make sure that you pack the item carefully glass needs to be packed in newspaper or bubble wrap with adequate distance between the packing material in the box when shipping to your customer always get delivery confirmation if the customer wants the item insured then you should charge that is part of your shipping costs you should make it clear however that you are not responsible for damaged items that were not insured make sure also that you always keep your receipts

I had a fellow one time who purchased the bottle from a public that is buying record because I didn't recognize the name and saw that this guy never bought any other bottles as part of his buying history which I thought was a little strange the data reasonable price for the bottle which I packed up and shipped off. I thought everything was just fine until about three weeks later when I received an e-mail from a fellow claiming that the item was never delivered he never got the item. Well I had to live reconfirmation receipts and I went online on the post office website and looked up the item by the confirmation number and saw that indeed it had been delivered to his post office so I made a copy of the information from the Postal Service along with a copy of the delivery confirmation receipt and sent it off to him two days later he suddenly "found" the suppose it undelivered item.

SCAMMERS

To protect yourself from scams you need to be cautious and take a few preventative steps on your own. You need to know who your buyer is.  You should check your buyers reputation by clicking on this feedback rating and and reading what other sellers have said about this buyer.  It's important to know how the bidder has performed as a buyer.

Every once in a while you run into someone who's so unscrupulous bandits hard to imagine take the fellow who claimed that the bottle I sent arrived damaged, yet who refused to send the item back to in return for his money back. Even worse was a fellow who reportedly after purchasing an item wrote the seller saying that he wasn't happy with the item and sent the item back asking for a full refund. The buyer made a switcheroo and did not return the original item but an item a similar but damaged one. Such fraud can be very difficult to prove you are the victim of this kind of scam. Once in a while you'll find someone on eBay who will bid on one of your items but when the auction ends never pays this can be both a waste of time and money for the seller and is something that should be reported to eBay.

HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF ON EBAY AS A BUYER

AVOID IMPULSE BIDDING

I think probably the most important thing to avoid is impulse bidding. I know for myself more than once I have bid on an item before reading carefully all of the information on the page. Be thoughtful and knowledgeable bidder.  Do your homework, check known prices for similar items, in guides and magazines as well as on Ebay's completed listings. People are constantly over using the word "rare".  Knowledgeable buyers know what is rare.

I personally like using a sniping program in my bidding. It keeps me from impulse bidding and makes me think ahead of time exactly how much I want to pay for a given item. Sniping programs are programs that automatically placed bids for items of your choosing on eBay. There are a number of programs around most of which work well some of which charge by the item others simply charge you for the software. My preference is to purchase the software. Before purchasing any software for sniping you should try to go online and read reviews of what people are saying about the software you're thinking about buying. Sniping off and can save you money if it goes in any time you choose you can set the bit to go in in the last few seconds so as not to reveal your top amount to others who might try to incrementally bid up the item to find out what your top offer was.

CAVEAT EMPTOR

This Latin phrase meaning 'Let the buyer beware', tells us that getting ripped off is not a modern phenomenon.  Obviously the most important and easiest thing that you could check is the seller's reputation. eBay has taken a few steps recently to try to improve this by creating what they call their 'seller dashboard' which shows how satisfied people are with any given seller on several dimensions. A quick look at the seller's overall rating percentage is often enough to persuade me not to bid if the seller has a reputation below about 98 percent. Some might think this threshold is too high but in my experience it is about the right number. Furthermore, I want my seller to have at least 100 sales.  Either case makes me a  bit suspicious and I will take a detailed look at the feedback ratings and actually go back and find and read the negative feedbacks that the seller has gotten. There certainly are buyers out there who have treated sellers unfairly and registered complaints against them that were probably unjustified and I can see that happening once but finding a seller whose gotten multiple negative comment's within the last year is enough to keep me from bidding regardless of how much I might like the item. Nothing is more important than the seller's reputation in avoiding getting ripped off on eBay.

WHAT'S THE SELLER TELLING YOU?

You should look at how the seller presents his item for sale. Is the description clear, accurate, and complete? Does the seller provide multiple photographs from a variety of angles? Does the seller represent the item as absolutely perfect? If so does the seller guarantee an unconditional return privilege if his description is inaccurate? Be cautious of sellers who are not located in your country. Is the seller close enough that you could easily contact him if you have a problem? Finally, does the seller specify a return policy? If not, you might want to ask the seller a question or two about the item to give you a better feel for how quickly they might respond after the sale.

Here's wording from a dealer with a 100% feedback rating on over 500 sales, selling a low end bottle.  What is this buyer telling you? You might just buy his inexpensive item because if you don' like it, you could return it.

NO HASSLE RETURNS : If there are any problems with your order, please email me and I will resolve the issue promptly. Other than for shipping damage on an uninsured item, you may return the item within 7 days of shipping and I will refund your money. You are responsible for the return shipping costs.

FEEDBACK :100% Customer satisfaction is my goal. If for any reason you feel inclined not to leave positive feedback (or 5 star ratings across the board), please email me and I will do my best to change your mind. I will leave feedback for you when I am assured that your item was received and you are completely satisfied.
 

Contrast with this fellow who had 60 auctions running of low end bottles but had bids on only one of them.  This seller had a good feedback rating but no one was biting. 

I have many bottles to auction in the coming future, so please follow my listings. I am eager to develop positive feedback, so please email me if you have any questions. I am putting my best condition bottles out first. Sorry, I am not taking returns at this time. Will take extra care packaging. Happy bidding!

In neither case, do I think these sellers were rips-offs but as a buyer, I'd certainly prefer one over the other. It is important to reading and understand what the buyer is telling you.  If you have any doubt. DON'T BID.

Sometimes sellers charge more for "postage and handling than is reasonable.  Personally, I do charge a small amount over the postage cost because there are costs beyond postage that are not reflected in the selling price. The last bottle I bought, I paid $22.00 for and paid $11.00 in postage. Ordinarily, I would be annoyed, but I set my maximum bid with this in mind and so, paid a very reasonable purchase price even with the $11.00. My solution is just to bid less.

Avoiding getting ripped off on eBay is relatively easy I won't say that it can't happen to you but if you follow the suggestions above and you read eBay's policies and suggestions on avoiding being ripped off you should be able to buy and sell your bottles without incident. Sadly, if you do get ripped off, you might not get your money back or receive justice so it makes sense to me to take all the care up front.