Shop Safely on eBay

Shop Safely on eBay

eBay is the largest marketplace in the world!

If you're looking for something to buy - anything - you'll probably find it on eBay and at a great price. But is eBay safe?


The eBay Community is guided by the values of open communication and honesty, and the vast majority of buyers and sellers at eBay are reliable. To promote a safe trading environment, eBay provides built-in safeguards to help protect you each time you buy and sell.

eBay Guide How to Buy Safely on eBay

A definite read for those new to buying on eBay. Here we list basic information to make sure your shopping experience on eBay is pleasant and safe.

Have fun shopping and don't forget to browse for some great items!

1. Thoroughly Read the Listing
Make sure you read and understand all the information provided on the listing page; listing description, terms of sale, and pictures. Check payment options, S&H fee, insurance, delivery method and time, refund policies, etc. If specific information is not supplied or you have a question, be sure to contact the seller before placing your bid. Avoid making assumptions about details that are not included. If there is anything that seems odd contact the seller.

And remember, if it seems to good to be true..... it mostly likely is!

2. Check the Sellers Reputation Feedback
This only takes a few minutes of your time. From the listing page, or wherever you see the user ID of the seller, click on the number in brackets after the user ID of the seller. You will be able to read what previous Buyers have said about doing business with that seller. If you have doubts, either contact the seller or move on.

While there are bad sellers, there are also excellent sellers who have received undeserved negatives. Let your conscience be your guide.

3. Learn about the Seller
Most Store owners have custom Store Pages and many also have a ME page. You can learn about more detailed Store Policies (Terms of Sales) and about the seller or their products. Look for custom links or buttons on the Store home page of the seller and the ME icon beside the user ID of the seller after their feedback rating.

4. Ask the Seller a Question
If you have any questions, contact the seller. You can do this by:

i) Within a listing page, click on "Ask seller a question", located on the top right side of the listing, under "Meet the seller".

ii) Click on the feedback number of the seller, you will be directed to their Feedback Profile. Click on the Contact Member link.

iii) The seller may also include their email address on their Me Page or one of their Store custom pages. When contacting the seller with a question, be sure to include the eBay Item Number and Title of the listing. Many sellers have hundreds of listings.

If you have not heard from the seller within a reasonable amount of time, be sure to check any "spam" folders first, in case your email program filed their reply email there.

5. Accurate Buyers Information
Be sure your personal information on eBay is correct and up-to-date (if your address is incorrect, you are not eligible for eBay or PayPal Buyer Protections). Since you registered on eBay, you might have moved or changed email addresses.

Make sure your shipping address is up-to-date on PayPal as well, as most Sellers ship to Confirmed PayPal addresses when different than the address registered on eBay.

6. Place your Bid
If you are bidding on an auction style listing, submit your bid accurately and carefully (to prevent any unnecessary bid retractions)

7. Pay Promptly and Correctly
Sellers will send you an invoice or email advising you of the total cost of your purchase. Many sellers have specific payment methods and also a time limit on when payment should be made (please refer to item description). If making a multiple purchase from the same seller, most will require one combined payment in order to qualify for a combined shipping price.

8. Understand Transit Time
Sellers may advise you of the estimated delivery time for your item to arrive, however, they cannot be responsible for the service of the post office or courier company. Keep in mind that carriers count business days, not weekends or holidays.

9. Leave Feedback
Understand how the feedback system works before you leave feedback. Feedback should be left after you consider the transaction complete. If you are happy with the transaction, be sure to leave positive feedback for the seller.

10. Communications
If any problems do come up, contact the seller first, before taking any action. Be factual, reasonable and polite. Give the seller an opportunity to address your concerns. Keep in mind, most eBay sellers are just one person with a life outside of eBay and do their best to make you happy.

Other Helpful Links (just click on the titles below)

New To eBay

eBay Buying Overview

Resolving Disputes

Trust and Safety on eBay

eBay Acronyms


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