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E-Bay - Is it safe?

Nifelhein

First Post
A friend just tried to buy a notebook and seems he lost his money, the guy is from Bulgaria and he is a lot unhappy, since I have to get my books from the internet and many people here have a great experience with internet transitions, I ask:

IS it safe to buy on e-bay? And what about those sites around the net? What can one make to ensure he is not gonna loose his money?

If anyone knows how I can help that friend too, be welcome. I just hope a mdoerator do not think this is too off topic...

Cheers,

Nifelhein.
 

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diaglo

Adventurer
i have used it many, many times. both buying and selling. (hundreds and hundreds of transactions)

only had one bad experience.
 

NeuroZombie

Explorer
First off, as far as ebay goes, look at the sellers Feedback. If they have sold a lot of items and have no negative feedbacks, then you can probably feel good about buying from them. If they have sold a bunch of things and have one or two negative feedbacks, I tend to trust the as well. You can;t please all of the people all of the time.

As for other online stores, I generally look for a verisign logo or some other from of internet security service's logo. Typically you can click on the logo and get details about the store, which most legitimate (and web savvy) stores will have done.
 

TiQuinn

Registered User
Should probably shift this over to the Software/Computer forum. What exactly happened? I've bought on EBay before with no problems but a couple of things I consider is

1) Buying from folks who have a high positive feedback rating.

2) If it's an expensive purchase, using an online escrow service. Last time I checked, Ebay has Escrow.com. I've never used it personally, but know folks who have, and it's worth the peace of mind.
 

Nifelhein

First Post
Well, he seem to have been a little careless, what happened with your bad experience diaglo?

Also, thanks for your answers guys.
 

diaglo

Adventurer
i bought a product. got a fast response from the seller. sent a check. and then....nothing. for a week. so i tried email. no answer. sent a letter. no answer. another email. etc...for 3 weeks. i'm pretty patient.

finally since you have like 30 days to give a feedback i sent a negative feedback on day 29.

two days later i got the product in the mail from the seller's sister.

he had died. :eek:

i felt like such a heel. :eek:

edit: she sent a note of explanation. she knew her brother had sold the item, but did not know to whom.
 
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PatrickLawinger

First Post
Nifelhein said:
A friend just tried to buy a notebook and seems he lost his money, the guy is from Bulgaria and he is a lot unhappy, since I have to get my books from the internet and many people here have a great experience with internet transitions, I ask:

IS it safe to buy on e-bay? And what about those sites around the net? What can one make to ensure he is not gonna loose his money?

If anyone knows how I can help that friend too, be welcome. I just hope a mdoerator do not think this is too off topic...

Cheers,

Nifelhein.

Do you mean a notebook computer?

Did he actually purchase it through ebay, or did he do one of these wonderful skip ebay bits? If he skipped ebay he is probably simply out his money. If not, ebay should be very helpful about it. In either case, he should contact Ebay about it. If nothing else, Ebay should be able to identify and lock out this individual.

It is generally safe to buy on Ebay if you check the seller's feedback and use a secure means of exchanging funds. A lot of people use ebay as an advertisement, specially for higher ticket items. They'll put a low "buy it now" price and then say that the auction is limited to approved buyers. This makes you send an email to the seller, the seller then tries to use a method that by-passes ebay. With Europe, it is usually something dealing with Western Union.

Not all of these are scams, but I avoid them. I don't personally know anyone screwed in something like this, but I have heard stories.

In all honesty, Ebay doesn't really always have the best deals. What it does provide is access to special items, collector items, etc. that are interesting only to small subsets of people.
 

diaglo

Adventurer
PatrickLawinger said:
In all honesty, Ebay doesn't really always have the best deals. What it does provide is access to special items, collector items, etc. that are interesting only to small subsets of people.

as a collector i totally agree. :D
 

Nifelhein

First Post
I see.. yes, it was a notebook pc, he mailed me and was pretty upset, i don't know exactly what he did and did not.

I have been wodering because I plan on buying rpg stuff on e-bay when I get some more money, I want to buy old edition items and that is the best place I can get those, unless I am mistaken.

Thanks for the help guys, I love this place you know, where else could I get this helping posts? Nowhere, I might say, and that is why we were completely lost in what to do, i will keep you updated.

Cheers,

Nifelhein.
 


Nifelhein

First Post
I wonder, is there anyway you can get your money back from a person in another country? After all he just stole from you!!!!

And noted the guy/girl, thanks for the info and feedback.
 

Greatwyrm

Been here a while...
I try to avoid buying from folks outside the US. Nothing against our international gamer friends, but if the deal goes bad, I've got practically no recourse from a person in the UK for example. At least in the States, I can contact that state's AG office.
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
I've made about 20 purchases from E-Bay and everyone was fine. 99% of the sellers were quick to reply to emails, and all of them sent me the listed item in the listed condition.

I just got a McFarlane Toys Tetsuo figure from them, along with Akira!
 

Brother Shatterstone

Dark Moderator of PbP
eBay is great, but look for people with lots and lots of feedback, and very few negatives. They have a new on that give you a their percentage of positive feedback, I would say your probably safe with people with over a 100 feedback and zero to 2 negatives.

I so recommend a paypal account and using your credit card. Make sure your card has protection for Internet fraud, I think most do but I’m not positive. Use your credit card and pay it off at the end of the month. :)
 

ThirdWizard

First Post
http://www.techtv.com/callforhelp/howto/story/0,24330,3349961,00.html

Some nice stuff to know.

I've never had any problems with ebay. Just be careful about it. And, if you do not recieve payment in 30 days, ebay will cancel charge, I think. At least that's what they told me in an email, but I recieved so I never tried it out.

Also, there's possibly an upcoming ebay insurance from a third party business. Should be interesting to see how that turns out, ebay has made no comment on it thus far as far as I know.

here's a link
 
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Tsyr

Explorer
Probably nearing 100 transactions or so (Of which I only have feedback for about 50... damn stingy feedbackers), and never had a major problem yet.

I did have a couple of minor problems: Once I bought something from a guy, was very pleased with the service... I tried to buy something again from him, and found I was blocked from bidding on his items. I've tried a few times since on his auctions, still blocked. E-mails to him have gone un-answered. Dunno what went wrong there... Another time I bought an RPG book and the tear-out map insert was missing (This was not noted in the auction) I got a good deal on the product, though, and didn't really need or want the map anyhow, and he appologized and offered a refund when I contacted him, so I just left neutral feedback and kept the product.

Never sold anything, though.

In general it's safe, but as other people have said, check feedback. But be suspisios if you see a long string of identical feedbacks... Feedback Inflation is a (sadly) very common occourance on e-bay.

One note, though... The old adage generaly holds very true: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you see a buy-it-now price of some insanely good deal, it's probably not a safe auction. This is VERY true when dealing with software... Even if it says retail packaging, it generaly is copied. It's true to a lesser extent when dealing with electronics like computers. And when buying whole-systems, always check to see if the seller offers a DOA policy... If they don't, be VERY carefull.

With rare RPG items, if you see an insanely good deal (Temple of Elemental Evil, Buy it Now for 9.95 for example), it's probably one of four things: An outright scam, a bad item (severe water damage, missing pages, etc), an illegal copy (either xerox or a .pdf burned onto a CD), or another product alltogether (Frex, substituting RttoEE for the real deal) alltogether.

Likewise, READ THE FINE PRINT... Many times this is very revealing. One time I almost bid on an SGI monitor, but in a long string of miscelanous text, snuck into the middle covertly, was the line "This monitor does not work. Might be a good project." Considering the bid was over $200 at that point, I'm guessing plenty of people never noticed that line. Likewise, be sure you are getting what you think you are... I've seen people sell computer cases as whole systems, for example, and you wouldnt know it unless you payed carefull attention to details... likewise, some auctions are only information on how to supposedly get the item cheaply... another to stay away from.
 
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Elf Witch

First Post
This is not an easy thread for me to post to but I feel I should. My son got in trouble with e-bay fraud he stole close to 100,000 dollars from people scamming them selling things he did not have. He got caught but only because he scammed a US Marshall. He was convicted of just this one charge for about 1200 dollars he spent time in jail made restituiton and is now trying to get his life back by living a straight and narrow life.

I know about 100,000 because he was honest with me when he got out of jail and he told me how he did it. Usually high ticket items like laptops and plasma TVs he only accepted cashier cheks or money orders and cashed them at check cashing stores. At first he also used paypal using diffrerent names like mine his uncles his grandfather and his girlfriend from hell's family.

The reason he got got away with it is that some of the people just wrote the money off others did call the police but were not willing to fly down here to testify.

So on e-bay check the feedback and don't buy from someone who will not use a secure second party money site
 
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MerakSpielman

First Post
I read about a notebook computer scam on Ebay, but it's different from the one you experienced. What the guy did was buy super-cheap, old laptops from anyplace, and sell them as though they were faster than they were. He'd sell 300MHz computers as if they were 500, etc... The vast majority of his customers never noticed. Those that did notice weren't out so much money that it was worth doing anything about it. He only got caught when he got greedy and started selling 300MHz computers saying they were 1GHz or more.
 

CCamfield

First Post
Wow. Good of you to post that, Elf Witch.

The only trouble I've had with an online order was on an exchange for credit for a DVD that I bought through eBay. It turned out not to be the edition that I wanted - a pan & scanned crap edition from China looking no better than a videotape. The fellow said I could exchange it for credit, but I never got the exchange DVD.

The person did (and I believe still does) a high volume of business on eBay and had quite evidently had little-to-no English. Being able to communicate with a buyer is important should something go wrong.

However I've been buying things online from other gamers for years and not had problems even when it was on Usenet newsgroups and I was, basically, writing cheques and trusting the other person to send the goods.
 

trancejeremy

First Post
I would never buy an expensive item from someone outside my country, period. There's just too much potential to be ripped off, without any recourse.

A couple years ago I bought a computer from someone in Canada. While he eventually sent it, it was a pain in the #@@# getting it. (Though in my case, it was only a $250 computer, so a large, but not huge amount of money).
 

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