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Does online shopping turn into a minefield?

eBay, as an amazing source of unique items and fantastic discounts, can also be a breeding ground for scammers.

Whether you're an experienced or a first-time buyer, coming across a fraudulent listing can ruin your purchasing experience.

We'll show you red signals that indicate a "scam", show you how to check seller credibility, and share guidance for a safe and enjoyable eBay experience.

Let’s get started.

What is eBay?

eBay Inc. is an American global e-commerce corporation headquartered in San Jose, California, that facilitates customer-to-customer and retail sales through online marketplaces in 190 countries.

Sales are made through online auctions or "buy it now" quick sales, and the firm charges commissions to sellers upon success. Pierre Omidyar established eBay in September 1995.

It has 134 million active buyers globally each year and transacted $74 billion in sales in 2022, with the United States accounting for 49% of that total. In 2022, the company's take rate (revenue as a percentage of volume) was 13.25%.

Top Scams on eBay that Target Buyers and Sellers

eBay scams are fraudulent methods used by criminal actors to steal money or items from customers and sellers.

Here's an overview of the two major types of eBay scams:

Scams Targeting Buyers

Fake Listings

To deceive customers into paying, illegal sellers post listings for things that do not exist, frequently at excessively low prices.

Product Not As Mentioned

The retailer misrepresents the item's condition or characteristics, resulting in the buyer receiving something entirely different from what was represented.

How Ebay Scams Work

Phishing Scams

False emails or messages that attempt to obtain your private data, login credentials, or financial information.

Tracking Number Scams

The seller offers a bogus tracking number, making it appear as if the item has been dispatched while taking the money and disappearing.

Suspect a scam

Scams Targeting Sellers

Overpayment Scams

The buyer pays you excessive money and requests you to return the difference, typically using a fraudulent payment method that causes you to lose the original payment.

Chargeback Scams

The buyer states they never received the item or that it was not as advertised, so they filed the chargeback with their bank, leaving you without cash.

Ebay Chargeback Scam

Refund Scams

The buyer returns a different or damaged item while saying it is the one they got from you.

Find out how people got scammed on eBay by reading the reviews:

Ebay Scam to Lookout for

How to Identify and Prevent Yourself from Scams on eBay

Have you ever found an unbelievable offer on eBay that looks too good to be true? It can be! But keep calm, there are methods to avoid these skilled scams.

Here are some ideas for finding the good guys and avoiding the bad guys on eBay:

1. Check Seller Reviews

  • A seller's image is valuable on eBay. Check their feedback score and most current reviews.
  • Look for a history of satisfied customers and avoid sellers with a high number of complaints, particularly those involving fraud.

Ebay Seller Rating

2. Careful of New Accounts

  • Completely new accounts with little activity may indicate red flags.
  • Established sellers that engage in consistent activity are often safer options.

3. Ask Unrealistic Costs

  • If a price appears too attractive, Scammers frequently use extremely cheap prices, particularly on items of great value.
  • Do some research to find the average market price for the item in the situation.

4 Examine the Listing Details

  • Poor descriptions, unclear images, and a lack of information regarding the item's condition should cause suspicion.
  • Search for apparent high-quality photographs and full explanations that cover the item's functionality and any flaws.

5. Stay Alert for Short Listings

  • Fraudulent sellers may utilise short listing timings to create a sense of urgency and drive you into purchasing before you have had a chance to review the details.

6. Missing Details

  • Listings with incorrect shipping details, confusing return policies, or a lack of contact information for the seller may raise concerns.
  • Legitimate sellers are open about these details.

7. Stock Photos or Generic Images

  • Act cautiously if the ad only includes generic stock photos or images that seem to be fake and represent the genuine item.
  • Request authentic photos from a seller.

8. Pressure for Transactions Outside of eBay

  • Authentic transactions happen entirely on the eBay marketplace.
  • If a seller advises finishing the transaction via personal email or another site, this is a huge red flag.
  • eBay's buyer protection policies will not apply in such instances.

Read customer reviews to get more guidance about eBay scams:

Ebay Customer Review

Most people are not aware of such scams and end up losing their private details in the wrong hands.

You can lose your personal information (name, address, phone number, court records, credit card details) if you are not careful.

When it comes to online privacy and data security, consider using a privacy management app with a Remove My Data feature.

This app helps you remove private details from multiple data brokers, making you a less appealing target for scammers who might exploit that information on eBay.

Plus, you can use a Tracker Blocker to prevent websites from tracking your browsing habits, online footprints, and blacklist unnecessary tracking. Remember, basic privacy is in your hands but trusted applications can help you stay protected.

Beware of Scammers and Remain Cautious!

Following the techniques provided in this post while remaining aware will help you to confidently navigate the diverse world of eBay.

Keep in mind a little suspicion goes a long way. Do not be afraid to ask questions, check out uncommon products, and report any uncertain behavior.

With a good amount of precaution and the knowledge you've gathered here, you can change yourself from a possible scam victim into an informed shopper ready to find fantastic deals and exclusive products on eBay.

To prevent online fraud and identity theft, consider using an all-in-one app, PurePrivacy, to enhance your online privacy. Enjoy searching!

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