Make sure the seller doesn’t have one or more of these tell tale pointers indicating a possible scam.
- Seller is not in the same country as the item (Hong Kong is not China for example)
- Seller has minimum feedback of 10 and normally less than 20 (check the feedback, was it gathered in the space of a few days, is it from one cent sellers or round robin type feedback ?, if it’s private is it greater than 10 ?)
- Seller uses stock pictures and descriptions (look closely at other items, you’ll see the same pics/descriptions used by different IDs
- Seller doesn’t list / accept PayPal as an option (despite what they may say if you actually manage to contact them, China can accept PayPal)
- Seller ID looks like a randomly generated mix of letters and numbers (recently registered and has minimum feedback. )
- Does the starting price seem to good to be true ?
- Is it likely you can contact the seller before the auction ends (one day listings on big ticket items won’t allow you much time to make contact)
- Sellers ID is not new but hasn’t traded for some time before (offering big ticket items unlike their previous trading history ,or now trading outwith their previous geographic location, could be a hijacked account)
- Seller has listed items outwith the reasonably correct category (even if you did have a big ticket electrical item you wouldn't list it in Stamps for example, these are frequently hijacked accounts and normally ask for email via a free web based email address in the listing to discuss Buy It Now terms)
- Seller asks for contact by mail before bidding to discuss shipping or a Buy it Now price. (this takes you outwith any PayPal/eBay protection scheme especially if the mail is not through eBays Ask Seller a Question, generally the scammer will request payment by Western Union, this is not a secure payment method)
You may come across very authentic looking sign in pages when you "Click for more details" or simply go to view an item. If the sign in page DOES NOT have the URL https://signin.ebay. then DO NOT sign in. This is a phishing attempt, should you sign in you will be giving a scammer your details and your account will be hijacked. Always look for the HTTPS and the padlock security icon, any other URL should be treated as suspect and you should walk away.
If you have signed into a page which you then realise is not an authentic eBay sign in, change your password as soon as possible (including your PayPal password if it's the same).
While genuine sellers may have one of these warning flags I personally would want to mail them and check them out before bidding and certainly wouldn’t bid until I’d received a satisfactory and credible explanation.
I certainly would be wary of one day auctions from overseas sellers who don’t answer mail promptly.
Genuine super bargains are rare, be a lot more cynical instead and you may well save yourself the pain of being fleeced.
Remember the joy of eBay is, if you miss one, there’ll be another along shortly.