So you’ve managed to sell your once beloved product on eBay and you’re preparing to send a parcel to Australia in the hope that it’ll be cared for with just as much love and commitment. This might not seem like much of a problem at all, but in the event of any eBay sale you’ve got to be fully aware of scammers.

Fraud has always been a growing issue with eBay and they’ve done plenty in the past to try and combat it, yet their failings with user security last year has left many feeling all the more vulnerable.

You can still use eBay’s safety centre to get the advice you need to feel better about a purchase or a sale, but we’ve put together a list of tips to help you pinpoint a scam and avoid it where possible.

Get the Right Website

It can help to make sure you’re on the genuine version of eBay before buying or selling for starters! You may be surprised to learn that many people struggle to identify a fake eBay page from tone that’s actually genuine.

One way you can be absolutely sure the web page is genuine is if the emails you receive include the web address. Bogus sites will almost always have eBay in there, but it’ll be followed with some bizarre looking numbers and perhaps even some repeated letters. This makes them quite hard to spot but you should always check them to be 100% sure.

Avoid Instant Money Transfers

There are money transfer services out there that are meant for people who can trust each other. They certainly aren’t meant for sending money between strangers, so if anyone offers to purchase your item before the auction or the time limit is completed, you should always ignore them.

Western Union is one of these services and it is now banned on eBay, with one of the biggest issues being that money is untraceable once the transaction has taken place.

High Postage Costs

If you happen to be buying something like a table or anything that’s notably larger than your standard eBay product, you might have a higher P&P price to pay.

However, the vast majority of sales like this are Collection Only, which means that any P&P price that exceeds are reasonable amount should be checked thoroughly. Some eBay sellers will try and make extra profit through the P&p price, so it’s essential that you check this prior to making a bid.

Read the Description

The description will often hide things that the seller may not want you to be fully aware of, such as some damage the product has sustained or the fact that it’s just the outer casing you’ll be receiving instead of the full product.

If this is the case then you need to always check that the product is what the image portrays, especially if the price seems too good to be true. Never make a bid before reading the description a few times.

Check Your PayPal

If you’re using PayPal to make a payment for an item you’ve purchased one eBay, always make sure that this payment has gone through by logging in to your PayPal and checking your history.

There have been cases where the seller has sent an email confirmation themselves in the hope that you’ll send the product without them having to pay anything.

Once again, you can keep an eye on how genuine an email is by looking at who it was sent by. PayPal will always notify you if anything occurs in your account, so don’t trust anyone else.

Guest post by Mike James Content Editor at

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