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Internet auction sites, such as eBay and others have provided a great platform for literally millions of users to buy or sell virtually anything from unwanted household goods to high value items at the click of a button. The vast majority of sales are concluded promptly and to the satisfaction of both parties.

However problems can occur with the end result being the buyer left out of pocket or at the very least left feeling digruntled and cheated. You can limit the likelehood of this happening by following these five saftey tips.

  • Check The Seller's Feedback

  • Feedback is a way for previous customers to rate the seller and this is worth checking prior to purchasing an item. Most online auction sites have a feedback system and it's a great way to see if your seller has a good trading history.

  • Check The Item(s)

  • Review the description, pictures, model and the normal retail price of the goods. Ensure you know what you are buying prior to placing a bid. The old adage "if the price is too good to be true, it usually is" applies especially on high value/desirable items. If you are unsure about any aspect of the item you are purchasing then contact the seller. Good sellers will always be happy to answer reasonable questions.

  • Check The Small Print

  • How will the item be delivered and what is the cost? A common ploy by some unscrupulous sellers is to offer items at a cheap price but inflate the shipping costs. This practice seems more prevalent with overseas sellers but it certainly isn't restricted to them. Will the item be insured in transit? Where is it being shipped from and how long will delivery take? By answering the above questions prior to bidding then you can ensure you won't be worried later on.

  • Check How To Pay

  • You need to check what form of payment the seller will accept and whether there will be any associated costs. Never Pay With Cash!! The best methods of payment from the viewpoint of the customer are via Credit Card direct or through companies such as WorldPay. Alternatively an online payment service such as Paypal or NOCHEX is another secure way of making payment. Using the companies above will also ensure that the seller will not see your credit card number and details. By paying via Credit Card you will be entitled to additional protection subject to your card issuers Terms & Conditions.

  • Check Your Bid

  • How much are you willing to pay? Consider any additional costs such as delivery etc and then if you are still happy with it place your bid. Remembering that if the bid is accepted then you will be expected to complete your side of the deal and pay.

    Be Safe & Happy Bidding!!

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