Translating EBay Feedback
This past week I had a friend ask me about Ebay. Specifically, what should he be on the look out for when buying items on Ebay. He is aware that Internet scams are out there and wanted to make sure that he would be conducting a legitimate transaction and not getting ripped off. One of the best ways to do this is by looking at a sellers reputation and feedback and being able to interpret it. There is also feedback for buyers as well, but in this article I’m only going to cover feedback from a buyers point of view.
Ebay feedback is what everyone uses to determine whether or not they want to do business with a specific seller. There are three different types of feedback one can leave. A positive feedback, a negative or neutral. The general rule of thumb for each is, a positive feedback is left when the buyer is extremely happy the way the transaction went. The item was received promptly and there were no problems at all. A neutral feedback is usually used when there was a minor problem, but it was resolved and the item was received. A negative feedback is used when there is a serious problem and the item was not received at all. All of these different ratings affect the sellers reputation. As an Ebay user accumulates feedback, different stars are placed next to the users name. These stars reflect how many feedback points the user has earned. The larger the feedback score, the more experience the user has on Ebay and the more reputable they become.
As a buyer, you should watch out for certain warning signs that will let you know if the seller is legitimate or not. When looking at their feedback rating, be aware that there is something called feedback padding. This is where the scammer “pads” their rating to make it appear that they are reputable and worth doing business with. Then they will start listing high end items for prices that are too good to be true. But because of their feedback rating, a buyer may throw caution to the wind and take the bait. Once the seller has their money, they disappear. One method of feedback padding that a scammer may use is to have hundreds of additional accounts on Ebay and use these accounts to “buy” non-existing items from their “seller” account. Then leave feedback and comments to boost the “seller” account. This type of scam is usually easy to spot. If you look at the feedback and comments, most of the accounts will have been created around the same time and the comments and the users feedback scores will pretty much be all the same.
Warning Signs of Feedback Padding
If you see a fairly new account (3-6 months) with an unusually high feedback score, be wary. Feedback scores take time to build up. They don’t happen overnight.
Watch for very inexpensive items. Ebay charges a fee for items sold and scammers don’t want to pay this fee just to pad their account. If you see items such as 1 cent eBooks and similar items. Turn around and walk away.
Item sold date and the feedback date will be either the same day or next day. During a legitimate transaction it usually takes a couple days for the buyer to receive the item and to inspect it to make sure they are completely satisfied with it. Think about, would you buy and item and then immediately leave a positive feedback score without having received the item yet? Ebay allows the buyer up to 60 days from the end of the auction to post feedback.
Feedback scores of the users leaving the feedback should be widespread. There should be a huge variety of scores. If you see a lot of scores that are the same, especially with a score of 100 or lower, the feedback is probably being padded.
Last, the age of the accounts leaving the feedback should also be varied. It’s highly unlikely that 100 people all signed up for Ebay on the same day and then all decided to buy from this particular seller and then all decided to leave positive feedback!
I hope that I’m not scaring anyone off from using Ebay. It is a wonderful place to buy and sell stuff. It’s just unfortunate that some people get on there with the sole purpose of trying to rip someone off. This is just one of the things that you can be aware of to protect yourself from being scammed. I despise people who try to scam others out of their money and I will always post tutorials to help others avoid these scams.
As it turns out, the seller that my friend contacted was legit and the transaction was made and both parties were happy, my friend especially. I hope that this article has helped anyone out there who is using Ebay, especially the ones that may have just started.
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