|Net Auctions and Auction Information|
Online Auction Fraud
eBay sales may have grown 51% last year over the previous year, but general online complaints jumped by 66.6% over the previous year to some 207,000+ complaints in 2004. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), stated in its yearly report that 71.2% of all complaints received pertained to auctions.
Online fraud is a growing problem on the internet and the auction segment is far from immune. The IC3 reports that most complaints consist of late or no shipment of products, items that don't match advertised condition and bogus payment or escrow services.
If you decide to offer "all items to be shipped within 24 hours", make sure you keep your word, and go to great lengths to honestly represent and describe the item in your auctions. Your bidders will appreciate your honesty and it will eventually show up in your feedback.
As consumer fears increase, there are a number of common sense ways to help protect you from fraud, as well as enhance your reputation as a trustworthy seller and set you apart from the crowd.
Watch Out for Bad Checks, Money Orders and Cashiers ChecksYears ago I had a buyer who complained rather loudly when I didn't ship an item as soon as I received the check in the mail. In hind site it was a good decision to hold the shipment since the check ended up being fraudulent. Bad checks, money orders, and cashiers checks are rampant in ecommerce today. The simplest way to offset the danger of bad paper is not to ship the auction item until the check, money order or cashier check clears your bank for payment.
Never accept any overpayments for any item. One of the more popular scams today is for a buyer to send a cashiers check for an amount that is higher than the agreed upon final price. They then claim it was in error and ask the seller to kindly return the overage when the item is shipped. Off goes the item, the overage amount in good money, and the defrauded seller finds out too late the cashiers check was fake.
Use an Escrow Service for High Priced Items
The primary purpose of escrow services is to protect buyers and sellers from fraud. Basically what they do is to accept the money from the buyer and hold it until the buyer receives and approves the merchandise. Please note that fake escrow services are increasing on the internet. If a buyer contacts you after a sale and recommends an escrow service you are not familiar with BEWARE. At present eBay only recommends one escrow company: www.escrow.com. For information go to http://pages.ebay.com/help/confidence/payment-escrow.html
Records, Records, Records
Keeps a copy of every transaction detail from the original auction listing to the last email. You will need that kind of proof to validate your claims if you should find you need to file a complaint.
Protect Yourself by Being Educated
At the very least you need to be knowledgeable about your legal obligations as a seller and familiar with the fraud protections and policies for the auction sites and payment processing services you use. eBay and Paypal have extensive sections on their websites dedicated to fraud policies and protections. You should take the time to read through these or similar information pages for the sites and services you use on a regular basis and be very familiar with the material.
A few of the key recommendations from Paypal's Protection for Sellers section include:
Ship only to the address listed on the Transaction Details page
Use a shipping service with tracking
Check out the buyer's reputation
Accept payment from only one Paypal account per buyer
Limit credit card payments
Enhancing Your Safe Seller Image
Here are a few tips that will help improve your image as a safe seller for your bidders.
Identify Yourself - Make use of the about me pages to let your customers know who you are, how long you've been in business and how much their business means to you. Be honest.
Feedback Ratings - Auction buyers want to see 100% positive feedback.
Methods of Payment - Make it easy for your customers to buy but consider convenience, cost and security in choosing any payment method you offer.
Full Disclosure - Your auction listings should clearly state the condition of the item you're auctioning, your shipping/insurance and return policies.
Bonding programs - A number of bonding programs are available on the internet. One of the more popular is BuySafe (www.buysafe.com). In a bonding program the seller agrees to certain obligations such as shipping on time, representing the item correctly, and standing behind the transaction. In return the seller can display a seal on their auctions showing bidders they are honest sellers and providing transaction insurance in some cases up to $25,000.
Other programs you should be familiar with include:
If You Become a Victim of Online Fraud
You need to know exactly what should be done in the event you are victimized. Make your plan now, before it happens. The most recommended steps to take if you are victimized are listed below but please keep in mind these are general recommendations and you should have you own plan based on your needs.
File a complaint with your auction site
Paypal Seller Protection Policy (go to your Paypal account)
FTC recommendations http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/online/auctions.htm
To read the entire 2004 IC3 Internet Fraud Report http://www1.ifccfbi.gov/strategy/2004_IC3Report.pdf
More Important Fraud Links
Find Your Local Police http://www.usacops.com
© Copyright 2005 Steven Woodward - All Rights Reserved
Steven Woodward is the owner, editor and publisher of the Auction Sellers Network (ASN); a web site for individuals and companies who are serious about utilizing the online auction marketplace for their business. In addition to topical articles, ASN provides an extensive resource center, news feeds, member forums and classified ads. For more information or to become a member please visit http://www.AuctionSellersNetwork.com
No permission is needed to reproduce an unedited copy of this article as long the About the Author tag is left intact and included. We do request that we be informed where it is posted and reciprocal links will be considered.
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You may never get the chance to own a working TARDIS, but you can buy the cream-colored Converse sneakers favored by Tenth Doctor David Tennant.
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For the Auction-Weary: Eric Doeringer's 'Christy's' Sale Offers Bootleg Blue-Chip Art for Millions Less - - ARTnews
For the Auction-Weary: Eric Doeringer's 'Christy's' Sale Offers Bootleg Blue-Chip Art for Millions Less - ARTnews
The good thing about my Rabbit is that if its gets scratched up, you can just blow it up again!‚ÄĚ
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eBay's user feedback system is one of the site's most important components. Without the conscientious comments recorded by both buyers and sellers, there would be no way for anyone to build up a trustworthy reputation in the nearly anonymous realm of cyberspace.
Snipe Your Way to Auction Success
Bidding for a bargain is all part of the exciting eBay experience. But what can really disappoint is when you're all set to win that fantastic, gold plated gizmo and someone else just beats your bid in the very last minute.
From Ebay Zero to Power-Selling Hero: Don't Be That Random Ebay Guy
If I could convey only one concept to someone who wasabout to start selling on Ebay, it would be this: no one has ever purchased anything on Ebay with this in mind--"I think I'll buy something on Ebay from some random guy and pay more than I would at the storedown the street."No one has ever said that.
Maria's New Lifestyle: Short Story About The Benefits Shopping On The Net Has Given
I've got this strange friend; her name is Maria. Maria's always been a little weird but now things have gotten unworldly altogether.
How To Save Franchise Fees and Set Up Your Own Ebay Drop Off Store
There has been a flood of publicity generated regarding the "Small Business Opportunity" being offered to would be internet entrepreneurs.The plan is for you to purchase a franchise operation to sell products on consignment via eBay.
A Picture Paints a Thousand Words and Creates Auction Euphoria on eBay
Ever since I sold my first item on ebay I have been addicted to the site and I have steadily developed it as a supplementary source of income over the last two years. As I gained experience from listing items, I rapidly became aware that the inclusion of pictures in the listings was a major selling point as buyers could literally see what they were buying and as such create a greater interest and desire within them which in turn led to greater selling prices.
5 Secrets To Make A Killing on EBay
Secret #1: Find a 'real' wholesale and drop ship companyDo you know what one of the biggest problem is to be successful on eBay? 'What should I sell"? I can tell you, I get many emails per day from eBay sellers, asking me what they can sell. Let me explain this more in detail.
How Drop Shipping Works
One of the most frequently asked questions on the Net is: "What should I sell online?"Many people know what products they want to sell. However, they don't know how to do this.
The Number 1 Biggest Secret to Selling on Ebay
Ebay.com is a Tool.
Easy Money on Ebay?
Ebay was only two years old when I discovered it.A friend I worked with was also starting to sell on Ebay at about the same time, and we exchanged ideas and experiences constantly.
Target Potential Bidders With Laser Beam Precision!
When a potential bidder (customer) is looking at a specific auction you have listed, you can safely gamble that they are interested in that particular item. Now, if you have several things that are similar to that one item the person is looking at, it would be a good idea to let them know that you have other similiar items listed.
Do You Sell Tires By Mail? Maybe You Should eBay
I just received an interesting email from eBay and it got me thinking..
EBay Income Possibilities
If you've ever read an article about eBay, you will have seen the kinds of incomes people make - it isn't unusual to hear of people making thousands of dollars per month on eBay.Next time you're on eBay, take a look at how many PowerSellers there are: you'll find quite a few.
Profitable Paper Piecing on eBay--Part 1
Why sell paper piecings on eBay?eBay is a great way to make a steady part-time or full-time income from a hobby that you love! Selling paper piecings has its ups and downs, but overall it is a rewarding and lucrative venture.Getting and Understanding An eBay AccountTo get started selling paper piecings on eBay, you will need to set up an account.
How Professional Ebay Auction Templates Can Boost Your Ebay Sales
Do you like to sell on eBay ? It's easy and fun, isn't it ? In fact, it's one of the easiest online business you can start almost overnight, without any major investments. That's the best thing about it.
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