How eBay Sellers Can Protect You From Auction Fraud

Are you an eBay seller? If you have been trading on this very popular online auction site, there is a good chance that you have been the victim of fraudulent activity against your business. Crooks are apparently everywhere and the absolute anonymity of the World Wide Web makes the virtual world a haven for all kinds of unscrupulous people.

Judging them is one thing. However, you need to respond positively to the actual risk of fraud. You have taken precautions and adjusted the way you run your business online to minimize, if not eliminate, the risks of these scammers.

Let’s list the most famous or notorious of these eBay scams and discuss ways you can avoid them.

Shielding of offers. Bid protection seriously affects the profit you can make from your auctions. Auction protection occurs when a bidder uses two eBay accounts. One account offers a low price for your auction. The other account would offer a very high price for the same item, which would discourage other people from competing for the same item. When the auction period ends, the second account withdraws its bid and the first account wins the item at a very low price. The protection of auctions seriously affects the integrity of eBay. Because of this, the site responds quickly to any reports of possible occurrences of this scam. It’s pretty easy to spot auction shielding. If the current auction is significantly higher than the last auction, auction protection is likely in effect. Report it to eBay immediately so they can investigate during the auction. Also, add a disclaimer to your auction that allows you to invalidate any winning bid if auction protection is apparent.

Bad checks. If you choose to use checks as a form of payment for your auction, you risk running into checks that eventually bounce back due to a lack of funds. The solution to this scam is simpler than the others. Do not ship your items until the checks received have been cleared. This is the safest way. Add a notice to your auction that check payments should be cleared before items can be delivered. This would save your bidders time as they would have to wait longer for the winning auctions.

Stolen payment information. Credit card fraud is rampant these days, with new hacking technology and the abundance of spyware on the Internet. A winner can pay you with a credit card that is not their own. You will be asked to send the item to a PO Box. Once the item has been delivered, close the PO Box address to cover its traces. And you can’t get back what you lost. The best way to protect yourself from credit card fraud is to only require payment from verified addresses. Since PayPal accepts credit card payments, you can easily ask the service if a recipient has entered a verifiable address. You have the option to cancel the offer from someone who does not pay with a verified address.

Dropshipping scam. There’s no denying that drop-shippers are popular in the eBay business. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE wants to contact a drop shipper to increase their eBay listings and profits. Some enterprising people have started offering a drop shipper list on eBay themselves as one of the many auctions on their sites. However, eBay has warned against these offers. According to eBay, 99% of them would be filled with unwanted details like broken links, out of date information, and even made up entities. The solution? Do not buy these offers. Find your own direct sender. They realize that it only takes personal research to find one.

For many of us, eBay offers great sources of income that serve us well. We must strive to protect the opportunities presented to us by being vigilant against and combating fraud by taking precautions for each auction.

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