Ebay, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly for Buyer's
As a two part series the best, the bad and the worst of ebay, this article will focus on the buyer side of Ebay. This is by no means a comprehensive list but what I feel are many of the important pieces to bring up to the front. There are many complaints on both sides of the table with Ebay. The buyers perhaps have fewer but none the less they are valid in many cases. Being on both sides of the table I decided to write these articles to perhaps highlight, as the title says what is good and bad about both being a seller and a buyer. As in the Seller article lets start with the Good.
Ebay has gone to great lengths to help curb the fraudulent and shady practices that have occurred on their watch. They have a money back guarantee that in many cases will allow the buyer to receive a full refund. The full refund doesn't just include the purchase price, but also the amount of shipping the buyer paid in cases where the item is damaged, not as advertised or defective in some way. These descriptions are used quite liberally and in many cases the buyer will receive their refund without issue. There is a possibility the seller may dispute the refund if they do not agree with the buyers assessment. Fortunately for the buyer Ebay usually will side with them unless the seller has substantial proof to prove otherwise.
There are many items on Ebay and chances are if you need\want it, it is there. You can usually find parts and other rare items to fix, upgrade and just own where other stores may not carry it. In addition to the many items that are on Ebay, there is also a very healthy competition among sellers that drives down the price. Just like any place, not everything is going to be a great price, but many if not most of the items can be found for great discounts if you look.
Many of the sellers on Ebay are quite understanding about mistakes and other potential issues. Keep in mind these "stores" are not fully owned by their respective companies so there are limitations place by Ebay as to what the seller can do. That being said, if you accidentally click the Buy Now button or place a bid on an item you should contact the seller immediately. Many of the sellers if not all will cancel a purchase or bid if they are contacted within a reasonable amount of time. Keep in mind if you buy on an item, do not pay for it, and decide 3 or 4 days later you do not want it this is going to cause a problem as the seller has probably opened an unpaid item case and cannot cancel the order at this time.
If an item has a Best Offer tag on the listing sellers may be willing to entertain offers that you may make. This can be a good thing for a buyer because it will enable you to find a good deal where you may not of had the opportunity. Some sellers place best offer tags on their items but setup automatically decline for relatively small amounts for example $5 on a $200 item so your mileage will vary depending on each seller.
In some exceedingly rare cases there may be a fraudulent item sold here and there. These issues are however in most cases, not all, but most handled by the money back guarantee. There are cases that will slip through the cracks like with anything that has risk involved. In most instances these cases are stacked against the seller rather than the buyer taking the burden.
In some cases sellers have been known to cancel orders for many reasons whether it is because the item has been damaged, lost, or sold on another platform and is no longer available. In these instances the order has been nullified and the purchase amount along with shipping will be refunded. Sometimes these issues cannot be helped but they will happen, and you the buyer must decide if it is a huge problem for you.
Like any other store there is a defect rate that will affect products. Depending on the quantity and expertise of the seller the item may have been checked for functionality before it was listed and or even shipped. In addition some packages may be missing items however, this can usually be rectified by contacting the seller as it is typically an oversight on the sellers part.
As mentioned before there is a potential for a fraudulent purchase, but to qualify for the truly ugly category this would be a purchase that doesn't qualify for the Money Back Guarantee. Some things to keep in mind before making a purchase, always use the Ebay built in communication and tools. When you offer to complete a purchase outside of the Ebay ecosystem you then forfeit the money back guarantee offered by Ebay and any money that may have been awarded to you in these rare cases.
Again, hope this article has provided you with some insight to help you make better purchasing decisions in your future and provide a better overall Ebay experience. It is always a good idea to know the potential issues that can occurr in order to help protect yourself against anything that could harm you finanically.