Welcome to Technology Tip Thursday - Hopefully once a fortnight I'll be able to share a technological tip with you, fingers crossed, hope it helps!
So today, it's all about ebay - yes ebay. Before you say anything, I love ebay. I think it's genius. I've said it before. Especially for small businesses. And as long as you know how to exercise caution online you won't be disappointed. So here are my top tips for buying off ebay and online generally (and I've never been scammed).
1. Check the delivery. - where it's coming from, how much the postage is, how long it will take. Check it will come to your country! And be realistic about delivery times. If it says 4 weeks don't expect it in 2 weeks.
2. Check seller reviews - I would say that 99% upwards, don't hesitate. Anything above 95%, should be ok. Anything below, approach with caution... Read any negative feedback to see if past buyer's problems could be applied to your product or not. But don't just take a bad review as everything - 95% is still a lot of happy customers.
3. Check product reviews - Make sure that you've done you're research, even if you're not on ebay, for online shopping in general. If you're not sure about a product, check the seller's policy on returns, this will be in the returns section of the description, or in the description itself. Check the description - is it new/used/for spare parts. Make sure you know exactly what you're getting!
4. If you can - use PAYPAL. It is so much better because it provides security for you, the buyer, and if there are problems - Paypal will fight for you to get your money back.
5. If in doubt, ask. There is a 'Ask a Question' section on every product page on ebay (and a Contact Us on other websites). It's very quick and should qualm any fears you have about a purchase. Lovely jubbly, job done. Simples.
6. Cause a Fuss Ok, So that sounds worse than it is. If you are unhappy with a purchase - DO SOMETHING. Contact the seller. Most sellers just want you to have a good experience. If something has gone wrong they'll probably want to help (especially if you haven't yet given feedback). Just use the contact seller option again. You'll probably be given the option of refund or replacement. Sorted.
However, if the seller is not so accommodating, as long as you are still within 45 days after purchase, you can open a case with ebay against the seller. Then they'll have to do something to make it better.
7. Google. Not ebay related. If you're buying off a new website that you haven't seen before, take 30 seconds to do a quick google. Yes, a google. Type in the name of the website into google and see what other people have said. There will usually be a unanimous decision - scam or genuine. Literally 30 seconds to avoid being scammed, definitely worth it I would say.
Phew, that sounds like a lot of work, just to buy one thing. But if you get into good habits then it becomes second nature. And you should use these tips on other websites so you avoid scams. Then in the end, using these tips can only be a good thing.
And, if you're super-excited about buying from ebay now, check out my posts on what you can buy off ebay: here
Hope this helps
Any questions just ask ;)
Ciao for now x