Safe trading tips for buyers
As a buyer, you can take precautions to ensure you have a successful trading experience.
Before bidding or buying
Before you bid or buy, make sure you're comfortable with the listing and the seller. Once you bid on or buy an item using Buy it Now feature, you've commited to purchase it.
Evaluate the listing
Review the postage & packaging (P&P) terms, refund and returns policy, and other terms and conditions.
Ensure that you're eligible to bid on the item. For example, a seller may require buyers to have a PayPal account.
Check that the seller is offering your preferred payment method and that the payment method provides purchase protection.
Know the item
Confirm the authenticity of the item.
If you have questions, use the Ask a question link in the listing.
Use common sense. If something seems too good to be true, it often is.
Know the seller
Check the seller's Feedback Profile by clicking on the number next to the seller's user ID.
Review the seller's current items to get an idea of this person's areas of expertise. For example, if the seller has only sold shoes, and then lists a plasma television, make sure that you’re completely comfortable with the transaction before you bid.
If you're unable to contact the seller, don't bid on the item.
Ensure your seller can communicate with you
Check that you don't have any spam-blocking software installed that may limit a seller from communicating with you.
If you have computer or connection problems, you can access your eBay account through any computer with internet access, such as those at a library or a friend's house.
Tip: If the seller offers to sell you the item directly without bidding on and winning the item on eBay, please don't respond. Instead, report it to us immediately.
Before sending payment
Learn what you can do to protect yourself before sending payment to your seller.
Contact the seller to arrange payment. If you have a problem communicating with the seller through email after you've won the item, you can request the seller's contact information
(including a phone number).
Consider offering third-party insurance as an option
Exercise caution with international transactions, as well as high-priced and popular items.
For high-priced items, you can pay using an eBay-approved escrow service like Escrow.com
. Beware of fake escrow services. Learn more about using escrow services
Don't pay with cash or with instant money transfer services, such as Western Union or MoneyGram.
Keep records of all purchases.
Resolving transaction problems
If you have a transaction problem, try communicating with the seller. If you aren't able to work things out with the seller, contact us so that we can help. (You may be asked to sign in.)
We also offer a buyer protection programme.
About the buyer's commitment to purchase
If you're the winning bidder or if you use Buy it Now, you're obliged to purchase and pay for the item. All bids are active until the auction ends.
When sellers don't receive payment for an item, they can file an unpaid item case using our Resolution Centre. A case may be resolved when the buyer pays or both the buyer and seller agree to cancel the transaction. If the case isn't resolved, an unpaid item may be recorded on the buyer's account. Unpaid items can lead us to take actions such as account restriction or suspension.
If you feel an unpaid item was recorded unfairly and want it removed from your account, you can appeal it.