Safety Centre

Buying with confidence

Everything you need to know to keep safe when buying on eBay – what to look for in a seller’s feedback, choosing the best payment method for you, understanding listings and descriptions and ensuring safe delivery.


  • Always check a seller’s feedback profile prior to making a purchase – their Detailed Seller Ratings (stars) show the level of service you can expect
  • Be more cautious if they’ve received negative feedback recently
  • Check feedback they’ve received for items similar to the one you’re interested in

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  • When possible, choose PayPal – it comes with buyer protection. Find out more
  • If you decide to collect your item in person and can see what you’re paying for, you can consider using cash (but don’t carry large quantities)
  • Report listings that offer PayPal as a payment method but exclude PayPal in the item description
  • Don’t be fooled by sellers who claim their PayPal account isn’t working or have other excuses why you shouldn’t use PayPal
  • Never send money via Western Union, MoneyGram or other less secure methods
  • Don’t buy items directly from sellers (i.e. always complete your transaction on the eBay site) – sellers can operate outside of eBay rules and policies
  • Don’t be fooled by ads or sellers who ask for down-payments to “reserve” an item (particularly cars) – fraudsters have no intention of returning your down-payment

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Listing Description

  • Watch out for under-priced items and expensive items where the seller offers free delivery – if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is
  • Be extra cautious with Presale items (e.g. concert & event tickets) – check the seller’s feedback and selling history before purchasing and don’t leave feedback until you actually receive your purchase
  • Watch out for strange item descriptions – they’re often an indicator of a fraudulent listing. Common warning signs are:
    • Differences between the location of the item on the listing page and in the item description
    • The item description language differing from the seller’s country
    • The item description reading as if it’s been translated by an automated translator
  • If you suspect a listing is fraudulent or inappropriate you should use the “Report this item” link at the bottom of every listing page
  • Don’t buy prohibited items and always report these listings to eBay

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Safe delivery

  • Make sure you understand delivery costs and the estimated delivery time for your item before making your purchase
  • Some sellers give a choice of delivery services – if you’re item is unique or fragile, consider choosing a more expensive delivery service
  • Some services provide information on the delivery progress of your item – if you choose this type of service, the seller should provide a tracking number so you can check this
  • If you have any delivery problems you should contact the seller
  • Check the help section for more information about delivery problems

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