With the advent of technology, almost everything has started happening through the internet. Even the trading business is no more a physical business. It has crossed all boundaries and distances to become a virtual process altogether. Websites like eBay have provided the shoppers and sellers alike, with an experience completely different from physical shopping. Instead, now all the buyers have to do is click on an item and low and behold, the product is theirs! The same goes for buyers. Instead of going from door to door to sell their product, all they need to do is post the product online and get buyers from all over the world.
Disadvantages of Online Trading
While eBay and similar trading websites have made the shopping experience extremely easy for buyers and sellers alike, the chances of becoming a pawn in a fraud have also increased. While a seller might put up a fake item and initiate unsuspecting buyers into paying for a non-existent item; buyers may also fool a seller by getting the product and not paying for it!
How to identify a fake product listing on eBay
While identifying a fake from a legitimate item is difficult, it is not entirely impossible. Mentioned below are a few steps that will help you in identifying a legitimate product listing from a fake one.
- Take full note of the details of the product listed. Look out for price, location of the item, photograph given, payment methods, seller’s location etc. If you look closely, you might be able to find clues in case of a fake listing.
- Always opt for listings where the location of the product is within your own city or country. It is easier to locate these in cases of any discrepancies. If the seller claims to be at a separate location than the product, chances of the listing being a fake increase.
- Always check the photo closely. If the photo of the product is generic and found with every manufacturer, the product most likely does not exist. Unless the photograph posted is actually of the product itself, it is possible that the seller does not actually have the product with him.
- Ensure that your mode of payments is secure. This will help trace the seller in case he tries to cheat you with a defective product or a non-delivery of product. One very safe pathway for paying is PayPal. This mode has a facility to seek refunds in case of non-delivery within 45 days. Always beware of payment modes asking for wire transfers or bank deposits, as most of the times, these become untraceable and the seller might ultimately flee with your money. You can use MoneyGram or Western Union also for sending money. However, these are not risk free as there is no provision for refunds here.
- Ensure that the products on display do not feature unbelievably low prices. In most cases, especially where electronics are concerned, such listings which ask for extremely low prices turn out to be fakes.
- Be especially aware of the changes in description of the product. There are times when a seller posts a product. After the purchase is completed, he sends the buyer a defective piece, while instantly changing the product description to “defective”. Many a buyers have been fooled by this.
- Lastly, contact the seller directly, through email or telephones. If he does not respond to your queries or gives extremely evasive answers, chances are that he is a fake.
Simply following the above mentioned pointers should be enough to safeguard you against fakes on eBay.