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					Title:
Buying And Selling On Ebay: Tips

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950

Summary:
Auctions have always been popular ways to buy and sell merchandise, from
small community fundraising sales to gala events hosted by famous auction
houses like Christie's and Sotheby's. Traditional auctions bring to mind
images of fast-talking auctioneers banging mallets to close a deal, or
lavish rooms filled with wealthy buyers, ready to bid on rare antiquities
and works of art.

But these days, the word "auction" conjures up an entirely different
picture: buyers impatient...


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Article Body:
Auctions have always been popular ways to buy and sell merchandise, from
small community fundraising sales to gala events hosted by famous auction
houses like Christie's and Sotheby's. Traditional auctions bring to mind
images of fast-talking auctioneers banging mallets to close a deal, or
lavish rooms filled with wealthy buyers, ready to bid on rare antiquities
and works of art.

But these days, the word "auction" conjures up an entirely different
picture: buyers impatiently refreshing the online auction pages on their
computer screens, as the minutes tick down to the final bid.

The Internet has changed the way people do practically everything,
including the way we buy and sell. Internet auctions have gained
incredible worldwide popularity, with the eBay as the undisputed leader.
Today, anyone with Internet access can buy or sell online. Bidders don't
even need to be in the same time zone, let alone in the same room.
Virtually everything is bought and sold on eBay auctions, from expensive
antiques and works by master artists, to everyday household items and
personal creations.

It's easy to get acquainted with buying and selling on eBay:

* All participants need to sign on to establish an eBay before buying or
selling. Every participant receives his or her own unique user-designated
screen name like, for instance, Catgirl99. If the user consistently
violates eBay rules, the website can discontinue the account as sanctions
against the user.

* Anything can be put up for bid on eBay, with the exception of
pornography, drugs and illegal items. The seller sets a reserve price,
which will act as the minimum bid and starting point for online offers.
For example, Catgirl99 is selling a kitty collar with bells on it. She
won't take less than five dollars, so she sets the reserve at a five-
dollar minimum bid.

* The seller places    the item on his or her eBay page, along with a
product description,   photograph and a sales pitch. Catgirl99 writes,
"Never lose your cat   again!" The seller sets a bidding period for the
term of the auction,   usually around two weeks.

* Buyers search the eBay site for items they are interested in. When the
item is found, potential buyers will place bids. The initial bid must be
higher than the reserve, and higher than any previous bids.

* As more bidders begin to take action, the price of the item up for bid
continually rises.

* After the predetermined period has passed, the bidding will close. At
this point, the auction is ended and the product is considered sold to
the highest bidder. The sale is confirmed with both parties, and the
buyer contacts the seller to arrange payment and delivery terms.

Buying and selling on eBay really is a very simple process. With items
offered for sale from literally every part of the world, it's easy to see
why this method of buying and selling has become so hugely popular. ebay
auctions make it simple for buyers to locate hard-to-find and collectible
items, and sellers can easily find interested buyers to purchase their
items. With strict rules in place, eBay also helps to protect both
parties by promoting fair deals.

However, that is not to say that online auctions are free of fraudulent
cases. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), over the past
three years Internet auction fraud has ranked consistently as one of the
most filed consumer fraud complaints. Both buyers and sellers have filed
cases where deceitful parties have scammed them.

The key to security when buying and selling on eBay, is to understand
what the scams are, and recognize the setup before it's too late.

Bid Siphoning

You've located the item you've been searching for, and the seller emails
you directly to tell you that there is an alternate auction site where
you can buy his or her product at less than the eBay price. Don't follow
up on this offer. Legitimate auction sites like eBay offer buyer
protection in the form of insurance. If a seller fails to deliver an item
you've paid for, eBay may be able to replace the money you've lost. In
turn, they will pursue the seller and charge him or her accordingly.
However, if your purchase was made outside of eBay, that protection may
not be available to you.

Bid Shielding

This is a scam perpetrated by buyers. An item is shielded from fair
bidding when a buyer places a high starting bid. Other bidders don't want
to compete with the high price, so they leave the auction. Just before
the bid closes, the scammer withdraws his or her bid and begins bidding
under another name. Since the auction is about to end, the second lowball
bid becomes the final selling price.

Shill Bidding

A shill is a swindler's accomplice. Shills drive up the online bids,
forcing legitimate bidders to raise their offers. You'll be able to spot
a shill if the item doesn't seem to carry the value of the price it
commands. Shills place high bids to lure others to raise their own bids.
In the end, the highest bidder has paid much more than they normally
would have, often for an item of compromised value. Stolen items,
counterfeit or knock-off products and refurbished pieces can be sold this
way.

These are the most common cases of Internet auction fraud. Being aware of
these situations, and being cautious in general, can help you avoid the
unpleasant experience of being scammed of your goods or money.
Nevertheless, buying and selling on eBay still proves to be a fair and
reliable way of marketing merchandise.

Internet auctions like eBay have created a true global market--connecting
buyers with sellers and helping the world to connect through fair and
responsible trade.

				
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posted:4/12/2010
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