[Masthead] Fair ~ 54°F  
High: 55°F
Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017

eBay safety

Posted Friday, August 17, 2007, at 12:36 PM

One of our computer operators "on the job".
As you will quickly learn, I love the opportunity that eBay affords us, BUT it is prone to phishing and unscrupulous people so you need to use caution and common sense, We have been online with eBay for 7 years and so far,(oooh, I shouldn't say it) we have not been a victim.

You might get e-mails that sure look lke the real thing but if ANY alarm bells go off, check it through the website NOT by clicking a connecting link and certainly not by logging in to your account through the e-mail.

Go to eBay independent of the e-mail.

I bring this up because I received a particularly good and official looking e-mail today from Pacific_Real_Estate asking me if had decided yet. Decided what? Well the e-mail looks very much like a standard e-mail coming through eBay and it says that I have a bid on something with this company. Hmmmm, my wife is really going to get upset about me buying real estate in earthquake country.

My first reaction was to write back and say HOLD IT, I did not bid on anything. I did not click on the link, but I am sure it would go to a very official looking page that looks like the standard eBay sign-in page and wa-la, (is that a word) they have my account name and password!

My second thought was to check out the feedback rating (for those new to eBay that gives you a way to see how easy or reputable this member is) Why, they had been a member since 1999 and had a rating of 100% with feedback numbering 12,103! Fantastic!! Except they are not real.

I logged in to eBay, went to Community and checked for this member. How do you make a "Bronx cheer" sound in writing? They do not exist.

OK, now don't just delete it and say whew! Forward it to eBay at spoof@ebay.com so they can get to work zapping the source. A never ending job but……. They will respond to you quickly and let you know that they received your e-mail and some tips for avoiding other tricks. After they have had time to check it out, they will let you know for sure if it is false or not. In our experience, they have always been the bad guys.

Have fun with eBay, but remember it is still the big bad world out there and while 99.+% are good folks, they are mixed with a few bad.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I use to be a ebay user a lot more than I am now. I have recently come across some sellers who seem to think it is ok to sell items and never send them. I turned them in to ebay and paypal but nothing was ever done about it..that left a bad taste in my mouth for ebay.

I still look at ebay a lot and always check feedback from other buyers before I purchase anything now..which has limited me from buying as much.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Aug 17, 2007, at 12:52 PM

Do you still have the eBay names? I may be able to find our more about them. Did you also leave feedback? It is in our best interest to police oursleves, so I will help in any way possible. For privacy sake, it might be best to use e-mail instead of blogging it. If you agree, I will find a way to get you my e-mail address.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Aug 17, 2007, at 1:14 PM

I can go back through my ebay account and get them...that shouldn't be a problem. I know of at least 1 of them I am referring to is no longer a registered user. What I don't know if they just dropped out or if ebay took their ID's away (either way it didn't help me any)

-- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Aug 17, 2007, at 1:46 PM

By the way, "voilá" is the French word pronounced like "wa-la" and used to mean "behold!"


There is also a "send e-mail to Steve Mills" link in the right-hand column of each individual blog post.

-- Posted by Jicarney on Fri, Aug 17, 2007, at 2:32 PM

We believe eBay is doing everything they can to protect the buyer. I will include a correspondence we received 2 days ago to give you the latest. They and PayPal have gone so far that as a seller, we sometimes feel that our feedback rating is being ransomed by customers.

Here are two examples: We sent a $2 item to a person in White Plains New York. Postage, which is not in our control, was $3.50. We had tracking on it and the Post Office says they delivered it on a given date. The customer says she did not get it and our first hint that something was wrong was a negative feedback.

Now we are pretty protective of our feedback rating. It is 100% but the only way we could keep it that way was to pay her the money back plus postage for something the Post Office says she received. Sound fair?

We are holding our breath on a sale to Great Britain because the customer wanted us to lie about the value of the merchandise. She was charged import duties by her government and yet she holds us responsible for that. Fair?

There were about four sales like this out of several thousand that we have made, so in the scheme of things, that is not bad, but if you have a disgruntled customer in a retail store maybe a few customers know about it. Have one with eBay and the world knows about it. To me that sounds like a powerful system to help the customer choose wisely, and it certainly makes us merchants "bend over backwards" to please the customer.

__HOWEVER__ you then get sellers like the ones Dianatn ran in to who does not seem to care what their rating is and so they abuse the customer. eBay is now tightening their enforcement, increasing the penalties for this type of neglect, and shortening the time it takes to penalize or terminate these sellers.

See the message below. I included it in its entirety so you do not think I edited something out and also so you can go to the enclosed links to read more. (Of course, it doesn't hurt that we are in good standing with them.)

Dear Steve,

We're writing to tell you about an important announcement we've made concerning eBay policies and standards for seller performance. eBay is taking steps to protect the interests of good sellers like you and the consumer's overall experience on eBay.

First of all, we assure you that your current level of performance exceeds the standards. Congratulations and thank you.

Sellers are expected to perform in a manner resulting in a consistently high level of buyer satisfaction. If, over a 90-day period, a seller's interactions with buyers result in greater than a 5% level of buyer dissatisfaction as evidenced by negative/neutral feedback and/or Item Not Received complaints, that seller will be considered in violation of eBay's Seller Non-Performance policy. Note we're currently not including Detailed Seller Ratings in the enforcement of this policy since they're so new to the marketplace.

As a seller in good standing, you're well aware that buyer satisfaction is vital to your continued success -- and the continued success of eBay. Thank you for your solid track record and continued commitment to good customer service. We're confident that enforcing this policy will go a long way to keeping eBay a great place to buy and sell for you and for all our users.


eBay Trust & Safety

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Aug 17, 2007, at 3:11 PM

Thanks for the voilá John. You would think that hanging around Quebec as much as I do, I would have known that but ......

It will stick in my head for a while though, so maybe I will use it the next time I go.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Aug 17, 2007, at 3:22 PM

I just noticed that the links I mentioned above did not come through so here they are:



I do not know if you have to be an eBay member to get these pages. If someone runs into that, let know and I will copy and past them.

Cheers, Steve

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Aug 17, 2007, at 3:42 PM

Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration:

Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.