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PayPal phishing alert, eBay feedback system, etc.

Posted Sunday, October 14, 2007, at 8:42 PM

This week we received a notice of purchasing electronics through PayPal that we did not buy. It was "good" looking, and sounded VERY convincing that they were just confirming our purchase. As you already guessed it was another Phishing e-mail. DON'T click on it, even if it says you can dispute the charge. Go to your eBay, or PayPal account through the website and you will most likely see that it was not really charged to you.

If it shows up on your account, that is another matter, but don't click on the link and don't type your eBay info and password in reaction to this e-mail.

Now a few comments on the "Feedback System". This was developed by eBay to give the buyer a way of determining the trustworthiness of a seller. It helps the seller as well by giving them an idea of the buyer's record in completing the sale.

What it is not, is a way of communication between buyer and seller! Now that eBay is counting neutrals as marks against you, it is even more important that we all understand the system. For more of the details go to http://pages.ebay.com/help/feedback/feed.... If you want to communicate, eBay gives you several ways to do that.

Feedback is important to us all. While I teach in our classes that the seller should give feedback as soon as the item is paid for, some hold it back and say they will give feedback when the buyer does.

This is probably a result of the fact that more than 60% of the buyers do not give feedback, so they are hoping to "encourage" them by withholding theirs. eBay does not take sides on this, but as a seller we give feedback when it is earned, at time of payment.

For those of us selling, I encourage some patience when dealing with eBay customers, especially new ones. They do not live on eBay like some of us do, so they may not be checking their e-mails on a regular basis, nor understand the importance of the feedback system.

We had a buyer recently not complete payment. Three days later we contacted them to see if they were paying by check or money order. By the 7th day we were getting concerned and sent another e-mail. By the 14th day we had sent two more e-mails and finally informed them that we were going to have to open an UPI (Unpaid Item) dispute with eBay.

After the 21 days, we closed the transaction and gave a neutral. Why not a negative? Because we never knew what happened.

Two weeks later we saw the same item purchased by someone in the same town. Shortly thereafter we received an e-mail from them saying that they were the parents of our first customer and apologized for her not completing the sale. She had had a miscarriage the day of the sale and had only recently started getting back to normal. They wanted to complete the sale.

There is a person on the other end of that transaction and we find it very rewarding to treat them as neighbors. Out of our several thousand transactions, none have ended up on a bad note. Some were iffy for a while, but they eventually got resolved. Both the buyer and seller need to need to think about that before they check the negative box.



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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. 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.