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Poll: Do you use eBay? If so, how often? If not, why not

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / September 21, 2007 6:03 AM PDT

Do you use eBay? If so, how often?

-- Yes, daily; I'm an eBay addict
-- I buy and sell regularly
-- Tried it few times
-- Had a bad experience (Tell us about it.)

If you've never tried it, why not?

-- I like to touch and see items before a purchase
-- It's too complicated
-- I use other online resources
-- I don't trust anything online
-- Never will, I've heard too many eBay nightmares (Tell us what you've heard.)

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Ebay Bad Experience
by sangrant / September 21, 2007 10:00 AM PDT

I hvae had a few bad experiences with Ebay but stick with it. My biggest complaint with Ebay is that they make it almost impossible to get problems resolved. Many years ago I ordered bunch of motherboards from a vendor and he asked for the money and would then ship. (Before the days of Paypal) Well I sent the money and then he informed he could not ship!!! Not pleasent. Just this past week I had to file a non payment on a bidder. I sold a car on Ebay motors and they have charged me the full cost for the sale but the bidder has not followed through with the transaction and all I can do is file a non payment complaint. Twice this past year I have bought product from a seller, and then they have not been able to ship the product, and they filed a refund request with ebay assuming I would say we mutually agreed to cancel the transaction so they could therefore get their seller fees back. Talk about deception. Trying to report this type of scam to Ebay is almost impossible, and they respond back with generic responses. When it works well it is a great experience, but when it goes bad, it is an awful experience.

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Credit cards - evil maybe but sometimes useful
by tcm1313 / September 21, 2007 9:52 PM PDT
In reply to: Ebay Bad Experience

It's been a few years since this experience, but wanted to add this bit of information relating to Ebay scams. I bid on a digital camera that hadn't yet been put on the market, but bid on an item that the seller claimed to have a limited number for distribution. I put a down payment (acceptable for this sale) using a credit card. It wasn't very long before alerts came forth on the Ebay page about this scam (a real service to us!), and immediately contacted Card Services (available with my particular card carrier), and was assured that the transaction would be resolved (i.e. cancelled). I'm happy to report that it was successfully cancelled. I don't know what was the disposition of the case of others who were victimized, but those who dealt with cash may have been out of luck. There's no "luck" to it when one realizes the protection that the credit card offers. I'm not a big fan of credit cards in general, but they have their place in this context.

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Ebay sucks
by lassean1 / September 22, 2007 3:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Ebay Bad Experience

Ebay is a scam for sure please do not buy from this site. The people do not work for you there. They work against you. I witnessed a scam on one of ebays biggest selling companies. They were DVD distributor. The CEO vanished and never sent out The DVD's to thousands of customers. This happened to us right around christmas. If you don't believe look up GLACIERBAY something rather. Here is a link on the story. If you buy at Ebay point is...You are buying at your own risk. Ebay will not refund money that you use to purchase someone else's merchandise. Ebay is just the middle man or the medium if you will between customer and merchant.

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THIS PERSON IS SPOT ON. eBay has nothing but contempt for U.
by CPSA MACLEAN / September 22, 2007 5:13 PM PDT
In reply to: Ebay sucks

Why else would they allow the "DIGITAL DELIVERY" of new WIDESCREEN COLOR TV's over ebay for $99. All that happens is you pay your $99 to Paypal and the seller sends you a pic of your purchse "a Digitally delivered Color Tv." Of course these Buyers are ususally pensioners who cannot afford such a loss. Ebay have Police 'on the take' in all states otherwise you would see the Fraud Squad act against them. They don't they are a mob of evil crooks. They pay NO TAXES in Australia. They do not answer phone calls - do not even reply to LETTERS OR FAXES EVER. STAY RGHT AWAY - THETY ARE PLENTY OF OTHER SAFE WAYS TO BUY. Ebay is NOT ONE OF THEM. Try the Ausralian way OZTION - never had a problem with them. Jennifer Stokes - Lawrence NSW

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E-BAY Experience
by mountaineer / September 23, 2007 1:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Ebay sucks

You are oh so correct! Read my (mountaineer) reply..............

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e-bay experience
by mountaineer / September 23, 2007 1:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Ebay Bad Experience

Sad to say this to you but you are a fool. Based on your experience I would drop E-Bay in a minute. Sorry for your loss...........

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why do you keep dealing with ebay .
by mesejohnny / September 23, 2007 11:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Ebay Bad Experience

if you have a bad experience in a store do you keep going back for more? dump ebay. go somewhere else. i dumped them because they wanted me to pay $18.00 shipping for a$9.00 item'how stupid is that?

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A few bad experiences
by JDlady / September 21, 2007 10:15 AM PDT

I have been scammed twice. I paid for one purchase and never recieved it. When I tried to find the seller, I was told I did it the wrong way. The second time, I was told by the seller that the hard drives worked well, even though they were sold "as is". They were both bad and the seller knew before one was taken out of the computer. When I tried to post negative feedback, I was prompted not to. I had to leave neutral feedback, with a comment to beware for other buyers.

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Ripped off BIG Time
by alltunedj / September 21, 2007 10:31 AM PDT
In reply to: A few bad experiences

A few months ago I purchased a $500.00 Professional CD played from e-bay, and used the Pay-Pal Buyer Protection Plan (which is a bogus plan) since I was spending so much. I received the CD player in a timely manner but it did not work. After exhausting every avenue trying to work with the seller, I submitted a complaint through Pay-Pal's resolution center. I followed every instruction EXACTLY. When I got back home from returning the CD player at the UPS center, I went back into the Pay-Pal website to finalize the process, but to my surprise, Pay-Pal did not tell me until AFTER the package was shipped that I needed to insure the package. I was denied my claim and the crook got my money AND the CD player back. I lost $550.00 in the deal.

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Watch out for chargebacks on e-bay
by Jeff Salmon / September 21, 2007 10:34 AM PDT

Most of this thread seems to be about buying items on e-bay. There are also dangers on the selling side. CHARGEBACKS. A buyer uses PayPal to purchase an item from a seller. Gives indications that everything is OK. Several weeks later, a chargeback shows up on the seller's account. The buyer has notified his credit card company that the charge was unauthorized.

In my case the buyer bought a $425 camera lens, waited about 6 weeks, then filed a chargeback. The money was debited from my PayPal account, and held in escrow until the 'investigation' was completed. The investigation is still on going 2 months later, I am out the lens and the money. I am covered, and have (hopefully) fulfilled all the PayPal requirements to get reimbursed. However, the chargeback is phony and fraudulent, and PayPal is left holding the bag. A chargeback can be filed at anytime and I am very reluctant to use PayPal anymore. I sent my item to the address verified by PayPal, but that won't stop the chargeback and related problems.

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Go after eBay rip-off sellers
by Drcop2u / September 21, 2007 11:01 AM PDT

I've been buying and selling on eBay for almost 8 years and had a few bad experiences. What I have found is never to wait too long for an item to arrive, nor accept excuses why items are not shipped in a timely manner. If you have the slightest idea you are getting stonewalled or ripped-off, file with PayPal and eBay.

NEVER drop a PayPal complaint or claim until you have positive resolution to your satisfaction. If you do and the item is not delivered, broken or otherwise not what you paid for, you're out of luck. NEVER pay for items with a PayPal balance on your account; instead use a credit card. Then if PayPal doesn't do you right, you can refute the charges with your credit card company. PayPal hates that! Just remember you can't have a credit card chargeback and a PayPal claim at the same time as PayPal will drop the claim immediately as soon as they are notified of the chargeback.

Look at the seller's PayPal "Protection Rating" on the right side of the auction under his name and feedback rating. If he or she only has a $200 guarantee thay are a casual seller and you won't get much back if you buy a $500 item and they don't deliver, even if PayPal does pay.

Finally, go after a bad seller any way you can. I use the Attorney General in their state, the BBB in their state, and the Federal Internet Fraud Site for starters. Recently I was able to get not only my $400 item delivered by doing so, but also items for 5 or 6 other people as a result. Only one said thanks!

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by commorancy / September 21, 2007 11:36 AM PDT

==NEVER pay for items with a PayPal balance on your account; instead use a credit card. Then if PayPal doesn't do you right, you can refute the charges with your credit card company. PayPal hates that!==

I believe that the terms of PayPal's service states that PayPal wants to be the ones who file a chargeback claim with the CC company. But, of course, it's your card so you can do as you wish. I believe somewhere in PayPal's terms, it used to say you had to use their dispute resolution process for all disputes. Also, that if you went to the CC company and filed a chargeback request there that your PayPal account could be closed. Since eBay has purchased PayPal, those terms may have changed. But, I believe that's what they used to be. I tried reviewing the terms, but there's just too much verbosity there for me to find that info.

Be that as it may, I generally don't like or use PayPal often. I also only pay merchants that allow me to pay without requiring a PayPal account. There are too many restrictions and silliness with PayPal's requirements for me to feel comfortable using that as a merchant payment gateway or as a personal account buyer. As a merchant, if you're going to jump through the PayPal hoops, you might as well just go get a merchant account yourself and use that as an internet payment gateway. Then, your dispute resolution paths are clear.

As far as buying from eBay. I have bought from eBay, but I generally pick sellers who have 99.9% positive feedback, are in the US, have closed more than 100 transactions and have no negatives in the last 6-12 months (or longer). That doesn't guarantee that it won't be a ripoff. Nothing can. But, it does minimize the risk. I also don't buy products valued at more than a $200 on eBay. The only way I'll do high dollar items is to use or some other escrow service.

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by Drcop2u / September 21, 2007 12:10 PM PDT
In reply to: PayPal

PayPal won't file a chargeback on your credit card in any case. They give you the option of doing so, as your protections under federal credit card law are much stronger than anything PayPal can, or will do.

As far as them cancelling your account, I'd much rather thay do that than be ripped off for hundreds of dollars. Frankly, their guarantees are almost worthless. Incidentally, if you purchase multiple items from a seller, and each item is under $25, even though the total could be $500 or more, PayPal counts each item as being under the $25 deductible per loss so you get nothing at all on your claim. Been there and had that happen too!

PayPal is a convenient gateway for buyers and the seller to accept credit cards and merchants pay for the service just like any other merchant gateway. No matter if you're a buyer or a seller, the old adage of Buyer (and seller) beware certainly applies.

Incidentally, most of their support is offshore as well, so if you have a problem, good luck in any corrective action as you'll get a scripted answer that just runs you around the same question ad nauseum.

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paypal be wary
by back_water_tech / September 21, 2007 4:19 PM PDT
In reply to: PayPal

I do a lot of business on ebay and with paypal. For the most part, it is a pleasant experience.

here is some things to do with paypal:

No matter what, get your $$$ out of that account as soon as you can.

heres some reasons why:
first, paypal can not draw interest on the money you have there (they are a bank and banks can and do loan your money to other banks on a regular basis, its not like they don't make enough with the ripoff rates they charge.)
Second, paypal will require you to use your balance to pay for items if the balance is more than the item cost.

Always pay for items through your paypal account with a visa or mastercard, preferably a credit card, but debits are protected the same way, but more work is required to get your personal bank to do a chargeback as it would say to get capitalone to do it.

be wary of sellers that have been around for a short time and have tons of items for sale. those are usually outfits that got thier id banned and made a new one (not like that doesn't happen)

always pay for shipping insurance and if possible, pay for FedEx/ UPS shipping. Always get a shipping confirmation number.

ebay's and paypal's resolution services are not much use, unless you actually call them. otherwise it may be weeks to months before your issue gets resolved.

Wink using a credit card and threatning to do a chargeback is usually the best and fastest way to get a refund/shipping confirmation. Most sellers would rather refund if they can't ship.

there are is occasional ***** that needs more nudging, but in my experience, paypal usually isn't too bad at getting things fixed.
(they want your money tied up with the seler for the same reason they want you to have a balance: they can loan it out. . . )

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At my country..
by strand on the green / September 21, 2007 2:48 PM PDT

Dear Sir/Maddam

That advice is excellent but if i was rip-off in the United Kingdom (UK) what shall i do?..

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Paypal, rip-off buyers!
by reloanpro / September 22, 2007 1:40 AM PDT

And furthermore, pay close attention to the buyer protection limit when you choose to pay with your Paypal account, because even in fraud they will only guarantee that amount back to the buyer; and maybe not even that. As I understood them, when they resolve a claim in the buyer's favor, they will make a "best effort" to recoup money from the seller but only up to that guarantee. I purchased a lot of 55 sports jerseys to receive 50. Even then the claim was resolved in my favor, not because I did not receive all of the items but because one of the items was not authentic. In the case of, silly me bought a lot of consumer returns, thinking retail stores would not accept bashed home theater receivers with missing buttons and/or otherwise not even powering up, such as. Wrong. They must have, because I had a pallet load of them shipped across country, some not even in boxes. Then my complaint was dutifully smattered like a clay bird by the "specialist" assigned it. And I thought I was being careful when I would not buy the salvage lots.

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by mountaineer / September 23, 2007 1:47 AM PDT

I can certainly understand your feelings. I have been there and experienced what you were discussing. At least you had the drive and determination to try and do something about it. And it is a LOT of work.I, myself, have done all that you describe in your reply except register a complaint with thr BBB or State Attorney General. But after reading your complaint I just may do that. I do not make big purchases on E-Bay for obvious reasons as my big purchases are of the $50-$100 variety. As far as I am conserned, to buy a camera or tv costing hundreds or thousands of dollars on E-Bay is worse than being stupid. Just find a dealer on a web search and buy. I know this is not 100% but your success on E-Bay is less than 50%. So you buy an item costing $100- don't get it the first time or it is defective or used and you buy it a second tome with the total cost of $200. There is a good possiblity that you can buy that item new from a recognized dealer for $175 to $225. I would go for the $225 without the headaches. Regards

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Please tell more
by daffy99 / September 24, 2007 9:33 AM PDT

How do you get around the privacy act? I have lost money to a person that has a common last name, lives in a large city.

I haven't read all the suggestions yet.


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I am now feeling very lucky.,,Many years on Ebay and paypal
by slimsss2 / September 21, 2007 11:23 AM PDT

I have been buying on e-bay for many yrs, i was out of the country for 2 years and I could not get back into the system with my old name and password which was no big deal,,with paypal i had left a small balance , old name and password was good to go.
I have been 'took' a few times but only because of my ignorance. If you buy a wireless mouse for $3.99,, bet your $3.99 it won't be good..LOL. I do look at feedback, and i always try right away ask the seller a question about shipping or whatever. If the response is timely and accurate then i will bid. My largest purchase was a $18,000 Dodge truck last year,, The seller sent me 30 pictures,every angle,top to bottom..I sent some paypal bucks to hold the truck, flew to New Orleans and it was all as described. I purchase a 'lot'(says the wifeie) of 0 scale train stuff,, have never had a minute of trouble.
After reading all these comments,I am thinking i will continue to be a buyer,, not a seller...Slim

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I'm just leery
by xotic224 / September 21, 2007 11:31 AM PDT

I've tried it; no problems, and I'll probably try again, but I'm just a bit nervous.

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Ebay and it companys simply has no customer suport
by magnusfl / September 21, 2007 11:40 AM PDT

When I started my MBA I looked for a laptop which was required so i looked at eBay which I had a 100% favorable account with over 150 transactions
and won one however the seller took away paypal and wanted a cashers check so I canceled it as I am not that stupid and bid on another and the same thing happened again so I tried one again and won one about five hours from me this seller also pulled paypal from the offer refused an escrow I pay for and refused to sell it in person so I canceled that again each time contacting eBay about the problem and attempted scam so they closed an account not the scammers who keep doing business but me as a bad buyer and blocked me from as well

I tried to fix that for over a year and half sending them several hundred emails and letters as well as phone calls
gave them every bit of information they asked for and they never did a dam thing but several runarounds
I could not even set up an new account
I finally fixed it when I changed my provider from cable to Verizon fiber optic and then it allowed me a new account however my very good standing old account is still blocked
But my new account is slowly gaining good credit as I am a very honest and reliable person

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Taking away Paypal payment option after the bid closes?
by commorancy / September 21, 2007 11:56 AM PDT

== I looked for a laptop won one however the seller took away paypal

And then you stated you tried twice more and these other sellers also 'took away' Paypal.

Ok, now this is odd. I've never had any seller take away Paypal as an option after the deal closed (as long as it was a payment option on the page). I would be leary of this fact after the deal closed.

I would have still done the cashier's check as long as it was delivered certified mail with return receipt. That way, I knew the check was delivered and signed. If there was a problem, with not receiving the merchandise, you can still dispute the cashier's check with the bank. Don't do a money order, though, as they don't have dispute processes.

However, I can understand eBay's concern. You bid on three items, won the bid on each and then refused to pay (regardless of the circumstances). As long as the seller gave you a payment option that you could do and that you could protect yourself from fraud, you should have completed the deal. If not, then you should have contacted eBay and asked for a bid retraction on the first one. Waited for the retraction to complete before bidding on any more. This may have saved your account. Going into the second deal where it happened again, you should have emailed the seller prior to bidding to ensure the Paypal option is available. That way, if there was a problem with the deal after you won, you could send the copy of the seller's email to eBay as a complaint against the seller and also left negative or, at least, neutral feedback.

My question, though, is why would each of those sellers 'take away' the ability to use Paypal? Did they give you reasons?

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Taking away Paypal
by sangrant / September 21, 2007 12:12 PM PDT

I have ahd it happen a few times that when I went to pay a seller via Paypal, Paypal would refuse payment for that seller. it usually emans there is a problem with the sellers account or he has blocked payments via paypal. I would not complete the transactions unless they opened their paypal accounts. I can see refusing to complete a transaction when they change the terms of the agreement. I usually look for a vendor that takes Paypal, as I know at elast I am getting a little bit of protection. Also look for sellers that use Square Trade. It is another good layer of protection.

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they all said they were having problems with paypal
by magnusfl / September 21, 2007 12:43 PM PDT

All three sellers offered paypal and only took it away after I won it and i did contact eBay each time As changed terms and
I am simply not going to send some cashers check for 1900 dollars which is the same as cash and even delivered certified mail with return receipt give no guarantees as scammers have often set up drop addresses under fake names which is easier then you suspect then sell a dozen or so big ticket items and then simply close shop
for a 15 to 30k pure profit.

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e bay and pay pal
by elvecino65 / September 21, 2007 10:11 PM PDT

I also got beat in ebay, i won a bid and the seller jaylyn 712 kept the money and the item, i contacted paypal and the say they cannot do anything about it, I inmediatelly right after that answer cancelled
my paypal acc,and posted a negative for jaylyn712, becareful with this seller is there to take peoples money and ebay cannot do anything about it either, so you are at the mercy of the sellers, there is no protection from ebay or paypal, now i buy from another company more reliable than ebay and cancelled paypal account, paypal is not the best way to go when paying for anyhting in the net. buyers beware paypal and very,,, very carefull.

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I understand about what they did to you!
by kathylovespogo / September 22, 2007 3:35 AM PDT

I kept my account at 100% it was important to me. But one seller sold me a playstation with 3 controlers and many games. When I recieved it the sony ( which are the best) were replaced with 2 generic brands. and only got 2 controlers. Also out of 40 games 14 did not work they were so scratched up the cleaning machine couldn't make them work. I called them and said I can deal with the games but I wanted that playstation because it had the sony controlers. He told me when I paid 2 days(he gave a 7 day limit)I should have paid in one day. He said , someone came in my shop and wanted sony controlers and I figured you were a non payer like others I have. I told him read my feedback by the way I am kathylovespogo on pogo. No remorse on his part and no sony controlers for me. I left negative feedback for him so others would be aware. Well it turned on me , he left negative feed back for me and ruined my ratings. I have 4 or 5 family members using my ebay and paypal account and we all have been very careful not to mess up. I asked paypal to do something about it. I paid timely and did no wrong, I called him and asked him to make it right , he refused. I have this irritating red mark on my ebay account now. I am disabled and can not go out and shop like others so ebay is important to me. It helps me make the money go further because there are fantastic buys on ebay. But on ebays side on the larger part its been a very good experience with a few times a odd ball gets in there. Paypal worked real good until I waited over the 45 days for that 649.00 doll and lost all.remember I paid through the bank. I will continue with ebay because its a good thing. Just needed to learn the rukles.

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Occasional user
by GolferJL / September 21, 2007 12:22 PM PDT

Yes, I have used ebay, however very carefully. I really have never had a problem, goods delivered promptly, item as described and even a phone follow up by one seller to make sure I installed the device properly.
To use ebay properly, it is recommended to check out the seller's credentials, such as length of time as a seller on ebay, customer feedback and compare like items with others offerings. I use paypal.
Maybe I am lucky so far. But again, one must use caution. There is an old saying that goes, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

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by xarophti / September 21, 2007 1:39 PM PDT
In reply to: Occasional user

I guess you could say I'm between "occasional" and "regular" buyer. I've bought "outdated" electronics (because I won't part with Handspring) and books. I've never had a problem, actually. But then again, they've never been big-ticket items (never over $100). I've used both cashier's checks and PayPal. I do have a tendency to check feedback before dealing with someone, however.

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by madcapmel / September 21, 2007 1:46 PM PDT
In reply to: Occasional user

It's good and bad,especially when you pay your fees to the bogus ebay mob,and the real ebay just shuts you down,and then theres the credit card fraud if you buy anything from China be very weary try and use bank depsits rather than your credit card cause once they get that money just streams from your accoubts.E-bay told me 60% of all fraud comes out of china.....i dont use ebay now....i wont pay my fees twice so they just shut me down...end of story they say...and e-bay is very hard to talk to.i had 100% satisfaction as madcapmel im still on there i just cant do any thing.

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Four words of advice to prospective ebay shoppers
by john3347 / September 21, 2007 1:51 PM PDT


I know personally of a few horror stories and have heard of many more. I refuse to open a Paypal account because they require open access to your checking account and, in so doing, they will have the upper hand in a payment dispute. Ain't gonna happen! Most ebay merchants now require Paypal as their only form of payment (probably for the reason just described). I am chomping at the bits for a certain discontinued model cell phone that I have found on Ebay and nowhere else. I would be willing to deal with the merchants on a direct basis, but I just will not force myself to jump through the necessary hoops to buy from Ebay merchants.


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