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Selling on eBay

eBay has become the UK’s most popular online marketplace. With over 17 million unique customers every month, it provides retailers with the largest potential audience. However, the fact that there are so many potential buyers can also expose you to high levels of risk, against which you need to take a number of sensible precautions. 

The Risks

  • Fraudulent buyers claiming refunds from PayPal by claiming non-delivery, goods not as described or received damaged.
  • Not being paid for items that have been despatched.
  • Being paid with a fraudulent or stolen payment card. 
  • Becoming an unwitting accomplice to fraud by agreeing to sell items which do not actually exist, on behalf of criminals.

Safe Selling on eBay

  • Describe products accurately and comprehensively to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Add a returns policy or warranty to give the buyer some reassurance about doing business with you. You  should also be familiar with The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000.
  • Use the feedback mechanism to get the best possible rating. Give good customer service so that a bad transaction does not escalate into negative feedback.
  • Provide trustworthy payment mechanisms, including signing up for PayPal. 
  • Do not accept Western Union or other money transfer payments.
  • Do not ship goods until you are certain that you have been paid.
  • Check feedback on buyers.
  • Be selective about who you sell to. You can block customers who have negative feedback, and exclude bids from selected countries. Remember that you can cancel suspicious bids as long as you have a valid reason for doing so.
  • In the event of a claim for a refund, always check My eBay Messages to validate any claim before refunding, and always use the original payment method.
  • If you sell an item on behalf of someone else, ensure that they are trustworthy before agreeing to do so. 
  • Consider using PayPal Seller Protection, which can provide extra safety cover against potential losses due to buyer claims, chargebacks or reversals.
  • Use a delivery service that provides online trackable proof of delivery.


See also...


Taking and Making Payments
Security criteria for taking and making electronic payments.

Business Fraud
Spot and prevent the kinds of fraud that could affect your business. 

Auction Sites
Using auction sites to buy and sell goods safely and without hassle.