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Friday, 25 January 2013

Can you trust eBay?

The online auctions site, eBay, has been a real lifesaver for many people in recent years. The sheer choice available through the website is immense, and you can track down all sorts of obscure items. In addition, eBay also provides a handy outlet to get shot of old bits and pieces you don't want any longer, and there's usually an audience for just about anything - one man's trash is another man's treasure, as the saying goes. However, when carrying out any transaction online, it's important from a consumer's perspective that robust safety measures are in place to guarantee the security of the transaction. It's worth getting more acquainted with eBay's security procedures before you buy or sell a product over the site.
One of the biggest potential threats to security when using eBay is fraudulent accounts set up to obtain personal and account information. It goes without saying that the risks here are potentially huge, and this is one of the biggest issues concerning new and potential eBay users. However, eBay advises users to take a number of precautions to reduce the risk of being caught out. There's an online tutorial to help users recognize and report fake emails and websites. Also, eBay points out that it never asks its users for sensitive information via email, and every email sent to users is digitally signed.

Users are also encouraged by eBay to leave feedback after completing a transaction to communicate whether or not they were satisfied with their experience. Individual members have their own feedback profile, which can be checked simply by clicking on the number next to their user ID. It's well worth checking the feedback profile before you decide whether or not to proceed, as this helps users to make an informed decision. There's also a feedback forum on the eBay website where users can discuss their experiences and raise queries should they feel the need to do so.

There are also a number of procedural and technical safeguards in place to help reduce the risk of fraud when completing a transaction via eBay. Encryption, firewalls and secure socket layers are all in place to help protect users' personal details from being accessed and abused by fraudsters. Members can also request contact information for other members if they're either involved in an on-going transaction or have been involved in a recent one. However, eBay will decline to release individual members' contact details in other circumstances to protect privacy.

If you've experienced any problems while completing your transaction, you are advised to try to resolve the difficulty by getting in touch with the other party first of all. If this fails to provide a suitable resolution, however, you can choose to open an eBay Buyer Protection case through the website's Resolution Center. As a buyer, you can open a case as soon as the estimated delivery date for the item has passed or seven days after making payment if you haven't been provided with a delivery date. The seller will then be given the option

of providing tracking information to clear up the item's whereabouts, issue a full refund or offer to send a replacement item. However, if this still fails to solve the problem then you can escalate the case to eBay Customer Support, which will then take a closer look at the circumstances.

Author Bio: This guest blog was contributed by Lesley Sampson a freelance technology blogger who often covers subjects such as how to evaluate your ebay parcel delivery options.