Over the past few years I've actually made a decent amount of side-cash off Ebay, a few hundred bucks a month selling used games and odd shit I pick up here and there. Not enough to make a living off but adequate. Most transactions for me go down without a hitch. But every once in a while you get some asshole or a kid who's buying shit with his parent's credit card who doesn't know proper Ebay etiquette. Before you sign up they should make you take a class or something on how to act like an intelligent human being when buying an selling shit on Ebay. It's not that hard, but since you dumbasses out there just don't get it I've decided out of the goodness of what passes for my heart to list some simple steps:
1) READ THE STUPID ITEM DESCRIPTION BEFORE YOU BID, DUMBASS.
Maybe there's a reason the Ultra Rare Daewoo Zemmix you're bidding on is selling with a "Buy it now" price of $1.50. Chances are it doesn't work, or a dog took a shit on it, or it's otherwise fucked up somehow. You will never find anything worth a shitload of money for a cheap price, for the simple reason that people who do shit like that (old people, the mentally insane, drunken hicks from the Arkansas) usually are too stupid to use computers and thus can't sell shit on Ebay.
I recently sold a Sega Saturn on Ebay for $10. The reason? It didn't boot any games. I clearly wrote in the first line of the item description "System does not boot any games and is being sold to someone who fixes this stuff." What do I get back from the noob moron who bought it? "The system doesn't even work." Too bad, should have read the description. No refund for you.
2) CHECK THE BUYERS/SELLERS FEEDBACK
Yet another common sense thing that nobody seems to pay attention to. If the guy you just bought the John Holmes replica dildo from has 15.44% positive feedback, that means that 84.36% of his customers were dissatisfied enough with his service as to complain about it. It means he's probably going to give you shitty service as well. It means your didlo is going to show up with other people's bodily fluids all over it, if it even shows up at all.
If the guy's feedback all comes from one person he's a scam artist. Use your fucking head, he's buying/selling to himself to pad his feedback with positives.
As well, never buy/sell to somebody with zero or all negative feedback. If you sell to somebody who's never used Ebay before then don't get mad when they don't know what they're doing. Yeah, I know it's a catch 22. Should have got into it in the late 1990's like everybody else. Too bad, go get some good transactions first and then we'll talk.
Pay attention to feedback and you won't get ripped off. Dumbass.
3) CHECK THE BUYERS/SELLERS ID HISTORY
In the Feedback screen is a little link on the right that says "ID history." When you click on it you are presented with a list of all the Ebay IDs this guy has ever used. So, if he changes his ID every week chances are he's unreliable and is probably a scam artist. Why would someone change their ID every week? Because they're ripping people off.
4) PAY ATTENTION TO SHIPPING CHARGES
This is part of reading the item description. So the industrial size enema-machine you just bought only cost you $3.99, don't get mad when the guy charges you $4,000 to ship it. Any overly huge item is going to cost a shitload to send.
Before you bid find out the zip code where the item is located, then go to whatever postal service your country uses (like the United States Postal service http://www.usps.com/ ) and get a rough estimate of how much shipping should be. Expect the guy to quote you a little bit more for the cost of packing materials, but dispute anything too far off your estimate. Most big-time sellers have their own UPS accounts and such and usually quote a fair price. But some moron selling shit out of his basement will usually always try to fuck you up on shipping.This is the most common form of fraud on Ebay. If he quotes you too much, dispute it. If he doesn't like it, fuck'em. Negative feedback.
Also, look at the bottom of the item description to see if he quotes a flat shipping rate. The item may be cheap, then at the bottom the guy says in very tiny print "Shipping: $40 flat rate." I seem to see a lot of this overinflated shipping charges crap coming out of Canada for some reason. Nice try hosehead. Go play with a hockey puck or something.
5) LOOK AT THE ITEM LOCATION, MORE SPECIFICALLY WHICH COUNTRY IT'S FROM
If you see a super duper expensive portable DVD player on sale for cheap, but the item location is in Nigeria, then chances are it's a load of shit. Never trust any auctions out of third world countries. No, this is not a racist thing, I have nothing against people of color in other countries around the world. I'm just telling it like it is, that countries in Northern Africa like Nigeria, Algeria, Lybia, etc. are notorious for ripping people off. Ever get one of those "Nigerian letter" scams, where some oil sheik or lawyer from northern Africa promises you money then proceeds to empty your bank account? Same shit, same people. If you buy something from anywhere else besides North America, Europe, or Japan, make sure the seller has crazy good feedback on legitimate auctions else you risk getting ripped off. This includes semi-first world countries like Spain, Italy, and Israel - sorry guys, work on improving your national image first. Another hot spot for scammers is the Netherlands (believe it or not,) because the laws against this type of fraud is lax there. There is nothing wrong with sending a few e-mails to prior buyers to ask if the seller is legit or not.
Bottom line: Anyone who gets scammed on Ebay is a dumbass. Dumbass.
6) IF IT'S TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, THEN IT PROBABLY IS
Wow, there's a telescope on sale that was once owned by Leonardo DaVinci himself! It even has his autograph on it and the seller is throwing in some drawing of a man in a squared circle! And it's only one thousand dollars! What a deal!
Go ahead, bid on it. Dumbass.
7) TIP TO BUYERS: IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE MONEY RIGHT AWAY THEN DON'T BID.
I no longer accept personal checks or money orders. I only take immediate payment through Paypal. I don't give a shit if you get paid next week, too bad for you. Come back when you have the moola. Yeah, I lose some potential customers this way. But the time and hassle I save is well worth it. You really want this half eaten sandwich I dug out of Micheal Jackson's garbage? Then get a paypal account.
If your credit is too fucked up to get a credit card and a Paypal account, then maybe you should be out getting a job and paying off some debt before you buy more crap you don't need off Ebay. It's called being a responsible adult you fuckheads.
8) PARENTS, DON'T LET YOUR FUCKING KIDS BUY SHIT OFF EBAY
There should be a law that says anyone who lets their kids buy stuff on Ebay gets the instant death penalty. No trial, no lawyer, no waiting ten years on death row. The seller gets to come over to your house and shoot you in the fucking head right there in front of your family. Because if I get one more e-mail from somebody who is so god dammed oblivious as to what their kids are doing that somehow little junior has managed to access the Ebay account and buy crap and they don't want to pay for it because "We did not give them permission to buy this," that is what I'm going to do. I don't give a fuck if you gave permission or not, perhaps you should keep an eye on your child-maggot when he gets on the computer. When you bid it's a legal contract saying you will pay for the item. Too bad, cough up my money. Dumbass.
9) ANOTHER TIP TO BUYERS: TRY WAITING A LITTLE WHILE FOR THE ITEM TO SHOW UP BEFORE YOU COMPLAIN
When stuff gets sent through the mail it may travel all over the country before it gets to your house. Doesn't matter if you live across town, the package has to go through several processing stations which may be close, may be far away. The fact that millions of pieces of mail get sent and received everyday is a testament as to how ruthlessly efficient the snail mail infrastructure in this country actually is.
That means hold your fucking horses. Your item will show up eventually. Don't get all bitchy if the package isn't on your doorstep the next morning. It takes a little while sometimes. Dang.
Sellers: Always get a tracking number when shipping items of significant worth, as well as insurance. Doesn't matter if the buyer doesn't want insurance, get it anyway and add it to the shipping charges. Because when Joe Blow the mailman walks off with your imported Bandai Pippin @mark you just sold for $200 you get reimbursed and are able to give the customer a refund while keeping your profit as well. Everybody wins - you, the buyer, and Joe Blow gets his ass fired when they trace the theft back to him via the tracking number.
Protect your assests, and your ass. Dumbass.