Sunday, August 1, 2010

ajc.com - Educating online shoppers or aiding eBay scammers?

Get savvy about the cyber market ajc.com

I have seen articles like this before, and for the most part the tell you things that are common sense, - buyers -always pay with Credit Card, sellers - do not accept checks, etc, so when I saw the headline I thought 'yeah, yeah, OK ...need to just take a peek' , then I noted it was in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That when I got really curious as to how much detail will this one provide, since I have seen article like this in major papers before and they sometimes have been so generic, you swear they just copied and pasted them.
I must say, this one was good. Although geared towards the buyer of online goods, they did provide insight for the sellers. One thing that really caught my attention was :

Research.
Check the seller’s feedback and ratings from multiple sources.

OK. Now yes, it is important to know who you are dealing with, and yes their are scammers out there. I also encourage you to check the feedback, and not just the numbers, actually READ a few. On eBay I have found countless sellers with high numbers only to discover after reading, the buyer really wasnt thrilled.
On the flip side, I have seen sellers with only a few sales under their belt, but with glowing reviews. Remember folks, everyone has to start somewhere and often the new seller tries harder.

Then the next line is what really got my attention:
With eBay, place a low bid on an item and then get contact information at bit.ly/ahbU7M. Call the phone number to verify and check the address through an online directory such as free411.com

Say what? This in my opinion is a scammers feeding ground. Place a bid on something you dont really want, get the info, and then disappear.
Where is eBay's mind? Did they auction it off? I fully agree with buyer protection, but until the item is won, what business is it of the buyer what my phone number is? And if it is that safe for eBay to give out your personal information, why can't the seller have access to the bidders info? Why must they wait till item is purchased and only go through eBay for contacting them?

Good article and Kudos to Lucy Soto. But bad eBay for abetting scammers with this computerized information feeding bowl, and Ms Soto, I understand your intentions was to educate the consumer, but this practice by eBay was not well known , It caught me by surprise, and I wonder how many con-artists went "yummy!" when they read it.

One thing for sure, it is causing me to rethink just how 'secure' eBay is.

Previous post on this subject:  eBay Gives Out Personal Information

6 comments:

BookCornerCafe said...

Good post and sure something to think about. I don't think anyone really has any privacy anymore no matter where you are someone can find you if they really want to and it is scary.

Kat Barton said...

WOW.... I did not know they did this either. Interesting. I do not sell on the Bay a whole lot, in fact very little. My Feed back there is 50 compared to my feedback on bonanzle at 141. I like what she says about checking multiple venues to see a persons feedback. It brings to mind someone I have recently come across that claims to be a powerseller from the bay on one site, but when you check the FB on the bay, they are not even close. Regardless, it should work both ways. Research the seller and the buyer, and if they can have our info, there should be no reason why we can't have theirs. Interesting article, and a good heads up. I also wonder how many other sites are doing this.

Beth Cherkowsky said...

I don't understand your concern here, Renegade cause THIS has always been the case for years?

Sure it's not well known but why would it be more likely to draw scammers now?

BUT this is why I changed my address to a Post Office Box 12 years ago..... don't want folks showing up at the door uninvited. And I use my cell phone for contact.

And yes, if they've bid on your item you can reverse the process and get their contact info. Some Buyers are really not happy when you call them. (some sellers either... one blessed out hubby for doing so, all he wanted was the book she owed him - for like a month)

http://www.antiquedaze.com

Renagade said...

BookCorner - nope, privacy seems to be a thing of the past.
Gypsy - my point exactly.

Beth - true this has been going on for years, and some have gone to the expense and trouble of PO boxes and cell phones, others simply can not do that.
Getting the buyers info is not always easy, and ebay is always warning users to keep communications within eBay.
Years ago scam did happen, but as time goes on, the scammers are getting more prevalent and more savvy.
And do you really want sellers calling you just because you placed a bid on an item? Or those that not serious about buying calling with zillion questions? Just saying.
I agree there are times this info needs to be shared, but there must be a better way.
You cannot post the info in your listing but they can give it out?? Not cool.

Cliff Aliperti said...

Hey Ren,

Yup, eBay has had that form for contact info at least as long as I've been there, but I've never seen anyone advising to use it regularly. In fact in 10 years and over 22,000 transactions I believe I've been notified of its use ... twice, and that counts the time I think I used it first when I couldn't get a hold of my buyer!

I guess I can expect a new trickle of requests from the Atlanta area :)

Oh, one more thing, sometimes big feedback numbers come with truly satisfied feedback as I blow my own horn (I'm proud of those numbers!).

Cliff Aliperti said...

Hey Ren,

Yup, eBay has had that form for contact info at least as long as I've been there, but I've never seen anyone advising to use it regularly. In fact in 10 years and over 22,000 transactions I believe I've been notified of its use ... twice, and that counts the time I think I used it first when I couldn't get a hold of my buyer!

I guess I can expect a new trickle of requests from the Atlanta area :)

Oh, one more thing, sometimes big feedback numbers come with truly satisfied feedback as I blow my own horn.

Thanks, Cliff