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If you don’t know by now, eBay is one of the easiest ways to find great deals. With a vast number of sellers, you can find just about anything there, from game and movies, to TVs, cables, and even vintage stereo equipment. Just about anything you can think of, it’s on eBay. Having so many items to look at, however, can be bit overwhelming for those new to online auction world, especially when looking for a bargain. I’ve created this guide to help clear things up and steer you in the right direction, and also to provide tips for dealing with sellers and getting the best deals.

Part 1: How do I Know if the Seller is Legit?

With so many sellers on eBay, there’s bound to be a few crooks. There are sellers who are dishonest, sellers who distribute counterfeit items, and even sellers who will take your money and run. In general, most sellers on eBay are safe to deal with, but how do you tell the good from the bad? Here’s a few ways:

Always Look at the Feedback

One of the easiest and most obvious ways is to look at their feedback. A seller’s feedback is a record of their previous transactions with other buyers (and sellers). I typically only do business with sellers that have at least 5 feedback or more. The more feedback a seller has, the more likely they are to do what’s necessary to maintain their reputation. It’s good practice to avoid dealing with sellers that have a 0 or negative feedback rating. If they can’t get it right the first time, chances are they won’t do so well the next time.


Example of a trustworthy seller

Example of a trustworthy seller.

Compare the Numbers
Worried if that item might not be authentic? Many items often have model and serial numbers. For items that are often counterfeited, sellers will post pics of any numbers to verify the authenticity of their product. If you can find photos of a known legit copy online, you can use these for verification. If not, trying verifying the number(s) with the product’s manufacturer.


Ask them!

Still not sure if a seller is legit, or unsure about the authenticity of their item? The easiest way is to ask questions. Send them a message and ask for extra pictures and questions about the item. Most sellers will be happy to meet your requests.

Continue to Part 2: Getting the Best Deal

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