Buying Tips – Step 5: Don’t Get Scammed!

As with all private transactions, there is an element of trust, which is unfortunately abused sometimes. On this page, I am going to raise your attention to a few common scams that have been doing the rounds and catching some buyers out. Do read over these and familiarise yourself with the warning signs. Ultimately, if something looks ‘too good, to be true’, it probably is.

  1. Has the buyer brought any Hi-Fi lately? Run a search on their forum username, check their postings, or check their previous ebay auctions and feedback.  If they’ve only brought two staplers lately and are now selling £6000 speakers, be wary.
  2. Cash mugging; you are requested to pay for a very high value item by cash and meet up to exchange cash/goods. However the location is secluded and a bit dodgy. They may claim the item isn’t with them, and ask you to follow them down the street to where it is. Either way, this scam ends with a brutal mugging. Be wary of exchanges not at permanent (residential) addresses. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash on person. However for small value items, meeting at very public places (e.g. busy train station) is usually fine.
  3. Be wary of adverts/auctions that list a high valued item box. e.g. “Sony STR5400ES Receiver, new box”. There has been instances of people literally selling an empty box only, fooling buyers  into thinking they are paying for an product in the box.

Check the sellers feedback or forum reputation. Someone who has large amount of positive feedback on eBay or been a long standing member and regular poster on forums is likely to trustworthy. Conversely, if the seller has zero eBay feedback or has only just joined a forum, proceed with caution. We all have to start somewhere, but do be wary.

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