Safe trading tips for buyers
As a buyer, follow these steps to help ensure a successful and safe trading experience.
Before bidding or buying
Before you bid or buy, make sure you’ve fully reviewed all information on the listing and the seller. Once you bid on or buy an item, you’ve committed to purchase it.
Evaluate the listing
Review the shipping terms, refund and return policy, and other terms and conditions.
Make sure you’re eligible to bid on the item. For example, a seller may require buyers to have a PayPal account.
Make sure the seller accepts your preferred payment method and that the payment method offers purchase protection.
Know the item
Confirm the authenticity of the item.
If you have questions, use the Ask a question link on the listing.
Use common sense. If something seems too good to be true, it often is.
Know the seller
Check the seller's Feedback Profile by clicking on the number next to the seller’s user ID.
Review the seller's current items to get an idea of this person's areas of expertise. For example, if the seller has only sold shoes, and then lists a plasma television, make sure that you’re comfortable with the transaction before you bid.
If you’re unable to contact the seller, don’t bid on the item.
Make sure your seller can communicate with you
Make sure you don't have any spam blocking software installed that blocks a seller from communicating with you.
If you have computer or connection problems, you can access your account through any computer with Internet access, such as those at a library or a friend's house.
Tip: If the seller offers to sell you the item directly without bidding on and winning the item on eBay, don't respond. Instead, report it to us immediately.
Before sending payment
Learn what you can do to protect yourself before sending a payment to your seller.
Contact the seller to arrange payment. If you have a problem communicating with the seller through email after you’ve won the item, you can request the seller’s contact information
(including a phone number).
Exercise caution with international transactions, as well as high-priced and popular items.
For high-priced items, you can pay using an eBay-approved escrow service like Escrow.com
. Learn more about escrow
and how to avoid phony escrow services.
Don’t pay with cash or with instant money transfer services, such as Western Union or MoneyGram.
Keep records of all purchases.
Resolving transaction problems
If you ever have a transaction problem, try communicating with your trading partner. If that doesn't work, you can resolve your transaction problem in our Resolution Centre. We also offer buyer protection programs.
About the buyer’s commitment to purchase
If you’re the winning bidder or if you use the Buy It Now feature, you’re obligated to purchase and pay for the item. All bids are active until the auction ends.
When sellers don’t receive payment for an item, they can file an unpaid item case using our Resolution Centre. A case may be resolved when the buyer pays or both trading partners decide to cancel or otherwise work out the transaction. If the case isn't resolved, we may place an unpaid item strike on the buyer's account. Unpaid item strikes can lead eBay to take actions such as account restriction or suspension. If you feel you received an unpaid item strike unfairly and want it removed from your account, you can appeal the strike.