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BEWARE of sellers with private auctions where the seller keeps the bidders' IDs private.
Being contacted by other eBay users is one way to avoid getting cheated, even though eBay discourages this by referring to it as "auction interference"
Still, people do contact bidders on eBay. Cheaters, knowing that some people will try to contact bidders this way, set up a private auction to prevent this.
Not all private auctions are scams. Some legitimate sellers keep bidders' IDs private to avoid losing them as customers to lower-priced sellers or because they feel that their customers want their privacy protected.
This system does protect against the latest scam, which is a fraudulent "second chance" offer made to losers of an auction. Never respond to a second chance offer when the seller says you must contact them out sode of the eBay sytem. Report the maeesage to eBay.
BEWARE of sellers who keep their feedback private.
The majority, though not all, the known sellers of fakes on eBay hide begind the private auction format.
The reasons they give for running private auctions are mostly spurious and silly.
100% positive feedback record does not necessarily mean a seller is seling good pieces. Knowledgeable collectors don't bid on the "things" offered by so many sellers who offer tourist souvenirs as antiquities and so they never get to leave feedback. Those who are unknowing enough to buy junk remain equally delighted when they receive it in the post and leave glowing positive feedback.
An eBay PowerSeller can have up to 2 percent negative feedback without loosing PowerSeller status, which is a high percentage of deals gone bad negative!
There's anecdotal evidence that eBay is lenient about responding to fraud perpetuated by PowerSellers, who, by volume, pay more in fees to eBay than other sellers.
One of the most notorious of sellers of fakes says this
***Protecting bidder User IDs ***
26 March, 2008 | 08:00AM GMT
From 31st March, we'll start hiding the User IDs of members bidding on all auction-style listings on eBay.co.uk and eBay.ie. All bidder IDs on the Bid History page and the high bidder's ID on the View Item page will be masked.
The winning bidder's ID will be shown once the listing has ended but the other bidders' IDs will remain hidden. Sellers will still see all the bidders' IDs on their listing when signed in, and each bidder will see their own ID when signed in.
Why are we hiding bidder IDs?
eBay is an industry leader in helping defend users from the threat of fraudulent emails, websites and phishing attacks designed to extract confidential user information for criminal gains.
In early 2007, we began masking bidders' IDs on auction-style listings once the bid price went over a certain value. This proved very effective at reducing fraud from fake 'Second Chance Offers' (emails that are sent to bidders by fraudulent users pretending to be the seller and offering the item for sale outside of eBay).
Expanding the use of hidden IDs to cover all bids on auction-style listings will help us continue protecting bidders from this type of threat.
What about shill bidding?
Shill bidding (bidding on your own items) is a serious breach of eBay policy. We will investigate any reports we receive and take appropriate action against offenders.
Although the bidder IDs are anonymous, you can still see detailed statistics for each bidder by clicking on their masked ID. Our systems also collect more detailed information on selling and bidding activity than members can access, to help us detect patterns and accurately identify members who may be breaching the policy.
More about protecting User IDs
We appreciate that some people prefer to see all the details of who they're bidding against and may find hidden bidder IDs to be unwelcome. However, this is a necessary measure to protect all our members from email scams and fraud.
The eBay Team
An eBayer's comment, with which I rather agree!
Feedback can be of some help.
Read both positive and negative feedbacks.
You can discount negatives when they appear to be retaliatory -- left in exchange for a negative feedback given to them.
You can glean useful information from positives when the information in them is negative. The person in this case is sending a message that he was dissatisfied with the transaction but doesn't want to get set up for a retaliatory negative feedback. Look at the neutral feedback too. Some people leave damning feedback in that category!
Some people say that reading the feedback of those bidding on a piece can be helpful. If they have a lot of feedbacks, and if the feedbacks are for buying similar pieces, this might indicate they're knowledgeable about the type of thing or the dealer. But I have looked into this method and found sellers of fakes actually frequently buying fakes form other sellers of fakes!
From my experience of eBay antiquites I say without reservation
don't bid at all on private auctions or on sellers with private feedback
BEWARE sellers who give estimates of age using the term "suggestive".
There is reason to be suspicious of sellers who don't allow you to see what buyers have bought.
Positive feedback can be given by a novice collector who has been duped!
This is the least of the intrinsic perils of eBay as the items cannot be seen after a while anyway
BEWARE of ambiguous descriptions.
Some sellers of fakes are good at writing descriptions. You think they are saying is that the piece is genuine when they have not said that at all!
BEWARE sellers who say they have no access to radicarbon dating.
The seller whose listing text is shown below says
All sales are final, We don't guarantee this items age as we don't have Carbon Dating Abilities, And therefore we can not verify the exact age of this PIECE. We ship from the land of pharaohs, Please try to save this item's pictures on your hard disk because we will delete the pictures 3 days after end of the auction.
This is simply stupid waffle. You cannot date stone or faience with radiocarbon dating methods, it is only for organic materials.
BEWARE of sellers of Egyptian things who claim to have contacts with "diggers in Lower Egypt" as one seller puts it.
What this seller says there is:
I have put the text in red highlight
It is seriously illegal to export antiquities from Egypt and what these people are selling are tourist trinkets.
BEWARE of spurious certificates of authenticity.
Sellers of fakes often provide COAs!
BEWARE sellers who restrict their returns policy.
It's usually good policy to not bid if the the seller doesn't offer the option of returning it if you're not happy with it.
Check the seller's returns policy carefully.
Is the length of time permitted long enough? Will the seller allow for an extension if you want to have the item looked at by an expert?
Again this well known seller of fakes:
All sales are final. We don't guarantee this items age as we don't have Carbon Dating Abilities, And therefore we can not verify the exact age of this PIECE. We ship from the land of pharaohs, Please try to save this item's pictures on your hard disk because we will delete the pictures 3 days after end of the auction.
At least you know where you are with this seller!
Unlike some other sellers on dear old eBay, who offer you a week to return an item and usually demand written proof from an expert (who is unlikely to want to put opinion in writing- and museums never do!) you need only tell me at any time at all that a public museum or an experienced dealer has cast doubt upon its authenticity for me to give a full refund........and if I actually agree with the opinion after all, I would immediately contact or indeed visit, whomever I acquired the piece from!
BEWARE sellers who claim they're liquidating estates and that therefore all sales are final
They may be hiding something unpleasant behind their no-returns policy.
BEWARE shill bidders.
These sellers have a network of friends who bid up the prices.
BEWARE false "no reserve" bargains.
These sellers have a network of friends who bid up the prices.
If it looks like a genuine no reserve piece is going to go at a low price, they have a friend buy it.
BEWARE antiquities listed elsewhere than in the antiquities sections.
BEWARE of sellers who say they have no idea what the thing is but a similar one went for a fortune at an auction somewhere.
BEWARE of about buying an expensive item from a seller with few feedbacks.
BEWARE of bad images/photographs
BEWARE sellers who seem knowledgeable in their descriptions but cannot answer a simple question.
It's easy to copy and paste information!
BEWARE it's too good to be true, it probably is!
This very much applies to online auctions. Deals can be had, but you need to be careful.
BEWARE three day auctions
Another common tactic among cheaters is running three-day auctions, long enough to snag someone but, in the minds of sellers, not too long so as to attract undue attention.
BEWARE at the product selection
Look at the dealer's other auctions. If they are selling clearly fake items such as a "genuine rare" bird fossil for a 'Buy it Now' price of only $49 then you can be assured that the rest of his stuff is probably fake too.
Think about the seller's reactions to being informed of misdescribed lots
A good indicator of the ethics of a seller is the response given to a polite email supported by references to literature, etc that the item offered is a fake or forgery. If the seller decides to change or make additions to the description, or ends the auction early after writing to any bidders, and re-lists with the new description and possibly an altered price, then you may feel more confident in any future dealings
Learn about the seller.
Good feedback is no guarantee for an honest seller. Some buyers were willing victims, knowing that they bought junk, and others might not know they were defrauded. Use Internet search engines and ask on off-eBay message boards if you are unsure about a seller.
If you have found this advice helpful ,
vote for the version at my eBay guide
The more votes it get's the more other people will look at this information
To report fakes being touted as genuine
You will receive this automatic response email from eBay
We will thoroughly review the listing(s) or Want It Now post(s) you have
reported for violations of our Search Manipulation guidelines. We often
rely on members like you to bring these violations to our attention.
We base our decisions for this offence on a review of the content of the
item description and/or item title. In item descriptions, we search for
unrelated keywords that appear to have been included to manipulate
eBay's search engines. These lists of keywords may be hidden in
drop-down boxes, reduced to small fonts or typed in a font that matches
the listing's background color ("white on white" for example). In item
titles, we look for unrelated keywords, unnecessary comparisons, brand
name misuse and other language that may be misleading.
with respect to this listing or post. If we determine that the listing
or post violates eBay policy, we may:
1. Send the seller an informational alert;
2. Remove the listing or post; or
3. Suspend the seller.
Account suspensions are usually reserved for those sellers that
continuously disregard policy.
For more information on Search Manipulation, please visit:
I have never seen an auction taken off because of such an alert!
But maybe if more collectors do this.......
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