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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 postage terms, refund and return policy, and other terms and conditions.
Make sure you’re eligible to bid on or buy the item. If the seller has any buyer requirements that you don't meet, contact the seller and ask for permission to bid on or buy the item.
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 in 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 recipes, 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

Update your contact information, including your email address, whenever it changes.
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 consider using an escrow service.
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 you're not able to work things out with the seller, contact us so we can help. Click the My item hasn't arrived yet, what do I do? or What can I do when I get an item that's not as described? link and follow the instructions.

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 listing ends.

If sellers don't receive payment for an item, they can file an unpaid item case using our Resolution Center. A case may be resolved when the buyer pays or both the buyer and the seller agree to cancel the transaction. If the case isn't resolved, an unpaid item may be recorded on the buyer's account. Unpaid items can lead us to take actions such as account restriction or suspension. If you feel an unpaid item was recorded unfairly and want it removed from your account, you can appeal it.

Contact us

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