Last time I checked, Ebay had over 50-million "members." I pulled up something off of Google that showed me the populations of all the world's countries. If Ebay was a Nation, it would be one of the bigger nation's in the world.
About the size of Canada, for example. Now, imagine, if a country like Canada had only one wee little office to "police" the Nation. Scary thought. Well, that's about the way it is with Ebay. All sorts of nefarious types can hang out in the nooks and crannies of Ebay and work their wicked ways on the unsuspecting.
We've been "members" for nearly 5 years and have never been burned or had a bad experience. Bought and sold hundreds of items. Never have rec'd or left a negative feedback.
How so? Caution, caution, caution. Did I say caution?
Don't just check their feedback rating, READ the feedbacks and then click on the actual items, too. Also read the feedback files for the "member's" customers or sellers.
Send LOTS of email to the seller AND potential buyers either BEFORE you bid or BEFORE the sale closes. When we have sold items where confusion might be possible, we email each bidder to MAKE CERTAIN that they understand critical aspects of the item, its terms and conditions of the sale.
This is just good business--for them and for us.
On anything that is "high dollar" or a potential "scam item," such as a cell phone, we ALWAYS email and ask for a full name, address and phone number BEFORE bidding. We insist on actually talking on the telephone to the seller.
Believe me, this weeds out the scammers in a nano heartbeat.
No name, address, phone, no bid. Period.
We also insist that the seller give us a complete and full "history" of the item. If they are unwilling to tell us an item's "history, " then no bid, no way.
Sure, all this takes time, energy, etc. Sometimes it is hard to control the impulse to "bid right now." But patience and persistence pay off in a big way and that's why we don't have any Ebay horror stories to tell. For us anyway. Have heard PLENTY of Ebay horror stories from others.
And, just in case you haven't heard, NEVER ship an item upon receipt of a cashier's check. NEVER, EVER, NEVER.
Hold the cheeck for clearance the same way you would a personal check. One of my dear friends was burned for $1,100 dollars on a valuable antique flute by accepting a cashier's check on "blind faith." Let your buyers know you consider a cashier's check no different than a personal one. Simple. Once they understand your "rules," they either accept them or they don't bid.
FOr shipping, just lay down the rules in your writeup.
No insurance, no responsibility WHATSOEVER for arrival of item. And the buyer MUST pay for delivery confirmation.
Once again, if they don't like your rules, let 'em bid someplace else. Think of it like those signs that have been around our whole lives: "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service." And, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." Like some football coaches like to say, "It's my way or the highway." Live by these rules and you will avoid the "mean streets" and "bad neighborhoods" of Ebay Nation.