26 Tips on How to be Safe in Your eBay Selling and Buying - Unusual sales pattern...
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g) Unusual sales pattern
If your seller's feedback indicates that they normally deal in collectables, DVDs or other specific items, be suspicious that they are suddenly listing laptops, plasma TVs or other high value items. The change may indicate that this seller's account has been hijacked.
h) Bad English gives you a pointer
Some fraudsters operate from abroad but pretend to be in UK or USA. As they aren't particularly adept at the English language they might use a translation tool like Babelfish to create their emails to you. So, watch out for emails that are not good English. In itself, it doesn't prove anything, there are plenty of genuine eBay sellers for whom English is not their first language. But it might add to further evidence you have.
i) Location Location Location
In the case of lazy fraudsters you might find their locations don't match up. By that I mean the auction says the goods are in the UK, but the seller's ID details show their location to be, say, Ukraine. This is not a good sign. Often in these cases if you contact these sellers you will receive an excuse as to why the item is not in the UK, and therefore can't be collected in person. In short, if an auction says the item is in the UK and the seller says that it is not, I would avoid the auction. And don't forget to cross check with their PayPal account, and see in which country this resides.
j) Ask questions
Always, always ask your seller a question. Any question. Their response, if you receive one, will help you judge how genuine the seller is. Beware auctions that carry a message asking you to contact the seller via a given email address as opposed to via the 'Ask seller a question' link. This could be an account hijacker trying to prevent buyers from 'Asking the seller a question'. They want to stop this from happening because such questions could be routed to the real account owner.
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