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Scary Teddy Bear
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I've never bought anything on Ebay before, and I am bidding on a bicycle right now, any advice for a newb to the process?
 

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Bike Wing Conspiracy
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Dont use Western Union for anything!!!!

physasst said:
I've never bought anything on Ebay before, and I am bidding on a bicycle right now, any advice for a newb to the process?
Also, use Paypal if you need to but use a credit card for the money exchange instead of your bank account.
 

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Warning from a friend who got ripped

I've only bought a couple of small things, no problems. A friend says he got badly ripped on a bike sale, though--the bike apparently didn't exist, and he's still hassling with getting his money back. One thing he mentioned was that the photo was a catalog shot, apparently downloaded off the manufacturer's web site. He says he'd be reluctant to buy anything that didn't show a shot of the specific item in the seller's front yard. The usual Paypal-credit card precautions would probably have protected him, but he let the seller talk him into a money order, which is almost impossible to follow up.
 

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Paypal only

ONLY use Paypal (requires a easy credit card sign up). Paypal will cover $1500 if its a scam.
NEVER buy anything withe the terms "email me at this address adn we'll pay with a money transfer".
NEVER buy anything from England (majority of scams have come from here in the past)
 

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Use the "Ask the Seller a Question" function.

Ask the seller a question which can only be answered by looking at the actual bike you're interested in. If the answer from a private individual is "don't really know what you're talking about," "selling this for a friend," or "bike has already been packed," bid with caution.

If the bike is auctioned by a commercial ebay seller ("Help-U-Sell," et al.), asking questions isn't much help. They usually know nothing, and sometimes provide bad information in a misguided attempt to be helpful.
 

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avoid deals where the buyer has to find a place that will pack and ship the bike. this is a real hassle. you win the bid for $600 and you have to find a local shop to pack and ship (usaully a $100) and then convience the seller to take the bike to that shop. seems kind of rude on the part of the seller not to pack and ship as part of the sale.
 

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I've bought 8 or 9 bikes (at least) via eBay, plus various parts and schwag, and I've had only one unpleasant transaction. The scammers and rip-off artists are out there, but you shouldn't let that dissuade you.

I'd say to take sensible precautions, especially those where you have doubts that the seller actually has the item, e.g. where a catalog photo is used or seller can't/won't provide additional info. I always verify that the stated shipping cost includes any packaging or "handling" fees. Check the seller's feedback; while most buyers will leave positive feedback simply to avoid getting negative feedback from the seller, you can usually get a sense for what the transaction will be like from other people's reported experiences. I steer clear of any sellers who go ballistic when a buyer leaves what appears to be reasonable complaints. Unlike some of the other posters, I refuse to have anything further to do with PayPal. I use USPS money orders, and have never had a problem, either on eBay or the RBR classifieds.

Oh, and if you really want the item, be prepared to snipe as the deadline gets close....
 
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