EBay's Feedback System - Worthless?

  Old Un 11:21 08 Nov 2005

I recently bought a Tom Tom Go 700 satellite navigation system on eBay for £435 (Buy It Now). The seller had a positive Feedback of 432 with no Negatives or Neutrals. On the strength of this I paid him by direct bank transfer which was the only method of payment acceptable to him. I didn't receive the navigator and reported the matter to eBay who assured me he had been removed from their listings but 5 days later he was still selling 6 units per day and had not been removed from their listings at all. The seller was a scammer and had generated the 100% Feedback himself by selling advice on “How to make money on eBay” for 1p a time. The point that I wish to make is that eBay's Feedback System is totally worthless and you should not take it at face value but scrutinise it thoroughly. I will never take any notice of it whatsoever again. There are also dozens of other people out there who have been tricked and lost their money to this confidence trickster.

  PaulB2005 11:44 08 Nov 2005

"direct bank transfer which was the only method of payment acceptable to him"

Bank transfer - straight away that should have said NO!

  €dstowe 11:59 08 Nov 2005

I don't use eBay myself but I know an awful lot of people who do and they are all satisfied with what they get.

It does appear that there are some scammers around and, as PaulB2005 stated, the non acceptance of conventional payments methods should have aroused suspicion.

Much as PayPal is maligned, it is a safe system with a built-in insurance policy.

As for the feedback system, well, it's just an exchange of platitudes most of the time as people are afraid of writing anything negative in the fear of getting a similar feedback in return, even though their behaviour has been exemplary.

  spuds 12:28 08 Nov 2005

I recently saw a number of similar GPS device's being offered [I was seeking a GPS system]. Looking at the information on the site alarm bells soon began to ring [very loudly].The seller was registered in Germany in 2002 and there was a very good feedback rating for the person. My observation was that the good's were located in Beijing China. Email to seller for further clarifications, but received none. eBay did send me an email about the possibility of the sellers credentials, and that their identity could have been used.

I have purchased many things via eBay, mostly on a weekly basis, and I can say that I have only had about three bad experiences. These transactions have turned out fine in the end due to taking the necessary safeguards,like using PayPal or making a personal collection on cash deals.It always pays to read,then double read whatever is on offer, as some people may and will take advantage of the unwary.

My eBay activities do not just involve the UK,I have made successful purchases from the USA,Hong Kong and Germany on more than one occasion.So a little foreword thinking, and obey ebays published security suggestions, then all should be fine.Never ever transfer funds or send cash, and always throw suspicion on the eBay email that offers special once in a lifetime deal.

  roisin dubh 17:07 08 Nov 2005

I sell items on a regular basis on ebay and have a feedback rating in the 400's. I agree with what has already been said, limiting the payment methods to direct bank transfer should have set alarm bells going, same as the notoriously abused Western Union money transfer that appeared in ebay scamming stories in the national press last week. An honest vendor would offer as many payment options as possible for ease of customer use.

Most of my customers (80-90%) prefer to pay by the ebay owned paypal where there is some recourse if the vendor is a bit "Arfur Daley". Although it does carry a premium that the vendor pays it seems to be the most popular way and to be honest I prefer to pay that way myself.

The thing with the feedback system on ebay is it can be abused as you found out. With expensive purchases it's best to go through everything with a fine tooth comb (including reviewing the items in the feedback list) Plus if anything smells even remotely sardine like (like limiting payment methods, for which there is no valid honest reason imho)wwalk away.

  PaulB2005 17:15 08 Nov 2005

I've just looked at a few of these people and one had 90% positive feedback. Most of the feed back was the same poorly written english phrases like "You suit the action to the word and still do very good" & "Hope us to cooperate the colleague over a long period of time" attributed to 8 or 9 different people.


Payment method:

2.Bank wire transfer
3.Western Union money transfer
I do not accept the PayPal

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