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A few tips that should improve the chances of a good deal

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Here are a few tips that should improve the chances that your online auction experience will be a good one:


1. Price of the item on offer. Is the price of the item a bargain or is it unrealistically low? If in doubt do a Internet search for going prices.


2. What is the seller's rating score? Are there many negatives?


3. How long has the seller been a member of bidorbuy? Example: Has the seller signed up just the day before?


4. Is this a week-end listing asking for 24 hour payment? With item 3., above, mind, does the seller want to conclude the deal in an unreasonably sort time frame - i.e., is the seller hasty" to conclude the deal?


5. Is this a new seller selling a high priced item from day one?


6. Use a credit card. When a consumer uses a credit card, the bank that issued the card acts as an intermediary if there is a problem with the transaction, and allows the consumer to charge back an unauthorized or erroneous charge.


7. Is the seller bidorbuy verified? The buyer has some recourse if the seller is verified, to a certain amount, with certain conditions attached. Do a search on the auction site to see the definition of a verified seller.


8. Consider using an escrow service for expensive purchases that are not covered by insurance or bonding. Some sites off online escrow services and allows consumers to deposit money in trust with a company that holds money until a consumer receives the goods that were purchased in an auction. If there is a dispute, the escrow service may act as a referee.


9. Ask about delivery, returns, warranties and service before you pay. Get a definite delivery time and inquire about the the shipment being insured. Ask about the return policy. If you are buying electronic goods or appliances, find out if there is a warranty and how to get service. Note: The advert may be on the bidorbuy auction and you win or buy the item. This does not mean the seller is logged in at the same time. After winning/buying, give the seller reasonable time to get back to you.


10. Study consumer feedback (ratings) section of the seller's profile. These areas contain reviews of seller practices by previous customers. Be aware that positive reports may have been “planted†by the seller and negative comments could be from a competitor. Negative information is a good warning sign, but a clean complaint record does not guarantee that your transaction will go smoothly.


11. Be especially cautious when dealing with sellers in other countries. If you have a problem, the physical distance, difference in legal systems, and other factors could make resolving it very difficult. We have excellent overseas sellers on the bidorbuy auction site with good track records. Once again, check their ratings and if still in doubt, consult the members on the forum.


12. Get the name and contact information of the seller after the deal. The name, physical street address, email address, and phone number are helpful to have for checking the seller out and following up later if there is a problem. Do not do business with anyone who refuses to provide that information.


13. Rate the seller only after you have received the item. Think carefully before rating and be honest in the rating you give. The seller may rate you as soon as the money is cleared on his side. You must rate the seller as soon as you receive and have inspected the goods. Do not "revenge rate" the seller if the goods do not live up to your expectations. If there is a problem, try to resolve it without acrimony. (definition: harsh or biting sharpness especially of words, manner, or disposition). It is amazing what can be accomplished if all keep a level head. Note: the rating system is between you and the seller - bidorbuy will not intervene unless it is an exceptional case.


14. Try mediation to resolve disputes. Not all problems are due to fraud. Sometimes people simply fail to hold up their side of the bargain in a timely manner or there may be a misunderstanding about something. See item 13.


15. Inform bidorbuy immediately about suspected fraud. They have policies to remove sellers from their sites if they don’t live up to their obligations.


Study the listing (advert) carefully Read the conditions stated for payment and delivery. Save the listing as a favourite in your IE browser so that you may refer back to it at any time. Look for any questions that may have been asked about the listing. Ask questions. If the seller does not answer your questions, regards this as a yellow warning flag.


And finally, ask questions about the seller on the Community Forum if still in doubt...

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