While most buyers and sellers on internet auction sites are honest, there is always threat of underlying fraud.
Auction sites have had instances of sellers posting pictures of items for sale, only to include in extremely small print that buyers are only bidding for photo rather than item itself. When photo arrives in post and not product, buyers are obviously outraged.
Steps to avoid online auction fraud 1)Check seller's feedback
One of best ways to judge a seller's honesty is to check his or her feedback. Most buyers will give feedback on a sale, rating seller in seller's Feedback Profile. If feedback is negative, it will be very difficult for that seller to buy or sell anything on that auction site in future. Check seller's feedback and if it is not overwhelmingly positive, do not buy.
2)Find out seller's contact details
Before you enter into a deal, try to establish contact with seller. On eBay you can search information on a member by visiting Find Members page. If you can get a phone number or an email address, you have a better chance of solving any future problems. You could establish contact with buyer by requesting further information about nature of product in which you are interested.
Credit cards are safest way to buy anything online for simple reason that, in case of fraud, most credit card companies will cover cost. Online payment services such as PayPal and FastPay are also popular with auction site users because of their safety. These are account-based systems that send money via credit card or bank account.