By now you should know: checking the feedback on eBay, or the votes released by users to sellers and buyers after the conclusion of a deal, is essential to avoid scams and scams within the famous e-commerce platform founded by Pierre Omidyar. But were you aware that some scammers “trick” their feedback to increase their credibility on eBay and attract new victims? No? Well, now you know!
If you spend a few minutes of your free time, I will explain how these scammers do to inflate feedback on eBay and, more importantly, I will show you how to protect yourself from malicious people through this practice (which of course is pursued by the same e-commerce site ) manage to perpetrate scams to users.
So, I intrigued you and now you would like to deepen the subject a little more? Perfect! Make yourself comfortable, take all the time necessary to concentrate on reading the next paragraphs and, more importantly, implement the advice I will give you. By doing so, you will avoid being misled by false feedback and you will be able to buy on eBay in a serene manner. Enjoy the reading!
Techniques for inflating feedback on eBay
Scammers use various techniques to inflate feedback on eBay. Below I illustrate some of the most common, so you can recognize them and avoid falling victim to some scam.
Release positive feedback to yourself
One of the most common techniques for making up for feedback on eBay is to give positive votes to yourself. Since eBay simply buys or sells a product to release feedback (no matter what type of product you buy or its price), the scammer signs up for eBay (usually creating a fake profile) and sells and / or buy many products of low value and price.
Within a few months, or even a few weeks, the scammer reaches an adequate number of positive feedbacks making himself so credible in the eyes of his potential victims. And it is here that he implements the most important part of his diabolical plan: he publishes ads with high value products (usually selling them at unusually cheap prices), pockets the money of the unfortunate users deceived by the inflated feedback and then disappears in the nothing.
Extend positive feedback to other users
Another technique used by scammers to inflate their feedback on eBay, consists in extorting positive votes to other users. In other words, the scammer threatens to leave negative feedback to his buyer (or his seller), if the latter does not issue positive feedback.
In other cases, the scammer could buy, sell or even negotiate positive feedback. Should someone force you to leave positive feedback against your will, contact eBay immediately to report the incident.
How to recognize inflated feedback on eBay
After seeing some of the techniques used by scammers to fix their feedback on eBay and trick users, it is time to understand how to recognize inflated feedback to avoid being scammed. I already anticipate that just use some simple tricks – for example, check the date of registration of a user – not to be deceived. Find everything explained in detail in the next lines.
Check the registration date of a user on eBay
One of the first steps you can take to figure out if a feedback is faked or not is to check a user’s registration date on eBay. If a user has been writing for a few days or a few weeks but already has a high number of positive feedback, it is likely that this is a scammer: stay away! It is better to address those who have built a good reputation over the years, proving that they are truly a reliable and honest user.
To check the registration date of a user on eBay, click on the seller’s name located in the Seller Information section (if you use the eBay web version) or in the Seller info section (if you use the mobile app): on Web version of eBay, you can find this data next to the word The user [name of the user] (Country: name of the country) has been registered on eBay since [registration date]. From mobile, however, you can view the seller’s registration date immediately below his name, next to the User name from: [date of registration].
Check the feedback score
Another way to be sure of the reliability of a user’s feedback is to check the score, which is the number in brackets next to his name (located at the top of the profile). The higher the score assigned to the user, the more likely there are that it is reliable and that, therefore, its feedback is true. On the contrary, if a user has a low score, it is better to stay away: it could be a scammer or, in any case, an unreliable user.
In addition to feedback, you may also see a star symbol. eBay assigns a yellow star to achieve at least 10 positive feedbacks and, as the score is increased, the star changes color to become a falling silver star for scores above 1 million! Therefore, looking at the color of the star next to the feedback score will make it easier for you to understand if a user is reliable or not. Below you can find the legend in which the meaning of each star is explained.
- Yellow Star – the user received 10 to 49 votes.
- Blue star – the user received 50 to 99 feedback.
- Turquoise Star – the user received 100 to 499 ratings.
- Purple Star – the user received 500 to 999 votes.
- Red Star – the user has received from 1,000 to 4,999 ratings.
- Green star – the user received from 5,000 to 9,999 feedback.
- Yellow shooting star – the user has received from 10,000 to 24,999 ratings.
- Turquoise shooting star – the user received 25,000 to 49,999 votes.
- Falling purple star – the user received 50,000 to 99,999 ratings.
- Red falling star – the user received 100,000 to 499,000 feedbacks.
- Falling green star – the user has received from 500,000 to 999,999 ratings.
- Silver shooting star – the user received 1,000,000 votes or more.
Read the comments issued by users
Another aspect that you should not neglect to verify the truthfulness of the feedback of a seller or a buyer is to read the comments released by users. Often, in fact, comments can highlight critical issues (especially negative ones), which are not deductible from mere numerical scores. I know, it takes patience to read the comments made by other users on eBay, but I advise you to take the time and the trouble to analyze them in detail because they are extremely useful for getting a realistic idea of a user’s feedback.
To view comments from users, click on the seller’s name in the Seller Information section (if you’re using the eBay web version) or in the Seller info section (if you’re using the smartphone and tablet app). Then click on the entry See all Feedback and scroll down the list of comments released.
More tips to avoid scams on eBay
Paying attention to the feedback on eBay by following the “tips” I mentioned earlier, as useful, is not enough to avoid running into scams and scams. In fact, there are many other aspects to which we must pay the utmost attention, such as those listed below.
- Carefully analyzing the insertion – reading the explicit conditions in the listing is of paramount importance to avoid problems. Also appeal to your common sense: if a latest-generation computer is offered at an unjustifiably low price in the listing, it is very likely that this is a scam.
- Check the accepted payment methods – since many scammers prefer to receive only cash payment, by money order or by PostePay top-up, checking the accepted payment methods can give you a clear indication of the reliability of a user.
- Pay with PayPal – this is the safest way to make payments on eBay. In fact, if something goes wrong – you do not receive the product, it has defects not indicated in the description, etc. – You can use the so-called PayPal Program for the protection of the buyer, which allows you to be reimbursed even the full amount of a purchase made, including shipping costs incurred to receive the product. For more details about the PayPal Program for buyer protection, visit the support page on the PayPal website.
If you want to have some more details on how to avoid scams on eBay and how to prevent online scams, do not hesitate to read the tutorials I have dedicated on the subject. I am sure you will also greatly appreciate these further insights.