ebay fraud - Discriminating Taste - Using EBay Buyer Requirements to Avoid Unpaid Items
by Chris Malta
Buyer requirements are the controls you use to limit your exposure to questionable buyers. If you've never had trouble with unpaid items and aren't worried, you may elect not to use them at all. But if you're concerned about selling something, you can turn up your requirements protection and potentially block people that might not pay for the item.
What Kind of Control Do I Have?
According to Clayton Kunz, eBay's Trust and Safety policy manager, "There are different behavior patterns you, as a seller, might not want to take on." You can set your controls to allow or block buyers that fall into numerous categories:
- • Buyers with negative feedback.
• Buyers who have too many unpaid item strikes recently.
• Buyers from places to which you don't ship.
• Buyers who've bought too many of your items recently. (This is for purchases you fear are fraudulent, like someone maliciously trying to take down your listings.)
• Buyers who aren't registered with PayPal. (This doesn't mean you can't offer other options. It's designed to limit bids to buyers who've been verified by PayPal's extensive registration process.)
You can set your buyer requirements in My eBay, and those settings are automatically applied to all your listings. But you can turn those requirements up, down, or off as you make each listing. For example, if you're selling a rare antique and want to ensure you'll be paid, you can turn the protection levels up in your Sell Your Item 3 form as you're creating the listing. Or if you're getting rid of a small trinket of little value, you can opt to turn off all buyer requirements for that listing.
How Do I Know If It's Working?
You can monitor the effect your protection selections are having on your eBay business. An activity log shows you how many bids your settings have blocked. You can also see why bids were blocked, which allows you to determine if your settings in an area are too high or too low. And you can see who is bidding on your site. If you see buyers you feel would be reliable, you can add them to your Buyer Requirements Exemption list, and they won't be blocked from any future auctions. Explains Kunz, "Buyer requirements are a powerful tool. They can protect you from unreliable buyers and help ensure that every sale you make is legitimate and successful."