Sell safely on eBay
Take advantage of eBay opportunities, stay safe and avoid the fraudsters
When most people think of eBay they think of collectors and car boot sales, but the famous auction site is good for business too. In fact, 10,000 companies in the UK make a living solely on eBay.
�10,000 companies in the UK make a living solely on eBay.�
Back when I was running my games company, we had a basement full of redundant stuff. Some of it was quite valuable - old phone exchanges and almost-new computers. Today, all that would have gone on eBay, helping the bottom line and clearing the space for something more useful.
However, eBay is also useful for selling what you make, whether it's clearing out excess stock or selling online to a huge market without the hassle of setting up your own e-commerce store. Think of it as affordable e-commerce website hosting.
We've all heard horror stories of people being ripped off on eBay and so I asked Garreth Griffith, head of trust and safety at eBay UK, how companies can succeed and protect themselves on his site.
He advises businesses to start by putting themselves in the customer's shoes for a minute. It's all about trust, so think about what a customer needs to do business with you:
Then we moved on to how to protect yourself as a seller. "The main risk for businesses is being targeted in some way by fraudsters or malicious buyers," says Griffith. Be very wary of offers and deals that seem too good to be true. Don't ship goods until you are certain - absolutely certain - that you have the payment.
�You can exclude bids from countries you don't ship to or buyers with negative feedback.�
Use eBay's buyer requirements tools to control who can buy from you. For example, you can exclude bids from countries you don't ship to or buyers with negative feedback, unpaid item strikes or who aren't signed up with PayPal.
You should also watch out for email and other phishing scams. This is especially true in businesses where more than one person has access to the company account. So control access and educate employees. Make sure your computer is fully protected against viruses and so on.
Finally, Garreth had a few tips about making life easier on eBay:
However, Garreth saved the most important bit of advice to last: "eBay is a lot of work to do properly. It takes more effort than people think." You need to plan ahead and think about security as well as business to make the most of it.