Unfortunately, eBay has a reputation as being a breeding ground for scams. In most cases, confused buyers are really honest people who don't understand how eBay works. Others are crooks looking to get a free item or rip off sellers. Learn how to protect yourself as a seller, and avoid non-paying bidders and item disputes.
Explain your payment policies clearly and completely. Leave no room for "customer interpretation." When is payment due? Are you going to follow through with unpaid item disputes? Click here for all of eBay's payment options.
Explain your shipping policies and schedule. What carrier(s) do you use? How often do you ship? Will tracking information be provided? Do you combine shipping on multiple items?
Adjust your preferences in your eBay Selling Summary and block bidders with poor eBay history. On the Sell Your Item Form, look for a section near the bottom called Buyer Requirements. You can adjust your preferences to block buyers with specific feedback scores, unpaid item strikes, or other factors. Use this screening feature to block undesirable bidders from bidding on your items. Nip that one right in the bud. Click here for the exact steps in Setting eBay Buyer Requirements.
When shipping to US addresses with USPS, always use Delivery Confirmation. With DC, you are able to track the package online and provide proof of its delivery. If the customer files a non-receipt claim, you will have indisputable proof that the item was delivered. Click here for info on using Delivery Confirmation if you are not familiar with how it works.
Always file unpaid item disputes when buyers don't pay for their items. Remember, e sellers can't leave negative feedback for buyers, so our only recourse is to file the unpaid item disputes (and hope other sellers do as well) and those disputes will accumulate on the buyer's record. Too many unpaid item disputes and the buyer receives a NARU. Click here for the steps to file an Unpaid Item Dispute.
Be mindful of the verbiage you use in your written correspondence to customers. eBay can review all of your written exchanges. If you think you are about to be a victim of a scam, simply reply to the buyer in a professional manner, stating what you are and are not allowed to do as an eBay seller, and keep in mind that your message may be reviewed by eBay later. Do everything by the book - follow eBay's rules for sellers. Don't give a crook the opportunity to take advantage of you. Document everything!
Listen to your intuition. If you feel like something isn't right, block that eBay buyer. You don't have to have a reason. eBay says it is ok to cancel bids from unwelcome buyers. If a buyer asks suspicious questions or makes strange requests, you don't have to deal with them. Just block them and move on. Not every buyer with a weird question is out to swindle you, but listen to your instincts and don't work with buyers who make you feel uneasy. Click here for information on how to cancel bids from unwelcome and malicious buyers.
Hope this helps! Happy Selling~