"Praemonitus, Praemunitus" (PRAY-mont-ee-us, PRAY-mun-tee-us) - forewarned is forearmed (Latin).
Advance knowledge enables one to be prepared. Most buyers are honest and reasonable. However, this is not always true. Below is a summary of security features, safety tips, and online fraud resources for sellers.
iOffer Scam and Fraud Prevention - Tips for avoiding scams and fraudulent transactions
Rating System - The rating number next to all usernames contain feedback ratings left by both buyers and sellers. Evaluate the positive, negative, and neutral ratings. Read the comments left by other sellers. Review the rating chart and the buyer's past transaction history. View item detail pages to 'get the whole story', since pre- and post-transaction communication are publicly displayed.
Non-Paying Buyer - Sellers can leave a NPB (Non-Paying Buyer) rating for unpaid items, after sending 2 invoices and waiting 7 days but not over 45 days after the end of the transaction.
Sellers receive credit for the item's FVF (Final Value Fee) and unused portions of Premium Listing Fees. Multiple NPB ratings can limit, suspend, or terminate a buyer's account. Read the Fees & Credit Policy for more information.
Newly Registered Buyers - New buyers have a low rating number. Although new to iOffer, buyers may have extensive online trading experience and/or using iOffer as a sales channel for an established offline business. Review their profile and store description to obtain more buyer information.
First Time Buyer Verification - Required for new buyers purchasing an item at the asking price to promote safe trading. Buyers are given the option to transfer their rating from eBay or make an offer. Sellers may then accept, counter, or decline the offer.
Ask Questions - Ask as many questions as you want before accepting a buyer's offer. If you don't get a response, are not satisfied with the response, or still feeling uncomfortable, take your business to a different buyer.
Don't Ship Until Payment is Received - Wait until payment has been received, confirmed, or cleared, before shipping any item(s).
Overpayment - Do not accept a check payment exceeding the sale amount. This could be a scam, particularly if the buyer requests a refund for the overpayment.
Insurance - Offer insurance for high value items to protect the buyer and yourself.
Tracking - Tracking confirms the shipment of an item. Some carriers include this feature and others you must purchase. Keep a record of the tracking number if you use it.
Payment Methods - Be careful of buyers offering bank wire transfer payments. Accept cash and personal checks at your own discretion. Be aware that cashier's checks and money orders can be faked. If PayPal is offered, ask the buyer to identify their PayPal account type and buyer reputation number. For international buyers, make sure PayPal is accepted in their country. PayPal also offers a Seller Protection Policy for accounts meeting specific guidelines. See PayPal Help for more information.
Escrow - Escrow services act as the middleman for high priced items, holding the buyer's payment (vs. buyer sending payment to seller) until item receipt and condition is confirmed. Beware of fraudulent escrow services.
Fraudulent Emails & Websites - Never respond to an email requesting account or credit card information. This is called phishing. Do not enter sensitive information onto a spoof website. Always check the URL.
Off-Site Trading - If you sell outside of iOffer--a violation of our policy--you will not have access to our security features. Your will not be able to rate transactions or have the documentation needed after the sale should issues arise. Sellers attempting to avoid our fees through coded email messages, off-site selling site URLs, and low transaction amounts with inflated shipping fees or invalid quantities will risk losing their membership.
Documentation - iOffer retains transaction communication on item detail pages. However, post transaction emails, shipping notifications, payment receipts, and other information may not be documented. Save copies of these documentation in case you have a problem.
Online Fraud Resources
- Local law enforcement (your area and the buyer's area)
- Shipping carriers (USPS, UPS, Fedex, etc.)
- Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov)
- Anti-Phishing Working Group (www.anti-phishing.org)
- Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov)
- FTC Video: How to report scams to the FTC (http://ftc.gov/multimedia/video/scam-watch/file-a-complaint.shtm)
- FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
- FTC online complaint form (https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/)