Participating in an online auction is a new game of chance.
There is a good chance that you won’t get what you purchased or a good chance that it won’t be as described. In fact, one survey indicated that about four in ten buyers had problems with their online auction purchases. And, the Federal Trade Commission has just announced that internet auctions were among the top fraud complaints for last year.
A few common sense rules will help you avoid problems. Don’t do business with anyone who won’t provide you with name, address and phone number. Before making the purchase, call the individual to make sure the phone number is legitimate. This is not a guarantee, but at least you will have a real world contact point.
Don’t pay by check, cash or money order, especially for big ticket items such as television sets or computers.
Do go to the FTC website for more excellent advice and a peek at the other top ten consumer complaints for 2004. The address is www.ftc.gov.