Buyer Protection For Online Auction Purchases

PayPal and other programs provide buyer protection for online auctions. This can help resolve disputes if a product isn't delivered as promised. The problem with this protection is that it doesn't necessarily cover the full price of your bid. Purchases are currently protected for up $1,000, that means if you get burned buying a $2,000 computer, PayPal will only cover half of it.


By Fisher

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July 11, 20060 found this helpful

I haven't heard anything wonderful about their buyer protection. Does anyone have something complimentary to say?

As an alternate, possibly buying something expensive with a credit card might afford some protection. It probably depends on the coverage offered by the credit card co. I'd call the co. first and ask all the , "What if's..." I could think of first.

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By Reality Check (Guest Post)
August 25, 20080 found this helpful

NOT every item purchased through Paypal is covered! MANY are not covered to any appreciable extent! Before blindly purchasing anything on an auction, read the fine print.

As for the Paypal buyer protection policies; there are many different levels and NOT all items purchased through paypal are eligible. You must verify the level of protection offered, IF ANY, for each and every item.


If your item is only covered by the Buyer Complaint Policy; you are covered ONLY if Paypal can get the money from the seller. If the seller refuses, you get screwed. That is the coverage offered on most items. NOT too useful, to say the least. Ebay itself offers a similar "protection". You waste a TON of time and get nothing out of it if the seller doesn't feel like making good on their scam.

The Buyer Protection Policy covers users for UP TO $2,000 reimbursement under specific conditions of failing to receive the item OR it being "significantly different" than advertised. The definition of significantly different does NOT mean items you purchase on an auction are guaranteed in ANY way.

If you purchase electronics or computers through an auction; they will NOT be guaranteed by Paypal as to how they function or if they break at any time. If your computer works for a minute and dies; you're out of luck. It worked and was received as advertised. They will argue that the seller can't be responsible for what you might have done (dropped it, spilled water on it, etc).


An auction is a purchase with no guarantees and you pay TOP DOLLAR for shipping on most items. Be very careful before purchasing anything and if it's expensive and something that could easily break or malfunction; think twice before buying that way.

If you wouldn't buy the item at the same top dollar price at a garage sale (zero guarantee); you probably shouldn't buy it through an online auction. At least at the garage sale you get to handle the item and inspect it before you've paid out a dime and usually you're spending about 10 cents on the dollar for your purchases.

If you buy through an online auction; you pay 100% PLUS high shipping charges based solely on a photo supplied by the seller. Then you have to wait a week or so before you even get to see or touch the actual item. Half the time the seller states the photo is only representative of the item you are bidding on; meaning it isn't even the exact item.


People get so swept up in "winning" an auction (isn't it the seller who wins when they unload their junk?), they bid way beyond what the item is worth and they forget that "shipping and handling" is a BS tax and IS part of the cost of the item. There are always a few extra dollars added to the actual cost of shipping and what for? So you can pay the seller for selling their wares to you? Do you give generous shipping and handling fees when you go to Walmart?

More often than not; it's much smarter to go with a reputable merchant you know will stand behind their products. One with an actual store where you can go and speak with real employees. If you're addicted to online auctions; make sure you read the fine print on EVERYTHING you bid on; BEFORE you bid.

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August 25, 20080 found this helpful

I've been buying and selling on Ebay with Paypal for the past couple of years, so I've had some experience using it. They recently increased the Paypal Buyer's Protection Plan to $2,000! They handle disputes for you (as does Ebay), so when I sold an item that the buyer didn't pay for, Paypal had guidelines to help with contacting the buyer for resolution.


I also had an item I paid for that wasn't delivered that was resolved through Paypal.

Verifications of address, feedback ratings, and research can make using online companies enjoyable for almost everyone!

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By Shari (Guest Post)
August 31, 20080 found this helpful

Good info, but you forgot to mention that PayPal also doesn't cover anything other than 'physical items'. If you order and EBook or a service or something, it's not covered. Believe me; I learned the hard way!

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