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eBay Hacks by David A. Karp

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Send Payment Quickly and Safely

The best — and worst — ways to pay for an auction.

It’s your money, and you can do anything you want with it. That said, I don’t want to see any of you stuffing dollar coins up your nose or sending cash through postal mail.

Electronic payments have become the most popular method of paying for auctions on eBay, and for good reason—sending money online is by far the safest, quickest, and cheapest way to pay, for both buyers and sellers.

When choosing an auction to bid on or when deciding how to pay for an auction you’ve won, look for any payment method that can be funded by a credit card. Although some people are downright terrified of transmitting credit card numbers over the Internet, credit cards are undoubtedly the safest way to pay online. You can dispute any unauthorized charges with your credit card company with a simple phone call, which is much easier than trying to find out what happened to a check you mailed six weeks ago. Some cards even offer extended buyer-protection services such as replacement insurance.

Sellers choose which payment methods to accept, so make sure you can abide by the payment terms specified in an auction before you bid. If there is more than one of a particular item you want on eBay, look for the seller who accepts the type of payment you want to use.

Warning

Avoid auctions by sellers with overly restrictive payment terms. A seller who accepts only cash and money orders, for example, may have something to hide, or at ...

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