Ebay Archives

Online Buyer Protection is Too Strong.


Let me give you a little background to this article. I am an Amazon and eBay seller, but I mainly sell on Amazon.

Buyer Protection is so strong for online sales it actually can make many businesses (especially small ones) suffer.


When buying on Amazon.com you are protected by three layers of protection.

1) The fear of a seller receiving negative feedback
2) Amazon’s in-house protection called “A-to-Z claims”
3) Your credit card company issuing a chargeback

With these three layers, it is virtually impossible to have a bad transaction on Amazon. For those who do not already know Amazon has three types ways to Buy items.
1) From Amazon.com themselves
2) From Amazon.com Retailers (Small to Large Businesses that use Amazon as a platform to sell)
3) Individuals that sell


Lets say you buy an iPad on Amazon.com for $350 used from John Doe. John doe has 100 feedback and only 1 neutral and 1 negative feedback (98% positive). You receive the iPad and something is wrong with it. You have 14 days to automatically get your money back (you will be required to return the item) through Amazon.com’s  “A-to-Z Guarantee”. You contact the seller and tell them you want a refund – they tell you that they will not refund your $350. Too bad for John Doe the seller. You as the buyer win any and all claims against the seller. You have 14 days (or longer) of receipt of the item to get back your money in virtually any situation. This situation is very unlikely though because negative feedback is a mark of death at Amazon.

If you as a seller receive negative feedback your funds can become locked (normally for long periods of time) and your account goes on probation or is completely banned for life. It doesn’t take much to get in trouble either, many sellers on forums claim they have 99+% feedback on 1000’s of sales but one string of a couple negative feedback resulted in a lifetime ban. Amazon is heavily criticized by sellers for always taking the buyers position on a sales, but for amazon there is no incentive for them not to side with the buyer.

If Amazon sides with the buyer and take the money back from the seller, they make the customer happy and the seller angry. The seller being angry has no effect on Amazon. There is always another person ready to sell, so banning a few people and possibly allowing fraud or theft of the seller’s items does not phase Amazon. You as a seller might have a legitimate case against the buyer, but Amazon would have to hear your case and see your evidence to make a logical ruling, which costs man hours that they do not want to spend. It’s cheaper and better for Amazon to side with the buyer, so they are going to in virtually all situations.

The unlikely event happens, Amazon sides with the seller. You as the buyer are out of luck, aren’t you? Nope. Call your credit card company and make a chargeback. If you are with a major credit card company (Especially AMEX) you have a very good chance (I would guess about 98% chance) of getting your money back. Some credit card companies don’t even ask many questions.

EBay Bucks Close Loophole on Gold Bullion

credit-suisse-gold-barsI have to say, I’m disappointed that I missed this journey. If you are looking to invest in gold Bullion – this might be worth reading.

Effective 10/01/11 – EBay Bucks are no longer offered on gold bullion. You can still however realize 2% cash back on your credit card and gas perks by purchasing gift-cards (Up to $5000 every six months per account).

I personally need to wait until Kroger is offering 2x points per gift card on EBay.

Lets say you invest $2000 through a reputable seller on EBay on Bullion.

$2000 * ($.20 a gallon / $50 dollars) * 12 – 15 gallons =  $96 – $120 cash back from gas perks+ 2% from Credit Card = $136 – $160, which is 6.8% – 8.0% off your bullion. Might be even better if you have a better gas program than my local Kroger. Not to mention if you are smart enough you may be able to get the auction for 2-7% lower than fair market value.

If you get it for fair market value or below fair market value on EBay from a good seller and you planned on buying bullion– Why not? You also get buyer protection through eBay.

This actually sounds somewhat appealing to me as an investor because normally I’m paying a commission on my securities – not the other way around.

I don’t own any gold at the moment, but I have considered it.

The reasons I ‘m not crazy about gold as an investment:

1. Its liquid, but usually only usually if you are willing to take a small discount. Gold is going for $2000 an ounce, but can you actually get $2000 an ounce? Will you end up giving away some percentage in the actual sale of the gold. Will you have to arrange a sale through a third party – its just more work than a stock sale.

2. Need physical storage.

3. Gold gains are taxed as a collectible (28%), which is not as favorable as the long-term capital gain tax rate of 15%.

4. You need to do your research on gold ownership, quality, grade, certificate, etc.

So gold at times doesn’t sound very appealing to me, but if I was able to buy gold for say, 7% lower than market rate by bidding on 30 auctions and winning 1 and get back another 5-7% through rewards – Yes I would be interested in trying it.

I have to believe people were doing this on a large scale back when BigCrumbs.com was active for EBay.  Could you imagine it back in the good old days of Bing.com (For those of you who are not familiar, Bing.com used to offer cash back deals for using their search engine, Microsoft was trying to buy people’s attention and it failed miserably).

I am determined to give bullion + cash back a try. Stay tuned.

I shop on eBay and I am always searching for any way to save money on eBay purchases. To me eBay has always been a numbers game. eBay introduced a program a while back called “Ebay Bucks” and my epic mission to game the system began.

It works like this, you bid and win an auction. After paying for the item, eBay credits your eBay account with 2% back in “eBay Bucks.” These eBay bucks are given to you in quarterly certificates. Oh how delightful, especially for those who have made buying on ebay a business.

I myself frequently buy and resell items I buy on ebay for profit. How do I sell them? Well that’s for another article, but for now you should know that I was buying up to $7,000 a month in “inventory” off ebay.

So lets do the numbers, $7000 * 2% = $140 a month.


Bigcrumbs.com used to be another program to get back 36% of the sellers fees as a buyer. Lets call this a conservative 2% cashback for ebay.  That’s another $140 right? Well it used to be. However Ebay canned the program in mid 2011 and started exploring their own options.

I mean think about it. Bigcrumbs and all of the other programs were just acting as a funnel for already current ebay buyers to get back another 2% while they took a piece. Ebay was right to make this move, although I would have loved to see Bigcrumbs stay active for ebay. Bigcrumbs is still active for many good stores like HP, Kmart.com, Jcpenney.com, Nordstroms, and Sears for example. If you are buying something online – This is FREE MONEY.

So why am I mentioning this? Well when the program with Bigcrumbs ended ebay said they were exploring their own options right? Well they have had several promotions, but this month – its pretty Epic.

7% BACK through Ebay bucks.

First off you need to subscribe to ebay bucks.  Basically you log in your ebay account and click subscribe. Boom, Free money. One note I learned though, you cannot snipe auctions (bid within last few minutes) – For all the details check out the FAQ.

http://ebaybucks.ebay.com/ (signup)

http://pages.ebay.com/rewards/faq.html (FAQ)

I did say 7% right? Well get this. If during checkout of an item you purchase you select “Pay Later through Paypal” you get an additional 5% until the end of October. That is 7%. Wait a second, You said 10%! All these numbers are confusing!

Well here is the additional 3%+. First off, the obvious one. Credit Card. 2% cashback. There are several ways to get 2% which I will cover in a later article, but for now lets assume you have a 2% cashback card. That’s 9%. Note you can simply pay off the Pay Later virtually immediately (have to wait for the balance to show up). Be sure to remember though.

Now for final percentage. Gas Perks. Many people overlook this perk. I myself shop at Kroger (as many do), but there are many Programs. Kroger, Giant Eagle, Biggs, and plenty of local deals. Go to the grocery store and buy gift-cards.

One little secret here. Most credit cards that give back 2% for gas and grocery and only 1% for other purchases will classify these cards as groceries and give you the 2%. Kroger is NOT the best program in the nation – it is actually pretty terrible, but I get .20 per gallon for $50 of giftcards. If you fill up 12 gallons at a time that is $1.20 off for $50 purchased (2.4%) back.

9% + 2.4% = 11.4% or more if you have a bigger tank. If you are a shopper at giant eagle, it would be double the perks – and would be 13.8% cashback.

There are some details you need to know.

First, you can only use $5000 worth of ebay giftcards per account per 6 month period.


Gas Programs vary a lot, Kroger’s is actually VERY restrictive. They only let me get up to $1.00 off per fill up. ”

You need to have at least .01 that is put on the paypal pay it later. You cannot use giftcards completely. Therefore if your bill is $107.15 you need to use $100 of giftcards and put $7.15 on the pay it later.


I made a personal purchase that I will also share with you.


I bought a rebel t2i, body only for $464.99. Used Priced on Amazon – $516.99($509 +7.99 shipping.)

$464.99 – $31.64 (7% of the price minus shipping) – $9.29 (2% cashback on credit card) – $13.50 (450/$50 gift cards = .90 per gallon off x 15 gallons)

$464.99 –$54.43 = $410.56 — $106.43 off vs. best amazon price.

I know what you are thinking, that’s a big ticket item so it looks very dramatic. You are right, but you know what would look even more dramatic? $5000 gift cards in a single transaction.. say a used car, real estate, or other high priced item.




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