How to spot a fake eBay offer

You want to buy a used Mac on eBay? Then open your eyes and use your common sense. We’ll show you some obvious criteria that indicate a fake offer.

In the early days of eBay everything was better of course and everyone was honest ;), nowadays you have to be careful and there are people who make a sport out of it to sell things that don’t exist. eBay also has an eye on it, but of course it is even better if you know in advance which offers are fake.

In our example, the fake offer found is a Mac Pro on eBay Spain. Here are the criteria that should make the alarm bells ring:


Only a few days before the auction ends, but nobody made an offer

First, you might be glad you found the bargain. But then you should use common sense: A fully equipped Mac Pro with a minimum bid of about 1000 Euro? So far, reasonably ok. But only two days left until the end of the auction and nobody else bid? That cannot be true. Sometimes it is possible to get a product very cheaply, but this situation is strange enough that one should look at a few other criteria. After all, the other people on eBay are no dumber than you are.


100% positive reviews, but only about a few cheap items

The first glance should focus on the valuation history of the seller. In this case the 100% positive ratings sound good, but you should smell the roast as soon as you look at what was sold: five times a cheap USB-C adapter.

This is an easy way for the seller to get a superficially good image. Well, it’s not uncommon to sell a few adapters that are superfluous at home. But the combination of short membership time, the five times sale of a current but cheap article and the immediate jump to a 1000 Euro device is strange. At this point you should just walk away.


No reaction to requests, PayPal payment excluded

But maybe you are curious and at least read the item description. This then excludes PayPal payment and only bank transfer will be accepted. Of course, after all, the money would actually gone then and there is no buyer protection.

But ok: we write the seller nevertheless and ask him, why he sells the machine and want to have a little information about its history. There is no reaction? That should not be with a device that is over 1000 euros worth. Even if it would have been a serious offer and the seller refuses to communicate with you before the sale, that would be a reason not to buy.


The offer gets deleted by eBay

All the small hints have hopefully led to you keeping your money and not submitting an offer. One day before the end of the auction, eBay also deleted the ad. eBay always has an eye on it or other users may have reported the suspicious ad. But this is not always the case, so don’t bet on it.


As usual: use your head 🙂

Conclusion of the story: as usual it helps to approach the matter with common sense and to keep the greed for a super deal in check. If a thing looks too good to be true, it’s usually a fraud. If no one else has offered on a great offer yet, you should start thinking about it and also check the other criteria.

We hope this will help you filter out fake offers so you don’t lose your own money.

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