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Book Review: Don’t Get Burned on eBay

March 29th, 2009

This article by Deanna Dahlsad is a review of the book Don’t Get Burned on eBay by Shauna Wright. Ebay is one of those areas that I have not delved heavily into except as an occasional buyer of domains or advertising services. The horror stories (including my own experience) about PayPal have effectively kept me away from becoming a “power seller” and trying to make my living through this venue, but it looks like this book could provide some useful tips for avoiding major problems.

Subtitled How to Avoid Scams and Escape Bad Deals, this book covers all the basics of online buying and selling — even if you never use eBay. Covering areas such as bidding, payment, packaging, shipping, problems with other site members, scammers, and the law, this book has the information and practical solutions to help buyers and sellers navigate through the challenges of dealing with e-commerce.

While the personal experiences, facts, dilemmas, problem solving, advice, and step-by-step resources are based on eBay itself, all of the information can be applied to make all online consumers safe and savvy.

Since a good portion of the book focuses on using PayPal (now owned by eBay) and your rights (as both seller and buyer), almost anyone who shops and sells anywhere on the Web will be able to glean something. Even veteran sellers and the most experienced buyers will learn much about who is protected, how they are protected, when you might think you have protection but actually don’t, and what you can do to rectify problems.

Newbies will benefit the most from this book as the author walks the reader through each click to report, file, claim, and request at eBay. And with the free 45-day online edition received with the purchase of the book, information is updated regularly. These updates on changed policies and procedures are a boon for advanced users as well.

The author, Shauna Wright, has been both a buyer and a seller since 1997, earning her the right to staff at eBay’s Answer Center. She also has a degree in criminology and experience as a private investigator. She is also the co-founder of WhoWouldBuyThat.com, which accounts for the book’s light-hearted humorous style that makes the book fun and easy to read.

If you’re a newbie, or perhaps feeling too threatened become a newbie, this book will make you aware of the pitfalls so that you can avoid them — or at least help you get out of them. If you’re an experienced eBayer or other type of online buyer and seller, reading Don’t Get Burned on eBay will have you better prepared to forge ahead.

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