How to sell a smartphone safely on eBay UK

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iPhone 5s 5ceBay is promoting the sale of smartphones to sellers, especially consumer sellers who might not be totally experienced in the vagaries of eBay selling.

And it seems some sellers are being stung. Inexperienced sellers are getting ripped off on smartphone sales and eBay isn’t stepping up with their promise of protecting sellers whatever happens and hiding behind the T&Cs of the small print of seller protection. The smartphone selling arena is shark infested as media coverage testifies.

It is a tricky selling area, but most of the problems can be avoided. Here are my suggestions. What would you add?

UK Only
Stick to UK buyers only. State clearly in the listing that you are unwilling to ship overseas and make sure you have all your settings tweaked to reinforce that.

PayPal only
Don’t be persuaded to take any other payment method under any circumstances.

Pack it proper. Picture proof.
Make sure you pack your smartphone and photograph the smartphone as you pack it. Maybe even make a video showing the condition as it goes into your very well packed parcel. Don’t scrimp on packaging.

Ship to a PayPal verified address only
Double check that your buyer is bona fide and that means a PayPal verified address. Don’t be tempted otherwise.

Avoid the switcheroo
This is how several of the reports of problems I’ve read about happen. The buyer persuades the seller to send the phone to an address abroad or a location that’s not verified. Don’t do this. PayPal verified address, in the UK. No exceptions.

Send your phone. Tracked and signed for only
Absolutey make sure that your postage method will satisfy eBay in the case of a dispute. That means tracked. It means signed for. It’s so worth it and for a phone is inexpensive. Certainly way cheaper than a rip-off.

Make no exceptions. Stick to your guns.
As a seller you’re in charge. If you don’t like the cut of a buyer’s gib, say so. Set out all your conditions in the listing to be very clear.

10 Responses

  1. i would add to that, select immediate payment only by paypal if possible (when using a buy it now option). This prevents time wasters and non paying bidders – of which I have found there are a lot of when selling phones.

  2. I have found when selling mobiles/tech on ebay, that collection is best. I have had no trouble this way and still easily find buyers.

    This way I am covering myself and the customer can see the phone is fully working and in the condition stated.

    This is something I do for all expensive phones and other tech bits. However cheaper items I have no issue sending as recorded and signed for. Over the years of selling on ebay here and there I have learnt i HAVE to cover my own back as ebay aren’t any help.

  3. I’d disagree with Paypal only. If someone is willing to pay by Bank Transfer I’d much rather accept that.

  4. Customers Returning different phones or returning the sold phone smashed to pieces.

    This hasn’t been addressed.

    I’ve been a victim and ebay couldn’t care less. They always side with the Buyer no matter what regardless of Feedback.

    I think you should remove the “Pack it Picture Proof” unless you know for sure Ebay will accept it as evidence. Because I can assure you they don’t.

    Perhaps they feel the need to shout about it because people are losing trust and sales of phones are down.

  5. Picture proof is just deluding your self into a false sense of security .
    its no proof at all ,nothing to stop you takinga picture then altering the package or contents

  6. How about a system where buyers have a trust and safety rating in their feedback?

    Non receipt claim? 63%
    Returned goods? 95%
    Reported late delivery? 100%
    Transactions without incident 40%
    Do you want to block this buyer? Yes/ No.

    That would be safe way to sell.


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