Jack and I received this e-mail this week:
I enjoy your tips. I have been looking for something like this for a long time and thought it might be interesting.
Google Alert (www.googlealert.com) is a free tracking service that automatically runs your daily Google searches for you and emails you when new search results appear.
I have been using it for some time now with good success.Keep up the good work,
Oh, I know Wallace mentioned it, but if you missed it, the service is free. Check it out!
EBay, the most popular and world famous online auction can be a great way to get things that are impossible to find elsewhere, but it can also be a nightmare when a transaction doesn't go right.
I. like much of the world, have bought a number things on eBay and happily so. If I gave you my eBay username, you would see glowing feedback reports and likewise my feedback for those I have bought from has always been glowing. Jim and I recently sold some wingtips on eBay (from the airplane -- not wingtip shoes) and it was a great experience with positive feedback going both ways.
Then came this week. Jim's eBay purchase did not go so well. Fortunately, we are currently negotiating with the seller in mediation proceedings through eBay's Square Trade service. To say more at this point would be unfair because the seller is working with us at this time. But this incident did prompt me to write about online auctions.
So here are some general things that bear repeating for eBay buyers. First read and follow eBay's Safe Trading Tips. When a package arrives from the seller and it is not what you were promised in the description and/or the pictures, contact the seller immediately. If personal negotiations do not work, go back to the eBay and start working through their negotiation and mediation channels. Do this before posting negative feedback -- save that for when the negotiations fail or when the seller does not respond to the request to negotiate or mediate.
I have some personal online auction rules that have kept me safe so far:
This is not an exhaustive list; and like I said, read eBay rules and follow their recommendations before you bid. I think that online auctions can be one of the best experiences out there, but they can also bring financial loss and heartbreak. Just like electricity, used wisely it's a wonderful thing, but used just a little carelessly and you can really get burned.
Cya next time!
© 2003 Gail Allinson
© 2002 - 2004 by On Computers and the Videotex Services Coalition.