There it is. A 5″ x 5″ x 50″ card board box. The 72 hours you’ve been waiting for it to be in your hands has felt like 72 days. You slice through the tape, throw the bubble wrap on the ground and do a little happy dance to the bursts of the pops. Inside was the driver you just ordered from eBay. You can’t wait to get to the range and start driving to the moon.
At the range, all of that excitement is deflated in a single moment. It’s not when you drive the ball 100 yards. That’s actually a little better than normal. It has nothing to do with the slice that nearly took someone’s head off. You’ve been slicing balls like bananas since the beginning. It’s when your buddy lets you know your club is a counterfake! You’ve been duped. You feel dumber than the time you threw your Scotty Cameron in the lake after missing a 2.5 foot putt.
What do you do to avoid the fakes and the scammers? Stop shopping online altogether? Continuing shopping and hope for the best?
I’m going to walk you through 5 ways you can protect yourself and your wallet from the dastardly evil-doers that are polluting eBay.
- Avoid sellers from China
Have you ever searched for a club on eBay and had a listing come up for 30-40% less than what everyone else is selling it for? Does the deal seem too great to be authentic? It probably is. Not all sellers from China are peddling fake clubs, but unfortunately eBay is full of them. Your best bet is to not let the deal of a lifetime leave your wallet dry and you stuck with a junk club.
- Be of weary stock photos
Stock photos are not an absolute deal breaker. Many sellers will use them to list brand new items. There are even some legitimate sellers that use stock photos on used items to save time, but that leaves you buying a club sight unseen. Scamsters will use stock photos for a couple of reasons.
#1 If they took actual photos of the the counterfeit clubs they’re selling, you’d easily be able to compare them to the real thing and see the difference.
#2 Sometimes they’ll list the counterfeit item as used to help make the listing seems less suspicious. It’s as if they’re trying to say “Look at these clubs, someone used these before so they can’t be fake.” Then you get your box and it’s a brand new, unused waste of your time and money. While stock photos shouldn’t immediately send you running, they should tingle your spidey-senses. Use them as a red flag and know that you could be receiving an item in less than expected condition or less than authentic condition.
- Check feedback
“Seller took two weeks to ship.”
“Seller never shipped my item!!!”
“Club is 100% counterfeit!”
You’ve probably seen the above or similar feedback left on sellers accounts. RUN! The items they are selling might be real, but you’re taking a big risk buying from a seller with horrible customer service. You may get your item, but you could be waiting for weeks. Don’t expect them to resolve any issues that may come up without eBay intervening. If you like trading money for headaches, then ignore my advice and spend, spend, spend.
- Avoid sellers without a return policy
No other company I’ve dealt with has a return policy quite like Walmart:
Man: “I’ve worn these jeans for the past two months, but they’re just not working out for me.”
Walmart: “We can accept a return!”
Do not expect that same return policy from other companies. It’s unrealistic. Shopping from sellers with no return policy can be risky, though. If they’re selling an item as is, does that mean it’s been tested at all? Have they done an inspection of the item to see if there are any flaws or defects? If the item arrives in condition other than described, how are they going to handle it? From my experience, sellers without return policies fall into two groups: Scammers and inexperienced sellers. Scammers I don’t want to mess with, and you take a risk dealing with inexperienced sellers.
- Know your rights as a buyer
Item arrived not as described? Seller completely unresponsive? Lots of negative feedback you missed before buying? eBay works hard to protect buyers. Click here to read and learn about all of the policies eBay has in place.
Use the comment section below to let me know other methods that you use to protect yourself while shopping on eBay.