User login

Going Once, Going Twice…

(April 2010) posted on Tue May 04, 2010

Tips for successfully sourcing used printers from an online auction house


By JP Pieratt

Purchasing items through an online auction has become increasingly popular—and can be cost-effective—but there is some apprehension among potential buyers, as there should be. Consider these online-auction safeguarding tips from the Better Business Bureau (bbbonline.org):

• Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel comfortable buying or bidding on an item over the Web, or if you feel pressured to place your order immediately, maybe you shouldn’t.
• Be knowledgeable about Web-based auctions. Take special care to familiarize yourself not only with the rules and policies of the auction site itself but with the legal terms (warranties, refund policy, etc.) of the items on which you wish to bid.
• Double check pricing. Whether the product is being sold as new or used, be suspicious of prices that are too good to be true. Also, consider carefully whether you may be paying too much for an item, particularly if you’re bidding through an auction site. You may want to comparison shop, online or offline, before you buy.
• Find and read the privacy policy. Read the privacy policy carefully to find out what information the seller is gathering from you, how the information will be used, and how you can stop the process. If a site does not have a privacy policy posted, you may not want to do business with that site. If it does have a privacy policy, there will probably be a link to it from the seller’s home page, or it could be included with the legal terms section.
• Review the return, refund, shipping/handling policies, and other legal terms. If you can’t find them, ask the seller through an e-mail or telephone call to indicate where they are on the site or to provide them to you in writing.
• Check that the Internet connections are secure. Before you give your payment information, there are various icons and software programs that indicate that security software is in place.
• Print the terms. You should print out and date a copy of terms, conditions, warranties, item description, company information, even confirmation e-mails, and save them with your records of your purchase. Ensure the safe delivery of your item. If you’re concerned about the safety of your package, if there’s no one available to receive it, ask whether you can specify that the shipper must receive a signature before leaving the package.
• Inspect your purchase. Look at your purchase carefully as soon as you receive it. Contact the seller as soon as possible if you discover a problem with it. Tell the seller in writing about any problem that you are concerned with, ask for a repair or refund, and keep a copy of your correspondence.
 


Terms:

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to the magazine.