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Buying items off the Internet can be a pretty unsettling experience. Phonecards Auctions is here to assist you in any way possible. Based on feedback we received from some of our more experienced traders, we've compiled some tips of the trade to make your purchasing experience a pleasant one. All sellers are encouraged to read Tips for Sellers.
Be familiar with the item you bid onDetails will take you a long way when it comes to purchasing an auction item. When considering whether to place a bid, know exactly what you're buying. Read the seller's description of the item very carefully, note what it does not say, and if a photograph is posted, take time to look at it closely. And don't read anything into the description that isn't there!
Don't bid unless you intend to buy. Try to determine the relative value of an item before you bid. There's no guarantee that something is a good deal just because it's on the Internet auction block. If you find a bargain at an auction site, remember the adage about deals that seem too good to be true. They usually are.
E-mail the seller if you have questions or doubts about the autenticity of a phonecard offered. As you know, many fake phonecards exist in collector's market. We at Phonecards Auctions discourage the selling of this kind of cards unless specified in description that they could not be real; but at the same time we haven't any kind of control on items offered so we cannot assume any responsability. You understand also that most phonecards offered here are just collectibles so they could be used, expired, samples, proofs or invalid. This site is not for selling phone services or products.
Check the mail expensesFind out who pays for shipping and delivery. Generally, sellers specify the cost of shipping the item and give buyers the option of express delivery for an additional fee. If postage and handling costs are not clearly stated by the seller, clarify this before bidding on the item. The vague statement, "buyer adds postage and handling to winning bid" could easily mean a $10.00 charge to mail a $2.00 phonecard.
Know the sellerGet more information on the seller, particularly if this is a high-priced item. Check to see how the seller has treated other buyers. Review his/her Phonecards Auctions Feedback ratings page, based on comments by other buyers. This may give you some idea of how you'll be treated, but beware of "shill" testimonials. E-mail the seller if you need more information about the item you wish to bid on. Don't place your bid until your questions have been answered.
Before you bid, find out what form of payment the seller will accept. If the seller accepts only cashier's checks or money orders, decide whether you are willing to take the risk of sending your payment before you receive the product.
Be corteous to other tradersBeing courteous and giving others the benefit of the doubt are essential elements for the Phonecards Auctions community. We ask that everyone treat other traders like you want to be treated and we can't help but to have a pleasant trading community. "Flaming" and profanity are not tolerated on this site.
Do your homework!First, check the current minimum bid price. This is the minimum amount that you must bid. Be certain that you are willing to pay the seller at least this amount for this item should you become the winning bidder. Don't bid on an item you don't intend to buy. Remember that if you're the highest bidder, you are obligated to follow through with the transaction, and placing a bid is a legally binding contract in many states.
Be sure that you have enough time to put in another bid should you get outbid. Auctions close exactly at the closing time, and any bid placed before the auction ends is "legal" on Phonecards Auctions. If you enter a maximum bid amount, the proxy bidding will place bids for you.
Monitoring the auctionThe bid history for an auction gives up-to-the-minute information about the bidding activity for the item. The moment the auction closes, the winning bid history is posted. The winning bidder and the seller's e-mail address are also posted at this time. Phonecards Auctions sends a confirmation e-mail to both the seller and the winning bidder. In the event you do not received our congratulatory note, you may contact the other party using the information posted on the auction.
Contact the sellerAfter the close of the auction, the seller and winning bidder are notified via e-mail. The notice contains the e-mail address so that each party may contact the other. The winning bid history remains on the site in "Closed Auctions" so it is the responsibility of all parties to verify who won. We request that all parties in the final sale contact each other within seven days after the close of the auction. In the event the winning bidder does not contact the seller within seven days, the seller reserves the right to consider void the auction and relist the item, and to leave a negative feedback to the bidder. Save all your transaction information. Print or make note of the seller's identification, the item description and the time, date and price you bid on the item. Print and save a copy of every e-mail you send or receive from Phonecards Auctions or the seller. After you receive an e-mail with news that you've "won" an auction, arrange to pay for your purchase. Pay with a credit card, or with PA Money Transfer utility, if possible, but it's likely that the seller will require payment by certified check or money order or cash. Consider the risk of sending cash by mail if you decide to do so. Often sellers don't take any responsability if they don't receive your letter or the envelope has been opened and the money stolen. If you risk to send cash by mail, at least use registration or insurance.
Don't forget to use feedbackThe Feedback option has a dual purpose. Buyers can read the comments other buyers have entered about a seller; likewise, sellers can read the comments other sellers have placed about a buyer. We encourage all users to leave feedback about your trading experience. Please do not abuse the privilege of posting feedback about others.