February 29, 2008, Newsletter Issue #127: Resolving Disputes With Online Auctions

Tip of the Week

No one wants to get into a dispute over an online auction. Simple misunderstandings can quickly lead to legal hassles and damaged seller and buyer feedback ratings. The key to resolving such disputes is communication and persistence. Not all problems you may encounter will be the result of fraund -- if fact, most aren't. First, seek to resolve disputes through mediation. See if the online auction site that you are using has a partnership with a site that professionally mediates disputes. If you are using an online escrow service, often they will offer to broker disputes for a small fee. If you do feel that you have been the victim of fraud, it is your duty to report it. Note the fraud on the seller's review section of the online auction site. Notify the online auction site of the seller who defrauded you, and be ready to provide evidence. Note that many auction sites, such as eBay, offer some protection against fraund if you file within a timely manner. Also, contact your local Attorney General's office as well as the Federal Trade Commission to seek legal resolution to your dispute.

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