There aren't that many scammers on eBay - but the ones that are there tend to be greedy. This means they always try to pull their scams on high value items like cars and computers so they can make a quick buck. Since buyers usually buy these items infrequently, they may not be aware of the various scams. Automated scams.
With cars, you'll often find that scammers will try to get you to send them money up front for whatever reason. Some people for some reason are not at all reluctant to pay 50% or 25% of the shipping money using a rather insecure payment method, especially for a car. They claim that of course the seller will deliver because they want the other half of the money. But there was no car! Car photos are not hard to find and experienced scammers have entire photo libraries of different cars. The seller just got your $5000 for nothing and you can leave all the negative feedback you want. They just go and open another eBay account and find their next fool.
Although not outright a scam, you will find that the car was returned but did not match the description - it was resold, following the tradition of used car dealers over the years. If this happens to you, you should open a dispute with eBay and say that your item is not as described - you may get a partial refund. Computer fraud. If you bid on a computer auction but don't win, the seller may send you an email asking if you'd like to buy a computer like the one they're selling through their own website. This is a bad idea! You have no guarantee the item will arrive and you're not giving them your money - you're also giving them your credit card details.
There are sellers with nothing but positive feedback who use this scam regularly - and since you can't leave them feedback on a transaction, their reputation will stay that way. If you complain to ebay that you bought something off site and were scammed, they will tell you to leave and never do it again. How to beat scams. There are many ways to combat fraud. First of all, if you are buying something expensive, be sure to carefully check the reputation of your seller.
Make sure they have sold similar high value items before and not just sold a bunch of $10 items to get an artificially high feedback rating. If you want to be extra careful, insist that the money is held in escrow (eBay recommends escrow.com - don't use any service if you're not sure). In fact, it's usually not a good idea to use eBay to buy things like cars and computers to begin with - you can get them anywhere and the discounts aren't that big anymore. For rare, special items that you can't find anywhere else, you're better off using eBay. The following email will give you some tips on buying collectibles.