Avoid Online Scams, Fraud & Rip-Offs!

Find legitimate, BBB approved companies,
service providers and shopping sites.

Legitimate Online Auction Sites (BBB Accredited Companies)

Wish to save money, find great deals, buy things at a much lower price compared to their real market value and bid your way to the Promised Land of great bargains?

Using the services of legitimate, honest and trustworthy bidding websites is the best way to avoid the risks of being exploited, overcharged, scammed or ripped off.

This list provides information about online auction platforms approved by the Better Business Bureau, after being thoroughly reviewed by the national consumer organization and successfully meeting all their strict requirements.

Legitimate Online Auction Sites (BBB Accredited Companies)

eBay.com

The largest and most popular
auction site on the web.

Tophatter

A live auction marketplace that connects buyers with sellers.

GovernmentAuctions.org

Aggregates information about federal, state, and local government auctions of seized, foreclosed, surplus and abandoned property, vehicles and other items.

Free trial available.

Worthy

Online auctions for diamond jewelry and brand-named watches.

DealDash

Penny auctions.

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Overview

Online auction websites are web-based platforms that connect buyers and sellers.
These virtual marketplaces are based on the traditional auction concept, which means goods and services are being offered up for bids and eventually sold to the highest bidder.

This competitive process, which sometimes develops into brutal bidding wars, is inherently uncertain, full of ups and downs and may often end in euphoria and excitement or bitter disappointment and sense of defeat – depending on the outcome.

The digital auction market includes many business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) sites.
Some are gigantic platforms that offer ‘everything to everybody’, while others have a narrow focus and concentrate on a specific niche.

The leading auction sites attract millions of people from the U.S. and all over the world.
Consumers range from die-hard collectors, who want to expand their existing collection without breaking the bank to bargain seekers who wish to ‘beat the system’ and put their hands on premium merchandize and highly desirable items for pennies.

Consumer Tips: How to Avoid Auction Scams Online

Just like any other sector that involves shoppers, merchants, and money that switches hands, the internet auction market also has its fair share of scammers, fraudsters and cybercriminals that operate online and look for potential victims.

Scammers use a variety of illegal, dishonest and unethical ways to trick potential victims.
Some sellers post deceiving, misleading or false item descriptions regarding authenticity, condition or true value.

Many scammers use online auctions as a preferred channel to quickly sell counterfeit or “knock-off” goods, stolen merchandize or worthless, damaged products.
Other scammers simply take the customers’ money and do not send them anything.

Fraudulent auction websites and individual scammers may artificially inflate the price on an item by placing fake bids, either from phony accounts or other human accomplices.
Taking these steps will help you find credible and reliable websites to buy from in a safe, secure and satisfactory way:

Check the Seller’s Feedback

When you find an interesting auction, always check the feedback on the individual seller before placing a bid.
Do not buy from sellers with a poor track record or no record.

Check the Website’s Protection Policies

Investigate what type of protection does the site offer against auction fraud or any other scams that take place on their platform.
If the website offers no concrete protection if a problem occurs, avoid using it.

Use Safer Payment Methods

Minimize the chances for fraud by using a credit card, which provides better user tracking options and fraud protection and transaction dispute mechanisms.
Avoid using unsafe methods such as cash or wire transfer.

Investigate the Auction Website’s BBB Record

Check the company’s record on the Better Business Bureau’s website.
What you’ll find there, will help you evaluate whether it’s a legitimate business that deserves your money and trust or if you must look elsewhere.

Look for current BBB rating, customer reviews, complaints, warnings and alerts on their business profile.
Also, learn how long it has been in business – a potential indicator of experience and reputation.

If the website is not even listed with the BBB, this is a very bad sign.
On the other hand, if the auction site is certified as a BBB Accredited Business, it’s an important positive signal.

Pay Close Attention to Red Flags

Learn how to protect yourself better when ordering goods and services on the internet, to avoid scammers and keep safe in general.
Knowing how to check if a website is legitimate or not is the first line of defense.