Ok, so you are looking for an item on Ebay. Here is my personal opinion of what kind of things you should look at before making a selection. The first thing that is most important is the Feedback. If a seller has a good feedback rating of close to 100% then they are probably safe to buy from. But I would take a look at that seller by clicking on their user ID (their Ebay name) That will bring up their profile and show you how many sales they have had in 1 month, 6 months and the last 12 months. Take a good look at the numbers. A person that sells 1000 items per month is a lagitiamate business which likely has employees and moves enough product to make me comfortable with them as a seller. A person who has 1000 feedbacks or transactions in one month and has one or two bad marks (negitives or neutrals), is not so bad. One or two transactions with an issue out of 1000 is not too bad. Perfection is always what I strive for and excellence in customer service is what we all as sellers desire. But we are human and sometimes a mistake is made. When that happens Its more important to me to see what they reply to under their bad mark. A seller that doesn't respond to a negitive mark or responds by blamming the buyer is likely not going to be your first choice when choosing a seller for the item you want. Simply stated.... You order and item and want that item on time with no issues. You expect to get what you pay for. I can completely respect that and I feel that most sellers are good and would do the same.
However; If you see a seller that has less than 50 transactions per month, I would be a bit concerned. My first concern is how fast are they going to ship my item. If they have that little of activity then it tells me that this is a person with a computer that has something they are just trying to get some money out of. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but I would definately look into them or try to contact them and just ask a polite question reguarding the item. See how professional they are and how fast they respond. Of coarce if a person like this has less than 50 transaction per month and you are seeing more than 1 negitive or neutral per month..... My advise would be to move on. There are normally many sellers who have the same item for possibly even less. Which brings me to my next point.... Navagation.
When you look for an item on Ebay, simply type in what you are looking for in the space provided. For example if I am looking for the first Mario I would type in "Super Mario Nintendo NES". The click buy it now if you want to make the selection right away or place a bid if you want to gamble a bit and try to get it for a bargain. Now choose the option in the upper section of the left side of the screen above the search results. You will see a box that allows you to select options like "best match" "lowest shipping first" ect. ect. Choose "lowest with shipping first". After you have done that you should see the item that you want for the lowest price first. This is how you know you are getting the item for the lowest price.
The next thing I would check for is the little star next to the listings. If there is not star and no "Top Rated Seller" logo I automatically check those profiles before making selections. Though EBays "top rated seller" rating is a status that may or may not have any berring on how good a seller really is.... In my opinion I try to choose sellers that are top rated. Just as a precaution that I am going to get my item on time and that it will be what they describe.
Sometimes you will run across a bad seller, and this brings me to my final point. There are some bad apples on Ebay. This is why I offer these simple solutions to help you make an informed decision before you put your money out there. Even though Ebay does have a good buyer protection policy and a great "trust and safety team". There will always be those crooks out there that are always looking for something for nothing. And just being careful in your selection of a seller is a good start.
To sum it all up.... Shopping on Ebay can be a very good experience no matter what you have heard. The Biggest thing is making sure that you read the seller's item description and not just the product details. READ THE FINE PRINT...... we all know what that means. Some sellers sell games that are pretty bad and only offer a stock photo. Which is another point... Stay away from stock photos. An actual picture of the exact item you are getting is always a plus. And if you do that and make sure that you know what you are shopping for, then your experience on Ebay should be a positive one. And when it is not..... try contacting the seller. Most of us are honest business people who take great pride in our customer service. Good and Honest sellers want to help you and will take time out of their busy day just to help you to make you happy.
*note* I AM NOT AN EMPLOYEE OF EBAY NO AM I AFFILIATED WITH THEIR COMPANY IN ANY WAY OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT I AM A REGISTERED SELLER. NO ONE HAS PAID ME TO MAKE THIS STATEMENT AND I DO IT ON MY OWN BEALF.