How can I tell if an eBay Second Chance Offer is legit?
I lost an auction on eBay, darn it, and a few days later got an email from the seller offering me the chance to buy the item for my highest bid as a "Second Chance Offer". I am very leery of these communications because eBay is cool, but it's also a hotbed for fraud in my experience. How the heck can I figure out if the Second Chance Offer from this eBay seller is legitimate?
First off, if the email you got from eBay starts out with the subject line "Message from eBay Member" it's bogus. That's not how real email from eBay is addressed in this instance and you can instantly discard that as a fake.
Regardless, though, I'll say again what I've said before regarding email from eBay or any of the other major sites: don't trust it, don't click on its links, don't take any action that's suggested within the message.
Instead, simply log in to your eBay account, then go to My eBay --> Summary and click on the "Messages" tab:
At this point you should see a message about the Second Chance offer on eBay if it's legit. if you don't see a message here, the email you got was a phishing attempt (for them to steal your eBay credentials) or was the eBay seller trying to complete the transaction outside of eBay, which is not entirely uncommon but is nonetheless a violation of eBay rules.
Never heard of a Second Chance Offer? eBay explains:
"When you send a Second Chance Offer, the bidder receives a message asking if they’d like to buy the item at a Buy It Now price equal to their last bid amount. It’s up to the buyer to decide whether to accept the offer. For example, if the bidder’s last shown bid was $75.31, your offer will contain a Buy It Now price of $75.31."Sellers can opt for this Second Chance Offer if their auction item didn't sell because a reserve price wasn't met, if they have duplicate items for sale or if the winner bidder flakes out and doesn't pay.
In my experience, if it's a legit eBay Second Chance Offer, it's almost always a sweet deal and well worth examining closely.
Good luck and stay vigilant out there!
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