If you purchase and sell items regularly on eBay you surely had your share of auctions that did not go as well as intended. Most of the times it's just items that are send with delay or money transfers that go wrong. Sometimes however you run into fraudulent content which can be easily recognized by experienced eBay users while beginners may have a hard time distinguishing between legitimate auctions and those that are not.
The eBay Auction Inquisitor analyses auctions for the user. The user has to provide an auction id which is visible on every item page on eBay and the program will analyze the auction and the seller running 25 tests.
This includes seller sale history, seller feedback, Return Policy, Payment and Feedback Tests.
A list with results of all tests is generated and presented to the user with a final analysis that displays passed, unclear and failed tests. What I really like about the software is that it is easy to use. The only user input that is required is the item id.
The report is well structured and adds some well placed advise; for example it gives the advise to compare the previous sold items with the item currently on auction to make sure the seller did not sell inexpensive items and switched suddenly from cheap to expensive ones. The latter could be an indicator of something fishy going on, for instance that a hacked account is being used by criminals.
Experienced sellers probably do not need the Auction Inquisitor but it is definitely a nice addition to new sellers, especially when it comes to buying expensive items on eBay. The tool is available for Windows and Mac OSX
Auction Inquisitor can be downloaded from the developer website. The program has not been updated since 2008, which could indicate compatibility issues with recent versions of the eBay marketplace.
Update: The application is no longer available, the developer website has been abandoned. Probably the best thing that eBay users can do right now is to vet sellers manually when they are interested in auctions.
Here are some pointers:
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.