Is eBay Safe? (+17 Safety Tips For eBay Buyers and Sellers In 2023) (2023)

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Is eBay safe?

That’s the question eBay buyers and sellers want to know before using the popular auction website.

It’s an understandable question with so many scams and untrustworthy people online.

The answer?

eBay is safe, but like anything else, including banks, online shops, and even government websites, it’s not 100% secure — you should take extra measures and practice common sense in order not to get scammed.

In this article, I will give you 17 safety tips to make using eBay a joyful, profitable, and enjoyable experience.

Let’s get to it.


  • What Is eBay?
  • Can You Get Scammed On eBay?
  • Is It Safe To Use A Debit Card On eBay?
  • Is It Always Safe To Buy On eBay?
    • Stick To The eBay Website For Business
    • Read Product Descriptions Carefully
    • Contact The Seller With Any Questions
    • Read eBay CustomerFeedback
    • Look At The Seller’s Rating
    • Always Use PayPal
    • Be Specific With Your Selling Description
    • Check The Delivery Costs
    • Returns Details
    • Gut Instinct
  • Safety Tips When Buying A Vehicle On eBay Motors
    • Compare Prices For True Value
    • Be Wary Of Excuses
    • Be Careful Of False Emails From eBay Scammers.
    • Know Your Rights
    • Ask In The eBay Support Forum.
  • Is eBay safe? Final Thoughts

What Is eBay?

Is eBay Safe? (+17 Safety Tips For eBay Buyers and Sellers In 2023) (1)

eBay is an online auction website where you can buy and sell almost anything. Cars, clothes, stationery, books, outdoor equipment, home improvement, and electronics are just a few of the many available products.

You can sell used and new products. You can list them as an auction sale or a buy-it-now (or even both). How does it work?

  • You upload images of the products.
  • Write a description, including price, dimensions, shipping costs.
  • Then it becomes available to buy on the website.

eBay has become a vast website over the years, and according to Fundera, they have over 182 million users and 109 million visitors each month.

(Video) 10 eBay SCAMS You Should Know About!

Can You Get Scammed On eBay?

Is eBay Safe? (+17 Safety Tips For eBay Buyers and Sellers In 2023) (2)

As mentioned above, it’s not 100% safe.

You can get scammed if you’re not careful, so it’s vital to have your wits about you when using the website.

Don’t get me wrong, eBay isn’t a shady shop in a rough area. On the whole, it’s a fantastic resource with trusting people, eBay seller protection, and buyer protection too.

But still, you need to be aware of a few things when using the website.

Is It Safe To Use A Debit Card On eBay?

It’s not the preferred method, but using a debit card on eBay is as safe as using a debit card on any website. The risks are minimal. As long as you keep the device you’re using to access the internet updated and free from viruses or spyware, you should be fine.

Is It Always Safe To Buy On eBay?

It’s safe to buy on eBay in general, but you couldn’t say it’s always safe because sometimes you might get a seller advertising a product that’s not as it seems or a seller selling a product with no intention of sending the product.

However, please don’t be too alarmed because there are ways to avoid this, which we’ll address next.

17 Safety Tips For eBay Buyers & Sellers

Below is a list of 17 tips to keep you safe while buying and selling on eBay. The first 11 are generic tips for anyone, while the last six tips are for those buying a motor vehicle on the platform.

Stick To The eBay Website For Business

Be very cautious if anyone asks you to make the sale or purchase away from eBay. You might get approached via a message or email asking you to do this to avoid fees, but be aware that you will lose your buyer’s protection, and it could very likely be a scammer.

It’s also against the website’s terms and could get you banned from using eBay in the future.

Read Product Descriptions Carefully

Always read the description of a product before purchasing. Some scammers will use sneaky measures to trick buyers into buying something that’s not as it seems.

For example, take a look at the listing below:

Title: PS5 For Sale (Great Low Price)

(Video) Forget eBay! Here Are 6 Better Alternatives To Sell Your Stuff Online

Description: Get your hands on this PS5 box for half the price you would pay anywhere else.

Can you see the scam?

The seller is making it sound like a PS5, but it’s just for the empty box! Reread the description if you missed it.

This example is extreme, but always be careful and read the product description before buying.

Contact The Seller With Any Questions

If you have any questions about the product, contact the seller and ask questions. A good seller should be knowledgeable about the item and more than willing to offer good customer service.

Reach out to them if you have any doubts.

Read eBay CustomerFeedback

Is eBay Safe? (+17 Safety Tips For eBay Buyers and Sellers In 2023) (3)

eBay allows past buyers and sellers to leave feedback on other people’s accounts. The input can be to praise or criticize them over past dealings with that person.

Always read the feedback and make sure that it’s mainly positive.

Look At The Seller’s Rating

Is eBay Safe? (+17 Safety Tips For eBay Buyers and Sellers In 2023) (4)

Each seller will have a rating next to their name. Those with a higher rating are the most trustworthy members. I wouldn’t buy a product from a member who had less than a 95% score on eBay.

In addition to the seller rating, you also see a star rating; the more stars they have tends to mean a higher level of trust.

Always Use PayPal

When possible, you should stick to PayPal when buying or selling. You will get PayPal seller protection, an eBay money-back guarantee, and you can raise disputes with both companies if a problem occurs.

But if you really want an alternative, we made a guide on how to sell on eBay without PayPal.

Be Specific With Your Selling Description

This tip is for those selling a product.

Write your descriptions in as much detail as possible to avoid anyone asking for a refund or accusing you of misleading them. Unfortunately, you may come across a buyer who will use the product and ask for a refund for something out of your control.

For example, they buy a product and want to return it months later.

Make sure you state everything in detail, including returns, damages, and descriptions of the product.

(Video) Should You Sell On eBay Or Amazon In 2023?

Check The Delivery Costs

A seller could price a product respectively but then rip you off with high delivery costs. Some sellers do this as a marketing trick. It can still be a decent deal, but you need to be aware of those who are blindly charging too much money overall.

Returns Details

You buy an item from a seller and decide to return it because it’s not what you wanted. Unfortunately, the seller says it’s past the seven-day return date when you return it.

The seller is trying to scam you.

The eBay guarantee is 30-days from the estimated delivery date, so be sure to raise a dispute if this happens.

Gut Instinct

Is eBay Safe? (+17 Safety Tips For eBay Buyers and Sellers In 2023) (5)

If something doesn’t feel right about a deal or product, it usually isn’t. If it seems too good to be true, it probably will be, so trust your gut and walk away in most circumstances.

For example, if an item is 80% cheaper than other listings on the site, ask yourself why and walk away most of the time.

Keep Receipts For Delivery & Shipping

Keep your eBay transaction receipts and all recorded delivery and shipping cost details. Then, if you get a scammer trying to tell you that you never sent the items, you can show them the proof that you did.

And if the query is genuine, you can contact the courier service and show proof that you sent the items — and get compensation.

Safety Tips When Buying A Vehicle On eBay Motors

Is eBay Safe? (+17 Safety Tips For eBay Buyers and Sellers In 2023) (6)

The last few tips are for those buying a vehicle. Although purchasing a motor vehicle on eBay motors is relatively safe, you need to be aware of additional scams.

Compare Prices For True Value

Before purchasing a car on eBay, it’s a good idea to compare prices for similar vehicles on third-party websites. Doing this will determine if you are getting a good deal.

A common scam is to try and overvalue a vehicle, so use websites such as We Buy Any Car to get the proper valuation. You can also look at auto trader websites and car showrooms.

Be Wary Of Excuses

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If you ask for a vehicle inspection or history report (you absolutely should, by the way) and the seller starts making up excuses, walk away from the deal.

Any trustworthy seller should be willing to provide these reports and also be willing to let you inspect the vehicle before purchasing.

(Video) eBay Talk - 1099 Issue - Dealing with Returns - Your Reselling Q&A

If they make excuses about not meeting you at the address the car is registered to or reasons not to use sound, trustworthy payment options, again, walk away.

Be Careful Of False Emails From eBay Scammers.

Is eBay Safe? (+17 Safety Tips For eBay Buyers and Sellers In 2023) (8)

Look out for bogus emails from the seller pretending to provide a vehicle history report or anything else to do with the vehicle.

Check the email address online to see if it’s a genuine one, and be prepared to make a few phone calls to relevant departments to check things out.

Know Your Rights

You need to be aware that both eBay and PayPal offer no protection for vehicle sales, so always proceed with caution.

Search online for common faults on the vehicle and check them out before purchasing. If possible, ask a mechanic to check the car for you — you are within your rights to do this.

A popular eBay scam is a seller telling you that you have 14-days to change your mind, and you can claim a refund within this time. This is a common scam, and you have no right to cancel within a timeframe, so don’t proceed with the sale and report them.

Avoid Escrow, Western Union, Cash Payments, & MoneyGram

Western Union and MoneyGram aren’t allowed on eBay, so be conscious of this when buying. I would also avoid escrow payments, and if paying cash, never hand the money over till all your checks have been completed.

Ask In The eBay Support Forum.

If you have any doubts, contact the eBaycommunityforum for advice. There’s a lot of support on the forum, and you will likely get some good advice.

Is eBay safe? Final Thoughts

Is eBay Safe? (+17 Safety Tips For eBay Buyers and Sellers In 2023) (9)

If you’re asking the question, ‘Is eBay safe?” then overall, yes, eBay is pretty darn safe, but you still need to be careful to avoid common eBay scams. Use the tips in this article to help you out, and if something seems too good to be true, it usually will be.

Finally, always use PayPal, ask questions, be wary, and contact support if you’re unsure.

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How safe is eBay for sellers? › is as safe to use as any ecommerce website, as most people who sell items on eBay do so honestly. eBay also protects the use of your credit card through its online transaction services, and has money back guarantees. eBay is one of the oldest and most popular online marketplaces for reasons such as these.

How do you know if a buyer is scamming you on eBay? ›

What scams should you look out for as an online seller?
  1. Buyers claiming the item never arrived.
  2. Item faulty or not as described when it was sent in perfect condition.
  3. Being asked to send to a different address from the one listed on eBay/PayPal.

What should I be careful of when selling on eBay? ›

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling on eBay
  1. Not Taking Original Photos. ...
  2. Not Listing the Product's Flaws. ...
  3. Not Responding to Messages and Offers. ...
  4. Miscalculating Shipping. ...
  5. Not Selling Internationally. ...
  6. Setting the Wrong Auction Start Price. ...
  7. Forgoing Product Categories and Description. ...
  8. Forgetting to Leave Feedback.
Mar 1, 2022

What are the new eBay seller rules? ›

This is an account-based limit. New sellers have a selling limit: up to 10 items with a total value of up to $500 per month. This means that, during the month, you can list or/and sell up to 10 items for a total of up to $500.

How do I protect myself as a seller on eBay? ›

How to avoid eBay scams
  1. Never accept checks as payment. ...
  2. Always complete transactions through eBay's official channels. ...
  3. Document everything. ...
  4. Along with photographing everything, try to record any identifying details about the item. ...
  5. Always arrange for a tracking number for any deliveries you send.
Jun 28, 2021

Will eBay protect me if I get scammed? ›

Buyers and sellers are subject to the eBay Money Back Guarantee or other buyer protection policy (if available) of the site where the buyer completed checkout, regardless of the eBay site used to list the item or the registration details of the buyer or seller.

How can you tell a fake buyer? ›

While the situations are not exactly the same, they presented some common red flags. The red flags that may help identify a fake buyer are: The buyer only makes contact via email and/or text message. The buyer is willing to trust an agent they found on the internet without having a conversation or meeting in person.

How do you know if a buyer is scamming you? ›

6 Signs Your Cash Buyer is a Scammer | 2-10 Blog
  • The buyer seems to be taking a blind leap. ...
  • The buyer seems overly eager to share financial details. ...
  • The buyer makes an error. ...
  • The buyer is unprofessional. ...
  • Things don't add up. ...
  • The buyer has few, if any, references.

Which is safer Amazon or eBay? ›

Which is Safer, Amazon or eBay? E-commerce can be a risky business, but overall, Amazon may have more safeguards in place because you don't have to interact with your customers. Amazon handles the payments to the seller. However, both Amazon and eBay have many safeguards in place to protect their sellers and customers.

What not to sell on eBay? ›

Prohibited and restricted items
  • Adults only.
  • Illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.
  • Embargoed goods.
  • Firearms and accessories.
  • Government items.
  • Hazardous materials.
  • Items encouraging illegal activity.
  • Lockpicking devices.

How much can you sell on eBay before they report to IRS? ›

Your sales on online marketplaces like eBay are considered reportable income once they are over a certain amount. Because eBay processes payments for these sales, IRS regulations require us to issue a 1099-K for US sellers who sell $20,000 or more in 2021 and $600 or more in 2022.

Does eBay report sellers to IRS? ›

For tax years prior to 2023, the threshold is more than $20,000 in gross sales plus more than 200 payment transactions on eBay. For tax years beginning with 2023, if you have third-party payment transactions totaling more than $600 then you should receive a 1099-K form reporting this income to the IRS.

Who is the top seller on eBay? ›


Can you still make a living selling on eBay? ›

The average eBay seller earns about $35,000 per year. Some top earners make as much as $70,000, and many earn just a few thousand per year. It all depends on how much inventory you can sell, the price of your items, and any extra expenses that you incur like shipping materials.

What is eBay new policy 2022? ›

As of January 1, 2022, the threshold was lowered to $600 and marketplaces like eBay are now required to report gross payments totaling $600 or more in a calendar year, with no transaction minimum.”

How do you protect yourself as a seller? ›

How to Protect Yourself When Selling Online
  1. Protect your personal information. ...
  2. Limit communication channels. ...
  3. When selling locally, stick to in-person transactions. ...
  4. Only accept payment through approved methods. ...
  5. Take extra caution with shipping. ...
  6. Take advantage of seller protections and guidelines.

Is there a such thing as eBay buyer protection program? ›

Generally speaking, eBay Buyer Protection is a promise to shoppers on the U.S. eBay site—— that eBay will intervene in disputes between buyers and sellers to rectify issues when the seller has failed to act adequately to resolve the dispute.

Is everyone on eBay a scammer? ›

eBay is a legitimate shopping resource, and most people have good experiences while using the site. However, there are many eBay scams that you need to watch out for to protect yourself. Whether you buy or sell on the site, you should know about major eBay scams so you don't become a victim.

Is it safe to use a credit card on eBay? ›

Your buyers will be able to pay safely and securely with credit card, debit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal and complete their entire transaction on eBay, with the option to save and store their payment information for future use.

How do you know if a buyer is serious? ›

How to Know if a Home Buyer Is Serious
  1. They've been pre-approved for a mortgage. ...
  2. They make a legitimate offer. ...
  3. They have hired a Realtor. ...
  4. They know the local housing market well. ...
  5. They spend time touring the home and asking appropriate questions. ...
  6. They have already listed their current place. ...
  7. They follow up after an open house.
Jun 4, 2019

Are there fake sellers on eBay? ›

Fake listings may appear on eBay and other trading sites. They're either for non-existent goods that never arrive, or fakes that aren't worth the bargain price. Scammers can even hack an account with decent feedback and take it over. They sell goods quickly, then move on to another account.

Can you get scammed by a buyer? ›

Scammers can pose as both buyers and sellers, trying to scam you out of money or items you might be looking to buy or sell. Once you pay for or send an item, it is gone. As a buyer, you may be tricked into paying for a product or service that may not exist or is never delivered.

What are the red flags of a scammer? ›

Look For These Tell-Tale Red Flags
  • You are contacted out of the blue. ...
  • You are required to send money upfront in order to receive a prize. ...
  • You are asked to send money via a wire transfer or “reload pack.” ...
  • You are asked to provide personal or financial information. ...
  • You are asked to keep it a secret.

What is the most common way to get scammed? ›

Common Scams
  • Advance Fee Scams. ...
  • Tech Support Scams. ...
  • Phishing. ...
  • Emergency Scams. ...
  • IRS or Government Imposter Scams. ...
  • Foreign Money Exchange Scams. ...
  • Counterfeit Cashier's Checks. ...
  • Bogus Debts.

Who usually gets scammed? ›

Most Common Scams by Age

Americans ages 18-24 fell victim to fake check and money order scams, most whereas Americans 65 and older were most commonly victims of tech support scams.

Is eBay safer than Craigslist? ›

Stay Safe

In short, always listen to your gut and always meet the other seller in a public place whenever possible. So yes, eBay doesn't involve meeting up with strangers. Beyond that, eBay is also the safer option when it comes to your financial security -- and that's an important consideration as well!

What app is better than eBay? ›

15+ Best eBay Alternatives to Try in 2023
  • Shopify.
  • Amazon.
  • Etsy.
  • Bonanza.
  • eBid.
  • eCrater.
  • Facebook Marketplace.
  • eWorldTrade.
Feb 1, 2023

What are the risks of eBay? ›

The risks
  • Fraudulent buyers claiming refunds from PayPal by claiming non-delivery, goods not as described or received damaged.
  • Not being paid for items that have been despatched.
  • Being paid with a fraudulent or stolen payment card.

What gets you banned from eBay? ›

Holds, restrictions, or suspensions are usually placed on accounts for one of the following reasons: You have eBay fees to pay. You need to reimburse eBay for a refund it made to your buyer. You have violated one of eBay's rules or policies.

What things sell fast on eBay? ›

Anyone can choose a product to sell, become an eBay seller and start selling on the platform.
  • Cables. Sell-Through Rate: 38,680% ...
  • Men's Clothing. Sell-Through Rate: 17,700% ...
  • Fragrances. ...
  • Computers. ...
  • Car Phone Holder. ...
  • Wireless Charger. ...
  • Necklaces. ...
  • Supplements.
Jan 24, 2023

What is the most profitable thing to sell on eBay? ›

Best Things To Sell On eBay
  • Used Cell Phones. Used and refurbished cell phones are a hot category on eBay that generates over $144 million dollars per year in sales. ...
  • Luxury Watches. ...
  • Toys And Action Figures. ...
  • Computer Accessories. ...
  • Baby Items. ...
  • Collectibles. ...
  • Sports Cards. ...
  • Musical Instruments.

What is the 1099 limit for eBay 2023? ›

This information will also be reported to the IRS, as required by law. As of January 1, 2023, the IRS requires eBay to provide you with a Form 1099-K if your sales exceed $600 during the 2023 tax year.

Is selling personal items considered income? ›

Whether you sell items only online or not, the IRS and most states see any income you earn from these sales as taxable. Whether or not you will owe taxes for selling personal items, goods, or services online will depend on several factors, including whether you made a profit.

What can I write off on my taxes if I sell on eBay? ›

You can also claim any losses from your eBay business as deductions to reduce your income. Other deductions include inventory costs, shipping fees, eBay and PayPal fees, travel expenses, software, as well as office expenses.

What is the $600 tax rule for 2023? ›

Under the law, beginning January 1, 2023, a TPSO is required to report third-party network transactions paid in 2022 with any participating payee that exceed a minimum threshold of $600 in aggregate payments, regardless of the number of transactions.

Does everyone get a 1099 from eBay? ›

Starting on January 1, 2023, IRS regulations require all businesses that process payments, including online marketplaces like eBay, to issue a Form 1099-K to sellers who receive $600 or more in gross payouts.

What happens if I sell more than $600 on eBay? ›

You pay taxes on your profit, not on what you sell. If you sell more than $600, you will have to report what you sold and your profit, if any, on your taxes. You have always been obligated to report and pay taxes on your profit. The new law just makes more people comply.

What is the best selling day on eBay? ›

A listing that lasts one day and starts on Monday at 7 p.m. will end on Tuesday at 7 p.m. For this reason, it's a good idea to think about starting and ending times together. Aiming to end in the evening, and on Sunday evening in particular, is usually an effective strategy for generating the highest bids.

What used items sell best on eBay? ›

7 Best Categories for Top Selling Items on eBay
  1. Clothing & Accessories. Clothing and accessories categories are ones to master. ...
  2. Health & Beauty. The beauty industry is growing yearly, reaching $511 billion in 2021 alone. ...
  3. Fitness. ...
  4. Jewelry. ...
  5. Pet Supplies. ...
  6. Mobile Phones & Accessories. ...
  7. Cameras & Photos.

How much does the average eBay seller make? ›

How much does a Seller make at eBay in the United States? Average eBay Seller yearly pay in the United States is approximately $139,962, which is 129% above the national average.

Is it worth it to sell on eBay anymore? ›

Is it profitable to sell on eBay? Definitely! You can sell unwanted things laying around your house, or if you want to make it into a legitimate business, many sellers have found success. Don't expect overnight success though, as with any business it takes time and effort!

Where can I make money selling my feet pictures? ›

Sites like, and Instafeet are dedicated to the trade, or you can grow an audience on traditional social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

How to sell on eBay 2023? ›

How to sell on eBay for beginners in 2023
  1. Step 1 – Create an account.
  2. Step 2 – Learn the basics. Listing types. How much does it cost? ...
  3. Step 3 – Fill out your profile.
  4. Step 4 – Set up your store policies.
  5. Step 5 – Choose profitable products to sell on eBay.
  6. Step 6 – Create and optimise your listings.
  7. Final thoughts.

How do I avoid paying taxes on eBay sales 2022? ›

If you are selling used items for less than the original cost, you won't have taxable income.

How much can you sell on eBay before you get a 1099 in 2022? ›

For 2022, you'll get a 1099 form if you: Made at least $20,000 in eBay sales. Had at least 200 sales transactions.

How much are eBay seller fees 2022? ›

Starting on March 1, 2022, final value fees for Store sellers will increase 0.3% in most categories. For example, sellers with a Basic and above eBay Store who sell in the Home & Garden category will see an increase from 11.7% to 12.0%, a difference of 0.3%.

What percentage does eBay take from a seller? ›

If your item sells, eBay keeps a portion of the sale. This final value fee for most categories is 12.9% of the sale price or lower, plus $0.30 per order. Tip: Listing more than 250 items per month?

Is being a seller on eBay worth it? ›

The final fee that eBay takes for most categories is approximately 12.5% of the sale price, as well as $0.30 per order. Is it profitable to sell on eBay? Definitely! You can sell unwanted things laying around your house, or if you want to make it into a legitimate business, many sellers have found success.

What are the downside of selling on eBay? ›

The disadvantages of selling on eBay
  • The commissions and fees for selling on eBay are higher than other online sales platforms, thus reducing profits for sellers.
  • If you use the auction model, you will need to constantly monitor the items you're selling, and reactivate them if they expire without receiving any bids.

Do eBay sellers see your credit card number? ›

We'll secure your card and won't share your card details with the seller. If you'd like us to save the card details for your next purchase, select Remember this card for future orders. Review your order, including your shipping details.

How much does eBay take for a $1000 sale? ›

15% for the portion of the total amount of sale up to $1,000. 6.5% for the portion of the total amount of sale over $1,000 up to $7,500. 3% for the portion of the total amount of sale over $7,500.

What amount does eBay report to IRS? ›

For 2022, the IRS requires eBay and other online marketplaces to report total sales exceeding $20,000 and 200 transactions on Form 1099-K. Use the Form 1099-K that eBay sends to you when determining whether you have taxable income from the sale of goods.

What is the maximum eBay selling fee? ›

Sellers with a basic eBay account pay a final value fee between 2% and 12.20% for most items (with a $750 maximum). The final value fee is 14.6% for books, DVDs, movies, and music up to a total price of $7,500, and 2.35% on the portion of the price over that amount.

How many people are leaving eBay? ›

both SELLERS and BUYERS are leaving EBAY in there MILLIONS. Annual active buyers declined by 9%, for a total of 147 million global active buyers. Annual active sellers declined by 8%, for a total of 17 million global active sellers.

Do I get taxed for selling on eBay? ›

If you sell and buy articles on eBay in order to earn money, the IRS will likely classify your sales activities as a business. This means you will have to report net income from eBay sales.

Can your credit card get hacked on eBay? ›

Beware the scammers on eBay or they may steal your credit card detail. … without you even noticing your money is gone! It's easier for e-sellers to fall prey to cybercriminals than you may think.

Do eBay sellers see your email address? ›

In the majority of cases, we don't share buyers' personal email addresses. We replace email addresses with aliases for buyers and sellers to hide personal contact information. When you communicate, your email appears like and is sent through our secure platform.

Is eBay linked to your bank account? ›

To receive payouts, you'll need to link your checking account to your eBay account. It's important to make sure that the names on both accounts match. It's also important to make sure that your account type on eBay matches your checking account type.


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