Don’t make the same mistake I did…

Anti-virus software and a major problem to guard against

PLUS: How to sell your eBay goods way above what any sane person is willing to pay

Today I want to reveal problems I experienced this week that were entirely avoidable: I don’t ever want you to encounter anything similar.

Let me begin by updating you on that computer I ordered a few weeks ago, the one a very well known courier company said they had delivered, but in fact they hadn’t. The computer did actually turn up – a week later than expected and via an altogether different carrier with the packaging in terrible condition. But worse was still to come and it gave me two sleepless nights and panic attacks for several days.

In a nutshell, what happened was this: as I was installing anti-virus software and Microsoft updates on the new computer, I very stupidly did something I have many times told my readers never to do: I downloaded what I thought was a genuine programme, in this case Google Chrome, then I began using the computer.

Within minutes, and going on for several days, there were advertisements popping up all over the screen. I turned a blind eye to them all, believing my anti-virus software would eliminate all possible threats.

Then my husband began using the computer and said ‘What’s that ‘B’ in the middle of Google Chrome’s logo down there?’

That is when the penny dropped: I realised I had innocently downloaded what is called ‘malware’ – a very intrusive programme that can destroy files and steal essential personal data, like financial and personal details, and also eBay, PayPal and other-website passwords.

I looked into my programmes folder and found more than 12 malware programmes, including one called ‘BoBrowser’, the one using a logo that resembles Google Chrome with just a few tiny exceptions, including that ‘b’ at its centre.

My husband and I spent hours trying to remove those programmes, but as fast as we removed them, more appeared in their place. Eventually, with more than 200 suspicious programmes in the system, I turned off the computer and looked for expert help.

Why didn’t my anti-virus software detect the problem and prevent me from downloading the rogue Chrome programme? It’s because malware isn’t always infected, as such; just majorly disruptive and potentially very damaging: that is why many anti-virus programmes will find and remove viruses but not always malware.

The long nightmare ended for me using a free malware detection and exclusion programme from

The free trial takes just minutes to remove all malware programmes and the paid-for version will keep your computer malware-free. It cost me £20 to activate my free download and clean up my wonderful new computer and I can honestly say it’s one of the best investments I have ever made.

Please go do the same.

How to sell your eBay goods way above what any sane person is willing to pay

I’m going to tell you now about people who will pay way over the odds for something you are selling, just to make sure they get their hands on that item and stop someone else buying it instead.

As an eBay seller, that sort of thing happens to me every day, and once you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll be no stranger to receiving top-whack prices for items you purchase for pennies or low pounds at boot sales and flea markets.

Before I reveal how to make this idea work for you, let me tell you about something that happened to me more than 40 years ago: something I have regretted every day since.

It happened at the Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham, at a flea market where a dealer had a massive selection of vintage topographical postcards from my own collecting area, namely towns and villages close to Peterlee, where I lived at the time.

I had £20 or £30 in my purse, enough then to buy a fistful of average-price postcards. I bought what I wanted and was about to leave for home with enough money left to pay the rent for the week ahead.

That is when I spotted two identical real photographic postcards depicting the interior of a long-gone railway station in a nearby village. I had been looking for this view for years!

I had enough money to buy one of the cards, but if I bought the card I would not be able to pay the rent. What should I do?

Well, I’m not one for avoiding my debts, and there was a second card available, so I asked the stallholder where he would be the following week. Then I set off for home, confidently expecting to see at least one of the cards at next week’s flea market.

But, I never saw those cards again: not at the following week’s flea market, not on eBay, and nowhere else!

That is why, faced with potentially losing an item I really want to own, I will jump at the chance to buy it in future. I will hand over my money right away. On eBay, that means hitting the ‘Buy It Now’ button faster than you can say “Give the rent a miss this week”!

My experience is mirrored by other collectors desperate to own a particular item and willing to pay ten or more times what the item is really worth.

For obvious reasons this idea works with unusual or unique items, like antiques, art and collectibles, but not for mass-market products available aplenty on eBay.

You can locate suitable high-profit items by researching eBay daily, to find recently completed auction listings for art, antiques and collectibles. Auctions represent the very highest finishing prices and sometimes dozens of bidders.

All you have to do is jot down the highest prices paid for items with the highest bidder numbers. Then you go looking for similar items at boot sales and flea markets and priced less than half the amount paid for those items recently on eBay.

You get the item home, recheck its potential on eBay, then list it in your eBay shop with a price at least 25% higher than the recent highest finishing price for a similar item on eBay. Use a fixed price listing and add ‘Buy It Now’ and ‘Best Offer’ to the mix, then wait.

Within days you’ll begin receiving ‘Best Offers’, some derisory, some pretty close to what you will eventually get.

Be courageous and refuse all early offers less than 10% below your own fixed price. Do so for two or three weeks, because there’s always someone willing to pay a silly price for something they can’t live without. If your item remains unsold after three weeks, accept the first offer exceeding the highest recent finishing price for a similar item.

Now wasn’t this a strange eletter? It both focussed on a big problem you no longer need to encounter, as well as revealing an easy way for you to generate handsome profits on every item you buy to resell on eBay? Enjoy!

This article first appeared on Auction Genie. Read more and comment here