Is it safe to use ebay to buy Microsoft Office 2010?

If you use eBay then you'll no doubt have seen some unbelievable offers for software available on the site. Programs with recommended retail prices of hundreds and hundreds of pounds in regular stores can be bought for a minuscule fraction of the price. However, with piracy so rampant on the internet these days, it's always a risk to put your hand in your pocket when buying software from auction sites.

The problem is that you have no way of knowing whether or not your software is legitimate or a cheap knock off until it arrives at your home. In many cases even then you'll be unable to tell the difference between a copied version and an officially issued Microsoft copy.

Many online resellers of pirated software go to great lengths to ensure that the disk on which it comes looks identical to the official software, making it a tricky task to know whether you've been suckered into funding some shady underground organisation or not.

While it can be a tough position to find yourself in, especially if you desperately need a copy of the software, there are some general rules of thumb to follow if you want to use ebay to buy Microsoft Office 2010, yet you want to know as well as possible that you're getting the real thing.

As with many things in life, the old adage of "if it sounds too good to be true than it probably is" is the best way to stay safe on the internet. Check the recommended retail price for Microsoft Office in your country before going onto eBay so you'll have a reference point. If you find someone offering to sell the program for a ridiculously low price, then chances are that it's a knock off.

If in doubt, use eBay's messaging system to question the seller on the authenticity of the program, and if you are still not convinced don't buy it.

Remember, pirated software not only drives up the cost of legitimate software for everyone, but it is unreliable and can often have viruses buried within the code. So stay safe when it comes to buying your software on eBay.

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