Buyer Beware! Some sellers use fake photographs. For instance it is not at all that unusual for a photograph of a resort or hotel to be doctored in some way (as in the inlaying of a beach scene) or for a very old photograph to be posted (as in a photograph that was taken before the hurricane!)
To make things even more complicated not all sellers with bad photographs are out to get you. Sometimes you are just dealing with someone who cannot take a good photograph or who does not have access to a good photograph. The photo may be too dark or even altered in some way.
If you encounter a poor quality photograph, your best course of action is to try and find another photograph of the destination online. This is easily done by going to Google’s search engine and typing a search into its image database.
If the photo seems deliberately altered you can also read up on the latest news about the destination online. Almost always an altered photograph exists in a location where there has been bad weather or a natural disaster. In some extreme cases, it can also mean that the hotel has not even been built yet or that the photo of a better hotel has been substituted for the one you are looking at.
In any event if you suspect for one second that there is something false about the photograph you can email the seller and ask for a better photograph or more photographs. You can also email or phone the site and complain and ask to have better pictures forwarded to you by email and then make your evaluation of the whole deal from how the seller and the site responds to your request.
Of course one of the problems with buying anything online is the inability for you to inspect the product and this is especially true of vacations. One way for you to protect yourself if you do find yourself winning a bid from a seller with a bad vacation is to print out a copy of the photograph. If it does not at all resemble your destination then you have some hard evidence for your case when you ask the site for your money back for being duped.
So what to do? Before bidding on an item, be wary. First, look at the picture carefully and print a copy for future records in case you get something that doesn’t look like the picture at all. Second, read the description very carefully and try to objectively interpret what is being described as opposed to what you think the seller is trying to describe. If the description doesn’t match the picture or vice versa then you might be bidding on a dud destination.