I've put my old iPhone 4 on eBay for sale and someone has contacted me asking to buy direct via Paypal and therefore cut out all EBay fees. The price he is offering is around what I would hope to get at auction.
Can someone more clued up on this let me know if there are any drawbacks to doing this? Do I loose any protection against a fraudulent claim of the item not being as described etc if EBay aren't involved?
no you can't do it - against ebay rules to do off ebay sale. If the buyer were to pay by bank transfer you would be safer than paypal, but it isn't permitted.
make sure when you do sell it your buyer is verified with paypal and make sure you send with proof of delivery to the registered address. Never accept paypal if cash on collection and keep a note of the IMEI number plus it is worthwhile security marking the phone.
Good suggestions from fergoose. Also, technically you ought to report that buyer as they are breaking eBay rules by even suggesting it. Had someone suggest it to me once and my mum pointed out how do you know eBay don't occasionally test people's responses? A touch paranoid but if they did find out somehow you'd likely get barred from using it in future.