Time-resolved magneto-optics is a well-established optical pump probe technique to generate and to probe spin coherence in semiconductors. By this method, spin dephasing times T_2^* can easily be determined if their values are comparable to the available pump-probe-delays. If T_2^* exceeds the laser repetition time, however, resonant spin amplification (RSA) can equally be used to extract T_2^*. We demonstrate that in ZnO these techniques have several tripping hazards resulting in deceptive values for T_2^* and show how to avoid them. We show that the temperature dependence of the amplitude ratio of two separate spin species can easily be misinterpreted as a strongly temperature dependent T_2^* of a single spin ensemble, while the two spin species have T_2^* values which are nearly independent of temperature. Additionally, consecutive pump pulses can significantly diminish the spin polarization, which remains from previous pump pulses. While this barely affects T_2^* values extracted from delay line scans, it results in seemingly shorter T_2^* values in RSA.