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eBay is great place to shop online with great discounts

“As an eBay Partner, I may be compensated if you make a purchase”

Bidding on items on eBay can be an exhilarating experience. Watching as the timer counts down to ensure that you have the winning bid is exciting and rewarding. But you can get burned on eBay if you aren’t careful and observant. Read on after the jump to learn how to buy safely and successfully on eBay

Finding the Right Item

Register for an eBay account. You’ll need an account to bid on items and track your purchases. Creating an account is free, and only requires a name and email address. In order to buy, you’ll need to enter contact information.

Find an item that interests you.

 Search for the item or type of item you are looking for in the Search bar. If there are a lot of returns, try refining your search using the Advanced Search tool.

If you don’t know exactly what kind of item you want, you can browse eBay listings by category to see all of the items listed.

Learn all you can about the listing.

 When you find the item that interests you, read the listing completely. Does it tell you everything that you need to know? Is it clear, detailed, and easy to understand? Does the listing tell you if the item is new or used? If these things are not clear, or you have questions, e-mail the seller and ask for clarification.

What the seller tells you becomes part of the sale deal and provides a reason for return if the seller misleads you. It is better to be aware of everything than to throw away money in the hope the item will live up to your expectations.

Research the item through other sources.

Check product listings and other web sources to ensure that what is described in the eBay listing is what you are looking for. Many products have similar models with different features, so it pays to be well-informed about the product you are looking at.

Use the photos. 

If photos are provided, look closely at them. Are there any features that stand out? If you can enlarge the photos, do so. There is also no harm in e-mailing the seller for extra photos if desired, along with any questions you have about the images.

Pay extra attention to the condition of the item in the photos. Are they only showing the picture of the box? You should be able to see the condition of the item in detail.

Check for shipping and handling prices.

 This is a trap for many buyers. The item seems like a great price — until the shipping and handling costs are factored in. If they are not displayed, e-mail for the costs to your part of the world. Also be aware that some sellers will not ship to some locations.

Check the seller’s feedback. 

Overall feedback and comments are a good reflection of the seller’s good faith, successful previous sales and even speed of shipping. Anything above 95% is usually an indication that the seller is good – some negative feedback is to be expected in the world of sales and may simply be a reflection of a difficult customer or someone who had expectations that were unrealistic.

Check how many transactions the seller has performed. While it may not be wrong to do business with someone with only a few transactions (they may be new!), you are more likely to receive good service from sellers that have performed a large number of sales. A seller with a lot of sales will usually process your order faster and work to ensure that you are satisfied.

Check payment methods. 

PayPal is one of the most common payment methods on eBay, as payments can be processed immediately. If you don’t have a PayPal account, it is recommended that you set one up before you begin bidding to make the process smoother.

Listings in red will be completed listings.

Decide if you want to buy immediately. The “Buy it Now” option allows you to purchase the item for a set price instead of having to go through the bidding process. For rarer items, using the “Buy it Now” option may actually save you money if a bidding war starts.

Be sure to check the average price for the item you are purchasing. If you use the “Buy it Now” option, you may end up paying more than it’s worth.

Leave feedback. 

The entire eBay system revolves around buyers and sellers leaving feedback for each other after the completion of a transaction. Leaving feedback for sellers after a transaction is considered good etiquette. Use the feedback to let other buyers know if the seller is reliable. 


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