Ebay Buying Tips

What appears to be a bargain, may not be. I love eBay, in fact, I sell and buy on eBay. I have learned the hard way to not get into bidding wars. Do your research on the item or items you are interested in, decide ahead of time what you are willing to bid and stick with that amount. A couple times I have paid more then I wanted, just because I got caught up in the last minute bidding. Now, I do my homework on what a fair price is for the item I want and put my best bid in and leave it alone. If I do not win that item, there will eventually be another listed and I can try again.

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If you are selling items, always give a detailed description of your item, charge fair shipping and answer all questions sent to you before the auction ends. Take good quality pictures of your item and start at a low opening bid with no reserve.

Have fun, and happy bidding.

By Bobbie G. from Rockwall, TX

July 24, 20080 found this helpful

I am an ebay Powerseller, your tips on bidding are great advise. I'd also like to include that if something looks too good to be true price wise, it might be. If you are purchasing expensive items make sure that the seller can be trusted. Check the feedback scores by clicking on the feedback number itself and check the number of items sold vs items purchased (these numbers are added together and are the feedback score). Also check the detailed seller ratings. Make sure the description, is lengthy and describes everything to a tee, and make sure the pictures show you details like label tags on expensive goods like Coach, Dooney & Bourke...etc. AND most important be educated on the item you are purchasing.

Also for a little fun, try searching for the item you want by mispelling the brand name of it. I got a new Brother laser fax for the starting bid of 49.99 (MSRP $199) because the auction title was listed as brohter.

Cheers and Good Luck!!!

Christine

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July 24, 20080 found this helpful

All you eBay sellers, I'd just like to say one thing. <b>Please ship promptly, and please be responsive to buyers.</b> Five years ago, eBay was a fairly friendly place and not much bad happened there. But now we continually hear horror stories of phony feedback, hijacked accounts, nonexistent items sold, etc. Even if you do your homework and deal only with reputable sellers through proper channels, you can still be burned.

With all that in mind, buyers who have paid for the items they won need to hear from you, the seller, immediately with either a tracking number for the shipment or an estimated ship date. The last few times I've purchased on eBay and paid immediately, the seller has left me twisting in the wind for a week or more and wouldn't respond to my e-mails. These sales turned out okay in the end, but only after I had a week or two of nail-biting while the seller ignored my e-mail inquiries.

It's gotten so that I'm not sure I'll ever buy on eBay again. Not worth the stress, and sometimes not worth the waiting, either.

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July 24, 20080 found this helpful

All you eBay sellers, I'd just like to say one thing. <b>Please ship promptly, and please be responsive to buyers.</b> Five years ago, eBay was a fairly friendly place and not much bad happened there. But now we continually hear horror stories of phony feedback, hijacked accounts, nonexistent items sold, etc. Even if you do your homework and deal only with reputable sellers through proper channels, you can still be burned.

With all that in mind, buyers who have paid for the items they won need to hear from you, the seller, immediately with either a tracking number for the shipment or an estimated ship date. The last few times I've purchased on eBay and paid immediately, the seller has left me twisting in the wind for a week or more and wouldn't respond to my e-mails. These sales turned out okay in the end, but only after I had a week or two of nail-biting while the seller ignored my e-mail inquiries.

It's gotten so that I'm not sure I'll ever buy on eBay again. Not worth the stress, and sometimes not worth the waiting, either.

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July 24, 20080 found this helpful

Eeech!!! I just set up a paypal account so I could buy on Ebay. Now I see all this! I usually go to Amazon and buy things from there and it is great! The used things are super and a lot of things come in brand new packaging even tho they say 'used'. I just be sure I buy from the 97% and higher ratings. So far, so good! I try not to 'look' too much as I am sure there would be tons of things I 'need' that I would find!

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Anonymous Flag
July 24, 20080 found this helpful

When selling some items, they should definitely be sold on 'reserve' . You wouldn't want to sell crystal items or china dishes and perhaps only receive a couple of dollars for these valuable items.

Also, keep in mind that there are fees to post for the first auction, free to re-post if not sold thereafter, so you might want to keep in mind cost of time and effort for each sale.

The advice given here of what to check out about the seller when you wish to purchase is excellent!

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July 24, 20080 found this helpful

If you get caught up in last-minute bidding wars, it may help to decide beforehand the maximum you're willing to bid and then using a sniping site like www.auctionstealer.com to place your max bid for you in the final few seconds of the auction. The free service of the site doesn't have as many features as the for-pay service, but it's still quite useful for folks who only use Ebay occasionally.

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July 24, 20080 found this helpful

When I sell, I just put up the reserve price a bit and then give 'free' shipping. I like to see that when I buy. Also when I'm snooping around to see what I might bid on, I use 'sort by lowest price+shipping' to start.

For fun, I like to 'sort by highest price+ship' to look at big fat diamonds and that sort of thing. Jets? Yachts? it's all there. Free to windowshop.

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July 25, 20080 found this helpful

I but have not bought much on ebay. One thing I have found is that in some categories some sellers have a large number of one or two particular items (e.g.computers) so they are there everyday. You can check their creds and compare prices and ultimately make a real good buy without the angst of an auction.

Also, you might check the website Slickdeals.com where readers post news about deals they have found;there has been a lively discussion about utilizing a 10% to 25% cash rebate available from Live Search when using Paypal on ebay; that particular avenue may have expired but new deals arise weekly.

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January 22, 20120 found this helpful

All excellent advice. I too sell and buy on ebay. My best purchase was a snail ring for 8.99 that was Swarofsky crystals and I got free shipping. Why? Because it came from another country where the value of our dollars is different.

The worst was 4 yards of fabric I paid 16.99 for and never got. Most of you know I am a crafter. I make ladies pins out of all sorts of things. Imagine my excitement when I found fabric that had ladies shirts on it, four different designs and about 1.5" square, for a total of 150 pins at 2.50 each. By the time I had to file a claim, she had cancelled her account and I never saw any refund or fabric.

And another thing is don't let those high numbers fool you on their feedback. One seller was over 10k and yet she sent me 4 yards of fabric in an overstuffed envelope that broke open and the exposed fabric was dirty. She never even bothered to put it in a plastic bag much less an appropriate package.

So yes, be careful when you buy and sell.

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January 22, 20120 found this helpful

I, too, am an eBay seller and buyer. As a seller I echo the previous thoughts about thorough descriptions, great photos and reasonable shipping rates, and learn how to prepare your items for shipping.

My biggie pet peeve; how something is packaged to ship. As a seller take time to get educated on how to securely wrap items so that they make it to their destinations in one piece! I constantly receive breakables broken because they weren't packed with enough care and cushion. I even had one ceramic dish shipped in a plastic envelope.

I never dreamed it wouldn't be in a box! There needs to be enough room in the shipping box so items don't clank together, so they don't hit the sides of the box, etc. And, please, put cushioning (packing peanuts, styrofoam, etc.) on the bottom of the box! There are tutorials on eBay on shipping, and the USPS website offers instruction too.

Like the gal that sent the ceramic dish in the plastic envelope. She did it to offer the cheapest shipping rate, and I should have known better! When in doubt, as a buyer, question the seller how they plan on shipping the item(s) and if is going to be padded, etc. I just assumed, and you know what happens when you assume!

Before sealing the box add the buyer's name and shipping address (can be printed off from Paypal) so in case the outside label gets destroyed there is a second chance the package can get to its' destination.

Also I make sure to let my customers know if my items are from a smoke-free home. I like to know that as a buyer too.

It boils down to the Golden Rule; treat your customer as you want to be treated as a customer.

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