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Monday, 27 December 2010

How to Survive Buying on eBay

If you are thinking of buying something online then eBay is a popular place where a lot of people start their search.

It is true that it is possible to buy a huge variety of things on eBay. This can range from designer shoes to a real crab necklace (really!).

So, how is it best to go about an eBay purchase?

Start off by just entering a term into the search box. It is good to be as specific as possible but without narrowing it down too much.

So, if you wanted to buy a 9ct gold dragonfly necklace, then that is exactly what you could enter. But if it was just a 9ct gold necklace, then a lot of other itmes would be shown.

I'm writing these obvious things down because of the '-' feature. In order to stop all the plated, tone and gold filled items from being shown, you can enter

9ct gold necklace -plated -filled -tone

et voila.

Once you have found the item, take a look at a small drop-down box at the top right hand side. This will say 'Best match'. Some algorithm that eBay has in place favours certain sellers over others and these are the ones which are listed at the top. But these may not be the items that you want, so they can be re-sorted in terms of price or however else you want to sort them, then the next thing to do is to look at the seller's feedback.

If they 100% positives and everyone is happy, then great. If there are a few negatives, then read the negs (you can click on the number to read just the negs). First, are they all from the same disgruntled buyer? Are they from people with low feedback themselves?

New buyers often have very high expectations and think that eBay is a giant company rather than a lot of stay at home mums, so they leave negatives about silly things. 'Item was not as pink as I thought' or
'Size was right but item did not fit me'

If this is the case and the picture is positive overall, then there is no need to be too worried.

Sometimes sellers pull their act together. So there could be a lot of early negatives and then a lot of praise.

If there are a lot of recent negatives along the lines of 'item never arrived, no communication' then avoid at all costs. The seller has obviously gone AWOL.

Having found the item and made sure the seller is OK, then next, read the description. Then read it again. There is no point bidding for something you need by next Wednesday if the buyer takes two weeks to deliver it.

Finally, when all this is sorted out, do a quick Google search. It is not always the case, but sometimes, it is possible to buy a new item from an online store for less than a second hand one on eBay.

That's it. Bid on the item to the amount that you are willing to pay and go away.
Do not stay online until the final second, because there may be someone who wants it more, who is willing to push the price up to silly amounts.

If you don't win what you want today, there may be another one along in a minute, or tomorrow.

Paying through paypal is often a more secure way to pay because eBay have fairly hefty buyer protection policies in place. If your item never arrives, then you are almost certainly guaranteed a refund by opening a case with them.

And that is all.

Enjoy your item.

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