But first, let me tell you why you should shop on Ebay if you're not already.
- It's Safe: Seller ratings and buyer protection help keep your money safe. Only buy from sellers with excellent ratings (99% positive or higher), and always use Paypal for your transactions. If for some reason the seller doesn't follow through, Ebay's buyer protection will refund your money!
- It's Convenient: I'm sure I don't have to tell you all about the conveniences of shopping online. Ebay is just as easy and convenient to use as other online retailers.
- It's Filled with Treasures: You'll be amazed at some of the fabulous things you can find on Ebay! If you ever lost a favorite necklace, tore your favorite pair of jeans, or just never bought that handbag you really wanted- check on Ebay! I've found many items I thought I'd never see again on Ebay! I even found a handbag I had been looking for about 5 years ago show up recently (and I still love it)! Of course, there is also plenty of garbage on Ebay, but I always find great items at excellent prices when I'm searching around!
- It's Inexpensive: You can't argue with a great price! I have found so many fabulous items on Ebay for very low prices. Here are a few of my recent Ebay purchases, and what I paid for them:
|New Ojon Shampoo & Conditioner- $20 with Shipping (Regularly $42)|
|Pre-owned Kenneth Cole New York Handbag- $8 with Shipping (Originally $250)|
|Pre-owned Citizens of Humanity Jeans- $40 with Shipping (Originally $175)|
- Step 1: Create an account. To do this, you'll need the standard information (name, address, etc), as well as a credit or debit card, which will be used to confirm your identity.
- Step 2: Create a Paypal account. Paypal is free for buyers to use, and it is the safest way to pay on Ebay. You will need to link your Paypal account to your checking account, so you should have your account and routing numbers handy. You can also link a credit card to this account as a means of payment.
- Step 3: Wait for Verification. Paypal must verify your account, which takes a few days. To verify your checking account, Paypal makes a small deposit and then withdraws the same amount. You will be asked to enter this amount to verify the account belongs to you.
Once you have completed these steps, you will be ready to start shopping on Ebay! Here are some tips to help you bid, win, and save!
- Search, Search, and Search Some More. Even if you find what you are looking for with your initial search, try using variations of terms or fine tuning your search using the sidebar options. For example, I might search "Marc Jacobs Bangle," but I will also try "Marc Jacobs bracelet." Not all seller's think the same, and many people who sell on Ebay may not know a ton about the products they sell (such as store owners who resell items for their customers). Although you made find what you're looking for right away, you might find it cheaper if you try searching in a slightly different way.
- Read the Listing. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I have seen people bid on items without reading the listing, then later get upset because the item isn't in mint condition like they assumed. It is the seller's responsibility to describe an item exactly as it is, so read the details and ask questions if necessary. Don't get burned by being naive.
- Compare Prices. If you're looking at an item up for auction (as opposed to "Buy it now" items), you cannot be sure what the final selling price will be. However, you can add different items to your "watch" list, and keep an eye on them as the auction nears the end. Also, be sure to check shipping prices, which can vary widely from one seller to another.
- Don't Bid Early. One thing novices on Ebay often do is place a bid well before the end of the auction. If you bid, then just wait until the end to see if you won, you will lose. To give yourself the best chance of winning an item, wait until the end of the auction, then place your bid (I usually bid with around 10-15 seconds left).
- Bid the Highest Price You are Willing to Pay. You also don't want to lose an item because you only put in a bid that was 50 cents higher than the previous bid. If you are willing to pay $50 for an item, bid $50 instead of $40. Placing your highest bid doesn't mean you will have to pay that price, it just helps prevent you from losing an item you would be willing to pay more for (e.g. You bid $50 on an item that's currently $39- if another person bids $45- you'll still win the item for $45.50).
- Know When to Let Go. People often get invested in an item they're bidding on, so sometimes prices will inflate more than they should. Decide the most you are willing to pay, and stop there. You have to be OK with losing an item if it goes over your budget, even if it's only by 25 cents.
- Get an App. If you have an Android or iPhone, download the Ebay application (it's free). You can't always be home when an auction is ending, but if you have this application on your phone, it will send you a reminder 10 minutes before items you are "watching" end, so you can place your bid while you're on the go! Even if I'm at home, I appreciate the reminder to go online and place my bid!
So those are some of my recommendations for buying on Ebay. If you have any other questions, please leave a comment and I would be happy to help! Also, be on the lookout next week for a "How to Sell on Ebay" post! I hope you all have a fabulous day!