EBay Buying Tips
How to Get the Best Deals on EBay
Finding deals is exciting. It feels like I won a game when I buy
something at a great price. I shop store sales, bargain stores,
closeouts, and more -- but found that I could often do much
better by simply buying through online auctions - if I buy
Squeezing a deal out of an EBay auction is an art. Buying from
auctions can be a costly proposition or a very economical option
depending on your tactics. Buy wisely by learning from my
(sometimes costly) experiences.
1. Is the Seller Honest?
Both EBay and Yahoo auctions have seller ratings. Read these
and their associated reviews. If the seller has a good rating
from buying and a bad rating from selling, you probably don't
want to buy from them. Look at both praises and complaints to
see if they apply to what you are bidding on.
2. Read the Description Throughly
It is very simple to read what you want to see in an Ebay
auction rather than what is actually written there. Read both
what is in the Ebay description and what is NOT in the
description. Often your mind will want to fill in details with
your dream interpretation. You need to re-read the description
until you find out whether what you are searching for and what
the seller is selling match.
* Used or New
Is the item you are buying used or new? If it doesn't say new,
you are most likely buying something that is used.
* Real or Fake
Is the item you are interested in "real" gold, sterling silver
or pearls? For example, a description saying: "gold necklace for
sale" does NOT say 14 kt gold or 18kt gold. That most likely
means a gold COLORED necklace which may or may not have actual
gold metal. This also applies to pearls as many call plastic
fake pearls simply "pearls".
If the seller is selling beads, those beads could be plastic,
glass, stone, scrap metal, crystal, chips, wood, clay, gemstone
or some other material.
* Quality, Quantity and Size
Does the EBay description really say how much you are getting,
how long the item is, and quality of the item? Selling by the
pound can be a fantastic deal - or a terrible deal.
* Hidden Costs Add Up
Look at shipping and handling costs. I've seen many penny
auctions that have $13 or more shipping. Some EBay auctions even
have handling fees.
* How Quick Will it Ship?
I've been seeing a fair amount of online auctions that note
that the product will ship in 2 months or that shipping time is
2 months. If you are buying for a particular holiday, be sure
that you will get the item in time.
3. Is it a Deal For You?
Many times an EBay auction will say that the items are "worth
$XXX". In many cases, that price is inflated. Often you can find
similar items much cheaper than "$XXX" at normal stores.
(However, the auction price may still be cheaper than you can by
elsewhere - it really helps to know how much you usually pay for
items!) If you are only interested in some of the items in an
auction, adjust your bid to reflect how much you are willing to
pay for just those items unless you plan to sell the rest as
that is how much you would pay for it elsewhere.
4. Auction Excitement
When in a bidding war, it is easy to get caught up in the
possibility of getting a deal. Compare prices on the net to
avoid overpaying. Know that usually you can get the item later
elsewhere. Wise buyers know to walk away when the price is
higher than the item is worth to them.