A Beginner's Guide to Buying Clothing on eBay

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Would you like to learn the basic etiquette of buying from eBay sellers and ensuring each party experiences a smooth sales transaction ? Then read on ...

If you're new to shopping on eBay, you may be feeling a little apprehensive about purchasing online. And we've all been there ! Don't worry. We've all wondered whether we'll get our item after we've paid and if we don't, then what do we do ?

Here's a simple guide to ensure your eBay purchase is a positive and fun experience.

Look at the Sellers Feedback Rating

If you've found an item you would like to purchase or bid on, the first thing you should do is look at the sellers feedback rating.

By looking at their rating and reading some of their feedback, you should be able to determine whether they're a good seller or the type that's best avoided.

PowerSellers adhere to eBay policies and are usually the safest way to shop on eBay, however, there are also many sellers that are not PowerSellers or Store Owners that offer an excellent service. Always check feedback to make a better informed decision about whether or not to buy from that seller.

If a seller has negatives, how many do they have and for what reasons?

A seller that has a couple may have come across some unreasonable buyers who didn't follow store policies, however, a seller with a list of negatives should be thoroughly checked out.

Read up on those comments and if the negatives are always for the same reason, such as, 'item not as described', 'seller doesn't return emails', then they may be best avoided because you may encounter these problems yourself.

Don't be afraid to ask Questions about an Item

Don't be afraid to contact the seller and ask questions about the item you're interested in. Most sellers are very friendly who love their eBay job and readily happy to assist you.

So if there's something that you would like to know that's not mentioned in the auction listing, ask prior to bidding/purchasing to avoid problems down the track.

Always read the Store Policy

Always read the sellers Store Policy (also referred to as Terms and Conditions by some sellers). This is so important if you want to ensure a smooth and friendly sales experience.

For example, don't assume and expect that a seller will offer a refund on a lost uninsured item if their policy states 'No refunds for uninsured articles'. It's unfair to the buyers who do pay the additional cost for an insured service and unreasonable to expect it if you only paid for regular postage.

If you don't accept the terms, it's best not to shop there to save yourself future problems and unfair negative feedback comments to the seller.

What to do after a Purchase

Communication is the key to a successful sales transaction so check out immediately after your purchase or auction and let the seller know when you expect to make payment and always pay within their required payment period.

If you made prior arrangements for an extension (and most sellers are flexible but check prior to bidding/purchasing), confirm those details with the expected payment date on the checkout page.

What to expect after a Purchase

Plenty of friendly communication !

The seller should email you within a few hours of the auction or purchase ending with an invoice and then follow up with a Payment Received email and finally a Postage Notification email.

If you've paid within the required time period, you avoid the Payment Reminder email and Unpaid Item Disputes.

What to do when you receive your item

Ensure the item you received is the same item that you purchased on the auction listing and immediately check for faults. 

If there are any problems, read their entire Store Policy and then contact the seller in a friendly email. By checking over the Store Policy again, you'll be prepared with your rights and know what to expect from the seller.

It's easy to get emotionally upset in these instances as you will probably have never met the seller and therefore feel like you don't know who you're dealing with. However, remaining calm, friendly and knowledgable on their store policy will work best in these situations. 

Please do keep in mind that human errors do occur all the time and many times they are unintentional errors or in cases where an item is faulty, the seller may not have been aware of it.

Therefore, by contacting the seller in a respectful manner, the seller will happily resolve the problem positively for you.

Leaving Feedback

Once you have received your item and the sales transaction has ended positively, leave a comment on your experience with that seller. Some things you can mention briefly are:

  • Communication
  • Postage
  • Item


Excellent communication, very fast postage and item as described. Thanks A++++

Gorgeous dress !! Friendly seller and item well packaged & delivered fast. Thanks !

However, if the sales transaction did not end positively, then it's your choice to leave a neutral or negative feedback comment. Hopefully you won't ever have to leave a negative feedback if you follow this simple guide.

Hope you find this basic etiquette guide a helpful starting point and Happy eBaying !!









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