When buying on ebay, I go by a set of rules & they are:
Always buy from a seller with a rating of 95% or above, any seller with a rating under 95% is to be avoided if possible as they can be unreliable.
If you a buying the same items for hobby or business, try to use the same seller you are happy with as you can start a business relationship with the seller & both of you will be happy, the seller will make money & you can receive discount on items & free or discounted postage.
Never place a bid on items that have more than 30 minutes to end of auction, if it can be avoided as it could be a difference between buying items within your price range to being out bidded because the item has been bidded past your price range.
If there there is an item you find up for auction that you desperately want or need and is either within your price range or no bids placed. Watch the item and in the last 3 minutes continue to click on refresh until there is 30 seconds to 1 minute to end of auction then place a bid of a least $5.00 above the item price, that way if someone who has lighting fast typing skills can't out bid you.
Always & I mean always check the postage cost before clicking the Bid Now or Buy It Now button. Always ask yourself. Is the postage cost offered really worth paying for the items size, weight & Location?
The most important one of all. If you are out bidded for an item & are offered second chance offer on the item. If possible contact the seller to make sure the second chance offer is genuine, never pay for the item by direct deposit or credit card, if possible pay over the counter at the bank to ensure the account details of the genuine seller match & that you are not about to be ripped off, if you believe that you have been ripped off buy a fake second chance offer, contact ebay straight away to report it.
I hope this guide will help make your Ebay Buying Experience an exciting & enjoyable experience, cause I know that I am now addicted to buying on ebay.com.au & follow my own rules :-)