How to purchase cosmetics without disappointment

Views 11 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this Guide is helpful


Are you new to Ebay and feel as though there are so many cosmetics for sale but don't know where to start? Have you previously bought cosmetics on Ebay and feel your deal was a lemon? Either way, this guide will take you through buying good value cosmetics step by step.


Step 1. Know your product

The best way to avoid disappointment through purchasing products on Ebay is to know exactly what it is you want. For example; If you need a mascara and are a loyal customer to Revlon, your best bet is to search for 'Revlon Mascara'. However if you are not brand loyal, then a search for 'Mascara' will generate the results for all Mascaras currently on offer through Ebay. Obviously searching for your product is not relative if you are just browsing or looking for a general bargain.


Step 2. Do your research

Once you have found an item you feel is good value, conduct your research. It is quite common for Ebay cosmetic items to sell at auction well about recommended retail price (RRP). It is easy to tell a 'lemon' if the seller is either starting the bids or claiming the RRP is well above the actual RRP.

If you are unaware of the products RRP a good way of discovering this is through company web sites. Typically the brand website will be www. the brand in question .com.

These sites contain product information as well as recommended retail prices. If the selling price on Ebay (including shipping) is lower than the RRP then you will be getting a good deal if you win the auction.

It is also a good idea you use these sites to see product colours, shades or other specifications. For example, many eyeshadows listed on Ebay will specify the shade in text, but use a promotional picture which is not the true colour. These sites will list shades available and will help you determine if the shade/product is for you.


3. Shop Around

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that this listing will be the only one on Ebay. Typically, specific items will be listed by numerous sellers or be listed numerous times by the same seller. As a general rule, items coming close to their end will have a higher bid than those with time to spare. However, many auctions will end with a final bid that is higher than the buy it now on a separate listing for the same product. Always check the sellers other items and find out if there is a buy in now price for this item elsewhere.


4. Know your Seller

It is very important to check the seller's feedback. Typically powersellers (sellers who have sold plenty of items) will have a highly positive feedback score. If you have any reservations regarding the quality or authenticity of the cosmetic item, read some feedback left by other buyers and see how happy they were with their purchase. If you read comments like 'just like description' or 'lovely product' then you can be pretty sure the seller is trustworthy.

It is easy to forget that customer service is just as important on Ebay as it would be at any retail store. You are purchasing a good from the seller in exchange for your hard earned cash. As such do not feel intimidated or embarrassed to ask the seller questions about the product. If you have any questions regarding postage costs, product specifications, item size etc then ask the seller. It is advisable that you ask your question with plenty of time before the end time of the auction so the seller will have time to reply. The ask the seller a question function is a very important tool in making sure you are going to receive exactly what it is you are after.

For more information on contacting sellers visit


5. Understand the Postage and Handling Arrangement

If you are new to Ebay the idea of postage and handling costs may be unclear. Most sellers will clearly state the postage and handling costs at the top of their listing. Often there will be different options you can take such as combed shipping, regular shipping, express shipping, postage insurance or registered shipping.

If the seller is offering these kind of options its important for you to decide what you would require if you were to win the item. For example, an expensive cosmetic listing may require registered or insured postage for piece of mind. On the other hand if you are bidding for a small inexpensive item then regular postage may be appropriate. This is a personal choice, and will require personal judgment. If the seller does not appear to offer the type of postage you desire for the item, use the ask the seller a question tool to determine whether this would be an option.

If you are planning to purchase multiple items from the same seller, it is worth your while to determine if the seller offers combined postage. Some sellers will offer a flat postage fee, other may charge a set fee for the first item with a reduced fee for the following items and other may charge the same amount of postage regardless of how many items bought. It is important that you understand these arrangements before making any bids.

If a seller has not included the postage costs in the item description, it is highly recommended you make contact with the seller to ask for these charges. Some buyers have made the mistake of not asking and have paid $2 for their cosmetic item and $15 in postage and handling!


6. Payment Options

It is important that you know that you have the facilities to pay for the cosmetics before you bid for them. Popular methods of payments from sellers are PayPal, Bank Deposit and Cheques. Typically sellers will not accept cash through the mail.

If the item requires PayPal, you will need to register for an account. PayPal can now be used through your bank account or credit card and offers benefits with security of payments. To register or for further details go to


7. Set your price limit

Now you have determined the RRP of the product, have shopped around, know the postage rates, believe the seller is trustworthy and are ready to bid, it's time to set yourself a price limit. It is very easy to get caught up in the 'fun' of bidding on Ebay, however you are not really 'winning' if you end up paying more than you would if you bought the identical product in a store or at the buy it now price.

If the product is discontinued, you live in a remote area and do not have access to retail stores or you were unable to determine a RRP then set your price limit as how much you value the product.

When setting your price limit make sure you take into account postage and handling. If bidding reaches your price limit, be strong and walk away. You may find the product will be re-listed by the same seller in a few days!


7. Payment

It is important that you pay for your item within the time limits set by the seller. Ebayers, whether sellers or buyers, use the feedback scores as measured of reliability and trustworthiness of members. Therefore if you are late with your payment or decide not to pay at all you may receive negative feedback. If you default and do not pay at all, the seller will notify Ebay and you may receive a strike. For further details go to


8. Feedback

If the seller has provided you with a quality product and you are happy with the transaction, don't delay in leaving the seller positive feedback. It's your way of thanking the seller for giving you the great deal! If you are incredibly happy with your transaction, make the seller one of your favorites. That way you will receive updates on new products and listings as they happen!



Ebay offers thousands of fantastic cosmetic bargains! As a buyer, it is important to check and understand all specifications and agreements associated with a product before bidding. With careful research and controlled bidding any one can know 100% that they have received a great deal on cosmetics through Ebay.

Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides