Smart Shopping on eBay

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This is not as much a guide as it is a tips and tricks. What is contained in this is ways to win that item you want without having to sit up until the item ends, but not lose out at the beginning either.

Be Sure of your maximum price from the very beginning.
This advice may seem very simple to some, but keeping an eye on where the price is on an item in realtion to how much you're willing to spend is something you need to keep in mind. Have a maximum price in mind from the outset, and stick to it. This ensures that you know whether you are getting a bargain in terms of how much you value the item.

Check the POSTAGE on an item before bidding
Many eBayers get themselves into trouble by not taking postage into account when deciding their maximum bid. Postage can range anywhere from FREE to upwards of $100 depending on the item's size, weight and value. The high bid on the item may be something like this:

Check where the seller is willing to post the item to
Always make sure the seller is willing to post to where you live. This step avoids having bid retractions for silly mistakes. Remember: the seller is not obliged to post worldwide, and certain countries prohibit the import/export of certain items.  When a seller chooses not to send to a country, there are usually reasons.

Don't be afraid to ask questions!
The biggest mistake you can make is to not bid on an item because you aren't sure of one of the details and you are to afraid to ask.Sellers are people too and won't bite your head off for asking a question, no matter how stupid it may seem to you.

Don't enter your maximum spend limit straight off
If you are one of the first bidders on an item, place a maximum bid close to the reserve price and just test the waters. If noone bids much higher than your initial maximum, then you have made a considerable saving. As it gets closer to the end of the auction, move closer to your maximum spend limit as your highest bid. If you are bidding within one day of the auction finishing, set your maximum bid to your spend limit as this is usually when most of the action occurs.

Check the Feedback Score of the seller
Always check the feedback score of the seller.
The feedback score is locate near the item picture, the higher the score the better. Also check the percentage. This tells you how much of that feedback is postitive. A feedback percentage of 50% or lower is not a particularly good outcome, so you should avoid bidding on an item that seller has for sale unless when you click for details the negative feedback has been resolved.

Check the payment details
Make sure you have the right method to pay for it. The best option is to use PayPal as it is accepted by most sellers and keeps your financial details private. If you do not have the correct means to pay for it, bidding is not reccomended.

And finally, most important, enjoy shopping on eBay. With these tips & tricks up your sleeve, you should be able to negotiate the site a little easier and find that bargain you've been after.
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