I have bought so many items on Ebay that I hate to think what the outlay has been over the past few years! From succulents, to phone covers, to dvds, to rare books, to shower radios - it's all here if you want or even need it! Here are a few guidelines and tips for buyers that I hope will result in a highly pleasurable Ebay experience.
WHEN AND HOW SHOULD YOU BID?
- If you're not sure that you can afford an item, then it's simple, don't bid!!
- Don't let your pride and desire to win an item result in a bidding war with other buyers. Ebay is such a huge market that similar items are more than likely to crop up at some stage. When you search for an item you can save your search, so as to receive email messages when similar items come up for sale. You should therefore never be in a rush to buy something on Ebay or think that an item is unique as generally, similar items will crop up again. Sometimes you just need to let an item get away and wait for a better price!
- Be sure to read item descriptions carefully and don't bid unless you know what you are bidding for!! If the seller's description is vague, or does not specify whether an item is new or used, ask further questions before bidding or committing to a sale. In particular, find out what postage is before committing as this is one way some sellers (quite unethically I might add) make their money ...
- Expand your search matches to obtain the best possible price by using an advanced search. Once the search matches are on your computer screen, you can look for more (and quite possibly, cheaper) matches by selecting See all items including those available from international sellers and/or See additional Buy it Now Items from eBay Store Sellers
- Shop around! I'm always amazed when buyers bid on items and the price is far higher than a similar item I'm selling at the same time. You may as well get the best price available. You can easily identify the best possible price by selecting the Price+ Postage: lowest first drop down box in the sort by option (this appears in the top right corner after you have completed your search and all the relevant matches have been displayed). This will however exclude any items where a seller has not specified postage costs (which requires further investigation) but it is still a good starting point when pricing items. If the seller has poor feedback then it's best to go for a medium priced item from a seller with solid feedback rather than a bargain from a seller with poor feedback.
COMMUNICATE WITH BUYERS QUICKLY IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMS PAYING!
- Sometimes unforeseen experiences crop up, so if you are having problems paying for an item, then communicate this promptly to the seller. Most sellers are extremely flexible and would prefer to hear from buyers when unforeseen circumstances crop up, rather than not hear anything, not receive payment, and generally not know where they stand with a sale
CHECK THE SELLER'S REPUTATION BEFORE BUYING!
- A low feedback percentage should immediately ring alarm bells and I would advise that you steer clear from such sellers. If you click on a seller's feedback number, this displays positive, neutral and negative feedback received. Again, steer clear from anyone who has received a high number of recent and/or career negative comments.
PAYING FOR YOUR ITEM
- I would always recommend paying via instant payment through Paypal, as this is the most secure and fastest payment method available. A seller can immediately see the item has been paid for and will then be able to post very quickly. Please note - if a credit card isn't registered with Paypal as a back up source, then payments may take 5 or more days to clear.
RECTIFYING PROBLEMS AND LEAVING FEEDBACK
- If not satisfied, contact a seller prior to leaving neutral or negative feedback. Give the seller every chance to rectify any problems. There is nothing that annoys sellers more than going in to their Ebay account, only to find negative feedback with no prior contact what-so-ever from a buyer. Please note that under the new feedback system, that neutral feedback now results in an adverse impact on a seller's percentage. Neutral is no longer neutral and does impact on the seller's feedback score!
- If an item has not been received in the post within a reasonable timeframe, let the seller know as soon as possible. (By the same token, don't be too impatient and be sure to allow enough postage time in view of Public Holidays, your payment clearing in, and lag time for international postage). Sellers will not know that there has been a problem with postage unless this is communicated to them and will otherwise assume that all is well. At all times, give sellers the opportunity to post another item or to offer you a refund before leaving negative feedback.
- Don't leave positive feedback unless you are 100% certain that the item works, is compatible and is in the condition you expected. If not, then contact the seller. You are far less likely to receive a replacement or obtain recourse from a seller where positive feedback has already been left.
- Be sure that you leave feedback for the right person! I have received feedback comments left in error, and this outcome can prove very frustrating for sellers where they believe they offered optimum service and where someone has been careless with feedback left!
Be fair to sellers, and they will be fair to you, and in an ideal world, hopefully everyone will be happy!
HAPPY BUYING, AND THANKS FOR READING MY GUIDE!!
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