I've recently noticed that there are many ebay rookies wanting to bid on items on either Auction or Buy It Now.
The best piece of advice I can give you before you bid is..........shop around. It is well worth "watching" an item while you browse ebay for other similar items.....the reason being that once you bid, it's too late to change your mind. Auctions are legal and binding contracts, and therefore it is important to take many things into consideration before you actually go through the bid process.
- Do I really, really want it?
- Can I really, really afford it?
- What is the total cost, including postage?
- Can I meet the seller's terms and conditions (e.g. checkout within 3 days; payment within 5 days; paypal only to international bidders etc)
Once you click "bid", you will need to put in a sum of money that you are prepared to pay for the item. The screen will change and ask you to confirm your bid, to give you a chance to either change your mind, increase or decrease your maximum bid...
Once you win an auction, the seller will usually send you an invoice outlining the total cost, including postage and handling charges, postal services and postal insurance. There is a "pay now" button on these invoices. Click on this and go through the screens, selecting which method you would like to pay by - money order, paypal, bank deposit etc. Note that most sellers do not take personal cheques, as these have to be physically deposited, and take time to clear. Sometimes they are dishonoured. It is much more considerate to a seller to pay by either direct deposit, money order or paypal - and let's face it, if your money clears sooner than later, you will get your item faster also.
Sometimes, a seller may not be watching their auctions in order to send you an invoice immediately. Most times, it is possible to pay through the checkout process anyway. Under "Items I've Won", you will find your item with a "pay now" button. Click on that button, and you will be able to pay for the item without having received an invoice UNLESS the seller has not specified postage costs, or given bank details. In this case, you will need to either wait for your invoice, or email the seller requesting the total price or bank details.
Important things to remember:
- If you have any problems AT ALL - communicate with the seller.
- Pay within seven days, or else your seller may register an Unpaid Item claim in order to recoup their listing fees. This will result in an unpaid item strike against your user id. If you have unexpected financial difficulties, let your seller know and ask for an extension of time to pay. Most sellers will allow this if you are upfront and honest.
- Leave feedback for your seller. This let's them know that you received your item and that you are happy with it. It also builds a reputation for the seller.
- If you are not happy with the item, or believe that it was misrepresented in some way remember - communicate. Don't be too hasty to leave negative feedback - try to resolve the problem through email communication first. Most sellers want you to be happy with your purchase, or at least happy with the way they resolved any problems.
- Keep your bidding and communications with your seller FRIENDLY. Many do unfortunately become nasty and rude mannered. This is not what ebay is all about. The ebay community promotes friendly transactions - as this is obviously the best way to do business and results in a win-win situation for everyone.