How to buy on eBay – tips and tricks

You’ve decided to buy something on eBay, what could be easier?

How to shop on eBay

How to shop on eBay Source: shutterstock.com

However, eBay online shopping is full of pitfalls. It is not just about setting up a PayPal account, choosing the item you want and paying for it. If you want to purchase items at the lowest prices, or at least at fair prices, you should adhere to certain principles and rules.

1. Do some research

We are talking about the price of an item. Trust us, not all the prices on eBay are fair. Jacking up prices is normal practice for many eBay salespeople. If you’ve found something you want to buy, it is better to check out the prices from other merchants. Moreover, you can use price comparison apps, or shopping apps. Checking out Amazon will also be a good option, as well as Etsy, HSN and Google Shopping.

2. “Buy it now” and a counteroffer

If you intend to buy something on eBay, you probably know about the “Buy it now” button. It is an option to purchase an item at a fixed price, with no need to wait for the end of an online auction. Nevertheless, you can disagree with that price. A lot of sellers can adjust prices to meet a customer’s needs and requirements, especially if they know there is an interested buyer, who is ready to purchase a particular item. A customer can suggest “their” price lower than the one asked for. There is no guarantee that a seller will agree with the “new” price, but a purchaser definitely should try. There’s still a chance.

3. Don’t be shy to bargain with a seller

Basically, what is an eBay? It is a market. To be precise, it is a modern interpretation of a good old-fashioned market. Some sellers at conventional physical markets would even take considerable umbrage if you didn’t haggle with them (especially Asian merchants). The principle from the previous paragraph can be applied in this case: you merely suggest “your” price, or ask the retailer if they would accept a lower one. There is a good chance of buying an item at a good price if you are polite and reasonable with your counteroffers.

4. Signing up for alerts on the items you wish to buy is a good idea

Let us suppose that you can’t find a particular item you want to buy, or you’ve finally found the desired item, but the price is not right. These are real scenarios, and multiple buyers face them every day. Of course, you can continue searching for this item, however, there is another option, which is much more convenient. You can sign up for alerts which will email you if the item you are searching for becomes available. What’s more, clicking on the “Save this search” allows the system to notify you of the arrival of new items that match your search via email.

5. Remember to check the shipping cost

What is the first thing you pay attention to? Definitely, it is the price. However, it is not the only thing you should pay attention to. It is imperative to check the shipping cost. Otherwise, it could result in an unpleasant surprise. A lot of sellers offer free shipping. Usually, it applies to the items that cost more. Nonetheless, free shipping but more expensive items may still be a better deal than the same items at a lower price, but with a shipping charge.

6. Check eBay Local

That might help you find a nearby seller. Imagine, you’ve decided to redecorate your flat and the new interior concept requires a large, but beautiful piece of furniture. Well, there is every chance that it can’t merely be shipped due to its weight or dimensions. To avoid this, you can set different search options. It is enough to add “pickup only” to your search request. For example, modular wardrobe “pickup only”. On the other hand, you can also find the Item Location section and choose the “Within” checkbox. The first field is for the number of miles you are ready to cover to get your purchase. The second field is for postal code.

7. Bid your maximum amount

In the case you wish to buy an item but don’t have time to watch the progress of an online auction and continually raise your bid, you should ask yourself what is the highest price you are ready to pay for it? And bid that amount. This will save your time. If someone else bids on the item, they would need to top your bid to take the lead.

8. Take your time, don’t hurry to bid

So, let’s suppose you’ve finally found what you’d been looking for. If you hurry to raise the bid, that will merely jack up the price as other bidders join the auction. The best option is to wait until the last possible second. This strategy is also known as sniping. However, it is essential not to miss it. The last 15-30 seconds is the best time to click the “Confirm” button.

SEE ALSO: How to shop on Amazon: tips, tricks and most common mistakes