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17 eBay buying tips - Save the Student
Save Time Tired of wasting time wading through bad eBay search results? Try GetItNext! Ease of Use Want to use eBay but find it confusing and hard to use? Try GetItNext. Save Money Looking for a bargain? Use our "Find a Deal" search to find bargains on eBay. My Inkjet ran dry Double-check delivery charges, as some sellers try to recoup costs by charging a little extra though eBay's now set maximum delivery charges for many categories. If you want something very specific or hard to track down, you can 'follow' the search, so eBay sends an email each time a seller lists your desired item.
This is brill if you like buying on eBay, but don't want to spend your life hunched over the site. Simply type a product in eBay's search bar, such as "Star Wars Lego Millennium Falcon", click 'search', and then click 'save this search'. Be as specific as possible for the most accurate results.
Then, when someone clears out the loft and lists one, an email pops into your inbox. With a few basic checks, it's easy to spot if it's really a bargain.
The same rule applies when buying second-hand gear. Whether they're offering designer sofas, dishwashers, Wiis or children's books, sellers on eBay often specify items must be collected in person. As this often means fewer bids, there are bargains to be had. Spotted a pricey skirt, sideboard or scooter and want to know if you can find similar on eBay for a bargain price? Whether you've seen clothes in a shop or spotted furniture on a blog, we've an easy trick to track down similar items available on the site.
When we tested this, the items listed were not always identical, but many were along the same lines. Though we can't attest to its quality. Remember, this is a fun checker.
We searched for a book with a bird on the cover with the photo checker, and it suggested hundreds of different books about birds. There's a quick way to glean an eBay product's market value and make sure you're getting a good deal. Fill in the search box and tick 'sold listings' on the left-hand grey bar. It'll come up with a list of prices similar auctions have fetched.
Sort by "Lowest price" and don't pay more than the average. Some sellers say they'll consider 'best offers' on buy-it-now items. This is where you propose a figure, then they mull it over and tell you if it's a goer. There's a loophole to see which prices they've already accepted, and lower your best offer accordingly. Do a search, select advanced options and tick to show only best offer items.
It should show all the items that seller's accepted best offers on, including the average reduction they give. Yet some Del Boy types still sell web addresses with names like "exclusive info" or "tools of great interest". To our great distaste, links to this site have been sold to the highest bidder.
In the past, people have sold bank charge reclaiming template letters, as well as links to tools from the site. Use Google to check exactly what you're bidding for. If it's just "information", you'll usually find the same elsewhere for free.
What Are eBay Deals and How Do they Work?
Spotted something you want to buy? The last thing you should do is bid on it. Bid early and competing buyers will bid back, forcing the price upwards. Instead, sneakily win auctions by swooping in and delivering a killer bid about 10 seconds before the deadline, leaving no time for others to fight back.
How To Find The Best Deals On eBay
During sign up you'll have to authorise Gixen to place bids for you on eBay you can remove this at any time via your eBay account settings. You won't need to give Gixen your eBay password, and it says to use different passwords for each site. This also stops you getting carried away in a last minute bidding war. Think twice about using a sniping site to bid on items you've got your heart set on, as sometimes they can play up. A BIG warning. Some sniping sites ask for your eBay password, which is a serious security concern and there's little protection from eBay if things do go wrong, as you willingly gave your password to a third party.
If you do sign up, never use the same password for eBay as you do for other accounts, such as banks or email. There's nothing wrong with asking for a discount, even if the listing doesn't show the 'make offer' logo. Haggling works best on buy-it-now listings, or auctions with a high start price and no bids.
How to Qualify Your Account for eBay Deals
To contact the seller, click 'ask a question'. If you're polite and charming, you'll get further. Blunt requests such as "will u take 50p" are usually a mistake. They annoy the seller, and a discount is at their discretion. Once you've clinched the deal, keep the transaction within eBay — just ask the seller to add or change a buy-it-now price. For a true picture of the total cost, it is important to include the cost of delivery to make sure you really are getting a bargain. Of course, auction listings' prices could still rise, but on buy-it-now items this instantly shows the cheapest.
Always double-check postage charges before bidding. Some sellers try to supplement their income by charging higher rates, though eBay is cracking down on this by specifying a maximum postage amount for many categories. At this point, many buyers give up as it's too much hassle. So contact the seller to fill in gaps. But don't ask the question via the item's listing page. That way, when the seller replies, eBay lets them add their reply to the main listing with one click, so all buyers will know the pertinent facts. Instead, ask the question via the seller's profile, making it clear which item you're on about.
They probably won't bother with the extra faff of adding it to the listing, so you'll be the only one in the know. It's worth knowing eBay only lets sellers do major edits to their listings before the first bid is received. Once bidding starts, they can only add small updates. So if the start price is low, say 99p, bid before the seller cottons on. Then it will be too late to properly fix it.
Don't fancy burning the midnight oil? In its essence, eBay's just a marketplace. While it's easy to snap up a scorcher, it's just as easy to get burnt. So it's a good idea for newbies to learn the ropes by bidding on a few small items, such as books or pants.
This way, you can learn how the bidding system works before graduating to more costly wares. Want to check if an item's legit? Experts in there will tell you whether it looks dodgy. If you're not getting the results you want, try searching the item's description too. For example, imagine you were searching for a North Face jacket. The seller may have just put 'ski jacket' in the title, but mentioned North Face in the description. Think twice before purchasing expensive items from a seller with zero feedback.
Also ensure you read their feedback from selling, not just buying click on their username, then 'see all feedback'. Remember feedback's useful, but not infallible. Don't enter a round number. It's worth being aware of bid increments, the steps by which prices rise. Always read the whole description in detail before bidding, to help avoid any hidden catches and make sure you are buying what you think you are.
Often the catch is hidden in the text at the end — an attempt to protect the seller from any comeback. Sellers occasionally list goods at a rock-bottom figure, but set a reserve, a hidden minimum price. These listings say "reserve not yet met". The seller hopes the low price will attract bidders, but don't want to part with it for that amount. Avoid wasting your time by asking the seller what the reserve is. They may tell you where to go, but it's always worth a shot.