10 Tips And Tricks For Buying And Selling On eBay

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10 Tips And Tricks For Buying And Selling On eBay

According to eBay’s website, over $2,000 in sales happens on the site every second. If you want to get in on the action, which can get quite intense, it helps to know some tricks and tips for buying or selling successfully on eBay.


Buying On eBay


Outside of a few things the site does not allow (pets, guns and drugs are just a few forbidden items), you can buy just about anything imaginable on eBay. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and spend too much, or end up with an item that isn’t quite what you thought it was. Take time to learn a few tips for successful eBay purchases.

1. Know Your Limit

Don’t spend more than you should. Once you’ve discovered that perfect Indonesian carving of a fishing cat, or the last piece you need to complete your china pattern, take a few minutes to look through completed auctions of the same or similar items. What did they sell for? You shouldn’t go far beyond the final price of similar auctions.

You also need to decide on how much you are willing to spend and then stick to that price. Once you place your bid, you have agreed to a binding contract, so don’t click that “Place Bid” button if it is going to blow your budget for the month.

2. Research the Seller

Before placing your bid, read through the seller’s feedback. Beware the brand-new dealer, sellers in other countries, or one with a significant percentage of negative feedback. Also, avoid sellers who only accept payment with cash, wire transfer or Western Union. The vast majority of legitimate eBay dealers accept PayPal or credit cards.

3. Bid At The Last Minute

Savvy eBay shoppers know not to bid early. Most auctions are active for a week or more, so placing an early bid makes it likely you will be outbid later on. Place your highest acceptable bid within the last minutes, or even seconds, of an item’s auction period.

Many buyers use sniper programs to automate the bidding in those last few auction moments. Though legal, sniping requires you to give your eBay information to a third party. You can snipe yourself if you are at your computer as an auction winds down.

Open the auction you’re following, copy the URL address, and open a second page with that same address. Now you have two pages open on the same auction. On the second page, enter your maximum bid amount, and click the “Place Bid” button. Confirm the page with your user name and address, which will bring up a confirmation page. Do not hit the confirm button yet!

Go back to the first page, and keep hitting the refresh button as the auction goes into the final seconds. When you see the timer hit 30 seconds or less, click back to the second page and immediately hit the confirmation button. This is called a "snipe bid" and is extremely common on eBay. If your bid was the highest, you will win the auction. If somebody else got in first with a higher bid, you lose. That’s part of the fun (and the frustration!) of eBay.

4. Bid An Odd Amount

Never bid an even dollar amount. Experienced buyers always place an odd amount, such as $10.13, thus winning over less-experienced bidders who go with even dollar amounts, such as $10.00.


Selling On eBay


There’s money to be made selling on eBay – if you do your homework beforehand. We'll make it easy for you.

5. What's Your Item Worth?

Do a little research to find what similar items have sold for, and price yours competitively. It’s okay to start off low on a very desirable item, as bidding fever will probably drive your closing price much higher. Set your shipping cost, using eBay’s calculator to determine an accurate price.

6. Write A Great Description

No one will find your auction if you don’t write a good, descriptive headline. Use keywords that describe the item, such as brand name, model, color or style.

Then, write a concise description that gives the potential buyer all the information they need. Indicate the item’s condition, size and all other pertinent information.

7. Take Good Photos

Make sure your photos are clear, well lit and show the item from several angles. Set your product on a simple background for photographing, and take the picture as close as possible without distorting the photo.

If your item has any scratches or damage, be sure to show that in photos. EBay allows up to 12 pictures for free, so don’t be afraid to include them.

8. Be Clear On Your Policies

Determine your policy on returns, and include that in your auction listing. Having a money-back guarantee makes it likelier a potential customer will buy. Consider only allowing buyers with PayPal accounts to bid, as this will cut down on the problem of nonpaying customers. Decide if you will ship internationally, and if so, to which countries.

9. Leave Feedback

EBay counts on feedback between buyers and sellers to establish trustworthiness on both ends. As a seller, you should wait for your customer to leave feedback before you leave feedback for them. This allows you to settle any problems or complaints before leaving feedback, which cannot be retracted.

10. Ship Promptly

Once the auction ends, ship the product right away. Package it securely, and use eBay’s own automated shipping system to print labels and postage.

There’s nothing like the thrill of winning an auction for a much coveted collectible, electronic item or piece of jewelry you love. If you do your homework, you will be successful buying or selling on the world’s premiere auction site.

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