Buying on eBay – How to Get Stuff Cheap Without Getting Ripped Off

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Buying on eBay – How to Get Stuff Cheap Without Getting Ripped Off

Buying on eBay – How to Get Stuff Cheap Without Getting Ripped Off

eBay is a great place to buy anything from electronics to fashion couture, but you have to know how to buy without getting ripped off. The site is frequented by some 26 million sellers, giving buyers the opportunity to purchase items from around the world. There are many types of sellers including those just trying to get rid of old stuff without throwing it away, those trying to turn a profit, and those who sell new items and all of them offer different pricing. If you’re looking for a good deal, the following guide will help you learn the basics so that you can buy cheaply without getting ripped off.
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What to Do Before You Buy

Before you bid or buy anything on eBay, there are a couple of basic things you should do. These include making sure your account is up to date, making sure you have money in your PayPal account, and research. Let’s get started.
PayPal – eBay mostly only accepts PayPal so you want to transfer money to your account before you bid or buy. While PayPal does transfer from your bank or from a credit card if you do not have money in your account, the ensuing process will take 7-12 days to process, and the seller will not ship until the money has finished processing. By making sure that you have money in your account, you ensure that the seller receives their money instantly when you pay, so that you get your item faster.

eBay Account – If you’ve never purchased on eBay before, make sure that you have signed up, registered your email account, connected your PayPal, added your address, and gone through any verification process that eBay asks. If you don’t follow these steps, you may not be allowed to bid when you try to buy something. You should also validate your PayPal before bidding to ensure that you can pay.

Research – Finally, you want to make sure that you research the market value of the item that you are looking for. If you want a designer item, make sure that you check the regular prices, take a look at some of the fakes if there are any, and overall, ensure that you know how to buy without paying too much. No matter what you are buying, it is important to know the actual value before you spend.

Buying on eBay - How to Get Stuff Cheap Without Getting Ripped Off

Search

Buying on eBay - How to Get Stuff Cheap Without Getting Ripped OffeBay has a very easy to use search and category system that allows you to narrow items down by price, price plus shipping, or even relevance to your search. You can also browse through their many categories to narrow items down to exactly what you want. If you’re shopping for clothing or shoes, they also have specific categories for different types of items, such as heels or boots. While the many choices can be confusing at first, you can start out looking for items by running a search from the Homepage, and then narrowing your choices down based on the category options. For example, if you were looking for a NAS drive you can narrow your search to a specific brand, choose between new or used on the left sidebar, and then organize from cheapest first from the drop down menu on the top. You can also include additional options like the number of bays or the size of the drives, although these specifics will change if you search for something other than a drive. Search is your key to finding good deals, because eBay makes it very easy to compare and see what is cheaper because they do comparisons with shipping included for you.

Getting Deals

There are plenty of deals on eBay but there are also plenty of items that are overpriced, sell for too much, or are quite simply not worth anything. For this reason, you have to be careful when shopping no matter what you plan to buy.

Buying on eBay - How to Get Stuff Cheap Without Getting Ripped Off
Buying New Items – Buying new items comes with a two-fold risk. The first is that if the item is expensive, it may be a fake. Check the items location, consider the original value, and consider the condition of the item. If you’re buying a brand new Prada handbag and it’s discounted 60% and comes from Hong Kong, then chances are you have a fake on your hands. On the other hand if you’re buying from a U.S. seller and it’s listed as a ‘sample’ or slightly damaged new item, then it is probably genuine. Keep in mind that very low priced items likely have very low quality, especially if it comes from overseas. For example, a $5 webcam is probably going to suck.

Buying Used – For the most part buying used items is somewhat safer than buying new if you are looking for deals but you do have to be very careful, especially when looking for electronics. Remember that most sellers will list any and all defects in the description but it is also important to pay attention to photos and prices. If the price is ridiculously low then there is most likely something wrong or if it is an auction, no one else happens to want it.

Buying on eBay - How to Get Stuff Cheap Without Getting Ripped Off

Winning Penny Auctions

Penny auctions are very popular on eBay but it is important to remember that not all of them are going to work out in your favor. The key with any penny auction is to wait until the last minute to bid and then bid your maximum amount all at once. This works in your favor for a number of reasons including that items with no bids show up less in top eBay searches, so you will have less competition if you’ve been watching the item for a while. In addition, placing a last minute bid makes it harder for someone else to bid against you. Typically bidding in the last ten seconds is the best way to go, just make sure that you have everything set up to allow you to bid first. Keep in mind that while you may be happy winning an item for 99 cents, the seller probably isn’t happy with selling it for that amount. The downside of this process is that it is a common one, and other people may be bidding in the last seconds of the auction as well. For this reason, you may loose the auction if your maximum bid is lower than someone else’s.

A Special Note About Feedback Buying on eBay - How to Get Stuff Cheap Without Getting Ripped Off

If you’re planning on buying something expensive then you may want to take the time to purchase a few cheap items first. Because many sellers bid on items and then cancel their bid after making the purchase, some buyers will not accept bids on larger items from sellers with fewer than 10 feedback. If this sounds like an issue, don’t worry. You can actually boost your feedback that high by purchasing ten $1 or less items from China as they most often leave instant 5 star feedback when you pay for your order. Alternately you can do some shopping for a few low cost items first, and build up your feedback before looking for a car or new computer.

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About The Author
Brandy
Proliferate writer, sesquipedalian, techie, Apple fangirl (don't judge),tree hugger, yogi, tea drinker, zombie hunter. Into philotherianism & philomathy. Love my job. Visit me on Google +