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Becoming An eBay Buyer by yaofenjin


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           Becoming A Successful eBay Buyer:
               What You Need to Know

Topics Covered:

    The Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying on eBay
    The eBay Buyer’s FAQ
    The Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying on eBay
    Shopping Online Can Be Fun!
    Hot tips for eBay Buyers
    An Introduction to Bidding and Buying on eBay
    eBay Auction Buyer’s Tips and Tricks
    What Makes eBay Stand Out for Buyers?
    Your Rights as an eBay Buyer
    Understanding eBay Buying Tools
    Taking Advantage of “Slow” eBay Auctions
    How to Check an eBay Seller’s Reputation (and Why You Should Do It)
    Introducing the New eBay “Buyer’s Credit” Program
    How to Find Great Deals at eBay
    How to Avoid Losing to eBay Snipers
    Clueless What To Buy On eBay?
    The eBay Blacklist
    Doing Your Holiday Shopping on eBay
    How to Become an eBay “Sniper”
    Tips for Buying Collectibles on eBay

                Becoming A Successful eBay Buyer:
                    What You Need to Know

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying on eBay

The Case For.

Whatever you want to buy, whether it’s large or small, cheap or expensive, everyday or just
plain weird, the chances are you can find it on eBay. It’s the largest auction site in the world,
and when it comes to the variety of what’s on sale, size is vital. When was the last time you
heard of someone getting a great deal on a weird and wonderful item at uBid or Yahoo

People who’ve got used to eBay don’t often stop to think how amazing it is--an online
marketplace where you can buy things from all over the world, without leaving your home. You
can get things that you would never think anyone would bother to sell, and you can get them
cheaply. The powerful search engine means that you can find things you’ll like without even
knowing exactly what you’re looking for.

Not only that, but you can send money quickly and electronically to almost all of these sellers,
without worrying about currency conversion or exchange rates or anything else.

If you’re looking for rarities or bargains, eBay is an ideal place to buy.

The Case Against.

However much you might dream of a truly international marketplace, international postage
costs will always bring you back down to reality with a thud. Do you have any idea how much it
costs to send even the smallest thing to the other side of the world?

Then there’s the fact that eBay is packed with fraudsters and scammers, preying on the
innocent users who’ve heard that eBay is a great place to buy stuff but don’t know the risks.
People can lose thousands of dollars, and eBay do nothing. Is that fair? It is hard to even leave
negative feedback for the very worst sellers, for fear that they will retaliate and leave a black
mark against your own account.

eBay is unfair to buyers when other buyers don’t play fair, and unfair to sellers who end up
selling things for a very low price, only to have eBay’s fees take away the last part of their profit

The Verdict.

Those are the arguments for and against. So is eBay good, or bad? I’ll leave it up to you to
decide. For me, though, the answer is this: as long as you’re aware of the downsides, and you
know how to protect yourself from scammers and fraudsters and how to get ahead of the

competition, eBay is one of the best places in the world to shop. Having followed us this far, of
course, you now know all these things, which means that for you, eBay is a great place!

The eBay Buyer’s FAQ

So you have a question? Has something gone very wrong and you don’t know what to do? Well,
fair enough. Here are the questions that I hear all the time from buyers.

Does eBay have a Customer Service Department I Can Phone?

eBay are notoriously hard to contact, should you ever need to--it sometimes seems like they
expect the site to run itself. You can email them, as long as you don’t have your heart set on a
coherent response: go to You might
have better luck in a “live help” webchat here:

Only eBay Power Sellers (sellers with a very high feedback rating) get to phone customer
service. If you really want to try your luck, type “ebay [your country] phone number” into a
search engine and you’ll probably find something. Unfortunately, the chances are you’ll have
gone to all that trouble for the privilege of leaving a message.

It might seem cruel, but imagine the number of people who would call eBay every day with the
silliest questions if they gave out their phone number everywhere. Its Wild West nature is, in a
way, part of its charm.

eBay Sent Me an Email Saying They’re Going to Close My Account. What Should I

This email asks for your password, right? It’s a scam, an attempt to frighten you, make you
give up your details and then steal your account. eBay will never ask for your password or any
other account details by email. eBay say that you should only ever enter your password on
pages that whose addresses start with They even offer a special
‘Account Guard” as part of their toolbar, which lets you check that you’re not giving your
password to a dodgy fake site. You can read more about this precautionary service here:

It Seems Too Good to be True. How Does eBay Make Money?

For you, the buyer, eBay is free. Sellers, though, pay all sorts of fees: a listing fee for each item
they list, a final value fee (a percentage of what the item sold for). They can they pay optional
fees for extra services, including Buy it Now, extra pictures, reserve prices, highlighting the
auction, putting it in bold, listing it first in search results or even putting it on the front page.
You can see a full list of fees at

It’s obviously worth it to the sellers, though, or they wouldn’t carry on using eBay. The system
is quite efficient, and basically forces both eBay and the sellers to keep their profit margins as

low as possible--otherwise prices will simply go too high and the buyers will stop buying.

How Safe is eBay?

All of eBay’s safety services for buyers and sellers are in one place, called “SafeHarbor.”
SafeHarbor handles fraud prevention and investigation, helps with dispute resolution and keeps
rule-breakers in check.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying on eBay

In today's fast changing world of e-commerce like E-bay, people find shopping online the most
convenient way of purchasing items. The fact that a person doesn't even have to drive to and
from the store is exhilarating enough.

To date, E-bay is the most celebrated and the most world-renowned online mall today.

However, there are advantages as well as disadvantages when buying on E-bay. So, it's
important for shoppers out there to take not of these facts before buying items on E-bay.


1. It's relatively simple and within reach. Why? Because eBay makes ones shopping spree just a
click away.

2. Great access. With E-bay, buying items had never been this varied.

3. It's twice as fun. With colorful graphics, unusual items, and weird but quirky listings,
entertainment is just around the corner.

4. A viable online price indicator. Buying on E-bay can give a shopper an insight and update on
the present price of certain commodities these days.

5. Money-back possibility. Most often than not, there's a higher chance of getting back the
buyer's money if things slipped up.


1. "In good condition" not guaranteed. There may be a lot of sellers who use the words "in
good condition," but because the buyer cannot visually and personally examine the item before
purchasing it, most often than not, the items sold were definitely not scratch free.

2. Additional postal fees. The common delivery method of items bought by the buyer is through
mail; additional charges screw up thereby adding hefty charges just for the delivery alone, plus
most transactions are on international basis, so international rates applies.

3. Lack of human touch. There are people who still prefer to go to the mall not just because

they want to go shopping but also they want to tag their friends along, have coffee breaks, and
chat along the way. Buying on e-bay may provide an interactive mode of shopping but it's not a
form of socialization.

4. Too risky. If the Internet is jungle, then there might be big bad wolves lurking on E-bay
ready to gobble probable victims. These refer to scams, frauds, and identity theft.

5. A form of enslavement. Once hooked, shoppers will never get the hang of it. There were
cases wherein people buy things on E-bay almost everyday. After all, with the convenience
online shopping and credit cards give, who wouldn't?

Just like any financial decisions, it still pays for shoppers to contemplate first on things before
jumping into conclusions.

Shopping Online Can Be Fun!

Buying on eBay can be a lucrative activity. However, if not managed properly, it can do
shoppers more harm than good.

Nevertheless, it's still the most convenient way of shopping online. So, to make the most out of
E-bay when a shopper buys things, here's some way to do it:

1. Buyers should know how to buy safely.

Wise buyers should know how to check the seller's reputation by prying on the seller's feedback
section. With more feedback, chances are the seller does not do transactions well.

2. It's a must for a buyer to know more about the seller.

It's best not to buy on impulse. Buyers should take time first on knowing the seller's identity
first. That way, the buyer will be more assured that it's not just a hoax or something.

3. It's a must for every buyer to shop around.

It pays to compare prices before a buyer gets into closing the deal. Just like any market, e-bay
has a wide array of similar items to choose from and each seller will definitely have different
price quotations.

4. A buyer has to look for things that sell as well.

This will give him or her insight what kind of things that sell on E-bay. In that way, they will
have an idea in case they want to sell something someday

5. Common sense is important.

A buyer should know how to detect fraud on an instant. It doesn't need further explanations or

theory. It's instinct!

5. Buying on eBay can be a fun activity.

Shoppers don't have to get out of the browser instantly once they are through with their
transaction. They can still amuse themselves by browsing on the seller's name, comments, and
the other items being sold.

6. Discrepancies should be clarified first before logging out.

If a buyer has already closed the deal and is willing to purchase the item already, it's best to
clarify any discrepancies at once. This is to avoid further misconception regarding the matter or
the item bought.

7. It's best for buyers to choose the right mode of payment.

Activities involving money can be too risky. That's why it's important for most buyers to choose
a reliable mode of payment. They should never go for wire transfers or any payment scheme
outside E-bay rules and regulations. Other wise, there'll be no guarantee that the transaction is
a safe one.

With these suggestions, online shopping will never be the same old risky activity again.

Hot tips for eBay Buyers

Ebay is the world's greatest e-commerce site. With over 147 million registered users from all
over the world, it's definitely here to stay. Whether you're a newbie Ebay buyer or already an
aficionado, you could always make use of the following tips on buying on Ebay.

Know exactly what you're looking for.

There's no other better way to waste your time browsing on eBay than not knowing what you're
actually looking for. If you're not only looking for a single item, it will be helpful to jot down a
list of your "searchable" items.

Browse like a pro.

In EBay, items are sorted and placed in almost 26,000 categories. If you would like to hasten
the searching process, it will help if you look for the same keyword in the titles and captions of
the item listings found. Just tick the small box right under the search box on the results page of
your first search then hit the search button again.

Make use of your options.

To narrow down the category you're searching in, click on the option box above the results,
which is found on the right part of the screen. Then, you can choose whether you would like

your results to be focused on "lowest price", "highest price", "newly listed" or "ending first".

Inspect on the item.

Checking on the authenticity of an item, especially if it's an antique or a memorabilia is a must.
Do your homework by researching more, confirming its condition and not just relying on its
photograph. Comparing it with similar items will also improve your chances of purchasing an
item that's worth your dough.

Know your seller.

Your seller might be continents away from you. It would be a wise move on your part to check
on your seller's credibility. Seeing his feedback rating is one way to accomplish this. It's a
number that's followed by a star. Reading the item's description carefully may also help in
ensuring that you won't get ripped off. The return policies, mode of payment, and postage
costs must be noted well. Also, the "ask seller a question" option is not placed there just for any
reason. Make the most out of it.

Be the Best Bidder.

If an item you value a lot is auctioned and you want to jump in, go stick to your maximum bid.
Bidding higher without really analyzing the item's worth commonly happens. Better consider
that since you're the one buying, you call the shots on where your money will go. Sniping
services can also help in this endeavor.

An Introduction to Bidding and Buying on eBay

Have you noticed that whenever you open a newspaper, watch the TV or have a conversation,
people seem to be talking about eBay? If you’ve never used it and you’ve no idea what it’s all
about, then the chances are that you’re starting to feel a little left out. But don’t worry! This
email contains everything you need to know about the basics of bidding and buying on eBay.

So What is eBay?

eBay is an online auction website--and not just any auction site, but the biggest one in the
world. If you know how an auction works, then you already know how roughly eBay works.
Someone adds something they want to sell to the site, and then buyers come along and place
bids on it. The highest bid wins the item! It’s that simple.

eBay being an online auction makes a big difference, though. Buying and selling are not
reserved for any elite. eBay accept almost any item, no matter how small, and will then
advertise it on their sites all over the world. It’s a powerful combination of an auction and a
slightly chaotic marketplace.

What is Bidding?

Bidding is when you say how much you will pay for an item in an auction. Bidding on eBay,
however, doesn’t work in exactly the same way as a normal auction, at least in theory. On
eBay, you tell the site what the maximum you are willing to pay for each item is, and then eBay
places the bids on your behalf. That means you could say you were willing to pay up to $100
for something and only have to pay $50, if that was the highest maximum bid anyone else

It’s not as complicated as it sounds--the best way to get used to it is to give it a try. First, the
best thing to do is to go to the eBay website designed for your country. If you don’t know the
address for it, just go to and it will tell you there. Now, on the front page you
should see a big box marked “search.” Just type in anything that you’d like to buy there.

Wasn’t that easy? Now you should have a list of items for sale in front of you, along with how
much people are currently bidding for them and the time when bidding ends for each item. If
you click one of these, you can read the description, and then--if you’re happy with the item
and happy to pay more than the current highest bidder is--you can bid!

How Do I Bid?

Go ahead and scroll down to the bottom of an item’s description page, and type the maximum
you are willing to pay (your maximum bid) into the box. Then simply press the “place bid”
button--you will need to sign in once you press the button, or go through a quick registration
process if you don’t have an eBay username).

If someone else’s maximum bid on that item is higher than yours, then eBay will tell you and
give you the opportunity to bid again. Otherwise, you’re now the new highest bidder! All you
need to do now is wait until the end of the auction--if someone else outbids you, then eBay will
email you and you can bid again.

All sounds great, doesn’t it? But by now you might be wondering whether a site as chaotic as
eBay can really be all that safe to buy from. That’s why the next email in this series will be
about your rights when you buy from eBay.

eBay Auction Buyer’s Tips and Tricks

eBay isn’t just an auction and a marketplace: often it can feel quite a lot like a game. Like any
game, you can get ahead if you think strategically, using your head to outwit the other buyers
and get the best price. Here are a few things you can try.

Shop in the Summer.

This is simple, but effective. Summer is the quiet season on eBay--almost everything sells for
less. While everyone else is out enjoying the sun, invest a little time to find some real bargains.

Beat Them by a Few Cents.

Outbid people by a few cents instead of a few dollars--if they don’t check back before the
auction ends, then you will be the winner. To avoid people using this tactic on you, though,
always bid strange, hard-to-guess amounts instead of round numbers.

Play Dirty.

If you know when the auction ends, you can get in there at the very last second and outbid
your rivals. The chances are that they won’t have the time to sit in front of the auction waiting
for it to end--as a rule, he who stays wins. If someone else does retaliate at the end of the
auction, though, try not to get carried away in those last few seconds and end up paying too

Take Risks.

This is a strategy for the braver eBay buyer. All of the advice you will see for eBay beginners
tells you to buy items that have good pictures, clear descriptions, trustworthy sellers and all the
rest. If you’re brave, why not take a risk and do the exact opposite?

Many buyers won’t want that item from the seller with a feedback rating of 5, no picture and a
one-line description. If you take a calculated risk and bid anyway, you might be able to make a
tiny bid and win by default. There are people on eBay who make their living from winning
auctions like these, taking good pictures of the item, writing a good description and then
reselling it at a huge profit. Be careful, though: do this for long enough, and you will inevitably
lose your money at some point. It’s especially unwise to try it with very high-value items.

Avoid Bidding Wars.

There are few things on eBay that are so rare that you’ll only see them once and never again.
There are usually quite a few sellers who have an item. What’s more, they will generally have
more than one to sell, even if they haven’t listed them all at once. Always check your seller’s
history to see whether they sell your item all the time--and if they do, then wait for the next
one instead of bidding to the skies.

What Makes eBay Stand Out for Buyers?

E-Bay is certainly a hit to the market especially for the buyers. The concept of online shopping
or bidding, for that matter, do not appeal too much for buyers but the emergence of E-Bay
made a difference to that. Both buyers and sellers are flocking in the site in order to conduct
their business there. What is the real reason why E-Bay became a hit for buyers?

Well, one of the reasons for the success is the concept that E-Bay had. Auctioning is a good
way to bargain the products but at the same time still have a profitable business. The concept
also of people from all over the world makes it more fun. Most buyers are also looking for a
sweet deal in the Internet because they originally have the original price in their hands.

A good yet quality bargain for customers is important because they are looking for their

money’s worth. Aside from that, E-Bay serves as an online mall or “Internet shopping haven”
for buyers that do not want to be bothered when it comes to hopping from shops to shops. E-
Bay offers a variety of choices for their buyers, which make it fun. The choices and alternatives
that E-Bay offers attract customers who are always on the look out for something new and
fresh. On the other hand, the transactions held in E-Bay are safer and secure if compared to
other portals. In E-Bay, they guarantee the safety as well as the quality of products once a
buyer has purchased it.

When it comes to the design and layout, E-Bay keeps it simple and hassle-free which really is a
priority for buyers that are not particularly technology sassy. The simple design that graces the
computer screen is one of the reasons why people go to E-Bay and purchase what they want
online. As others would say it, simplicity is the key and it is indeed a key to the success of E-

Another factor that makes E-Bay click is the communication ability of the site. Both buyers and
sellers have the chance to communicate openly with each other. Both parties could exchange
views and opinions, which could help both parties as well as E-Bay.

E-Bay is viewed by buyers as a refreshing change against the tight grip of big companies
towards buyers. In E-Bay there is freedom and choice in every transaction made.

Your Rights as an eBay Buyer.

When you buy things on eBay, you pay the seller before they send you anything. This means
that you, as a buyer, are vulnerable to all sorts of problems. You might not get the items you
have paid for, or they might be damaged or faulty. Luckily, you have two very important rights
when you buy on eBay.

The Right to Receive Your Item.

Maybe the seller never sent the item, or maybe it got lost in the post. Whatever happened, you
paid for the item. If it doesn’t arrive in the post as described, you have the right to a
replacement or a refund, whether it’s the seller’s fault or not.

The fact that you bought something on eBay doesn’t mean that you don’t have the exact same
rights that you would have if you bought it in a shop (these rights are pretty much the same all
over the world). Plus, under eBay’s rules, the seller isn’t allowed to change their mind about
selling you the item: once the auction ends, it becomes a contract--you must buy and they
must sell, or face eBay’s penalties.

The Right for Your Item to Be as Described in the Auction.

Sometimes sellers don’t wrap items properly, and so they get broken. Occasionally they write
descriptions that are misleading or just plain wrong to begin with, leaving out vital details that
would have caused you to change your mind about buying. If this happens to you, you again
have the right to a replacement or a refund.

So How Do I Use My Rights?

First, you should take it up with the seller--most will be responsive, as do not want to have their
reputation damaged when an upset buyer leaves negative feedback for all their future buyers to
see. If that doesn’t work, report them to eBay.

While eBay don’t have many people handling complaints, they do have a relatively effective set
of automatic process to handle common problems buyers and sellers have with one another.

Finally, if that doesn’t work, then you should seek advice from consumer groups in your
country, and as a last resort from the police. You should never have to get this far, though:
problems on eBay that can’t be resolved easily are extremely rare.

Don’t Be Too Quick.

Remember not to get too annoyed and be unfair to the seller: nice sellers have agreed to give
me refunds for undelivered items, only for me to find out a few weeks later that they were
being held for me at the post office! Always try your best to communicate and think of
everything that might have gone wrong: eBay works best when buyers and sellers sort out their
problems together, instead of reporting each other to the authorities straight away.

More often that not receiving what they paid for, buyers have an altogether different problem:
they knew what they were paying for, but didn’t realize that what they were paying for was
overpriced, low quality or a scam. The next email will give you a list of tips on how to avoid
being ripped off on eBay.

Understanding eBay Buying Tools

eBay offers quite a few simple tools to help make your buying easier, so you don’t lose track of
what you’re doing. Most of them are on the “My eBay” screen--if you’re logged in, you can go
there just by clicking “My eBay” on the toolbar at the top of any eBay page.

My Summary.

Your summary screen shows what you’re currently buying or selling, as well as any
announcements eBay want to make that day. It is set up as a list of reminders, so it will tell you
if there are items you need to pay for or if you have been outbid—it’s like your eBay “to do” list.

You can make this screen show what you want it to by clicking “Customize Summary” in the
top-right corner. To go to any of the other buying tools pages from here, use the menu on the
left of the screen, under “All Buying.”

Watching: This is your watchlist--the auctions you have decided are worth keeping an eye on
but don’t want to bid on yet. To add an auction to this page, click “Watch this item” in the top-
right corner of its description page. To delete an item, just put a tick in its box on the Watching
page and then click the Delete button.

Bidding: This is a list of all the items you’re currently bidding on. Items that you’re currently
the winning bidder on are highlighted in green, while items that you’ve been outbid on are
shown in red, with an option to bid again.

Best Offers: You can see here all of the best offers you’ve made on Buy it Now items, and
whether or not the seller accepted them.

Won and Didn’t Win: This is where the items from the Bidding page go when the auction is
over. If you won the item, then you will be able to choose an action depending on how far
along you are in the buying process. From here, you can pay, tell the seller you’ve sent
payment, or leave feedback once you’ve got the item. You should keep going through these
steps until you’ve done them all. There are small blue icons to show you which of these steps
you have completed so far, and whether the seller has left any feedback for you.

Don’t worry if you don’t often get the chance to check back at My eBay. If anything important
happens, eBay will email you, and the email should contain a button or link to let you do
whatever you need to do. If you want real control all the time, though, then the tools available
on the My eBay page can work well for you.

By now, you’ve probably dipped your toe in the water and got quite used to buying on eBay--
but is it worth it for you? In the next email, we’ll take a look at the advantages and
disadvantages of buying on eBay.

Taking Advantage of “Slow” eBay Auctions

Some auctions get hundreds of bids, but some go much more slowly, getting only a few bids or
even none at all for days. Auctions are generally much slower during the summer months than
they are in the winter--and sales on eBay are slowing each year, as more sellers than buyers
sign up, hoping to get rich quick. There are a number of ways that you can take advantage of
slower auctions to get the best price.

Wait to Bid.

If you bid, then everyone can see you’re interested--and that might make them interested too.
Leaving the item alone for as long as you can bear will make it look less popular, and keep the
price down so you can come in at the last minute and get a bargain.

Make an Offer.

If the seller is selling an item using “Buy it Now” and it still hasn’t sold when the auction is
about to end, use eBay’s “Best Offer” service to make them an offer on it. The chances are
they’ve listed the item two or three times before, and they’ll be so annoyed at the prospect of
re-listing it yet again that they’ll accept your offer just to get rid of the thing.

Conspire with Other Buyers.

You might not have thought of this, but if there are two auctions for the same item and only
you and one other buyer are bidding, why not get together and work out a “you take this one
and I’ll take that one” deal? This avoids you raising the price on both auctions just to get one
each. If you make a few friends, you can even work together on auctions long-term, taking it in
turns to bid.

Be Snobbish.

Send the seller emails asking questions about the condition of the item, and making it very
clear that you are a discerning buyer and will only accept things of the highest quality. This will
make them feel better about selling you their item for less.

Don’t Feel Guilty.

There really are too many sellers on eBay now, to the point where you can get common items
at very low prices. Long-term, this will probably force those sellers out of business, but that’s
the way a market works—it’s supply and demand.

Buy in Bulk.

When auctions are slow, many sellers will have had the same stock for a long time. If you offer
to take ten things off their hands all at once then you can almost name your price--the chances
are that they’ll fall over themselves to give you a good deal. If you come back again and buy
another ten items then they’ll love you even more.

The longer you spend on eBay, the more experienced you’ll become, and the greater the
chances are that you’ll stumble across an auction for something very odd, and quite

How to Check an eBay Seller’s Reputation (and Why You Should Do It)

When you buy something from an eBay seller, you are giving them your money and hoping that
you will get something in return. However many guarantees of safety eBay might make to you,
nothing is certain: if you just give your money to scammers all the time without doing any
checks then the chances are you won’t get all of that money back.

That’s why you should always check the seller’s reputation, or “feedback rating,” This is a quick
and easy-to-read summary of their history as an eBay seller, which gives you some idea of
whether or not you should trust them with your money. Buying anything is a calculated risk:
you want to minimize that risk.

How to Check Feedback Ratings.

On each item’s description page, there is a box in the top-right hand corner about the seller,
with the title “Seller information.” This contains the seller’s name, their feedback score, and
their positive feedback percentage, as well as any stars they have earned.

Different colored stars are given to eBay sellers depending on their rating, in this sequence:
yellow, blue, turquoise, purple, red, green, shooting yellow, shooting turquoise, shooting
purple, shooting red. Anyone with a “shooting” star is an experienced eBay member who you
should be able to trust.

If you click on the seller’s name, you can get to a more detailed view of their reputation--their
“member profile” page. This page shows the total number of people who gave them a positive
or negative rating, as well as a breakdown by time. You can also see a complete history of all
the comments that have ever been left about them, with the most recent first.

What to Look For.

You might assume that anyone with a very high number can be trusted, but that isn’t always
true. It is more important to look at their positive feedback percentage, and you should really
consider anything below 99% to be a red flag and investigate further.

Take a look through the first visible page with the most recent transactions: are there any
negative comments? What do they say? Take others’ experiences into account, as they could
happen to you if you deal with this person. Be careful not to punish sellers unfairly, however, if
they did bad things in their past on eBay but have improved since. You should look at the
breakdown by time and ignore any negative feedback that was left a long time ago. Equally,
though, you should sit up and pay attention if a seller seems to have been left an out-of-
character amount of bad feedback in the last month or so.

Now that you know who to trust, it is worth learning a little more about how the different kinds
of auctions work, so that you don’t accidentally slip up and make yourself and your feedback
page look bad. Our next email will be about the different kinds of auctions you can expect to
encounter during your time on eBay.

Introducing the New eBay “Buyer’s Credit” Program

In an effort to compete with more “traditional” shops, eBay has started to offer finance
agreements though PayPal for expensive items. This means that, if the seller decides to offer it,
you can now spread the cost of an item into affordable monthly payments.

This is good for buyers, good for sellers, and good for eBay. Buyers can get the kind of credit
agreements they’re used to in shops. Sellers can make their items more attractive to buyers
who might not have all the money then and there, but eBay still pays the sellers upfront ñ they
don’t have to wait to be paid each month or anything like that. Buyers make their monthly
payments to PayPal’s credit provider instead.

The APR of the Buyer’s Credit program is currently 12.9%. You can pay back $999 or more over
12 months, or $1,999 or more over 24 months. There are also interest-free options for
purchases of $199 or more over 3, 6 or 12 months.

The reason why some of these credit offers sound better than others is that it is up to the seller
to decide how good the credit offer should be and pay extra to PayPal to offer it. To give their
buyer the best promotion, for example, of no interest for twelve months, the seller must pay
3.75% of the item’s cost to PayPal.

Basically, this means that sellers pay less when the buyers pay interest, and sellers pay the cost
of the interest on the interest-free offers. PayPal makes its interest either way, buyers are
happy to get credit, and sellers are happy to sell more.

Can I Get This Credit?

On items over $199, Buyer’s Credit is now being automatically offered to buyers in the USA
only. Just click the link when you buy something for more than $199 and you will be taken
through the application process, which includes a 30-second check on your credit history. Then
you just go through the buying process as normal, and you get your item before you’ve paid a

Why are eBay Offering This?

eBay say they want to “level the playing field,” to allow eBay businesses to compete with the
big chain stores, and they also want to promote PayPal as a payment method. Relatively few
buyers can afford the more expensive items on eBay all at once, and so the introduction of
Buyer’s Credit seems likely to significantly increase prices and sales at the higher end of the

It is worth noting that you can use Buyer’s Credit anywhere PayPal is accepted, not just on
eBay. PayPal say it’s “like a credit card--minus the card!” You don’t get a card number ñ you
can pay with credit with just your email address and password.

The only thing left to do now, then, is find the best deal for that really special item--the
expensive thing you’ve been wanting for ages but could never afford. But how can you be sure
you’re getting the best price? Try our tips and tricks for eBay searching, in the next email.

How to Find Great Deals at eBay

Everyone loves a great deal! Many people spend quite a bit of time searching for good deals on
the items that they want and need--and when they find those deals, they experience a certain
amount of satisfaction. These people typically haunt garage sales, stores that are holding sales,
wholesale warehouses, flea markets, and especially online and offline auctions. With the
incredible number of auctions that are constantly going on at eBay, it can be difficult to find the
items you want, at the price you want to pay. But it isn’t impossible to find great deals!

There are steps you can take to ensure that you are getting a great deal on the items you
purchase through eBay. In fact, these same steps will also help to protect you against fraud.
Participating in online auctions is a great deal of fun, but you must use caution as well. This
caution entails doing your research before you place any bids.

Start with the auction in question. Make sure that you read every word of the description and
the auction details. You can never have too much information--especially if that information is
about an individual that you may be doing business with. Pay special attention to what the
description and auction details do not say. For instance, is a guarantee mentioned? Is the item
new? Is it authentic? Is there proof of authenticity? Look for auctions that provide the right
information--and the right amount of information. Avoid those that do not.

Who will pay the shipping and handling costs? Often, the buyer pays these costs, and
sometimes, the seller tries to charge more than the actual shipping and handling costs are.
Beware of high shipping costs, especially for items that will be auctioned off at a very low price.
Also note when the item is supposed to ship after the bidding has ended. Depending on what
you are trying to purchase the item for, it may not arrive in time.

Don’t make the mistake of bidding on an item simply because it is a “good deal.” It is only a
good deal for you if the item is something that you really want or need. Many people simply bid
for the sake of bidding--or winning--without having any real need or desire for the item in
question. Before bidding on items that you do want or need, check prices around the Internet
and the prices available from offline sources as well. Just because it is on eBay does not
guarantee that it is the cheapest price available!

Finally, learn more about the seller. Can you trust them? What is their rating? Read their
feedback page! Failure to learn more about the seller can be costly. Not everyone is as honest
as you are, and the seller may be trying to take advantage of people that simply don’t know
enough to find out more about them. Sometimes scammers make their auctions sound like
really great deals. Beware of prices that seem extremely low!

How to Avoid Losing to eBay Snipers

Sniping occurs when a bid is about to end. Some yahoo rushes in and bids a little higher than
the highest bid as the clock runs out of time--winning the bid. Sniping is against the rules at
eBay, but it doesn’t slow the snipers down! In most cases, even if you report it, the sniper will
get away with it, and you will have lost the item that you wanted to win so badly.
Unfortunately, in order to avoid losing the items you want to snipers at eBay, you have to take
on the sniper mentality. You also need to snipe in a way that will not violate eBay’s rules.

Snipping can be done in one of two ways. The first way is the safest, but not necessarily the
easiest. Simply keep up with the item you are bidding on. Make a note of the date and time
that the auction will end, and make sure that you are in front of your computer and logged into
the auction well before that specific time. The objective is to either bid higher than the highest
bid during the last few seconds, which is what snipers do - or to simply make sure that you are
not outbid by a sniper.

Remember that sniping is against the rules, so you should log in about thirty or forty-five
minutes before the bidding ends, and get your bid up until it is the highest bid. At that point, all
you need to do is to keep an eye out to make sure that nobody else raises the bid. If you’ve

been logged in for a while, this cannot be considered sniping.

Using this method, you must be aware of automatic bidders. It is very hard to bid against
people who use bidding software. That software has been designed for the purpose of snipping,
and your chances of outbidding the software manually are very slim--which leads us to the
second method of snipping--Snipping services.

Snipping services are very easy to find online, and they are relatively inexpensive. You can also
purchase your own snipping software. If you want to become a sniper, purchasing your own
software is usually the best way to go if you bid on a lot of items. You just set up the software,
tell it which auction to watch and what the highest price you are willing to bid is, and let it do
the work - just remember that it is against the rules, and while eBay seldom enforces this rule,
you will be running the risk of getting banned from eBay.

Sniping is bad if someone does it to you, but if you use it yourself to win bids, it can be a
wonderful thing. On the other hand, it may not be very ethical. Outbidding someone is one
thing, sniping is something altogether different!

Clueless What To Buy On eBay?

Being clueless on what items to buy on E-bay is a phase.

In fact, it's the very first step to online shopping. With every new day, online shoppers conquer
more E-bay buying techniques, and slowly lift off the novice's launch pad.

From then on, online shoppers realize there's more they can buy on E-bay than meets the eye.

Generally, E-bay is comprised of almost all the things a buyer would want and need under the
sun. In fact, it seems that E-bay's selling almost everything.

Because of its diversity in items being sold, E-bay categorized each item for easier search.
Though, each listing varies from one country to another.

Generally, online shoppers may choose to buy things under the category of antiques. These
may include old-fashioned decors; house wares; vintage cars, clothing, and accessories; historic
collector's item; and old postcards.

Buyers may also deliberate on buying items classified under the automotive category. These
may range from cars to accessories to almost insignificant extras like car stickers, car perfumes,
and collectibles.

Those who are looking for computer gadgets, electronic bolts, or printers may look at the
Electronics and Computers category of E-bay.

E-bay listings also have the basic necessities like clothes, shoes, and accessories. It also
includes different kinds of jewelries like trinkets, charms, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings,

watches, and ornaments.

Those who are looking for stamps and other collectables like postcards, old papers, even
different kinds of minerals, rocks, and fossils will find E-bay a very lucrative place to do online

E-bay also caters to people who are into sports. Buyers can find different sorts of sports
gadgets, sports get-ups, and tools. Those who are hobbyists may also find practical tools for
their respective hobbies like gardening tools, cross-stitching paraphernalia, cooking and baking
utensils, or scrapbooks.

Best of all, E-bay offers a great line of entertainment appliances and high-tech gadgets like
mobile phones, mp3 players, pc tablets, PDAs, memory cards, flash cards, video cameras,
digital cameras, audio recorders, sensors, and camcorders.

Aside from these common items that reflect fads and fashions in today's contemporary society,
e-bay has also that special section that consists of "everything else." These are the things that
do not fall under the basic categories. These are ephemera, costumes, children's themed gift
sets, party packages, mobile sim card, and mobile load, even a Google account.

With these things, buyers can be assured of a wide array of things and gadgets that would
serve them best provided that it does not fall under E-bay's prohibited list.

The eBay Blacklist

 eBay can be most likened to an online flea market. But, as with most flea markets, there is
always the possibility that questionable hawkers lurk around the corners. Therefore, there must
be rules in place to insure that the auctions and transactions formed through eBay are legal.
Only then can a market--online or not--flourish.

Certain types of items are prohibited or regulated on eBay. eBay reserves the right to terminate
auctions that violate its specifications for allowed items on listing. In the case of such, eBay
emails the bidder and the seller to notify them of the violation and to explain the need to
terminate the auction.

 EBay’s policies describe items that may not be posted for auction. They fall under three
categories: Prohibited Questionable, and Potentially Infringing.


This describes items that are not permitted on eBay. This list includes alcohol, tobacco, drugs,
animals, human parts or remains, government properties, lottery tickets, and others. eBay
contains a complete list of such in their policy statement.


Items listed as questionable can be posted provided they follow certain conditions. For example,
some adult material may be listed for auctioning only if they are posted in the Mature Audiences
section of eBay. Event tickets may be sold provided that the auction closes before the actual
event itself. The list also includes batteries, artifacts, food, used items, event tickets, weapons
and knives, police related equipment, Freon, hazardous chemicals, offensive material, mature
audiences material, international selling, and international buying among others.

Potentially Infringing

Items listed under this heading may be legal. However, they almost always violate copyright,
trademark, and other rights. Some examples of such are: academic software, beta software,
bootleg recordings, contracts and tickets, downloadable media, movie prints, OEM software,
Replica and counterfeit items, and unauthorized copies.

This list is updated periodically and is incorporated into the User Agreement of eBay. These
guidelines do not represent legal advice. It would do well to check with law enforcement
agencies, a lawyer, or other legal outlets to verify the legality of a questionable item to be

This policy applies even if you offer to give your item away for free. As long as it is posted on
eBay, it is subject to the abovementioned policy.

As a final note, it is stressed that the buyer is subject to liability if he or she purchases an illegal
item. It is still the responsibility of the buyers and sellers to monitor the legality of their
transactions since eBay is merely a facilitator in the market process.

Doing Your Holiday Shopping on eBay

Most people do far more shopping in the holiday season than they do for the rest of the year--
and now you know how to use eBay, why not do it there? If you know what kind of thing your
friends and family like then eBay’s categories are ideal places to get ideas. Plus, you won’t have
to fight your way through the holiday rush when you’re getting everything posted to you at

Buying Presents for People.

Here’s how I do it: think of the last thing the person you’re buying a present for bought for
themselves. Type it into eBay’s search engine. Now take a look at which category it’s in, and
click the link to look at everything in the category. Straight away, you have a huge list of things
that they’re probably be happy to receive--and if you know them well, you should have no
trouble picking through to find something really special.

Look at Their eBay Histories.

If the people you’re buying presents for use eBay, and you know their eBay usernames, then
you can take a look at what they’ve been buying to see what they might want. To look at a

user’s history, just click “Advanced Search” on the main page, then Find a Member on the left-
hand menu. Type in their username and you should reach their user page, complete with all the
item numbers of things they have bought. Just paste any item number into the eBay search box
to see what the item was. That should give you a few ideas!

Shop in Advance.

It’s a bad idea to use eBay for your holiday shopping at the very last minute--prices will be
high, and items might not turn up in time. Every year there’s a present that children want so
much that all the shops sell out, and it starts appearing on eBay at a premium. Parents then
pay hundreds of dollars and still don’t get one in time for the big day. Don’t fall into this trap.

Remember You’re in Silly Season.

The holiday season is peak time at eBay--loads of people are there, and they’re often
inexperienced, bidding things up far higher than they should. Try not to end up paying far too
much for an item just because it’s the last one that would turn up in time, or because everyone
else is bidding too high. You should always know when to cut your losses, stop bidding and just
go get something from the shop instead.

Have Fun!

Don’t take eBay too seriously ñ treat it like a game, and don’t be too disappointed if you lose. It
can sometimes feel like gambling, but when you get that really rare and special thing in the
post, it’s all worth it.

That’s it for our series of emails about buying on eBay: I hope you learned something, and
good luck in your eBay future. By now, though, you might have started to think it would be
interesting to try selling a few things on eBay yourself. Well, you’re not alone. Go ahead and
sign up now for our emails about selling things on eBay. See you there!

How to Become an eBay “Sniper”

If you bid for a few things on eBay, the chances are that sooner or later you’ll end up getting
your bid beaten at the very last second by a “sniper” This can be a frustrating experience, and
while in theory sniping is against the rules and you can report it to eBay, in practice they never
do anything about it.

The bad news is that there’s only one way to beat the sniper--and that’s to become the sniper.
The good news, though, is that once you understand sniping you can use it to win auctions at a
far lower price than you would otherwise.

Manual Sniping.

Manual sniping isn’t that hard, if you have a lot of time to spare and a reasonably fast Internet
connection. Write down when each auction that are bidding on ends, and then make sure that

you’re sitting there in front of the page for that vital last minute. You can then outbid the
current winning bidder, or defend your own winning bid.

The only tip you really need to remember for manual sniping is to make sure that you set your
maximum bid quite high--otherwise you might be automatically outbid, and the auction will
have ended before you can bid again.

Also, it’s not worth your time to compete against someone who is using an automated sniping
service--if it’s any good, then they will always manage to outbid you. In the sniping arms race,
you need to find a sniper of your own.

Automatic Sniping.

If you type “ebay sniping” into your favorite search engine, you’ll come up with plenty of online
services that will snipe on your behalf for a small fee. They usually let you have a free trial, so
give it a go.

If you don’t want to pay each time for an online service, then you might be better off getting a
piece of software like SnipeIt ( or SnipeRight ( You can
pay for these once and use them for as long as you want. Once you’ve installed the software on
your computer, you tell it which auctions you want sniped and the maximum amount you’re
willing to pay. The software will then place the bid with only a few seconds left. The only
disadvantage is that you need to be able to leave your computer on nearly all the time, or you
might miss the end of some auctions.

A Sniping Alternative.

If this all sounds a bit too much like playing dirty for you, then is another, more low-tech way to
get around sniping. You can just email the seller and say that you were sniped at the last
minute but would really like the item. If they have another to sell, the chances are they’ll agree
to sell it to you for the price the auction closed at.

Of course, there’s more to eBay than just bidding--the site offers a whole set of tools to help
you manage your auctions. In the next email, we’ll take a look at these tools.

Tips for Buying Collectibles on eBay

Buying collectibles is one of the most enjoyable things to do on eBay, simply because you can
find so many things that you just can’t get anywhere else. Here are a few tips to help you on
your way.

Find your Category.

You’ll probably find that all the items you’re after are listed in a single category. Add this
category to your browser’s Favorites, and keep coming back.

Look for Mistakes.

If you collect something, the chances are you know a lot about it. This can be your opportunity
to make a mint from a seller’s mistake. They might not realize that they have a rare version of
an item, or they might have left off the key information that makes it valuable. If you’re willing
to email the seller and ask them a few questions about the item to confirm that it is what you
think it is, then you should be able to buy items like these. You can then resell them at a big
profit, if that’s what you want to do.

Don’t Always Believe Descriptions.

If you find something you haven’t heard of, and the description calls it “rare,” don’t assume that
it actually is. Far too many sellers just put “rare” into all of their descriptions--the chances are
that the item is common and has just been described wrongly. Don’t bid unless you know what
you’re buying.

Stalk Other Users.

When you collect something, you’ll probably notice that there are four or five sellers who seem
to come up with consistently good items--and the same buyers buying them. Add their user
pages to your Favorites, and check back often to see what they’ve got--or what they’re bidding
on ñ that you might be interested in.

Don’t Get Too Attached to an Auction.

There are millions of items being listed every day on eBay--whatever you want, it’ll come
around again, and if you don’t get it there are plenty more things to buy. This is similar to the
golden rule of negotiating: always be prepared to walk away. If you can’t walk away, then
expect to pay over the odds. There are few things so rare that another seller won’t have one to
sell. Go and bid in a lower-priced auction, instead of getting into a bidding war in one that is
already expensive.

Beware of the Postage.

If you collect lots of small things with a relatively low value, you might end up paying as much
for postage as you do for each item. You should take these costs into consideration when you
make your bid. Another good strategy is to always buy a few things at once from the same
buyer, as they will almost always offer you a discount on the postage.

When you’re bidding, you might notice that some auctions go more slowly than others, going
days at a time without any new bids. The next email tells you how to take advantage of these
“slow” auctions.

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