Ebay Online Shopping Guide
Before beginning the Ebay Online Shopping Guide, I suggest you read the tips that are suitable for all the online shopping sites – listed in our any Online Store Shopping Guide.
This page is undeniable part of this Ebay Online Shopping Guide.
Ebay is global international site, where you can buy anything from anywhere. It is a little more complicated than Amazon and Aliexpress on the User Interface, but still sometimes you can find items there that you will not in any other store.
Ebay quality – Seller’s rating
The only thing you can find here that correlates to quality of items and service is the seller’s rating.
Another thing that is important (from statistical point of view) is the number of reviews per seller. It is a number between the parentheses next to the name of the seller – example: Some_Shop (1639). High number of reviews means high rate of orders. The higher the number of orders the more stable the seller ratings are. If a seller has a rating of 100% and only 15 reviews, it means that he is new and you still can’t know for sure about the service. Maybe when 100 people will order from him the rating will get lower to 90%, which is very low. You get the idea. I usually don’t buy from sellers with number of reviews lower than 1000.
Searching Items on Ebay by Seller Rating
My only problem with Ebay is that there is no option for searching items and filtering them by Seller’s Rating. Ascending or descending – doesn’t matter, there’s just no option. So, I wrote a guide for Searching Ebay items by Seller Rating with Twinword Finder Chrome Extension.
Ebay Online Shopping Guide – Item Condition
No Ebay Online Shopping Guide won’t be complete without Item Conditions explanation. Usually, I don’t buy items that are “Used” and “Pre-Owned”. Even if you buy this item from seller with high rating and high reviews quantity – it is still a used item. The seller can’t always know what are the flows of the item that he is selling. Maybe he is not using all the features – then you receive the item you ordered for a specific purpose to find out that this specific feature has malfunctioned. Usually, used items can’t be returned, so you can’t do nothing with it. Off course, there are items that maybe can’t be bought as new so in this case it is the only option – books, relics, accessory items, software (off course software is good in any condition). This is something for you to decide, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
On Ebay there are many item condition categories available: New with tags, New without tags, New with defects, Manufacturer refurbished, Seller refurbished, Pre-Owned, Not specified. Pre-Owned is self-explanatory. Not specified – I wouldn’t touch at all. In most cases this is from low quality sellers that don’t state the condition of their items.
Refurbished items are more like used items. Someone used them, they broke and the Seller or the Manufacturer fixed them and now you can buy them again. Usually, will cost you lower than a new item, but still any item that broke and it was fixed is not reliable. Off course it depends on the fix itself. There is a difference in changing the mainboard in electronic device to the new one and changing a capacitor that leaked on old board. New board means almost new item, just an old housing. New capacitor means the same old board. If today one capacitor leak tomorrow it will be another one. So, check the description.
New without tags is basically a new item that was opened and doesn’t have a box, but it is still an unused item (clothes, books). In this case you can only rely on seller’s rating and to trust that the item is really new and wasn’t used before. If you want to be sure – always go with the “New with tags” condition, which are new items in the box.
Ebay Listing types – Accepts Offers / Make offer
While conducting a search for an item (let’s say “Watch”), the first bar that you will see in the results page is types of listings: All Listings, Accepts Offers, Auction, Buy It Now.
If you select “Accepts Offers”, you will see only the listings that you can propose a certain amount of money you would like to pay for the item. When you click on the item, it will open and you will see not only the [Buy it Now] and [Add to Cart] buttons, but also [Make Offer].
“Make offers” are great. You can almost always lower the price of the item by a few bucks. If an item has very high value, it is even possible to lower the price for a hundred bucks. Depends on the price and the seller. Any way, if this option is available the seller is ready to negotiate. Off course it is useful if it is not the last available item in the seller’s store. Usually, the response from seller take at least a day and if it is last item, someone else can take it at this time for a full price, while you’re waiting for response. It is also great if you’re not in a hurry – sometimes it can take longer than a day for seller to response. Also, consider weekends when most of the sellers don’t work and don’t respond.
Ebay Listing types – Auctions and Tips
If in the search result page, you will click on the listing type “Auctions”, you will be shown all the listings that a seller put on action for a certain amount of time and the highest bidder at the end of that time – actually buys the item.
When opening the page with the item, you will see how much time left until the bidding is over, how many bids there are already and an option to place your bid. More experienced Ebay users will bid in the last minute of the bidding time.
Which also will be my suggestion: don’t bid in the middle of the action, thus not to make it more expensive at the end. Bid in the last 10 seconds or so. Take into consideration that it takes time since you placed your bid and the page stored it in the database, so 10 seconds is mostly enough. Bid a little higher than the next bid. For example, if currently the price is $45 and each bidding step is $5, it means that next step is $50. Rest a sure that most of the bidders will make the exact same price of $50, so bidding twice + something as the bidding step (like $56) will most likely win the auction for you.