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Buyer's Tips Newsletter
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eBay Buying Tips

If you're a seller click here instead!!

Before Bidding eBay Tips

General auction merchandise questions:
The most important auction tip is never hesitate to ask questions of the seller. It is crucial to your buying satisfaction that you ask all questions relating to authenticity, size, and condition. Also, ask any other question that is specific to the product you are bidding on and hasn't been disclosed by the seller. - If a seller doesn't answer your questions, it doesn't mean it was stupid, it probably means that you just saved yourself from dealing with a bad seller! Regardless of feedback, a seller should always answer legitimate questions in a timely manner.

All auctions tip : Always check Payment and Shipping Terms:
Make sure that the delivery method of the product you are bidding on is acceptable to you. Make sure that it is not highly overpriced or not going to arrive for an unreasonable amount of time. Beware of sellers who use the funds at auction's end to purchase the goods that were advertised. This can promote long delays for the buyer, and can usually be picked up by noting an unusually long amount of time before item leaves sellers possession.

All auctions tip : As for payment terms, make sure you are capable of paying within the terms described. Do you have a credit card if that is the only form of payment accepted? Are you willing to spend additional money for a money order or cashiers check if necessary? It may be safer to use an escrow company if you are purchasing a bid ticket item and cannot pay by credit card. Sending a check or money order for an expensive auction purchase can be dangerous!

All auctions tip : Read those auction descriptions twice!:
Make sure you don't miss a word such as Gucci "Style" which tells you that the product you are buying is not authentic but in fact a replica. Often times sellers will use this "key" word one time and omit it from every other reference to "Gucci" or whichever namebrand they are using to describe their product. Don't get burned Auction Bidders!

eBay Tip : Check those feedback ratings:
It's very important to note that the number specified next to a seller's name such as:
bid_n_sell( 66) this tells you that he/she has 66 positive feedbacks after subtracting any negative feedback, if any. An auction seller's feedback rating is very important in determining his/her level of customer satisfaction. The higher the rating the more assured you can be that your transaction will go smoothly. Please remember to check the percentage of positive/negative feedback. If they have negative marks, be sure to check to make sure they aren't related to the item you're interested in. Not Good ! That would be the first sign to run! Another, auction feedback thought is to check how many of the auction seller's feedback remarks list him/her as an auction buyer or auction seller. He/she may be the greatest auction buyer in the world but that doesn't mean you should trust him with your money!

All auctions tip : Placing your bid:
If you decide that everything looks good, and you are ready to bid, then let's look at how to make this a successful purchase. First, remember that if the auction ends with you as the high bidder, you are legally obligated to follow through with the purchase (unless you did not meet the seller's reserve price). Don't be a deadbeat bidder it's torture to the sellers >: ) I advise that you avoid getting caught up in the buying frenzy that often carries an item price waaayyy above its market value. I'm going to tell you a couple of techniques about how to avoid this.

eBay uses a hidden proxy bidding system for standard auctions. This means that your bid is hidden from public view and eBay's computer bids for you in your absence up to the maximum amount that you decided on when you placed your bid. The amount bid by proxy in your behalf is governed by how much other bidders bid and a pre established minimum increment. Theoretically, you could bid a million dollars on an auction item, but you will never pay more than the minimum increment it took to overtake all other bidders maximum bids.

First, evaluate the item and decide what it is really worth to you. If you're planning of re-selling the item the best auction tip I can give you is to think from your potential customer's perspective when determining value. Second, Now you need to write that amount down, and the time one hour before the auction ends next to it. Your going to have to be around to put your last minute bid in so plan ahead. (If you can't be there then click here: Gotta Bid Now!) When the time comes you need to check on your item and hit your browser refresh every few moments. When there is about 20 minutes left, if you haven't noticed much activity you are safe to put in a your maximum bid and let eBay do the rest. If you already see that people are bidding frantically, try placing a bid under your minimum but above the current bid. See how fast someone overtakes your bid. If instantly, there is a good chance that some one else has set a maximum bid using eBay's bidding proxy. I suggest you keep trying with the minimal bid increases to determine what their maximum is. Stick around till the last minute!

If you can, try puting in conservative bids one at a time when there are many sellers with the same item. If you don't win one, then try bidding a bit higher on the next one. If you don't have time or the patience to check up on an item remember to still Take the Time to make sure the deal, really is a deal! The last thing I want is one of this site's visitors getting burned! Then, decide on your threshold price and put in a maximum bid that wont leave you feeling buyer's remorse. eBay will bid for you untill all others stop bidding or your maximum bid is reached. This is a good way of sticking to your own good judgement concerning an items value.

When you are the high bidder:
Contact the seller within 3 days of auction end, unless they specified otherwise. This is the first step in assuring that you receive positive feedback points as a buyer. Then email him/her your shipping address (double check it) and make them aware of your payment method. Request any info that you need to complete payment to them and make sure to take care of it as quickly as possible. Include your address on and in any regular mail correspondance you have with the seller. Try not to worry if your item is a day late, don't think the worst. Especially if a seller does tremendous volume of sales online than a brief delay can be understood. Any longer and you should submit him/her a polite email confirming that the item has in fact been shipped.

  • So remember do all your deciding before bidding, not after or during.
  • Make sure that you are in agreement with all terms.
  • Decide on your bidding strategy.
  • Don't get into a bidding frenzy!
  • Follow through with your commitment if you win.

And check back next month for our Power Buying Tips that will take you to a whole new level of buying expertise! - This is just the beginning, and good luck bidders!


Ten Tips for Buying Smart in 2007 in: eBay Buying Tips
It’s a brand new year, and there’s a world of shopping at your fingertips. This is the year for you to buy smart on eBay and other online auction sites. You’ve learned your lessons (I know that I have!) about getting into bidding frenzies or going overboard on collectibles. Now it’s time to make some resolutions about buying on eBay. Remember: it’s all about finding great bargains, making good choices, and sharing the wealth! Here are 10 tips for buying smart in 2007: 1. Use your watch list. This is one of eBay’s best features: use your watch list to help “curb your enthusiasm” and make smart buying choices. When you decide that it’s time to search for a particular item – for example, that sterling silver money clip for your business-savvy younger brother – use your watch list first, before you place your bid. Once you’ve been shopping for a specific item for a while, you can get a sense of what’s available and what you like. Take your time; most items on eBay will show up again.
Honestly, These are Some Great Deals in: eBay Buying Tips
Do you ever wish that you had a personal shopper? You know – someone to do all the leg work for you: search for what you would like best, find out where the deals are, and get back to you with a list of what’s available and for how long? And with pictures, too? And wouldn’t it be great if all of this were free? Consider this your lucky day. I’ve got a personal shopper for all your eBay buying. Honesty.com is an easy-to-use and free auction tool that will make shopping on eBay more efficient and even more fun.
Who Else Wants to Find the Perfect Gift on eBay, Part II in: eBay Buying Tips
I want to find the perfect gifts, and I know that you do, too! In an earlier column I talked about finding the perfect gift for the history buff in your life. In this column I’d like to focus on selecting the perfect gift for the hobbyist on your list. With eBay, it’s really so easy. My family – bless their hearts, they are eBay newbies – is constantly amazed that I can find just about anything at a moment’s notice. When Mom’s friend joined the Red Hat Society, there I was with cards, jewelry, craft items … you name it, all about the Red Hats. When our little West Highland Terrier pup joined the family, I had my hands on calendars, ornaments and t-shirts that would take a brick-and-mortar shopper weeks to track down. The fact is eBay has it all.
Who Else Wants to Find the Perfect Gift on eBay, Part I in: eBay Buying Tips
Ah, the perfect gift… Is that what you’re looking for? Well, forget that nasty music at the mall and those over-perfected ladies at 5-star department stores. It’s all so passé! Today’s perfect gifts can be found online. Sit back, enjoy the music that you like, and start shopping. Coming from a family of 12 (yes, 12!), I have lots of experience buying and receiving gifts. In our family there are six boys, six girls. I like to buy for the girls because they are so expressive: “Oh, wow! I’ve always wanted this!” But the fellows, they are just a bit of a mystery. If you are looking for the “perfect gift,” I have a great suggestion for you: find your gift recipient’s connection to history. eBay offers probably the most amazing selection in the world for a vintage or history-related gifts.
Wrap a Gift That You Can Be Proud Of in: eBay Buying Tips
“It’s a wrap!” Oh, we’d love to be on a Hollywood set and hear those words. Who doesn’t want to be a star? Ah… the attention, the red carpet, the flashing of cameras. You CAN be a star. While I cannot promise that you will make it to the bright lights of L.A., most of us will soon be sitting around the twinkling lights of Christmas trees. And that’s a place where each of us can be a star – the one who gives the finest gifts, wrapped with love and care. It’s not too early to start thinking about the holidays. I hope that you’ve read my tips for successful holiday shopping!
Five Tips for Successful Holiday Shopping in: eBay Buying Tips
Do you remember “A Charlie Brown Christmas”? If you’re a Gen-Xer, it was actually made before your time, but like many of us, you’ve watched it year after year. It is, after all, a classic. My favorite line is one by Lucy Van Pelt, when she talks about what she really wants for Christmas. From the movie database, IMBD.com: Lucy Van Pelt: I know how you feel about all this Christmas business, getting depressed and all that. It happens to me every year. I never get what I really want. I always get a lot of stupid toys or a bicycle or clothes or something like that. Charlie Brown: What is it you want?
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