Are You A Good Buyer?

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New to eBay or unsure about the process of buying? Here are some tips from a seller about how to be a good buyer - useful for guaranteeing positive feedback!

1. Ensure you read everything on the item description page THOROUGHLY and make sure you understand it - especially the dimensions of the item (don’t make any assumptions) - if in doubt always send a query to the seller via ‘ask the seller a question’ on the item page.

This will also give you a very good indication about the kind of person you’re dealing with - are they polite? Are they prompt with their reply? Are the helpful?

MANY buyers make the mistake of either not reading the item page properly, or they misunderstand the information, or they make assumptions - all of this leads to disappointment.

Remember - when you win a Lot or place an order this is a legal agreement for you to BUY IT. If you change your mind, because you later realise you’ve misread or misunderstood anything on the item description page you CANNOT simply refuse to pay - this will gain you a ‘non-payment strike’ and without doubt negative feedback from the seller.

Remember - Not every seller accepts returns unless the item is not as described. So PLEASE make sure you understand what you’re buying; if in doubt ALWAYS ask the seller BEFORE you make a bid or place an order.

2. Always pay PROMPTLY - Most sellers on eBay prefer Pay Pal and it’s common etiquette to pay within 3-4 days of winning/ordering. Some sellers are very strict about this, so please ensure you read the sellers ‘terms of sale’. Some sellers will cancel your order and relist the Lot if they haven’t been paid within four days. In any case, eBay states that if a seller hasn’t received cleared payment within TEN DAYS they can pursue you via the ‘Dispute Panel’ in MyeBay and have a ‘non-payment strike’ made against you.

It’s EXTREMELY important that you always contact the seller and let them know if your payment might be delayed for any reason, otherwise the seller will get very annoyed with you and may proceed to the ‘Dispute Panel’ and may leave you negative feedback even though you didn’t mean to cause any trouble.

If you’re paying by post PLEASE send your payment FIRST CLASS the next day. Please don’t mark the item as ‘payment sent’ until you ACTUALLY post the payment, because the seller knows in MyeBay that you’ve marked the item in this way and they won’t appreciate not receiving it as expected! ALWAYS get a ‘Proof of Posting’ receipt from the Post Office as your proof that payment was sent in case there is any dispute later.

Remember that postal payments can take 3-4 days to get to the seller and then between 3-10 days before the payment clears in their bank account, so you may be waiting around TWO WEEKS or more for your goods to arrive.

Also - Please remember that Pay Pal e-Cheques take TEN FULL DAYS to clear in the seller’s Pay Pal account, so you will be waiting around two weeks to receive your goods.

3. It’s reasonable to expect a message from the seller either when payment has been received or when your goods are being dispatched - this is good seller etiquette; however, it’s not an obligation and a lot of sellers don’t bother to keep their buyers ‘in the loop’.

So therefore after you’ve made payment and still haven’t heard from the seller or received your order within a few days PLEASE message the seller via MyeBay and enquire what’s happening - there could be any number of possible valid delays - PLEASE don’t immediately go and leave negative feedback without first questioning the seller, because your comment CANNOT later be removed.

If the goods haven’t arrived and the seller isn’t responding you need to seek advice from eBay’s ‘Help’ pages about how to proceed.

4. A good buyer will always remember to leave positive feedback after they receive their goods. Plus if you’re happy with the seller then please add them to your ‘Favourite Sellers’ list in MyeBay and use them again!

Leaving negative feedback is extremely serious and should only be done if there’s been a very bad problem (after all other avenues of resolution have been exhausted). Never leave negative feedback for minor issues - these should go into the Neutral feedback section.


Good buying seems like common-sense, but if you’re new to eBay or in a rush it’s easy to make mistakes - and everyone does! It’s always best to take your time - read everything through properly - pay promptly - keep in contact with the seller - and remember to leave positive feedback (when it’s deserved). If you can do all that then your buying experience should be a good one and the seller will reward you with positive feedback. Easy!


Thanks for reading.

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