As a consumer, you will find many great deals on items that you want and need through eBay auctions. Many people visit eBay on a daily basis looking for auctions for items that they may be interested in â€“ simply because eBay auctions are so much fun!
However, before you start buying on eBay, there are some steps that you need to take. Here are five things you must do before buying on eBay.
1. You can't buy anything without registering first.
Registration is free and only takes a few minutes. You will be asked for credit card information, and this is required before you will be able to bid on auctions. Your email address must be confirmed before your account will become active, so make sure that you use the correct email address.
You will be given the option to sign up for a Paypal account, if you don't already have one, and you should strongly consider doing so. Signing up with Paypal is free, and many auctions will require you to have a Paypal account.
2. Once you have completed the registration process, you are ready to start bidding on auctions.
However, don't jump in right away. Navigate around the site a bit, and get a feel for things first. Some unscrupulous sellers try to take advantage of new eBay users, and you must be wary of them.
Start by searching for the items that you are interested in. Using the category list, click on the categories that you feel that you are interested in, and start looking at the open auctions in those categories. You should find the items that you are looking for quite easily.
3. Once you have found items that you want to bid on add the auction to your favorites â€“ but don't place your bid just yet.
Instead, go find old auctions for similar items. See how much those items sold for so that you know how high to bid. Research the item as best as you can. Determine what the item would cost if it were brand new, and what you should bid now on the used item, in the condition that it is in.
4. Learn more about the seller.
Remember, not everyone is honest. Avoid buying from sellers who have low reputations. The reputation system at eBay is an important tool for buyers. This will enable you to determine whether or not you can trust the person that you are buying from.
Read their feedback page. Read the seller's 'About Me' page. Get to know who you are dealing with a little bit better by communicating with the seller about the auction.
5. Place your bid.
Once you know what item you want and how much you should bid on it, you are ready to place your bid.
There are two ways you can do this. Some sellers take bids on their auctions, with the item going to the highest bidder. Others choose to use the 'Buy Now' feature, which means that they have a set reserve price that you must meet â€“ but you are not in competition with other bidders. This is a typical option that sellers use when they have multiple identical items to sell, or when they sell brand new items on eBay using drop shippers.
If you are entering into an open live auction â€“ where bids are placed and the highest bidder wins â€“ you will need to watch the auction closely to ensure that you keep raising your bid to win the item. Just make sure that you don't end up winning by paying way too much â€“ unless it is a unique item that won't be found elsewhere!