Ebay is such a normal part of my online shopping habit that I simply took it for granted that everyone used it as much as I do. I have bought everything from clothes to shoes to home decor to cosmetics on Ebay. However I have recently had a couple of emails requesting some advice on the do's and don'ts of Ebay. I know a lot of you may already be aficionados of the Ebay realm but this post if for those who are confused or intimidated by the world's largest auction site.
* Brand new Coast Dress I recently won from this seller for £34.99 (original price £150) *
Here are some easy tips to make your Ebay experience enjoyable and productive...
- NEVER EVER bid drunk. I think we have probably all made silly decisions when under the influence and Ebay is definitely a dangerous tool in the hands of an intoxicated shopaholic! You could wake up the next day with a sore head and an inbox FULL of ‘Pay Now’ requests! You have been warned! (can you tell I'm speaking from personal experience?!)
- Be tempted to bid too early. I think everyone gets very frustrated with those users who jump the gun and put their bids in straight away and edge the price up for everyone else. Always remember to keep the bidding late and the price low. You have a much higher chance of winning the item if you bid in the last 30 seconds. Just make sure your maximum bid is set to what you are ultimately willing to pay.
- Bid on a whim if you’re not 100% sure that you want to buy the item. If you’re in two minds about it, then just add it to your ‘watch list’ and decide later once you have thought it over. It can become to easy to become 'bid-happy' in this online world and end up with things that you don't need.
- Even think about buying an item if the seller hasn’t uploaded an image – given that Ebay is an online auction site, this is a basic requirement of buying something! I'm always suspicious and confused by sellers who don't upload pictures.
- Take too long to organise payment. Paypal is the easiest hassle-free way to pay for items so I would recommend that method. It’s important to keep a good clean record of buying and selling on Ebay because any strikes against you will only cause problems in the future.
- Communicate with a seller or buyer outside of the eBay website as you will then not be protected by their policies. Unfortunately not everyone on Ebay is honest and some people may attempt to trick you. Just make sure you keep everything within the Ebay site and you will have access to the resolution centre should anything go wrong.
- Forget that digits on a screen represents real money. This is far too easy to forget when you are shopping online. Always question whether you would pay hard cash for it in a shop and remember, you can’t refund it once you’ve got it.
- Check Ebay regularly for bargains as there are loads of things being added every day. Have faith and patience to avoid buying things just for the sake of it.
- Remember that garment sizing varies from brand to brand and especially when you are looking for vintage pieces. Ask the seller for measurements in inches as sizes often vary (particularly between eras for vintage). If you’re unsure always opt for bigger as you can always alter the garment to suit you.
- Make your life easier by specifying your search options as finely as you can. That way you can whittle down the options to what you are really looking for without wasting any time trawling through image after image.
- Make sure you ask a seller if there is anything you are unsure about because once you have bought the item, it’s too late to change your mind.
- Make sure you check out the seller’s other items if you lose out on something they were selling. You may find something else that peaks your interest and there’s always a chance there may be a similar garment up for grabs. You can also save the seller to keep an eye on their newest items.
- Always bear in mind the price of delivery, sellers may vary and I personally wouldn’t even bid on an item that has ridiculous or over-inflated delivery charges.
* Brand new Faith Boots I recently won for £10.49 (original price £50.00) *
My Favourite Ebay Sellers
Bright Eyes Beauty - I always buy my Ardell lashes from this seller. Good prices, fast delivery and friendly service.
Bag-That-Style-6 - This is where I got my pale grey and black 'Focco' bags.
thehomeandgiftcompany - This seller has loads of lovely home decor stuff that's perfect if you are into your shabby chic stuff.
thefrockstop - A great place to find lovely dresses at great prices from Oasis, Warehouse, Topshop, Coast, French Connection
It really is worth having a look if you have never tried Ebay as there are so many bargains to be had. One of the best things is that you can find items on there that have sold out on the high street or you can find a back up of your favourite dress or shoes.
Who are your favourite Ebay sellers? I'm always looking for recommendations!