Buying Your First Item on eBay: 3 Tips to Get You Started

Written By: Chris Crompton

1. Bid on Auctions Ending Soon

If you want to actually win an auction on eBay, you will have a much greater chance if you place your bid in the final hours of the auction. Better still if you bid in the final seconds. When you place your search on eBay, the items ending soonest will be listed first. If you find an interesting item which isn’t ending in the next few hours, you’re better off watching the item than placing your bid now. This is especially true if the item already has a lot of bids. By placing your bid too early in the auction, you’re basically just driving the price up. This benefits the seller, not you.

There is an interesting practice which is pretty popular among eBay buyers: sniping. Auction Sniping is when you place your bid in the final seconds of the auction. If the item already has a lot of bids, you’ll probably have a few snipers bidding in the final seconds. These auction snipers don’t have quick fingers and fast Internet connections – they are instead using special software to place their bids. Multiple websites exist to aid in auction sniping. If you want to try it out, just search Google for the topic.

2. Use “Buy It Now”

Sometimes the whole auction process can be frustrating for a buyer. You place your best bid on a great item and watch the item feverishly until the auction closes. To your disbelief, three “snipers” outbid you in the final seconds. If only you could get a great deal on eBay without having to patiently wait out the auction. You can. Many great items in every eBay category are listed with a “Buy It Now” price.

When you perform your search on eBay, the left column will display search filtering options. One of these options is a check box for “Buy it Now.” If you select this, the search results will be filtered to include only those items with a “Buy It Now” price. It doesn’t matter if the auction ends in 5 minutes or 5 days, you can “Buy It Now” at a given price for these auctions. It is very satisfying to skip the hullabaloo of the auction process and just buy the item now.

3. Buy From Reputable Sellers

You should avoid buying items from sellers without a good track record on eBay. Unless you’ve got a great feeling about the item and the trustworthiness of the seller, stick to this policy. Every seller on eBay has a “Feedback Rating.” At the end of each auction, the buyer has the option to leave feedback about the seller. (The seller also leaves feedback about the buyer.) The feedback rating is the number in parentheses to the right of the seller’s user name. This is found on the side of the item page opposite the item picture. Under the feedback rating number is the percentage of the feedback which is positive. It is best to buy from sellers with at least 10 feedback rating and at least 97% positive feedback.

Go on… have some fun on eBay!
About the Author

This article was written by Chris Crompton. He has been buying and selling on eBay for the past six years. More eBay information — including how to get a free eBay gift certificate — can be found at http://www.firstbidbonus.com.

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