How to Win on eBay

I've bought over 100 items on eBay over three years and am ready to share my knowledge of how to win at eBay and buy from reputable sellers.

1. You can find anything on eBay. When searching on eBay I suggest first doing a general search such as "ionic breeze" and checking what the items are going for. I noticed the items by companies with eBay stores were selling much higher than those by individuals. This is true for all categories. So don't be scared of buying from an individual as it could be much cheaper.

2. Before bidding look at the seller's rating. I only buy from those with 99% or higher ratings.

3. Next check the shipping cost. Quite a lot of eBay sellers are willing to sell their high priced item at NR or no reserve but make the money back with outrageous shipping costs. How do you know a shipping cost is too high? When checking out the auctions for your item such as "ionic breeze" keep an eye on the shipping cost. The average cost for shipping quadra ionic breeze machines seems to be $20. If someone is charging $30 then you know you're getting had on the shipping. I make my maximum bid less on those auctions where the seller is charging too much for shipping.

4. To have less search results to wade through limit the search by using the minimum and maximum amounts setting. Think of what you'd really like to get the item for and put it as the maximum amount. By combing the listings for "ionic breeze" I've found it is possible to get a Sharper Image Ionic Breeze Quadra for $50 if I buy it used from an individual or reconditioned from a business. That's ok with me as I just want to pay less than what Sharper Image is charging!

5. One of the most important tips is to read every word in their auction page. People sell broken items on eBay. Some of the auctions for ionic breezes looked great but in between their text stating how great ionic breezes are, how much square feet it covers, was the sentence that the item was broken. Imagine how I'd feel if I had bid and won only to find out I didn't read the auction carefully! Yes it's a nasty way to do business selling items that are broke and tricking people into buying them. But if you bid you legally have to pay for it.

6. Ask questions before you bid. If the auction does not state how the item is being packaged then ask. I once bought a wall mounted barometer, temperature, humidity item that was shipping in a shoe box with no packaging! It was busted, glass shattered. So make sure you ask how they are going to ship it and what packaging they are going to use.

7. Also ask if the item works, do they have the manuals, does it still have a warranty if ownership is transferred, are items sanitized, does it come from a smoke free pet free home? You need to ask these questions as it's "buyer beware" on eBay.

8. The cheapest prices on items is during the summer when people are on vacation and not stuck at home during the winter. The worst time to buy is before Christmas. Everyone is trying to outbid each other for a gift. The prices are unbelievable!

9. After spending time doing the legwork I mentioned above, you'll find that a few eBay sellers seem to be ideal to buy from. Add them to your favorite seller's list. Then it's easy to go straight to their store, or items for sale page, and bid on what they have. You've already checked them out so don't forget who they are!

More ebay tips at ebay tips

In The News:

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