I will admit it. I am a mild Ebay junkie. I just always find great deals on Ebay! It is almost always the cheapest place I can buy whatever item I am looking for – even for new stuff! But as good as it is, there is something about Ebay that I had to learn the hard way…
Don’t get sucked into the Ebay trap!
A lot of Ebayers get lured into the auction process and the excitement of trying to win causes them to bid more than they wanted to originally. They tell themselves,”oh, but if I can just bid one more dollar, I can probably win it. It’s only a dollar…” This cycle continues as they fight it out in a bidding war against QTprincess32 and fight to the death trying to “win” a book for $10 that they could have bought at Amazon for $8. I, of course, have never succumbed to the Ebay temptation 😉 .
Well, I am finally learning a few ways to buy on Ebay and still get a great deal. These are the five steps I usually take when I make a purchase on Ebay.
1. Check past ebay selling prices
The reason you do this is to see how low it has sold for in the past. Depending on how soon you need the item, you should be able to get close to this price if you can wait long enough.
1. Do a search for the item you are looking to buy, but hit the Advanced Search button
2. Then on the next page, make sure you check the box that says, “show completed listings only.”
3. Now it will show you the completed listings for the item you are looking to purchase. You can use this info to gauge how much you will probably have to pay for your item. I typically take this info and compare it to Ebates and the Amazon price without shipping.
2. Decide on your max price
It is important to decide how much you are willing to spend, because otherwise you risk falling into the trap I mentioned above! Figure out how long you are willing to wait and decide on your max price accordingly. If you are trying to get the lowest price possible it will probably take longer to win an auction at that price.
3. Think of alternative search phrases
I recommend going to the Ebay homepage and using the categories to find your item. But you should also search for the item with a few different search phrases. A “dress shirt” could have just been listed under “button up shirt” finding these unique phrases that others might not be searching for is very helpful in getting a bargain on Ebay.
4. Use sniper software
Ebay sniping is basically just using software or a service to put a bid in for you in at the last possible second. There is research to suggest that by sniping you can get an item for a lower price. The other thing I love about it is that i don’t have to be around to watch the end of the auction. I just pop in my max price and they put the bid in for me 1 second before it expires.
There are a bunch of sniping tools available and a bunch of them want to charge for their services as well. I have been using Gixen.com, which is free, and I have had good luck with it so far.
5. Use Paypal
Paypal is the preferred method for most Ebayers because it is the quickest and easiest way to exchange money. It is also great when buying stuff on Ebay because they offer some protections to the buyer that wouldn’t be available if using a check or money order. You can also use your credit card with Paypal and your credit card number will not be exposed to the seller.