7 Things You MUST Know About ebay

July 14, 2015

Online bidding became what it is now due to the site "ebay.com". It may be hard for some of us to imagine a life without the online thrift store, but some are (gasp) too afraid or unsure of how to use the site and don't use it to its full advantage. Here's some basics to get you started:

1.You don't have to search for specific items
So ebay is great for finding second hand name brands, but not always great for finding the exact piece you want. Search the brand or style you like (ex. "Ralph Lauren polo top") then use the categories and other filters to the left to limit your search time.

2.Fake it until you make it
There's a TON of great dupes and fakes (shh don't say I told you that!) for top quality brands on ebay. It's also totally ok to go for these much cheaper dupes. Many ebay stores are actual stores set up through ebay, not just people selling their old clothes. These items come clean, new and in (usually) tip top condition, for a fraction of the cost.

3.Don't search price low to high
So for other online boutiques, this is a great way to filter your results, but on ebay, people start their bidding at $0.99, with a week to bid on it. While these cheap prices will entice you, they entice other people as well, all who bid on the item and drive the price up quickly. Don't waste your time on items that are so cheap and still have a long way in the bidding war.

4.Don't be afraid to make an offer
Some people will let you "make an offer" for their item. Ask a price thats a little bit lower than you would actually like to pay for it, and the seller will likely make a counteroffer of something that's right in your price range. Remember most people are trying to get rid of their old stuff, and will take any bit of money for them.

5.Check out your seller
Looking at your seller's profile is helpful in many ways. You can see their reviews, how many people have shopped from them, where they're from and if they're selling more items. It's likely that if a seller has an item you like, they'll have more that are similar. Knowing where a seller is from is also important; it will affect shipping time and cost. Even the quality can depend on where a seller is from. For example, many ebay stores are selling items out of factories in China. While these items typically sell for much less than if they were American made, they're also usually much poorer in quality and take a long time to ship. Also when buying from overseas the item must go through customs, and if you bought it for over $200 you can be charged an extra fee when it arrives at your door.

6.Be careful before you start putting all your junk on ebay
After cleaning out my closet this summer, I decided I should get at least a little cash back for all the clothes I was otherwise going to donate-I figured whatever I didn't sell was ok since I was going to donate the stuff anyways. I didn't realize what a process it was to sell your stuff on ebay. If you sell too many items you can be charged a fee, you have to pay for your own shipping and boxing, the item has to be shipped out within a certain time frame after you sell it and if you break any rules in this process you could not get paid and/or be charged a fee. So be sure you understand ebay well and have everything ready to be shipped before you list ten things at once.

7.Get a PayPal account
Using PayPal rather than your credit card is much safer. PayPal stores your credit card info and charges the card to put money onto your PayPal balance, which then is transferred to the seller's PayPal or credit card. It all happens with one click (when you decide to pay using PayPal) so you don't have to even worry about going out to your car to get your purse to get your wallet to enter in all the info...and it keeps sellers from having access to your personal information
Those are all the tips I can think of now. Have any more tips? A horrible or amazing ebay experience you want to share? Comment below!

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