eBay Buying & Selling Tips

Buying Tips

Learn How to Search

Unlike search engine queries, Ebay has its on functions for finding items. For example say I want the Xbox game Prince Of Persia, but for fun lets pretend I now forgot the Persia part of the name. So now all I know is that I want an Xbox game with a name starting with Prince of�

All I do now is type:

xbox “prince of *”

in the search box and bingo, I get a list of Xbox Prince of Persia games.


Read this for more on Ebay search engine commands http://pages.ebay.com/help/find/search_commands.html

Find Reserved Price Auctions

You will be amazed at how many people just don�t bother bidding when they see the reserve price tag, most of times the reserve price is less then 10% of the item going rate which means huge savings Very Happy . Remember however to place your bid in the last 10 seconds.

Offering To Close Early

A nifty way to save cash on items is by offering sellers an end bid early option. The key here is that you will have to find recently listed item (less then 100 views) and from sellers with fewer than 50 feedbacks. Try to keep your initial offer to no lower then 10% of the regular Ebay price, do an Ebay ended items only search and take the average of last 10 items to get the latest going rate for that item.

No more then two bids

If you are a pro on Ebay then you will mostly likely only bid twice on an item. The first bid is to take the item out of the �Buy It Now Option�, since you will be more likely to win the item at a lower price through an auction. The second bid should come on the last 10 seconds of the auction; note this maybe longer if you are on dialup. Anything short of that and you are really cutting it closing.

Know Thy Enemy

You can tell a lot of people by looking at their history, same is true for Ebay. Look at your follow Ebay bidders� history to see their bidding pattern. You will be amazed at how many people keep their last bid to a whole dollar, meaning you only need to add a cent to snipe them in the last 10 seconds.

Find Low Feedback Seller

You can save a lot from buying from sellers with little or no feedback. But again the key is knowing your seller so you don�t get burned. Here is what I do before I place a bid, first I email the seller, asking him/her about the condition of the item. If he/she replies back then I check the email headers to get the remote ip address, I then go to a WHOIS database and verify the location of the seller. If everything is ok so far, I contact the seller through telephone to verify the item, its condition�etc. Remember that Ebay only covers up to $175, so it�s best to ask for insurance and always ask for shipping with tracking. Also I found its best to stick with Paypal as payment option.

Choosing the Right Shipping Method

I guess it depends on what you are asking to be shipped. If the item is non-breakables and priority is not a concern then I think USPS, UPS, Fedex all work, otherwise it will depend on the item type, priority, your location, tracking�etc. However I do encourage Canadians to use USPS on items which are under $20, just mark the package as Gift, and you won�t have to pay the nasty fee charges that UPS or Fedex charge.

Selling Tips

Always Include a Picture

I strongly suggest you to include a picture when selling items on Ebay. Remember however to upload you own picture, and not a copy of the product from an online store. In my experience bidders are more likely to bid on items if they see an amateur picture rather then a professional one. Also just to ensure the bidder that this is indeed my product I usually include a paper with my Ebay username & signature when taking the pictures.

Promote Promote Promote

I find I get the best bidders from the forums that I usually participate in. Advertise your auction items in forums, but remember no spamming. I usually allow fellow forum members a discount on shipping or allow them the option of local pickup. This method not only will gives you very good bidders but also ensures that you have a good fan base to pool from the next time you have an item on auction.

Picking the Right Season

Like in the offline world seasons is too a factor to consider when auctioning off an item on Ebay. I mean if you got a winter coat you should not auction off that item in the middle of summer. I strongly encourage fellow sellers to look at Ebay�s Merchandising Calendar .

Picking the Right Closing Date

Always try to end an item listing on weekend. I usually opt for the 10 day listing and start the auction on a Thursday so that the item closes on a Saturday.

Listing your item

It has been my experience to keep your item listing simple and to avoid the fancy html. In simple legible text state what you are selling, its condition�etc, use paragraphs if you must and remember to state your shipping, payment and return policy.

Reply to All emails

Reply to all emails, even from Western Union paying merchants from Nigeria. Just remember to enable the option that allows other bidders to read the email so that you do not have to keep replying to the same questions.

Increase Shipping Price

I have found that bidders are more likely to bid on items that are $0.99 with a $8 shipping charge then items that are $3 with a $5 shipping charge.

Ship Item Promptly & Properly

I always try to ship the item the next morning and always try to include a scanned copy of the shipping receipt. I have found that many bidders are quite happy with this policy and often times recommend me to their friends and family.