Advantages Cheap, immense amounts of different items to buy
Disadvantages Look out for fraudsters
eBay is an online auction site where people worldwide can buy and sell goods and services. It was started on September 3rd, 1995 by Pierre Omidyar and is now one of the most visited and well known websites ever. eBay's logo is probably as recognized now as the logo for Yahoo! and Coca-Cola. In addition to owning all the localized eBay auction sites, it also owns PayPal and Skype.In the early days it was pretty much unregulated, meaning you could buy and sell anything. Nowadays there are restrictions. For instance you're not allowed to sell Nazi paraphernalia, alcohol tobacco and, recently, virtual items from MMORPG's.
To bid and to sell items, you first have to register. Once you've done that, the world is your oyster. I believe you also need a paypal account as most things on eBay now require it. There are thousands of items to look at, all in easy to look up catorgories. Once you've entered your search terms, you can specify exactly what you want, whether you want a new or used item, distance to you and what brand it is. All of this so you can find exactly what you're looking for.Once you've bid on something, you're obligated to buy it for that money. If not, you're liable to get your account blocked. For each auction you complete, you and the other user leave each other feedback, this depends on the quickness of the payment, if you responded to any problems they had and if the item was in good condition. If you get positive feedback you get a little number next to your user ID. This goes up one point every time you do business with someone. These are a good indicator of how trustworthy a user is, if they have a high number and most of the feedback is positive, you know that the item they are selling is really what it appears to be.
There are some auctions where you can buy items straight away. They set a fixed price and if you think that price is fair you can buy it there and then. This saves time in waiting for an auction to end and wondering if anyone will outbid you.Of course, there are people out there who just want to defraud people and take their money, but these people are in the minority. I've been on eBay for a while now and I've never had any problems with inaccurate items being sent, and if I e-mailed a seller saying I wanted a refund, I always got it. So don't let any scare stories put you off on what is basically a good site with helpful people who just want to sell and buy things.
Overall a helpful, safe, website where you can buy things cheaper than you could in an online or normal high street shop. Highly recommended for anyone who wants a bargain and doesn't know about it yet.
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