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eBay is an international on-line auction house, or a market place as it's better known.
It is free to join and you can buy or sell items, or even start your own business on there.
There are over a million items up for sale every day, with a mixture of used or new items on sale, and you can find a lot of items priced a lot cheaper than in most retail outlets.
You can buy pretty much anything on eBay, from toys, clothes, baby equipment, antiques, cars, collectibles and you can even find items that you wouldn't expect to be for sale, eBay really has it all!
Signing up to eBay is simple to do, choose a username that people may recognise you by, and a few other bits of information are required such as your email address and your name, address and telephone number.
You can browse through the categories, or use the search box to find items that you are looking for; there is always plenty of choice, and you will find the item at all at different prices.
Items can be part of an on-line auction, where you can place a bid on the item and bid against others; if you win there will also be a postage charge which will be stated in the listing. Some heavier items may require the buyer to collect them from the seller or in some cases arrange their own courier collection service at their own expense. You can get some great bargains this way, if you can wait.
Some items that members of eBay have for sale may have a buy-it-now option - which is a fixed price to enable you to buy the item immediately.
Some sellers have a best offer option on items, where you can offer how much you are willing to pay for the item; the seller can then either accept or reject the offer.
Some listings on eBay have a reservation price however the minimum price that the seller wants will be hidden. If you don't meet the reservation then you won't win the item. However if you are close to the reservation the seller may offer it to you for that price.
Making a bid or selling on eBay is easy, firstly you will need to register an account with them, secondly if you wish to use a PayPal account to purchase items or fund the insertion fees for selling items then you will need to link this to your eBay account. Once you have done all this you are ready to go.
Once you have won an item there are several methods of payment, depending on the options the seller offers. These can be:
• PayPal • Personal Cheque • Bankers draft • Postal Order
However eBay now prefer for all their users to use PayPal for any transactions they perform, as this is proven to be the safest and least fraudulent method of payment, plus PayPal is part of eBay now so obviously they make a few extra pence off us there too.
After buying or selling an item to another user of eBay, you are required to leave feedback in regards to the transaction you have preformed. This transaction will then be used by eBay to rate any user of the site thus aiding other users in finding sellers or buyers who are less likely to defraud you from your money or items that you have for sale.
~Selling on eBay~
Once you have items to sell on eBay, you can list them for sale. You can sell pretty much anything on eBay however there are some things which are prohibited you can find a list here:
-You need to choose the category that you want your item to be in carefully. This is quite important as it helps people to find your item easier.
-Make sure you use key words in your title so that when people use the search option there is more chance of your item being found.
-Making your listing, you need to sell the product, so take the time in writing a good advert for it, making sure you give all the information a buyer will want to know. For example if there is a fault with the item then be honest with your buyers in your advert, as even faulty goods sell.
- Don't have your start price too high as this will put bidders off, but don't put it too low as items sometimes this doesn't always generate enough interest and you may be disappointed with the amount you get. A good tip is to check the market value of what you are selling.
-Be honest in your description it may help the buyer to decide if they want it or not, so make sure you check the item you are selling and point out any slight imperfections, and such.
- Offer more than one payment method, as this will increase the amount of bidders.
- By allowing international bidders to bid upon your items you can increase the likelihood of your goods selling at a far higher price. Don't worry about the increase in postal charges, as international bidders will message you in regards to additional postage costs if they should win the item you are selling, prior to them placing a bid on it.
-Take a clear picture of what you are selling, and if it is something flat i.e. a book then a good tip is to use your scanner. When picturing your item always try to use a plain and clear background, without any clutter or mess surrounding it, as this will usually detract from the item that you are selling.
-I find it best to list an item just before the weekend, as this is when a lot of people are surfing the net.
-Delicate items need to be packaged well as you don't want it to get broken in transit.
-Weigh your items and use a postal charge calculator to determine the postage costs of your items (you can find one on-line free of charge to use) don't forget to include the weight of the packaging, you don't want to over or undercharge for the cost of postage.
-I find it best to use recorded delivery, it will cost a little more but the item can then be tracked, and you have proof of postage. In case the buyer tries to dispute that they haven't received the goods that you have sent them.
There is an insertion fee which you have to pay to eBay each time you want to sell an item, depending on your start price and also the eBay category which it is in with the insertion prices increasing for items such as motor cars. However every now and then eBay has a cheap listings day, or some other promotional events so it always worth watching out for these.
Along with the insertion fees you will also have to pay a closing fee to eBay as well for each item that you successfully sell on the site once again these will vary accordingly with how much your item sold for in the end. For a full list of eBay Insertion and Closing fees you can visit this web page;
You can open your own shop on eBay, if you have a lot of new stock to sell or second hand items, or if you make your own items, such as hand crafts. You will need to register as business seller.
~My Experience with eBay~
I have been a registered member of eBay for nearly 3 years. I have successfully both bought and sold on eBay with no problems. I have found that in general it seems to be the items that you believe will not make any money will sell for more than expected.
I have sold many items from clothing, toys and smaller items; it is great to clear out things which I no longer have a use for that I know will be bought back to life again. I have also made good profit on some things that didn’t cost me much in the first place that I didn’t think would even sell.
eBay is an easy way to sell unwanted items, but not everything is going to make a lot of money, so make sure you really want to sell the item, and decide what's the least you are happy to see it go for. It does take a while to sell things, and you are not always guaranteed to sell your items. You can re-list items however you will be charged the insertion fee if you sell the item.
You can pretty much buy and sell anything on eBay, but some things that are prohibited are illegal pirated, CD's, or DVD's, and weapons.
There has been a lot of controversy with eBay however I have never had any problems myself and I have sold and bought many, many things over the years. It is always best to check out a seller’s feedback as this will give you a good idea on what their reputation is like so you know you will be buying from someone who is credible.
There are some great bargains to be had on eBay, also buying from eBay is environmentally friendly, and someone else may be able to make good use of your unwanted items, so these items won't end up in landfill.