Monday, 17 February 2014

Shopping | Buying on eBay

Hi lovelies! When you first start shopping on eBay it can be a little intimidating. You've no doubt heard many a horror story of goods never arriving, arriving broken or banking details being stolen. I am an avid eBay shopper and I promise it isn't a scary place. Here are my tips for shopping on the site. 

1. Refine your search
If you aren't looking for an exact item a search on eBay can be quite daunting. I highly recommend refining your search by using the categories in the left side bar. When shopping for vintage clothing on eBay I tend to place a limit on price, as well as searching only for specific prices. It can also be a good idea to limit your search results to items listed in your own country. This cuts down hugely on shipping and customs costs. 

2. Always pay via PayPal
Do you have a PayPal account? If not I highly recommend getting one. Not only does it simplify all transactions, but it also gives you lots of extra safety guards. For one your bank account or credit card information does not get released to the seller. Also if you happen to run into any issues with the item i.e. it's faulty, counterfeit etc you are able to raise a claim through PayPal and get the issue resolved quickly and easily. 

For example I once purchased a necklace that arrived broken. After the seller did not respond to eBay messages I raised a PayPal claim and the money was refunded to me within days. 

3. Check shipping costs
Often the item with the lowest price may not work out to be the cheapest once you factor in the cost of shipping. Especially when getting items shipped to Australia the cost can work to be almost as much as the item you're buying. 

When I am searching for a specific item I prefer to sort the search results by lowest price (including shipping). This makes sure that I am getting the best deal overall. 

4. Bidding on Items
When bidding on an item with a long auction time (7 to 10 days) it's always best to save the item and come back to bid on it on the final day of sale. By bidding at the start of the auction you only drive up the price you have to pay at the end of the 7 days.

It's easy to get excited and end up spending more on an item than originally intended. I tend to treat eBay like thrifting, if the clothing is too expensive then it wasn't meant to be. Plus with all the items listed daily something similar is bound to come up again. 

5. Common Sense
If an item seems too good a deal to be true, then it probably is. Back when I first started shopping online I was ecstatic to find a set of Mac brushes for less than $20 on eBay. Now of course that price would ring alarm bells, but my 18 year old self got sucked in and stuck with a bunch of knock off brushes. My advice would always be to read the description of items carefully. 

If you're ever in doubt of an item then it's a great idea to check out the seller's feedback. With many of the larger stores on eBay you're unlucky to experience a problem, but when it comes to individual sellers I always make sure to check.

So those are my five tips for a successful shopping trip on eBay. I'll probably follow this up with a post with tips for selling on eBay as that is a process I found very daunting initially. 

Have you got any tips to add?

Jess x

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