Newest Review: ... it looks neat and simplistic. You can set reminders for items you are watching, read your messages from the internal eBay mail system... more
Buy buy buy with caution
Member Name: cloud99
Advantages: can find a bargain or sell items you no longer want
Disadvantages: risk of getting ripped off
EBay is the most well known online internet site.
It sells everything, from cars, holidays, clothes, toys and the weird and obscure things that you wonder why anyone would ever bid for.
From this area some of the auctions make it on the local news including a very weird guy who was bottling Huthwaite air and selling it also a cable car from Heights of Abraham at Matlock
More recently the last ever pack of pick a mix from Woolworth's for £14,500 that is going to charity
It has its fair share of controversy and generally people all way find fault. Sometimes EBay is a victim of its own success
One of the old complaints was that there was only an online help now this has been addressed and I have never needed to call them but have heard lots of people say they could certainly do with a customer care course.
The items are listed for sale by one of two methods online auction or buy it now.
The buy it now option is generally a set price but now it has a "best offer" if the seller wants it and you can make an offer on what you want to pay. Generally if it has a best offer option then the seller obviously is happy to accept under the asking price so it is worth a shot. You get three chances for the seller to accept. They can also issue a counter offer.
An online auction has a set ending time, many people wait till the end of auction to put on a bid. Another method which is done to deter other bidders is to put on a couple of bids together then people will not know your top bid.
The postage is preset by the seller and cannot be changed but some sellers will combine postage, offer a second class option or free to collect.
Payment methods are offered by the seller vary most accept Paypal payments and others will accept cheque of postal order. Some Items such as mp3 must be paid for by paypal which is supposed to be for buyers' protection.
Once you have received the item. You should leave feedback on the service and item but if there is a problem it is better to contact the seller prior to leaving feedback as sellers are less inclined to care once they have received feedback
My own experiences and opinions
I have used eBay for about ten years. I have found that as the number of people visiting the site the less chance of grabbing a bargain but there certainly are bargains out there.
On my top bargains are 30 baby vests for 1p, I have bought some great bundles of toys and clothes for my son which were amazing value.
I have been very lucky with my Ebay experience and only ever had one problem when I won a tweenies sound jigsaw from a new seller. He was selling a few items and they all went for very little. I paid via paypal and heard nothing the refund process through paypal was very slow. It was a long drawn out process which was made worse by the fact the seller didn't bother to respond to the dispute but I did eventually get my money back. I was happy to get my money back and as it was only for a small amount it didn't really matter waiting but if it had been a large amount I would have felt differently.
As a seller I have sold a wide variety of items, books, old CD's, things my son has out grown.
Generally I have had little problems with buyers. The worst was a buyer who bough a double DVD and then returned it saying it was damaged. When it was returned it was obvious it was not the same DVD as it was covered in food and scratches. It belonged to my husband who was obsessive about how DVD's were handled.
I sold one book which in my opinion the bidder player well above market value due to a bidding war. These are something you need to watch as a buyer but are great as a seller.
One of the improvements on eBay are the removal of fake good been sold.
One of the other changes that I am unsure whether I think they are positive or negative is the feedback system .you can no longer leave negative feedback for buyers which on the one hand reduces fear of negative feedback but the sellers loses the right to reply.
I also don't like the fact that you can't see who is bidding on items now unless you are the seller as I think it increases the chances of shilling bids.
EBay is a growing international auction website that has a huge audience on which to sell your products. From my experience take time, check feedback on sellers and decide what your maximum bid is and stick to it. Most items do reappear.
more information see www.ebay.co.uk
Summary: can be a amazing site but check out who you are buying from