Newest Review: ... final value fees to be paid when the item sells. I remember after fees and postage costs I pocketed about £300 which I was insanely happ... more
Member Name: ask_eve
Advantages: exciting, bargains, easy to use, free to sign up
Disadvantages: Some members ruin it for others.
As a bit of an internet obssessed person, I've obviously come accross the Ebay site on numerous occasions. It's a well known online auction site that has been around since the 90's but I think, given the current economic climate, is getting more popular for bargains than ever now.
You don't have to sign up to Ebay to view items on there, although you do need to sign up to sell or buy anything. It's free to join though you are meant to be aged 18+, something they don't check, but definitely should! My granddaughter joined up when she was about 16 and was always buying things on there.
As a seller, Ebay gives you the option to sell things via an auction, where you can select the starting price and set a Reserve price or a Buy it now option which allows you to set a price and someone can buy it for that amount. Auctions can last up to a week so you get plenty of time to get bids on your item which is good, or you can put them on for a couple of days if you're looking for a quicker sale. They charge a very small listing fee, normally around 12p which is pennies really. If the item you're selling is expensive, i.e. a car, they do charge a small amount of commission, but I think this isn't much either.
When you want to sell an item on Ebay, it's fairly simple to do so following the steps to list it. I always find the best thing to do is to look for similar items for sale so you have an idea of what your ad title should be and what your Ad should contain information wise. They do let you upload one picture of your item for free, but charge a couple of pence for additional pics. I always find that listings with more pictures sell easier, so it's worth that couple of extra pence. When your item is for sale, you can check Your ebay account and it tells you how many bids you've recieved, how many people are watching the item and how long until the auction ends.
Buying on Ebay can be just as exciting as selling things. The site is really easy to use and categorised quite well so you don't end up with lots of random things in your searches. I've also recently discovered the Advanced search option which I'd never noticed before. This allows you to set preferences to your search, i.e. a lower and upper price limit, distance from your home and how long the item is at auction for. This is really useful if you're looking for bigger items you'd have to collect, because many times I've been looking at something I really like, been about to bid and then realised it's in Somerset. I'm not driving to Somerset for a fish tank!
Ebay also allow you to contact the seller before you buy an item. I've found this very useful over the years for asking about details the seller hasn't mentioned on the site. It's quick and easy when the sellers actually respond to you.
Ebay alert your with emails when you bid, get outbid and win an item so you're always updated about what's going on. I think this is good because I'm the kindo of person to bid on something and forget about it two days later, only being reminded by the email in my account that I'm still winning the item. They also let you know when you get bids or questions on items that you're selling which again is useful.
I've bought and sold quite a few things on Ebay although I mostly buy these days. I have experienced a couple of problems, on one occasion I sold an item and didn't recieve payment. I contacted the buyer repeatedly and heard nothing back so had to re-list and sell the item again. This is a pain as you then have to pay the listing fee twice for nothing. You can report Ebay users like this to Ebay and they do deal with it promptly. You can also get people who decide to wait a week or two before sending your items out which is very annoying, especially when they ignore your messages. Again Ebay deal with members like this and if the seller doesn't send your item, they refund your money.
As a buyer and seller, once a transaction has gone through, you're supposed to leave feedback. This allows you to give positive, neutral or negative feedback on the general transaction and also sub categories like postage time and communication between you and the seller. When you're looking to buy something from someone, it's wise to check their feedback as a seller so you can see how they've handled previous transactions, it can say a lot about a seller / buyer!
Once you've bought an item, the normal method of payment is Paypal, a safe method of payment that takes the money directly from your bank. You need to set up an account on their website first then link it to your Ebay account which doesn't take long and is well worth it. Bigger items like cars and collection only items are normally Cash on collection. I think some sellers still accept cheques, but obviously this will mean you'll have to wait longer to get your item, so I think it's best to stick to Paypal.
You can now get the Ebay app on the iphone or just go on their website via normal mobile internet. This is very handy as you can watch items you're bidding on or selling, and place bids so you don't have to lose out on items when you're on the go. I've tried this on my phone (Nokia N8) and it works but it's painstakingly slow and really frustrating. Still, it's nice to know wether I'm still winning an item while I'm out the house (even if it does take 15 minutes to find out!).
One thing you have to watch out for on Ebay is postage. You may see an item for £2 and think 'that's cheap!' then you realise it's £5 postage, so you're £2 item has just become £7. Don't let people rip you off on postage costs. It really won't cost £5 to send you a DVD, so don't pay that much! This is where a lot of sellers try to make their profits, so look out for it. If you're buying more than one item from the same seller, a lot of them now offer combined postage, so you pay less and they'll send them together. If they don't offer this, be sure to ask for it.
Ebay allows you to save sellers, so if there's someone who sells items that interest you regularly, you can save them, and Ebay emails you when they list new items. This is useful so you can end up buying items from a seller that you've bought from before and trust.
Ebay can be full of bargains though some things on the site are more expensive than in other places, so be sure to shop around. Also, when you find something you like on Ebay, have a look around the site because you often find the same items on there can fluctuate in price greatly!
My top tips for ebay:
- Browse. its like a shop really, there will be lots of items the same, but if you have a good look, some will be cheaper.
- Don't send items you've sold until you recieve payment.
- Don't be afraid to contact sellers or buyers when you've got a problem.
- Try to be a good ebay member, i.e paying promtly.
- Use paypal.
Ebay is addictive. I've sat at my computer for a quick look around and ended up spending £50 without meaning to. Selling is also really exciting and you do get an Ebay-buzz where you're rooting through your cupboards for something to sell on there (Well I did anyway :) ). I think it's because you find so many things that are cheaper than you've seen them for in the shops, you end up going back there a lot. It's also a good site to go on when you've had a clearout, as they say, one mans trash is another mans treasure!
Ebay is definitely the place I'd recommend for DVDs, paticularly older ones as you can pick them up for about £2, much cheaper than you'll find them for in the shops, if the shops still have them at all. I've often bought DVD's on Ebay for a couple of pound and seen them in Asda for about £8 which definitely pleases you.
Overall, I'm very fond of Ebay. You can pick up many bargains from there and will always find things on there that are cheaper than in the shops. Make sure to browse first to get a good bargain and don't be afraid to contact Ebay when another member is being a pain! If you haven't already, give it a try!
Summary: A really good site for buying and selling items.