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Member Name: m_illie
Date: 26/02/12, updated on 26/02/12 (90 review reads)
Advantages: An easy way to shop online for a reduced price, reasonable insertion fees
Disadvantages: Some sellers are not always trustworthy
Ebay is exactly what you make of it. I think it is somewhat ridiculous to right off the entire Ebay company, name and business because ONE person or possibly a few happened to behave somewhat shiftily and may have held out on money or shipping. That frankly, has nothing to do with Ebay and is on account of those particular individuals so I'm very surprised to see some 1/5 stars on here.
My personal Ebay experience has been mixed but I still think both the concept and the execution for such a website is brilliant. Perhaps the most difficult part to get to grips with (for me at least as a stringy student) was t have to part with cash on the hope that the seller you have just bought something off of will then follow through with their agreement and post you whatever item you happened to buy.
However, having now used Ebay for years, it is very rare this does happen and so long as people who use the website ensure that they report such individuals, hopefully it will cease to happen anymore (or at least less frequently).
Ebay is an online market/auction where you bid for items you have searched for from a particular category against other people who similarly are looking for the same item. It makes it money from a small insertion fee you pay to list any item you wish to sell (from things as small as a tote bag to even houses abroad!) which for me personally is usually around £0.50. The pricing is based on how much additional things you wish to add to your listing, such as extra photos, colour in the listing menu, a different sized title etc. All of these will bump up the price of your listing, not necessarily a huge amount, but depending on what you are selling it sometimes worth keeping an eye on this (for example, if one were selling something for 99p it would not be that intelligent to spent 80p on the listing fee).
The main page comprises of a few special deals that ebay happens to be offering at that time, sometimes within the Ebay shop which is a particular area of the website domain, or from 'sales' that happen to be going on at the time. As well as this it lists previously searches you have made and the most recent items you have viewed, which is a useful way of allowing you to go back onto a certain page you may have already visited if you happened to shut the page and not click 'watch this item'. The watch function basically means that that particular item will be linked from your own account in the 'My Ebay' area, whereby you can then find it again easily.
Ebay is incredibly diverse with a huge number of categories ranging from Antiques and Art to Toys and Games and Video Parts. I could easily list the vast array on offer but it is likely that were you to decide you wished to use Ebay, without even clicking on a specific category, you would find the item you were in search of via the search bar. However, this does not negate the usefulness of this aspect, as it makes a welcome addition in navigating the website, especially as a beginner.
Paying and receiving money works in 3 ways:
* PayPal (all sellers must offer PayPal in their listings)
* Credit cards (including MasterCard, Visa, American Express), debit cards (Visa, Electron, Maestro), and bank electronic payments
* Payment upon pick up (which only occurs if you have bought/sold an item listed as 'pick up only' whereby you are required to meet the individual to complete the transaction)
Ebay allows you to list up to 10 items at first in a month and then this is increased. I'm certain this is a means of security so as to ensure someone doesn't open an account, receive money for apparent items and then not post them with many items.
To buy, you simply click 'bid' and then enter an amount above the sellers minimal amount/ above another bidders amount. Another way to purchase items is in the case of a 'buy it now' auction, which simply means you agree on a set price, in the same way you would in a shop.
Other useful addition to the ebay website include the 'Suggestions for you' tab on the mainpage which shows a selection of items for sale similar to those you have already viewed or purchased. 'See what other people are watching' makes it possible to view popular items for sale, which is useful if say for example you were in need of an idea of what to buy as a gift for someone, as popularity often correlates with how good something is.
My favourite part of ebay.co.uk is the number beside a member's name which shows how many items they have sold/bought as well as the option to visit their profile and observe the kinds of feedback they have received in their time at Ebay. This is excellent as it means that if you are feeling anxious to trust one particular seller, you can check out the feedback from other people who have dealt with them in the past and then base your decision upon that. The feedback is as simple as positive, neutral, negative and you can see the percentage for each of these that a seller has received. So for example, you would obviously be more inclined to trust a seller with 95% positive reviews, which means that I am less worried about parting with my beloved cash.
As well as this, when you buy items you are asked to fill out a short questionnaire of five questions which requires that you answer from strongly agree to strongly disagree on a variety of questions. The topic of these questions ranges from how reasonable postage and packaging costs were to the communication of the seller to you the buyer. This means that both Ebay and the seller themselves are aware of this particular feedback and so can seek to modify this. This is also displayed on a sellers account and shows the average score they have obtained from people who have completed the questionnaire. This is another way to ensure security when buying or selling goods.
Overall, Ebay is an excellent way to shop online provided you use a bit of common sense and check out who you are dealing with beforehand. It is not enough to see an image of the item you want and then go on a frenzy buying them. If you truly want to experience Ebay in a positive way, you must ensure you check out a seller's profile and judge from there whether you can truly trust them. Of course some people may feel cheated in some way from their use of Ebay, bu I feel in many cases that this could have been avoided and does not take away from the millions of successful transactions that occur everyday. It is in an excellent way to shop online for a cheaper and more affordable price (mostly, as sometimes more popular items are pushed up through desperate bidders) but so long as you remain sensible it is definitely a website online buyers/sellers can enjoy.
Summary: A useful website with huge variety and often cheaper prices
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- beware if you are a seller on ebay they rip you off
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