Buying on eBay: 5 KEY Tips for Buyers

Building relationships in business is often of the utmost importance to successful exchanges, and whilst buying on eBay may not entirely feel like a business transaction due to its casual nature and free-wheeling spirit of quick trading, it very much is.

If you’re new to eBay and buying online in general, you’ll definitely want to be aware of some good rules of thumb to kick you off, get you started, or whatever other cautiously clichéd phrase of choice you may wish to apply to imply: you’re about to buy!

Build Good Feedback
– key importance: providing confidence to sellers.

Let’s start off with perhaps the most obvious and important of all tips to a successful eBay ‘career’, which is obviously: good feedback. Feedback is the signal of assurance and reliability to the rest of the eBay ‘community’ (I’ll stop using ‘air quotes’ pretentiously, ‘now’) that you are a fine and upstanding person to deal with, whether it is to sell something to, or buy something from.

Building good feedback (the more of it, the better) as a buyer provides you with an advantage over other potential buyers when bidding for potentially competitive products, and it also indicates to sellers of high-value items that you are trustworthy, so they may choose to deal with you, over somebody else.

To find out how to build good feedback, read #2 – directly below – handy ay?

Building Good Feedback
– key importance: providing confidence to sellers.

When you first sign-up for an eBay account and need to start building some immediate feedback in order to begin shaping your reputation – one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of doing this is to buy cheap items and accessories such as USB cables, phone chargers and any number of other ‘handy’ things you could generally use around the home or with your technology. This allows you to begin low-risk purchasing and building feedback, without burning your pockets.

You may even choose to purchase digital items such as eBooks, but beware of sellers offering items selling for 1p or ridiculously cheap amounts, as these are often item listings created purely for the sake of inflating the feedback of both the buyer and seller. eBay tend to see this as exploitative and disingenuous, are cracking down on it and can-and-do ban people for this sort of behaviour.

Always conduct business honestly, to avoid this risk!

Lastly – be sure to compliment the good qualities of the items you buy and be generous, genuine and authentic, you will often get it ten-fold in return!

Pay Quickly (Ideally with PayPal)
– key importance: reassuring sellers that you will pay on-time.

When thinking about what a seller would appreciate, just think about what you would appreciate, if you were selling. Quite obviously, paying the seller as quickly as possible is at the top of the list; when selling – the aim of the game is profit; to receive funds! As abrasive or clear-cut as that sounds, it’s the truth.

When you buy items, pay quickly and preferably always with PayPal (as it’s instant) and you will often receive instant gratification.

There will be times where the seller doesn’t happen to accept PayPal, such as ‘collection only’ items (where the seller does not post or deliver the item) in which case you will often pay by cash/cheque, on arrival. Or, you may choose to find a listing which does accept electronic payment.

Be Personable and Unique
– key importance: standing out from the crowd; building real relationships.

The title of this tip is intentionally ambiguous as it’s not entirely definable; we all have our own versions of how we are personable and/or unique, a lot of people often simply hide their personalities during business transactions.

There’s no need to hide who you are and people will often appreciate the relief of a real interaction; if you ever need to message a seller or leave feedback – be yourself and add a little flair, you’ll be better-off for it.

Search Thoroughly; Eyes Open
– key importance: saving money; always get the best possible deal.

Search engines can be your best friend or your worst enemy, you determine which. Many people do not ever learn how to use search engines to their advantage simply with the use of an extra keyword (a word or phrase that defines what you’re looking for) to more precisely bring up better and more relevant results. This could mean the difference between finding a true bargain, or a so-so buy. Be sure to play around with terms and phrases relating to what you’re searching for, and have a good gander at the prices and feedback.

Aside from simply bringing up the most relevant result to your search or honing your eye in on the best price, also try and weigh-up your options; if you have two listings which are the same listing price, check to see:

– Do they both have the same postage prices?

– Do both sellers have the same, or comparable feedback?

– Are both items definitely brand new/of the same quality?

– Does one item have some extras that perhaps make it of even better value?

Those elements are generally the most common criteria by which to judge listings, but there may be other factors that come in to play depending on what product you’re looking for. Buying a car is different from buying a laptop, so make sure to keep in mind what exactly it is you’re buying, for what primary reason; take everything in to account to end up with the best possible deal.

So there you have it: five spuriously splendid tips that will help you navigate your way around eBay better as a buyer, build better relationships and save cash monies.

I really hope that you get good use out of these tips and that they help you out, but quite frankly, I couldn’t care less-jokiing! C’mon, good ol’ British cynicism and irony never hurt anybody, apart from generations of Britons. Way too deep now, happy eBaying!