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eBay - A good deal?

Ask around and you’ll find lots of people that spend a lot of their time looking for good deals. And, face it, good deals can be found everywhere: yard sales, wholesale warehouses, flea markets,… and of course at online auctions. eBay is the biggest and most popular online auction site: as millions of auctions are constantly going on, you’ll most certainly find the stuff you want. But, question is, can you get it for a reasonable price? Certainly you do. If you’re lucky … and smart! To make sure you’re getting a good deal on eBay, it’s important you do a little research before you start placing bids. Step 1: Get as much information about the item as you can Read the auction, every word of it.

This way you minimize the risk on disappointment later. What is the seller telling you about authenticity, about guarantee, and of course, about the condition of the item? Remember to also read between the lines: maybe the seller left something out on purpose. It’s very important to get as much information as you can, before you place a bid. Do you want to know more about an item than what you’re told, do not hesitate to ask the seller. eBay provided an ‘ask the seller a question’-link in the right menu of every auction page.

Step 2: Pay attention to shipping details and return policy Underneath the description of an item, sellers (usually) add shipping details. Read them carefully. Check out how long it will take for the seller to ship your item after your payment has cleared. You don’t want your present to arrive 2 weeks after your mother’s birthday! Even more important, is the information about the shipping costs. For most items, the buyer pays for them, so you need to watch out for sellers that try to charge you more than the actual shipping and handling costs are. This to avoid paying a fortune for an item that was a good deal on itself. Step 3: payment details Find out which payment methods the seller accepts. Does he want you to pay by bank transfer, cheque, credit card, …? Mostly, payments through PayPal are preferred. PayPal is an eBay company that enables people to send and receive online payments safely, easily and quickly. Step 4: check prices Before you place a bid, surf the web looking for prices available from online and offline sources.

You wouldn’t be the first to find out afterwards you would have paid almost half if you had gone to the shop around the corner…. Step 5: get to know the seller Learn more about the seller. Every eBay member has a profile in the Feedback Forum. This profile has basic information about the member and a list of feedback left by their trading partners from previous transactions. To see a member's full feedback profile, click the number in parentheses next to their User ID. Be sure to take a good look at it. Unfortunately, there are numerous of dishonest people out there! You can find out a lot about the trustworthiness of a seller by reading what their past customers or sellers have to say! Following these guidelines, you definitely optimize your chances on finding a good deal on eBay. In fact, these same steps will also help you to protect yourself. Online auctions are a lot of fun, but you need to stay alert. To avoid becoming a victim of online fraud, you better do your bit of research before you place any bids.


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