A quick guide to understanding eBay

Putting sellers and buyers directly in touch with each other, eBay is an online market place that offers a huge number of items for sale each and every day.

Anyone can sign up to eBay as either a seller or a buyer and it only takes a few easy steps to get started.

The site first appeared, with a different name, back in 1995 and in the years since, hundreds of millions of items have been sold. From niche books, games and music to second hand clothes or home crafted items, eBay is a great place to find unusual things and can be a real money saver if you’re savvy.

Buying on eBay

There are two different ways you can buy things on eBay, you can either bid for items through an auction process or choose items that are for sale at a fixed price. Auctions offer the chance to scoop up a real bargain, but there’s also always the chance that you might miss out on an item you’re hoping for.

Ebay works with a blind bidding process, meaning you don’t know what other people have bid. All auction items have a starting price that you have to meet and if you bid on it and no one else does, you’ll win the item at that price – even if your bid is much higher. If someone has bid more than you when you first enter your bid, you will automatically be told that you’ve been outbid and have the option to up your price. The other bidders will then also be emailed and have the choice to enter a higher bid. Auctions can last anywhere from 24 hours to 10 days and for an in depth look at the buying process, check out a beginner’s guide.

Many sellers also offer a buy it now option, which allows you to simply purchase an item outright in the same way you would with any other online shop. The prices are predetermined and you’ll be able to see how the seller would like to be paid and how much they charge for postage.

The benefits of eBay

One of the good things about eBay is the fact that all buyers and sellers are asked to leave feedback about their experience. The results are then available to read on their profile and you can instantly see how well someone has performed as a seller or buyer by looking at their percentage rating. Should you have a dispute about a purchase, eBay has a Resolution Centre to help you solve the problem. Find out more about the process of with a look at eBay’s help pages.

The other useful eBay feature is the fact that anyone can become a seller as well as a buyer. If you have things that you’d like to sell from the comfort of your own home, all you have to do is list them through your account. There are certain things you can do to make your items look more attractive to buyers, and the guide to 40 ways to sell from Money Saving Expert has some fabulous tips and tricks.

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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

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