Ebay… Would you?

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Technology is advancing at such a rapid pace, sometimes you can be put off by keeping up with the latest developments.  One website that has been around for ages, is Ebay ..You may have an account and be an expert at online bargaining already, but some people are apprehensive about using this form of purchasing.  From our experience there are many bargains to be found on Ebay, but also it is a great forum to buy brand new products from, at often a fraction of the list price.  It is also a great location to track down unusual items, or even discontinued items.   For those who are yet to take the plunge here are a few simple guidelines to stay safe and bag a great deal:

Start small 

Register your details to get started and set up an Ebay account .. more straight forward than you may think.  Get to know the system with a minor purchase – understanding the Ebay buying process will prevent unnecessary mistakes on larger purchases, and give you the confidence to continue.

Buy through Ebay 

This one may sound obvious, but never let a seller convince you to buy direct away from Ebay – if you agree you’ll lose Ebay’s protection for your purchases.

Read the description

Don’t let the picture, price and title alone persuade you that something is a good buy. Read EVERYTHING the seller has written as this can protect you from finding out the hard way that the designer suit you are buying has a hole in it, or that the picture of the laptop that you are buying is really a photo taken from a computer shop website.

Watch out for Fakes!

If you are buying say a Mulberry Handbag, which usually retails for around £600, and it is being sold for say £100 it is more than likely a fake bag, manufactured in China, and possibly even dispatched from there too.  Genuine designer goods are not sold on Ebay for exceptionally low prices …  always be mindful that many sellers are not always selling genuine products and always use your instinct and common sense. If you smell a rat there is probably one lurking half way around the world trying to misguide you!

Check the Postage & Packaging

Some sellers try to supplement their revenue by increasing their P&P fees. Avoid over-paying by sorting your searches by “Price + P&P: lowest first” to get an idea of how much P&P should be for that item. 

Pay with PayPal

Paying through PayPal ensures your transaction and your details are better protected.

Get familiar with Ebay’s feedback system

Let other buyers be your guide; check to see if a seller has any negative responses –  trust your gut and instinct. 

As a rule of thumb, avoid buying from sellers with less than 98% positive feedback or a feedback rating less than 30 and save giving your own feedback until you’ve received an item. 

Ask Questions:

Never be afraid to ask for more information, extra pictures or anything else you can think of – the worst they can do is say ‘no’, but any seller that’s selling a genuine item should welcome your queries as they lead to sales.


Of course Ebay is also great if you have goods to sell … the chances are if you have the confidence to buy from Ebay, you have already acquired the skills to sell your own goods, too.


Share your Ebay experience with us…..




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I enjoy using Ebay for buying and selling odds and ends. I don't like how much we have to pay in fees, and how much you have to pay if you use paypal. I sell quite a few plants to Ebayers. They are mainly cacti and succulents.

Paypal is quite pricey. I am surprised that one of the big financial institutions has not done its own version of Paypal, but better and cheaper.

Keith Rider

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