Five Tips for Buying on eBay

So maybe you’re not looking to sell on eBay, but you’re looking to buy instead. Or maybe you want to do a little of both to justify your shopping habit. 🙋🏻  Here are five tips to follow before impulse bidding on that special thing you’ve had your eye on.

1. Ask. Don’t be afraid to message the seller for more information (such as measurements) or pictures of the product (for instance, if only a stock photo has been provided, or if the photos are of poor quality)—you’re potentially giving them your money, after all, so make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for.

2. Research. What is the typical going rate for this item? Has the seller jacked up the price? Can you get this somewhere else for cheaper, either online or in a physical store? If it’s a clothing item, does it run true to size? If it’s an electronic item, do many people report technical issues or other problems with it? It never hurts to do a little digging around before buying.

3. Review. Look at the seller’s history—what is their seller rating? What are the reviews for shipping, etc. like? Do they seem reputable? Do they have many complaints? Where is this item shipping from?

4. Follow. Looking for something in particular? You can set a follow alert for your mobile device (using combinations of words and/or phrases) so you’ll be notified when new items matching your description are listed. For example, I followed “Modcloth heels ivory” (and several other variations) when I was looking for a particular shoe for my wedding.

5. Offer. Sometimes a seller gives the option for buyers to give their best offer. If you’re good at haggling, this can be a great way to score a deal. You and the seller counter with offers until an agreed price is reached (or declined).

Buying on eBay can be extremely fun—especially when you find something you’ve been looking everywhere for and manage to snag it for a good price. I hope these tips inspire you to push that “bid now” button!

Happy bidding!


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