eBay Shopping Hacks
eBay is the largest electronic market place where you can find virtually everything. Bidding is great, but there are plenty of lesser known tricks to get some amazing deals and prices. Let’s take a look at ways to find underpriced items, make spelling mistakes work in your advantage, and best was to auto-bid:
What you might hate it in real life, but you might love it on eBay. Most people can’t spell and get fewer bids thanks to mistakes. You can check for misspelled words and combinations yourself or use sites like Fatfingers, Baycrazy, Goofbid, and BargainChecker to do it for you.
- Overlooked items
Sometimes sellers start the bidding at $0.99 hoping to start a bidding war, but items might get overlooked and remain extremely low-priced. If you don’t want to spend hours searching for such items, visit Lastminute Auction or Zero Bids that will help you find deals at less than a dollar or with no bids with less than an hour remaining time.
If you are looking for something in particular, follow and save the search and eBay will send you alerts when something similar comes in. Be as specific as you can to avoid email overflow.
- eBay is not always the cheapest
Don’t automatically assume that if it’s on eBay, it has to be the best deal. Use comparison sites and check Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, or search for free stuff at Freecycle or Freegle.com.
- Local bargains
Whatever you are looking for, start your search by checking out local deals first. Any sofa or baby stroller can be bought cheaper with local pick-up only because it will get fewer bids.
- Image search
eBay has introduced an image search function on the eBay app. This means that when you see something that you love and absolutely have to have, you can take a picture of it and check if this item is cheaper on eBay. This is a fun tool, but it won’t always produce the exact match and quality, so be careful.
- Going rate
You can get an idea about any item very quickly be selecting “sold listings” in your search. Look at what other people paid for it and never pay more than average price.
- Best offer
You can look at what best price the seller said yes to before to get a good idea what to offer on “best offers” on buy-it-now items. Goofbid’s Best Offer History tool lets you type a name of a seller that accepts best offers to see what prices they accept. Knowing that they go down as much as 30% would be a celebration for you.
- Paying for information
Sadly, this is still going on sometimes even when eBay officially bans sale of all the intangible items, like domain names, phone unlocking codes, recipes, and dieting advice. Check Google and get the same info for free.
- Snipping tools
Don’t bid on an item early on and lose the bidding war. Instead come in the last 10 seconds and deliver a price that can win over other bidders. Try using an auction sniper website like Gixen, but know that you will have to give them your eBay password to do the last second bidding for you.
This is done on eBay regularly, especially when the seller has “best offer” or even without it. Try writing to high price offers with no bids and “buy-it-now” listings. Click “ask a question” icon and contact the seller. Be nice or you will get nowhere.
- Cost of delivery
Always calculate it in the deal to reflect the real price.
- Seller slip-ups
Sellers make mistakes not only on price, but on brand names, sizes, wardrobe dimensions, and descriptions, this way deterring some buyers. Be smart about it and ask needed questions on seller’s profile, not the item page. You want to keep the information private and snag the item before the mistakes are noticed and corrected.
- Auctions closing at night
Listings that close in the middle of the night get fewer bids. You can follow such items yourself or employ the likes of BayCrazy’s Night Time Bargain search and do auto bidding while you sleep.
- New eBay users
If you are new at eBay, you can get burned easily if you don’t know how the bidding works. Learn the basic rules and tricks by bidding on small items, like sweaters and pencils. Then you can graduate to more serious stuff.
- Search by titles and descriptions
Make sure you are selecting not only titles, but descriptions too in your search. Some sellers might put general terms in the title, but include brand names and similar info in the description.
- Seller feedback
Pay attention to it, but also take it with a grain of salt. Sellers with more than 98% positive feedback are usually good. Search all the feedback on their username, not just from buying. Beware of some people who will sell some pencils to build a positive feedback and then suddenly start selling laptop computers.
- Bid extra pennies
When signing up for automatic bidding, make sure you include a penny or two above the round number. If you want to pay $30 maximum, select $30.02 and watch eBay favor your bid in the competition.
- Read the small print
Make sure you know exactly what you are buying and read a small print at the bottom of description. There have been cases when people thought they were buying an iPad for $200 and it turned out it was only clever worded description of a box.
- Consumer rights
Finally, you should know your rights if you are buying from a trader, a person who makes or sells goods bought with the intention of resale. You have the same rights as if you bought something from a store. The profile of such sellers should have “registered as a business seller” words.
It gets trickier with private sellers, as the only legal requirement is to have a fair description and a right to sell that item. eBay’s buyer protection rules state that the buyer is eligible for a refund if the item didn’t match the description.