Tips & Tricks For Shopping On eBay

BY: Carolyn Alterio |Dec 11, 2018

Whenever I'm asked where I got a new necklace, purse, dress, etc., my answer is almost always the same: eBay. My taste in clothes veers toward the expensive side, so I try to keep costs down with coupons or by shopping for lightly used items on eBay. If you go for the latter, here are some tips for having a positive shopping experience.

1. Know your size

If you have a favorite brand, such as Theory or Abercrombie & Fitch, be sure to visit their store and try on a variety of items. It'll give you an idea of what sizes and styles fit you best so you can avoid buying any duds online.

2. Look at ratings

Sellers are rated from 1-5 stars, and even one less-than-perfect rating can hugely impact their seller score. Sellers at 99% or above (and with a large number of ratings) are more trustworthy than sellers with low scores or very few ratings. TIP: If a deal seems too good to be true (and the seller is iffy), then it probably is.

3. Choose your buying style

There's two ways to purchase an item on eBay: as an Auction (where you bid against other eBay shoppers) or Buy It Now (where you agree to pay a set price). Auctions are usually the best way to get the lowest price, as many sellers set low starting prices to encourage bidding. Just be sure not to bid more than you're willing to pay. Buy It Now lets you purchase the item immediately, which is good if you're on a deadline—or don't want to deal with the stress of bidding. This type of selling may be accompanied with Make Offer: you suggest a price, which the seller either accepts or counter-offers via email. TIP: always make an offer when it's available. You'll usually get your item for much less than the asking price.

4. Look for shipping deals

Many sellers offer large quantities of the same brand. It's worth it to peruse their other items for sale, as many sellers will combine shipping for multiple items. Do you have any tips for shopping on eBay? We'd love to hear them! Comment below.