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eBay School: Miscellaneous

A couple of final points to ponder
by Gisle Hannemyr
Published: 2011-04-25.

This is the final lesson in the DPanswers eBay Scool, and it contains some odd bits and pieces that did not fit in anywhere else in the series.

1. Keep your cool

Some people treat eBay like a game. They become obsessed with “winning” whatever they are bidding on. Don't! If you “win” an auction by paying too much, you've lost.

On some auctions on eBay, used items end up being sold for more money than the item can be had for brand new. Some eBay users must be ignorant about about the item's retail price. Instead, they keep bidding, thinking that the item must be very desirable, just because someone else is being equally stupid.

Keep your cool. On eBay there is almost always a similar item coming along in a day or two. If some fool bids more that you're willing to pay, just let it pass and wait for the next item.

2. Make sure you know all the facts before you bid

This really sums what this series of lessons has been about: Before you bid on an item, make sure you've researched the seller thoroughly, studied the photos of the item that the seller has put up, and read the description of the listing.

It is important to examine the listing early. That way, if anything in the description is unclear, you have time to use eBay's built-in facility to ask the seller a question. Some sellers think that if they don't say exactly what condition an item is in, or if they limit the description to “as is”, then it is the buyer's fault if he bids on the item assuming it's in good condition and it turns out to be broken or in bad shape.

If you are buying from overseas, make sure you know the cost of shipping the item to your location before you bid. Some sellers charge exorbitant amounts for overseas shipping. If shipping cost to your location is not declared in the auction, you need to get this from the seller before you even think about bidding.

If a listing has not received any bids, it is possible for the seller to add to the item's description right up to the end of the auction. If it has received bids, the description is locked the last 12 hours before the listing ends.

You should always make a rule to read a listing extra carefully just before it closes, and before you bid, just in case any significant information has been added.

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One response:

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Very true! It beats me how just two people will be in a bidding war with each other and in the end they don't actually go for the item. I think these people must be highly competitive and have to win at everything. I collect older All Saints necklaces, and one particular necklace I want went for astronomical amounts. One went for £199 and then another one came up a few weeks later and that made £160. When it was available in the store, it retailed at £45. You could get a solid silver one made up for those amounts people paid. It's just costume jewellery from a high street shop. My search continues.

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