eBay can be a very useful way to get rid of junk laying around the house, supplement your income or pick up a bargain, however you need to be aware of the risks in buying and selling online. eBay has very good guides for purchasing certain goods and how-to guides for every transaction, so make use of these before beginning to buy and sell.
By understanding the tips for safe buying on eBay and also the ways to effectively sell your unused items, you have the chance to pick up some real bargains along with earn some extra money by offloading the things you no longer need.
A number of readers have told us they use eBay quite frequently to offload unused items along with items they have bought but regretted later on. Now is your chance to retrieve that lost money and grow your savings while you are at it! After reading this article, why not leave a comment at the bottom letting us know the ways in which you managed to make money on eBay with your old treasures.
Below are some simple tips for buying and selling on eBay from someone who has both bought and sold online for several years.
Tips for safe buying
- When you first register you may be asked if you want to sign up for PayPal. This is a secure payment method used by most reputable sellers. This is a good idea as PayPal offers buyers protection (to a limit) and protects your account details from the seller, they only see your PayPal username.
- For any purchase which you deem to be expensive, try to buy from an Australian seller. This will make it a lot simpler to follow up with the seller if there are any issues with your purchase.
- If you are unsure of the condition of the item you’re looking at contact the seller and ask some questions about the conditions and why they are selling. You can also check out the other items the seller has listed for sale. This can give you an indication of whether the seller makes consistent money out of selling that type of product, or could just be selling unwanted household items after a spring clean.
- eBay has a feedback system for all transactions. When you purchase or sell and item, you are asked to record a sentence about your satisfaction with the transaction. This translates to a rating for sellers and buyers. The higher the rating, the more satisfied customers have been dealing with this seller in the past, so this can be a very good indicator of whether there are issues with the goods being sold. You can view feedback left for a seller by previous buyers by clicking “See Detailed Feedback”.
- You need to be able to exercise as much restraint in eBay auctions as you do in live auctions. To avoid the temptation of bidding higher than you planned to in the heat of the moment, you should enter the highest amount you’re willing to bid the first time you enter your bid then leave your computer until after the listing ends. Many people get sucked into the competition of out-bidding another and end up paying more than they planned to only to discover a similar product sold minutes later for much less.
- Some things are best bought in the real world where you can touch, examine and test the product before paying for it. Some examples of items you need to exercise considerable caution in purchasing over eBay would be:
- Clothing/Footwear – while you are sure to find an absolute bargain online, you will not be able to try anything on before purchasing it therefore there is no guarantee your purchase will fit you. If you do chose to buy clothing or footwear on eBay, make sure you examine the sellers return policy.
- Concert tickets – it can be difficult to gauge authenticity online and you do not want to pay a premium for in-demand tickets only to be barred at the front gate.
- Electronics – eBay sellers do not often offer warranties or insurance for significant electronics purchases and you will not be able to go back to them if your item requires repair. You could also end up with a inferior knock-off. Checking the sellers other items and location could provide some comfort over the authenticity of the item being sold.
- Diamonds – You will not be able to have the piece of jewellery or gem-stone appraised until after you have paid for it and (hopefully) received it, therefore I would not recommend spending a large amount on diamonds listed on eBay.
- Cars – While you can buy cars through eBay, you should arrange an inspection and test drive with the seller before arranging payment.
Tips for effective selling
- Upfront communication is the key to maintaining a high feedback rating. List any flaws, damage or marks on your items and point them out in your photos. You’re likely to find a buyer despite these imperfections if the price is right.
- Check your listing regularly to ensure you get to any questions from buyers in time to give them the information they need to decide whether or not to purchase your item.
- Consider paying a little extra to add additional photos and make sure you have a photo listed with the description of the item. Many buyers use this as a selection criteria, if they cannot see a picture of the item in the search results, they are unlikely to click on your item to investigate further.
- Make sure you list the specifics of your return, postage and payment methods, without detailed instructions you will turn off buyers who are looking for a secure transaction.
- Review your listing before posting it on eBay. Ensure you check for spelling, some buyers will be turned off by sellers who do not take care to accurately describe their item, including spelling.
- Be aware of security and safety when arranging for the exchange of goods and where possible use post to deliver your item. When this is not practical, consider arranging to have the item picked up in a public location like a shopping mall rather than at your house.
Items you can easily sell to make money
- Those unwanted DVD’s. Sick of watching them? Sell them.
- Womens shoes. Always popular, but the newer the better.
- CDs and unwanted albums.
- Old electronics.
- Collectibles you no longer want.
- Womens clothes.
Tell us items that you have sold
We would love to hear from you, tell us the items you have offloaded for money and the success you have had!