An online auction. You can act as buyer or seller. Paypal is usually used for payment transfers. EBay owns PayPal.
PayPal. eBay lets you check out the reputation of the seller
You can get computer components incredibly cheaply this way.
One hint to winning auctions is to not bid even dollars, but add .03 or .04. That
will beat the equivalent even dollar bid.
eBay is not such much as auction as a giant comparison shopper. You can click
buy now to win any auction at a fixed price. Many auctions
have many of the same item for sale, so many people can buy.
proxy bidding refers to the way you enter a maximum bid,
but eBay does not enter that right away. It bids for you incrementally up to that
gallery items are simply items for sale with
reserve price is the price below which the seller
refuses to even sell. Unlike an normal auction, this is secret.
buy now price is the price you can pay to end the
auction immediately and win it. The catch is, that offer expires as soon as the
bidding reaches the reserve price.
sniping is a strategy for winning bids by putting in a
high bid during the very last seconds of the auction, before anyone has time to
Don’t bid on many similar items simultaneously. You could win more than one
auction and end up having to buy many more items than you need. Prices are not
indicative until the expiry time gets close. There is not much point in bidding
early. You commit yourself needlessly. You can always bid later. All the action
happens in the last few seconds before closing. You will get the best deals on
auctions that close on the weekend because there is less competition.
Some people make their living with bidding gamesmanship buying and selling.
You can use your same account at the related national ebays such as ebay.ca where
most of the Canadian sellers are. You can even see your ebay.com and ebay.ca bidding
history integrated one the same web page. It is a little more convenient for
Canadians to sign up at ebay.ca and for Americans to sign up at ebay.com, but no
matter which you sign up with, you can use either.
eBay executives have atrocious ethics.
- eBay is one of the slowest websites on the net. Try visiting in the middle of the night when traffic is low.
- In theory eBay.ca
lists items that ship from Canada (possibly to the USA) and
eBay.com ships items that ship from the USA (possibly to Canada).
However, it is a scrambled mess. You have to check both if you are looking for Canadian shippers.
To make it worse, many vendors try to disguise what country they are shipping from, trying to trick customers into thinking they are local.
eBay really should insist vendors identify themselves the flag of their country posted in a standard place.
There can be so many unexpected and uncalculable extra fees when you buy outside the country. It works only for small items,
ideally that can fit in an envelope.
- eBay customer support is primarily designed to give you the brush off. The trick to finally getting a postage stamp size window to air
your complaint is to answer other to every question, not that anything will happen as a result.
- Time to ship seems to have little to with where it is shipped from. Stuff from Britain arrived within a couple of days.
Stuff from Canada took weeks. The smaller and lighter the item, the faster it will arrive. The slowest is stuff coming to Canada from the USA, even when
they are just across the border.
- The place to ask a question of the seller is at the very bottom of the page. It may take several minutes for the bottom
- eBay’s number one concern is preventing you from doing any future business directly with the vendor
rather than through eBay. Their robots block any eMail
communications they think might be future orders, identifying information etc. So if you want to complain that your order has not yet
arrived, you are best to do it through the website forms rather than via email. Don’t include any details about your original
order other than the order number, or the robots will think you are making a new order.
- Even with eBay/PayPal moderation, there is a much bigger chance you will pay your money and fail to get what you asked for than
if you bought it face to face. Similarly vendors get ripped of by customers claiming damaged or missing goods. Small vendors don’t have
the same reputation to protect that large ones do.
- When you give feedback, unless you give five stars for every category,
the vendor gets dinged financially, even for things like speed of postal
delivery which are not his fault. On principle, I would almost never rate
anything five stars. That is reserved for something astounding, but for
eBay it just means competent.