An online auction. You can act as buyer or seller. Paypal is usually
used for payment transfers. EBay owns PayPal. eBay owns PayPal. eBay lets you check out
the reputation of the seller or buyer.
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
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 maximum.
gallery items are simply items for sale with pictures.
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 outbid you.
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
- eBay is one of the slowest websites on the net. Try visiting in the middle of the night when traffic is
- 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 to appear.
- 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
- 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.
- If a vendor will not ship to Canada, or charges excessively to, you can ship to a reshipper such as
Reship.com at an American address. They will take it over the
border to Canada and reship it.