Want to get some fantastic bargains on Ebay? Use these steps and get an awesome deal!
You can get some awesome bargains on Ebay. I like to shop there because I find that they often have the lowest price on items that I am shopping for. I recently saved around $100 on a camera I bought. It took some time to save that much, but the results were well worth it.
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Here is my best advice on how to save a lot on . The first step to saving is to decide what type of item you want. It can be tempting to go ahead and start bidding, but you are more likely to get what you want by deciding what things are non negotiable for you.
Decide What Type of Item You Want
When I was searching for a camera, I knew that I wanted it to be new or like new. This is because it was a gift for my daughter. I knew that she knew the value of the item so it was okay if it wasn’t brand new, but I didn’t want it to really look used either.
It is fairly easy to find “like new” items on Ebay, because people are getting rid of things that they thought they would use. But for some reason they didn’t, and after awhile they decide to sell the item since they aren’t using it. These items are often in like new condition.
Some of the cameras I looked at on Ebay were literally “used once”. I saw other camera listings that stated the actual number of pictures taken-which usually meant it was used only a very few times.
I had a few more criteria for the camera I wanted.
- I wanted the lenses to be free from scratches and mold.
- I also didn’t need a bunch of extras like a carrying case or a tripod. The extras would have been nice, but it was more important to stay within my budget.
- I didn’t need to pay over $250 to $270.
Knowing exactly what I wanted helped me to get the perfect item for me. And, it helped me to not bid before I was sure. Once you bid on Ebay, you are committed to buying if you win the auction.
Here are a few things that you will want to decide before you bid:
- What kind of condition is acceptable-new, like new, used etc.
- What is the highest I am willing to pay for the item?
- Do I need the latest version?
- Do I need all the extras that come with it or could I buy them somewhere else or sometime else?
If you want somewhere to write down the specifics of the item you are looking for, check out the free Ebay Shopping Cheat Sheet.
Do Some Price Research
I like to check what the going price is for the item I am searching for. I either Google it or I check retailers like Amazon or Walmart. That gives me a good idea what kind of price the item usually sells for. You may want to write down a few of the prices to help you remember them. (My cheatsheet has places for you to record all your findings and help you to get the lowest price.)
Then I go to Ebay and type in the item in the description box (or copy and paste the same search that I did on Google or Amazon). Once you type in the item in the description box and press enter a list of items will come up.
Pro tip: Check the little box that says “include description”. (This box is right under the search button.) This tells Ebay to also search the descriptions as well as the title of the item. You may find some more items like the one you want this way.
For example if you are looking for Nike shoes and put that description in the search bar, you may not get all the Nike shoes available because the seller may have listed the item as “Running shoes” but only mentioned “Nike” in the description.
Browse Ebay Listings
Once Ebay has given you a listing of items, you can browse a little and see what is being offered. Once you click on a listing you will see a whole lot more details that can help you decide if this would be an item you are interested in. Here is a listing on Ebay–
There are a few things on the listing that will help you to make a decision on the item.
- Always notice the shipping charges. Add these charges to the listing price to give you an accurate idea of the real price. Sometimes the shipping is free and other times it is something like $25! On the Ebay listing above, you will notice that the shipping is free.
- Check the item description. This will tell you how “used” the item really is and also if it has any blemishes or defects. In the picture above, you will notice that it says that the condition is new (It is at the top under the item name.) However, there is usually a more detailed description farther down the page. You will definitely want to find all the seller’s notes that are farther down the page.
- Check the seller info. After you have clicked on an item you are interested in, you will see the seller information on the right. I like to buy from seller’s that have 99% or 100% positive feedback. You can also click on the seller to get detailed information on the types of negative and positive feedback. I also feel more comfortable buying from someone that has a good feedback score (that is the number beside the seller name).
- You can also sort by “Price + Shipping: lowest first”. This will bring up the items in order from cheapest to most expensive. Sometimes though, you will find that you will have to look through a lot of pages to find what you want. When I sorted by price + shipping, the listings would be of a camera part or something like that instead of the camera I wanted to buy.
Once you start browsing, you may find an item that you think you might want. If it is a buy it now item, you can buy it right away. I like to go through Ebates first. Ebates gives cash back on some items from Ebay.
I have earned over $250 from Ebates. All I do is go to the Ebates site first and then click on the store that I want to shop from. It takes seconds and I get money back from purchases that I was going to make anyway!
Type in your email address and press next. A box will appear under your email address for your password. Choose a password and press the green “Join Now” button.
Now on your screen you will see the Ebates home page. It may have a box explaining how to activate the Ebates extension directly at store sites. If you want to skip this part for now, simply click on the x to get rid of the box. (I don’t use the extension.) You will be left with the Ebates home page. Type Ebay in the search bar and press enter. Click the Shop Now button.
You will be sent to the Ebay site. Then you can click on any buy it now button and pay for your purchase.
If you aren’t ready to buy yet, you can either start watching items or check out the sold listings. This will help you to get an idea of what your item has recently been selling for. That way you will know a good deal when you see one. And it will help you to know if Ebay is likely to save you more than buying your item at a different site.
Find Out What Your Item Has Sold for Recently
If you are curious how much an item has been selling for recently, you can simply enter your item in the search bar. Once the item comes up check the box that says “include descriptions” (under the search button).
Then scroll down, and keep your eyes on the left side of the page. You will see all kinds of ways to refine your search. One of the headings says “Show only”. One of the options under “Show only” is “Sold items”. Check that box.
Now you have a listing of all the items that have recently sold. Of course these items vary widely. Some will be brand new. Others will be in used condition. You can click on an item and read the description to get an idea if it is like the item you are looking for.
How to “Watch Items”
Another way to get a good feel for what kind of deal you can get on your item is to start watching items. When you click on a listing on Ebay, you will see all the specifics for the item.
You will also see that under the buying or bidding option is a place to click that says “Add to watch list”. You will need to sign in or create an account before you can watch items.
If you click “Add to watch list”, Ebay will send you emails when the bidding is soon to be finished. This means you will have a chance to bid before the item is sold. If you don’t win the item, you can check out what it sold for to get a ballpark of what your item is selling for.
Ebay will also send emails with similar items so you have more chances to get what you want. I found this very helpful for finding listings that I hadn’t seen before. I often watched those items as well. Once an item sold that was similar to what I wanted, I started to get an idea of what I could probably get the item for as well.
Bid or Buy It Now
Now that you have a good idea of what you want and how much you hope to pay for it, you are ready to start bidding. Of course if there is a “Buy It Now” option, you can buy the item right away. Here are a few tips for when you are ready to buy:
- Don’t forget to go through Ebates first (if you are new to Ebates, you will get $10 off your first $25 purchase. If you already use Ebates, you may be able to get a percentage of your purchase back.)
- If you decide to bid, don’t forget to figure in the shipping price so that you know what you will be paying total. You can just bid the minimum or you can bid whatever your highest bid would be, and Ebay will bid for you if someone tries to outbid you.
- If you want to check on your bid to see if it is holding, it is a good idea to write down when the auction ends and put the paper somewhere where it reminds you to check on your item before the bidding ends. (I included a space for that on the cheat sheet).
Sometimes, people will wait to bid until the auction is about to end. When I bought my camera, I didn’t have any problem with that, but it can happen. I watched the auction for the last 5 minutes or so, and kept refreshing the page just to make sure I wasn’t outbid. I really wanted that camera. 🙂 But, you can just let Ebay bid for you by giving your highest bid as I mentioned before.
Putting it All Together
I was able to save $100 on my camera. I didn’t time myself, but I probably spent 2-3 hours browsing and comparing prices. I didn’t do it all in one sitting and it was fun anyway-I like buying presents!
Even if I spent 3 hours on it, you could say I made about $33 an hour. Not bad for window shopping on my couch!
If you want to see how much you can save, sign up for my Ebay Shopping Cheat Sheet. I made one for you and it is free for my subscribers. Sign up here.