Everybody has heard about buying and selling on eBay by now, through the media, and word of mouth. Many of you will have ventured into that area yourselves, but many of you will be resistant to the idea because of fear about being ripped off, losing your money etc. I have been buying and selling on eBay now for over three years, and in that time, I have only had one bad experience, in which I lost about $39.00 because I was dealing with a scammer, who never delivered the items I bought.
This person has been investigated by Paypal, and has probably been prosecuted, but unfortunately, Paypal was not able to retrieve any funds to reimburse the people who had been scammed. I was new to eBay at the time, and probably should not have been dealing with this person anyway. I have since learnt to look at the sellers feedback rating, and length of time as a dealer on eBay. If you only deal with well established sellers, with at least a 99% feedback score, you should have no trouble at all.
I have saved masses of money buying on eBay, buying such diverse items as edible coconut oil, Revolution cat flea treatment, underwear, electrical goods, DVDs, craft items, jewellery, make-up and perfumes etc. etc. I have bought new items, and pre-loved items, and vintage collectables.
No matter what you are looking for, chances are you will find it on eBay, and for a cheaper price than anywhere else. For instance, I have bought Swarovski crystal ornaments for a friend, from eBay in the USA, and saved almost half the price, and when the item in question costs over $600.00, that is a massive saving! I bought underwear last week at Myers. Silly me! This week I bought the same thing on eBay, for $12.00 less, including postage!
There are different ways to pay on eBay. If you are only buying in Australia, you can keep it really simple and send a money order. You can also pay by direct bank transfer, if you are happy to use internet banking, or you could do the same thing at your local bank. Some sellers don't mind personal cheques, but you have to wait for your cheque to clear, at that end.
Because I buy mainly from America, I use a Paypal account, which is very secure, and also instant. Your goods are paid for as soon as you go through the very simple Paypal process, and you get your goods that much quicker. You wouldn't want to buy from overseas with any other method, as it costs money to buy foreign currency from the bank or post office, so make sure, if you do purchase overseas, to check that the seller accepts Paypal payments.
You can also use Paypal to pay for your goods in Australia, if the seller accepts that, and many do.
I also sell on eBay, and it can be a good way to make a few pennies on the items you no longer need. Vintage items are in high demand, as are electrical goods. People even sell pre-loved clothes and shoes, in fact, there is not much you cannot list on eBay, you've all heard of the cheese and Marmite sandwich, which sold for something like $30,000, because it had an image of the virgin Mary and Jesus on it!
If you are going to sell on eBay, it is a bit of a learning curve, but they do try to make it as easy as possible, and once you have a go, you will probably become addicted! It can be very thrilling to watch your item being bid on, and wondering what the final outcome will be. There are fees to pay to eBay, for listing your items, and also a small percentage fee when you sell an item, which you have to take into account, and sometimes you may get very little for your goods, but if you are not using the item, or were going to throw, or give it away anyway, you have nothing to lose, and maybe a bit of fun, listing it on eBay
I want to emphasise again, if you are going to buy on eBay, make sure you ONLY buy from well established sellers, with good feedback, which is easy to do, as all feedback is very visible, including buyers comments about the transactions they have had with the seller. If you are going to purchase an expensive item, you can go through an escrow service, which means your payment stays with a third party, until you receive the goods, then the seller is paid.
Never take any notice of e-mails sent to your e-mail address, purporting to come from eBay, or Paypal, and saying you need to up-date your details, etc., these are scams! Ebay and Paypal will write to you from within your sign in account area themselves, so if you cannot see the message on your eBay site, do not open it! Never respond to anything you receive to your e-mail account, no matter what they are telling you has happened to your eBay or Paypal account, I get lots of scam emails all the time, but if they do not appear within my eBay and Paypal sites, I just delete them.
One other thing, if you do buy on eBay, please do not be too quick to leave negative feedback. Make sure the negative or neutral feedback is definitely warranted before going down that path. Sometimes people get sick, and can't post their items out, or answer their e-mails as quickly, emergencies come up, or their computer goes on the blink, so give sellers the benefit of the doubt until you are absolutely sure of the facts, especially if their feedback up till now, has been good. A good feedback score means a lot to a seller, so communicate first, through e-mails, before leaving a negative, even if you are unhappy with your purchase, as a lot of things can be done to rectify a situation. Also, be a good buyer,and PAY-UP as soon as possible! First and foremost. Enjoy yourselves!
(c) 2007 Linda Land
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