Saving me time and money, Ebay.com has revolutionized the way I bargain shop.
A review by rgathright written on Jun 16, 2010Full review
Ebay.com is my trusted source for finding rare video games and old computer hardware like DLT Tape Drives. When I am on Amazon.com and find a video game that is overpriced, I jump over to Ebay.com and look it up to see if anyone is selling it at a discount. Usually these older Nintendo DS video games are about 50% cheaper so I save a lot of money!
How can you use Ebay.com to get an early start on Christmas shopping?
Is there anything that is prohibited at Ebay.com?
Read On To Find Out!
The Ebay Website Layout And Ease Of Use
Founded on September 3, 1995, Ebay is an internet company that hosts online auctions and offers fixed price items for sale. While most sales on Ebay.com are still done through auctions, in 2010 a large number of them are now “Buy It Now” listings where you simply pay what the seller is asking for the given item. Once you have placed a bid and won the auction, a robust payment system tied to PayPal.com allows you to instantly send payment to the seller. When the item arrives at your door, you are expected to revisit the auction listing and rate your satisfaction level of the seller’s service. The process allows other Ebay members to see an auction history and they can decide whether the seller is reputable enough to deal with.
Ebay.com has a virtual cornucopia of online auction management tools that make bidding or selling easier. First they have an integrated messaging center that you can use to communicate with your buyers or sellers and even Ebay staff if the condition warrants their involvement. The main page of your account is entitled “Activity” and it offers a modern, graphical interface to your recent auction activity. The page literally runs on for the equivalent of ten pages worth of information. Statistics like your recent Buy and Sell activity, Organize and a long Won side panel on the left allow you to quickly identify any items that you may be looking for in a hurry.
I cannot easily count how many times the “Activity” page has saved me from losing an auction or simply remembering to pay for something. Yeah, sometimes I get in a hurry and bid on an auction and forget to pay for it after a long weekend of visiting friends or just playing with my pups. Thanks Ebay for making online auctions so effortless!
Bidding On Auctions At Ebay.com
There are several rules with the proxy bidding system for auctions and fixed price listings on Ebay.com that you should know about.
Auctions Use A Proxy Bidding System
You can list one or more items for sale for a set number of days and you must leave it up if someone has placed a bid. You can establish a reserve price to force bidders to meet a minimum dollar amount to win. This is useful for automotive auctions. While I strongly recommend reading the official rules at the site prior to listing, the basic concept is that anyone with a valid account can place a bid right up to the last second. Today, many users use special software programs that place last minute competing bids to get a competitive edge in bidding.
Fixed Price Sales
Gives you the ability to list one or more items for sale for a set price. Once a buyer commits, they win the item immediately.
Fixed Price Sales With Best Offer
Gives you the ability to list one or more items for sale with a suggested price. A bidder will send you an offer and you have the option of accepting or rejecting it. In my experience, most sellers will only accept offers that are no more than 10% lower than the suggested price.
Using PayPal To Pay For Auctions On Ebay.com
Over the past few years one payment system has risen above all others on the popular auction website, PayPal.com. Many merchants today will not even accept any other payment method so it is in your best interest to get a PayPal.com account now so you can participate with the Ebay.com auction community. Once you have committed to buy something, you are shown a webpage that has a button entitled “Pay Now”. After you click it, you are show a summary of your purchase settings: Address, shipping speed and items that will be paid for. At the bottom of the webpage there is a bright yellow button entitled “Continue With PayPal” that you must click. Now, you are taken directly to PayPal.com where you enter you login and password. Next, after you have logged in, the Ebay and PayPal website merge into a combined webpage which shows your account details and chosen method of payment. After you click “Confirm Payment”, the item is paid for and is ready to be shipped.
The whole process of payment using PayPal.com takes less than 1 minute on an ASUS 1005HA netbook with a decent wireless internet connection. I found this was very impressive considering all the secure server traffic required and the graphics on Ebay.
Collectibles On Ebay
I was first attracted to Ebay for their baseball card selection. Many baseball card shops in my hometown had closed up and I could no longer find Ken Griffey or Jeff Bagwell rookie cards to add to my baseball card collection. The intuitive search engine of Ebay allows you to sort through these sports card listings by price, best match, category, time (ending first, newly listed) and distance. With these features you can find the right item that fits your budget or shipping needs.
Precious Metals On Ebay
A safe and secure way to buy gold or silver is through Ebay.com. You do not have to pay the outrageous prices at local coin shops and your collection will not be discussed after hours amongst staff members in your home town. While this may seem counterintuitive because you will be using a PayPal account, I use a seperate PO Box based account and make transfers to it for additional privacy.
What Products Are Missing Or Prohibited From Ebay Today?
Before you begin shopping or selling everything in your attic, you need to know that some items cannot be sold on Ebay.com. Here is a brief, general list of those products which are prohibited from sale on Ebay.com:
Software acquired as a result of an educational or school discount cannot be sold on Ebay.com.
Downloadable video games like Halo 3 or Duke Nukem and even movies like Idiocracy cannot be sold on Ebay. Of course this has not stopped everyone because they just put the games or movies on Kingston (SDC2/16GB-2ADP) 4x MicroSD Card and sell the memory card at higher prices.
Illegal or forged currency cannot be sold on Ebay.com
You cannot sell animals or pets like German Shepherds on Ebay. The good news is that pet supplies like the Bone Buddies HealthyHide Knotted Bones can still be bought.
Personal or governmental documents like licenses and birth certificates cannot be sold on Ebay.com
Firearms and ammunition cannot be sold on Ebay.com either.
The Trend In 2010: Counterfeit Video Games On Ebay.com
So far in 2010, I have bought three counterfeit video games from Ebay.com. I did not elect to buy these but rather I was duped by the sellers. They claim it is legal because the leave a disclosure saying that the games will only work on the Nintendo DS or Nintendo DS Lite. The problem is that all official Nintendo DS video games can be played on the Nintendo DSi or Nintendo DSi XL.
How To Use Ebay.com If Your Company Uses Sonic Wall!
If you cannot get on Ebay.com at work because your network administrator blocked it then just type in www.ebay.ca to visit the Canadian version of the website.
We all take for granted the service that Ebay auctions provide us in daily life around the world. My career as a web programmer and database professional is anchored in the ability to get cheap, legacy hardware from this website.
In all I give Ebay.com two thumbs up!
Here are some other online services that I use frequently:
About the Author
a member of Epinions.com
Reviews Written: 547
Location: Lake Charles, LA
Location: Lake Charles, LA