These days, the virtual marketplace is cut-throat with 100’s of websites selling the same items and usually with a very similar pricing structure. Even though there are so many online stores available, E-Bay still manages to be the undisputed king of online shopping. And believe it or not, there are still bargains to be found despite the competition.
Retailers might be feeling the pain but the consumer has much to gain. E-Bay is the most popular auction site in the world and what has made it so popular over the years is its ease of use, customer service, variety of goods, and of course we can’t forget the bargains to be had.
Although I would recommend E-Bay to everyone, I must warn you that you have to do some due diligence before jumping in. If you see an unlocked iPhone 6 Plus going for $250, you might want to reconsider pulling the trigger on that one. Before you go buying or selling anything on eBay, you have to do some research. Examples of things to research can be the going retail rate, average eBay rate, reputation of the seller and their feedback from previous transactions.
Finding The Goods
When viewing a product listing, you may notice that the page will also display how many views its received as well as the number of “watchers”. Watchers refers to the amount of people who are keeping a close eye on the listing and usually waiting for the last moment to put in their bids in the hopes of getting a bargain. You may also notice that with some items, it’s a saturated market with too many of the same listings with the same prices.
If this is the case, try misspelling the name of the product or description on purpose. There are lots of listings where the seller will use the incorrect spelling and therefore it won’t show up as often in the listings. The advantage to you is that there will be less people who are “watching” this item and automatically increases your chance of a low auction price. Another great tip is to search for abbreviations in the titles. You can search for common and uncommon abbreviation forms. A few examples include: MacBook Pro = MBP, karat = kt, carat, and iPod Touch = iTouch.
Images on Listings
Thinking back, it was silly for me not bid on an auction because I didn’t like the quality of the photo. Don’t let the quality of the photo keep you from bidding on an item. Just remember, the photo is poor quality but that doesn’t mean the product is. Perhaps they have an older camera? As long as you have done your due diligence, who cares about the photo quality. You should already know what you’re purchasing and therefore know what to expect regardless of picture quality.
Late Night Specials
Some bids end when people are already asleep. According to ebay stats, auctions ending between midnight and five am on the weekdays have fewer final bidders. Something to keep in mind.
The best method of course is trial and error. Spend some time getting familiar with the website, do some bidding on small ticket items, and find that sweet spot.