Tips for Buying on eBay

Okay, in the last article we covered what things to look at when you find an item that you may be interested in bidding on. Such as:

1. Closely reading the item description to know the condition of the item.
2. Look for a refund policy.
3. Check out the feedback of the seller.
4. Item’s availability to you.
5. Shipping cost and insurance.
6. What forms of payment the seller accepts.

We left off when it was time to send the seller a question. Normally, to ask a question, you would click on the “Ask seller a question” link located in the “Meet the seller” table shown on the upper right hand side of the auction listing, just below the seller’s eBay ID.  However, here is the way I suggest that you do it:

Click on the “View seller’s other items” link that is located two lines below the “Ask seller a question” link.
If the seller does have other items for sale, click on one of them and then click on the “Ask seller a question” link for that item.

Now, enter your question about the item that you are actually interested in that they are offering for sale.
If the seller does not have any other items for sale:

Copy the seller’s eBay ID (username) and then go back to the eBay search page. Enter a new word into the search field and then click the “Search” button. The word can be anything that will have some results shown for it (Xbox, Nike, etc.). Click on one of the resulting item listings.
Now, click on the “Advanced Search” link shown next to the “Search” button located at the top central part of the page.

Next, click on the “Items by Seller” link you’ll see in the “Search” table located on the left-hand side of the page.
Paste the seller’s eBay ID into the “Enter seller’s User ID” field, check the box next to “Include completed listings” and then click the “Search” button.

The page that will appear should have the seller’s eBay ID shown at the top central part of the page, click on it.
Now, scroll down a bit and click on the “Contact member” link shown in the table on the left-hand side of the page.
If there’s information regarding the item you’re interested in at the top of the contact form, then the trick didn’t work. However, that shouldn’t be the case. Now you an enter in and send your question to the seller. Doing these things may seem complicated and like a lot of work but using either method will take less than a minute and they’re both very simple to do after one time.

Why do this?
When a seller responds to a question about a particular item, they have the option of adding the question and response to the auction listing by checking a box. Using this round-about way prevents this. The seller could still add the information to the auction listing manually, but many may neglect this, being a bit more work for them. Less information about the item to the masses could equal a better deal for you.

Also, asking a seller a question this way can help you because it can hide your interest in the item from other potential bidders. The more “action” or attention an item gets, the more attractive it seems to others, usually meaning a higher selling price. I’ll go ahead and stop here for now, I don’t want this article to run on too long by starting another topic. The next, and following articles will cover more tips, tricks, and techniques to use when buying on eBay.