Since 1995, eBay has become an online giant, and an obvious choice in the ecommerce industry. Buyers and sellers have taken to this online platform as a convenient solution to acquire things they want, and sell things they don’t.
As you probably know, eBay is an international online consumer-to-consumer commerce network. Individuals and businesses take advantage of the opportunity to sell new and used items to buyers looking to score quality products at cheaper prices. Sales are made primarily by a bidding process, as the “winner” of each bid is the highest bidder in the specified time frame of the product listing (usually within one week). After a sale is made, buyers and sellers are encouraged to leave feedback on the reliability of each other. Think of it as the most intense auction of the future.
eBay can be an awesome solution for businesses looking to score cheaper, slightly used products for their offices. For example, you could supply your employees with mobile devices to implement a BYOD work environment for a fraction of the cost of buying the devices brand new from a retail store. However, If you’re new to eBay, you’ll want to make sure you don’t make these rookie mistakes.
- Don’t bid wrong. In a classic bidding situation, the bidder with the highest dollar amount when the auctioneer ends the bid wins the item. Conversely, eBay auctions end on a timer, meaning your bids have to be carefully timed out in order for you to come out on top at the last millisecond of the bid. This takes some getting used to and a little bit of strategy. Don’t get bummed out if you lose your first couple of bids.
- Be conservative. Don’t bid on two separate auctions of the same product at a time. If you win both, you’ll have to pay for both!
- Stick to your guns. Don’t get too competitive and outbid yourself. Decide what the most you’re willing to pay for an item is, and stick to it. Don’t bid more than you can pay for just for the sake of “winning” the bid.
- Read the fine print. Don’t bid on an item without doing your research. Before you bid, you should have a firm understanding of the exact product, what it’s really worth, and its condition. Read the product description, and ask any relevant questions before bidding.
- Check the feedback. Each eBay seller carries a customer service ranking based on the feedback of their previous sales. Be sure to check out this feedback, and note any negative feedback. Also, be extra cautious of brand new sellers with little or no feedback. We recommend buying from users who have 99-to-100% positive feedback. This will help ensure that you don’t fall for a scam and lose money.
- Check shipping/handling. Before you bid, be sure to consider the cost of shipping and handling for the item. Note that this price is not included in the bidding price, so it’ll be tacked on top of whatever you pay for the item. Consider the weight, dimensions, and distance of the item to decide whether or not the shipping charge is fair. Dirty sellers will tack on a pretty penny to “handle” the item. Don’t fall for a $20 shipping charge to send you the pin that you won in an envelope from an adjacent county.
Buying new things can be an exciting experience, and eBay puts a little play into the equation. Whether your business is on the market for new workstations, mobile devices, printers, or a company car, you can be sure that you’ll find a great deal on eBay. If you don’t feel confident in participating in a bid, or have any questions about which products to look for, give PACE Technical Services a call at 905.763.7896. We can guide you through your first eBay bid and score you some good deals!
BONUS CONTENT: Congratulations! Just for reading this blog to the end, you get to read about some of the craziest eBay listings ever!
- In 2006, actor William Shatner sold his kidney stone for $25,000 and donated the money to charity. Be proud, humans.
- In 2008, somebody bought a piece of Corn Flakes cereal shaped like the state of Illinois for $1,350. We’re not going to tell you the person’s name, to save them from a life of painful embarrassment.
- In 2005, an actual human being purchased a Doritos chip resembling the Pope’s hat for $1,209.
- In 2006, an Australian citizen tried to sell New Zealand. The bid reached $3,000 before eBay removed the listing due to some weird policy violation that says you can’t sell countries.
- In 2007, when singer Britney Spears cut off all of her hair, some creep scooped it up and listed it on eBay for a starting bid of $1,000,000. eBay removed this one due to a policy violation, saving the integrity of the American people.