Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Guest Post | How To 'Do' eBay by Indie - Vanilla Skin Blog

How To 'Do' eBay
I have to admit I had quite a think about what to write for you lovely followers of Ohh So Glam but after much deliberation I decided to tell you all about eBay and how it's one of my top destinations for fashion finds. 
I started using eBay when I was about 16 (four years now!) after I moved out of home and couldn't afford to spend masses on new threads and make up. I guess the obsession kind of stemmed from there really! I've heard a lot of questions since then from friends and other bloggers on all things eBay, often holding them back, so I'm going to make this a sort of (in no way sponsored, self written) FAQs answered type post. On with the show...

How do I set up an account and is it safe, like do they share info with sellers and buyers? 
It's fairly simple and easy to create an account, about the same as making an account on any shopping website. Don't panic! You can only add the information you want for example, you'll need to add an address for sellers to post to you of course, but you don't have to share a phone number. You can communicate through eBay messages if you need to. eBay will only share your address with sellers you buy/or win an item from.
How do I pay for things safely?
PayPal. Simple as that. eBay provides full buyer protection if you use a PayPal account, at no extra cost. All you pay as a buyer is the item price and the postage specified so it's free to pay by PayPal. They get their money from the seller. The vast majority of transactions are quick and smooth but if there is a problem and the seller doesn't help, you can open a case and eBay will mediate to a solution or even 'claw back' your money from the seller and refund you. As I said, this only happens rarely.

I always get outbid! How do I increase my chances of winning?
Now this is where it gets a little clever. The most successful way for using eBay I know is waiting. If you see something you like in your price range utilise your 'Watch List'. You add it to your list where you can simply keep an eye on it in one handy place. Sounds kind of strange but don't get your bid in early! Chances are there are several people watching the item but not bidding until just before the end keeps the price down and means some people will put in a lower maximum bid so you have a better chance of swooping in and topping their bid (pretty cutthroat eh?). A maximum bid is the most you want to pay for the item which once input, if anyone bids again (but lower than your maximum) eBay will automatically bid again for you to make sure you get the item (if no one else has a higher maximum of course). The last 10-30 seconds of the auction is best.
But I won't be around when the auction ends. How do I not miss out?
No problem. Ok, I'm really revealing all my secrets now! Some brainbox somewhere created an app called MyiBidder (available on both iPhone and Android) that does the last minute bidding for you, called a Sniper. Yes, really. You will need eBay app and this app on your phone or device and then you simply import your watching list into MyiBidder. Then select the item, put in your maximum bid, select how many seconds before the end you want your bid to be placed and then switch the slider to activate. The app does it all for you! And best of all, you don't even need internet connection once your 'Snipe' is set in advance. You go about your day and come back to check on your goodies when it suits you.

 I prefer to just buy up front and not fuss around with auctions. Any tips?
Yes! There are some great bargains to be had on eBay. Make full use of the filter options and select Buy-It-Now only. There may be a LOT of results for your search too so it's often very helpful to order your results from Price Low to High and if your really on a budget too you can enter a maximum price to further narrow your results and make sure you don't overspend. If you find a seller you really like you can add them to your saved sellers list and even set up alerts for when they add new items so you can get first 'dibs'. I personally have no problem buying second hand clothes as long as the seller has specified the condition as I always wash before wearing. However, I know some of you would prefer to just buy new unworn clothes so you can always set the 'condition' option to just 'New' if you prefer.

It takes ages to find anything I like in my size. Any quick-search tips?
Again, there are plenty of 'refine' options to help you narrow down your search like colour, style, length etc. If you need an item pretty soon, for a party maybe, you can always order your search to ending soonest and check the postage. Usually something within the UK ending on a Sunday-Tuesday with 1st Class will reach you by the weekend in time for Saturday night. Yay! The only other tip I can think of is one that so many people seem to overlook - if a seller has something you really like in your size then check their other items! Just click on the sellers name and select 'Items For Sale' which will display all items just from that seller. As a size UK3 in shoes, this has helped me loads in the past!

Anything else?
I think I've covered the main aspects but there are a few things I could add. Think about the time that you are searching or an item is ending. Recent research showed prime time for buyers is at the weekends, usually on a Saturday morning or Sunday evening. Whilst that's great news for sellers who's item is ending then, if you're a buyer on a budget try and have a browse for things ending during the week and use the MyiBidder app to snap them up while your at work or university. If you are buying multiple items and the postage is costly (as you would only pay one delivery charge on other websites), if they are from the same seller, don't be afraid to ask the seller if you can have a combined postage discount! Most usually oblige. Finally if browsing Buy-It-Now items, make sure the Best Offer search option is on. This means the seller may accept an offer of your choice. Don't be shy, get haggling to save even more money.
I hope you've enjoyed reading my guide to eBay and would like to say a massive thank you to Sarah for letting me guest write on her blog. Be sure to let me know of any bargains you pick up. Good luck!
Indie from Vanilla Skin Blog x

Also follow Indie on Twitter @vanillaskinblog and Bloglovin'

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  1. I used to find good stuff on ebay when i was in the uk! Now that im back in canada i dont use it as much because it seems canadian people dont list ehat im interrested in :( i would get perfumes and nail polishes but here i only buy jewellery from china.

  2. This is such a nice idea for a post! I'm a bit of an ebay addict myself and love some of the stuff you can get on there for such cheap prices!

    - Rhi x


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