STYLE

How To Bid Like A Pro On EBay

14/08/2014 16:37 | Updated 22 May 2015

My first ever leather skirt was from eBay and that was before I developed a serious penchant for a good old auction purchase on the super duper selling/buying platform.

I've found a fair few diamonds in the rough now (fab vintage jumpers, old men's watches, a duffle coat, a leather backpack, an Enid Blyton book set, that orange leather and patent top by Marni for H&M).

But then, I've also ended up with at least five definitely-not-how-they-looked-in-the-photo dresses and a couple of itchy-scratchy Christmas jumpers.

There's nothing better than winning an item on eBay for a total steal and it being exactly what you wanted when it arrives.

The thing is, I do find buying on eBay can sometimes be a bit hit and miss. Surely there's a way to use the online marketplace that guarantees you're:

a) Happy with your purchase

b) Not ripped off on price

c) Stung by the description from a seller which was clearly TOTAL LIES

I asked eBay for a few pointers and here's 13 (lucky for us all) that will up your bidding/buying game...

1. Browse the site...

Ingenius, no? It will definitely pay to check out the different categories to find out what's out there and how items are listed before you start buying.

2. Start small...

Try to contain yourselves, build up your feedback and get used to the whole buying thing first.

3. Always check a seller's feedback...

Definitely suss out what other users have said about the seller. Check their feedback ratings as this will tell you more about their customer service and reliability.

4. Bid, bid, bid...

Find the item you just have to have, enter the maximum amount you're prepared to pay. To make the highest bid always go for obscure amounts, like £5.51 or £5.32 – so you're more likely to beat a fellow bidder by a few pence.

5. Communicate...

It's a no brainer - ask questions when in doubt about any of the details or postage costs or shipping timings.

6. Look for misspelled items...

This is my favourite pointer and there are specialist websites (like Goofbid) that do this for you - it's exactly how to bag those bargains no one else has found.

7. Buy off season...

For the super savvy - you're more likely to get a bargain designer bikini in winter than in summer.

8. Check the "completed items" search...

To get an idea of the market price and how much you might be willing to pay for the item.

9. Wait until near the end of the auction to bid...

FYI a third of all bids happen in the last five minutes of an auction-style listing. You'll get a reminder if you've got the eBay app (totally download the app) or make sure put a note in your diary if you're desperate to win

10. Stick to your price...

Don't get too carried away in the heat of the auction (it happens to the best of us). Name your very top price and let eBay do the rest.

11. Do your research...

Be sure you're getting a good deal, check average selling prices for the item you're after so you know how much you should be paying. Then set your maximum price and stick to it.

12. Trust...

Keep the transaction on the site and pay with PayPal and you're protected.

13. Leave feedback...

Be honest and be fair when you leave feedback for your seller. Voila.

More:

Shopping
Suggest a correction