A beginner’s guide to shopping on eBay

by KUsam at en.wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by Tkgd2007, Cbuckley at en.wikipedia. [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

In the exponentially growing world of e-commerce, online shopping is probably the most convenient and efficient way to do shopping. From the luxury of your home, you can choose from an array of vendors and order whatever that you desire and get it delivered at your doorstep in a couple of days. If you search more carefully, you might even end up with some fantastic deals.

One of the most repudiated websites for online shopping is probably eBay. It has hundreds of dealers who set up ‘shops’ at the website in order to sell and promote their products. Now, when you search for a product, you get a number of results which are basically different retailers offering to sell their product at various prices. It’s just like going to a market and visiting different vendors to check out the best deal before you finalize your purchase. eBay just offers this under one roof.

So before you head out there and start maxing out your credit card limit shopping online, there are a few things you should be really careful about on eBay:

  1. Before choosing the product you really like, ensure that you have checked out as many sellers as possible and the prices they are offering. Some vendors have shipping prices over the price of the product while some vendors ship for free. So calculate and select the one which suits you best.
  2. Some payment methods should be given a high priority over others. Always try to pay using PayPal, credit card, cash card or net banking should be used. This is primarily because when you use the above mentioned methods to make your payments, eBay ensures that the product reaches you before payment is made to the seller. Hence, when you go back to eBay and complain that the product has not yet reached you or if there is any kind of defect with the product, eBay will not transfer funds to the seller and the vendor is thus quite proactive in finding out a solution for you. That will not be the case if you use offline fund transfer methods like bank draft or account transfer and eBay will not be able to refund your payment.
  3. Some sellers also have the option of EMI payment on the credit cards which is generally interest free. Offer tenures vary from 3 to 6 months. Nevertheless ensure to look out for what is called as the ‘processing charge’ which is a one-time fee that the banks impose on the transitions.
  4. Next, while making your purchase from eBay always prefer a vendor who already has a power rating. These ratings are obtained when buyers before you rate the seller on 3 to 4 parameters when they get their product delivered. eBay combines the ratings of all the users and gives a particular power rating to the respective seller and beyond a threshold, the seller gets the highest reputation. Hence, when you buy from these top rated sellers, you can be assured of quality service majority of the time.
  5. Some vendors also list products which may not have yet launched in your country. These listings have the caption “dealers warranty” which means that if something does go wrong with the device you will have to ship it back to the dealer and they will take care of it since there is no official warranty available. As it is quite obvious, it is wise to always purchase products which bear official warranty unless you are in desperate need.
Author: Surya