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How To Buy On eBay: A Beginner’s Guide

Buying from one platform at a steal and reselling it on another can return profit. Keeping in mind your demographic on each platform, it can be as beneficial as garage sales. Since it’s not prime garage sale season here are some tips by Forbes writer David Seideman on how to optimize your browsing on eBay.

1. Seek and you shall find. You know your local flea market or church sale? EBay is a million times more powerful sucking out items from attics and basements across the country, even the world. Just be patient.

2. Keep on checking. It pays to visit eBay periodically during the day or night in case an item comes up with a “Buy It Now” or “Make an Offer” and a rival buyer nabs it. EBay is fun diversion while you’re noodling a work problem or killing time waiting for a friend.

3. Condition is king. Even if you’ve only watched one episode of Antiques Roadshow, you know that a chip on a vase sharply decreases its value. The same holds true for vintage sports memorabilia. First inspect the photos. EBay has added a zoom feature that lets you magnify a piece. Be sure to ask questions and for additional photos, too. Is there damage the pictures aren’t revealing, like a surface crease in a baseball card? eBay will save these messages on the site in your in-box so you have a record. I once returned a piece after asking if it was all original. It wasn’t and I got a full refund, minus shipping and handling both ways.

4. Size up your seller. Feedback ratings can make or break or seller’s reputation because buyers can register their approval or disapproval of their transaction. And eBay has a way of letting you drill down the feedback to learn the context of a dispute, whether it’s poor packing or slow shipping. Most sellers I have bought from have a 100 percent feedback.

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Savvy Seller

Savvy Seller is a community site created for beginner to expert online sellers, across all platforms eBay, Amazon, Etsy and more. You will find curated content, YouTube videos, and infographics. All content is aimed at helping explain all aspects of eCommerce from understanding the items, to mastering the platform you're using to sell them.