confession of the day

I have no idea how to use eBay.

I have bought a few things via the "Buy It Now" feature, but I don't know how to bid in the auctions. It totally baffles me.


helen said...

I love this post. My sister-in-law (who is a computer whiz anyway as she works for Microsoft) is always sending me things such as really cool baby clothes, french cookware, gadgets, you name it that she gets for next to nothing on ebay and I feel like such a loser because I don't use it. I think for me it is the intimidation around the "bidding" aspect. I feel the same way when I travel about bartering and I felt the same way when we bid on our who knows maybe just money issues make me uncomfortable. If you figure it out let me in on it.

ErinOrtlund said...

I'm not super technologically savvy, but Ebay guides you through. You just press the "Bid Now" option and it guides you.

Mookie said...

I'm the same way! Never even bought one thing on it. I know I should just plunge in and go for it, but something about it wigs me out.

beth said...

Some if it IS instinct, as haggling always is, but Ebay really really does make it easy. Unless you plan to sit on your auction until it ends, you will want to make a "proxy" bid.

Say an item is currently 2.00. You don't want to pay more then $5.00. You should put in $5.00.

Until someone places the next bid, then your bid is now 2.50. If someone else bids 2.51 or higher, then your bid will go up incrementally until you reach $5.00. Basically, any bid under $5.00 you will win out at the next increment. If then someone bids $5.01 or more, then you will have to go back and rebid if it's worth it to you.

It's a good idea to make note of when an auction closes and watch it if you really really want it. Ebay does send outbid notices, but usually not in time to save the item. Often other bidders swoop in at the last few minutes and get your item for just a few cents more.

Fast cable connections are helpful in the event of a last minute bidding war.

Always to remember to factor in the shipping costs. If you'd pay $5.00 down at the walmart locally, so don't pay more then that with shipping included. Lots of sellers jack up their shipping prices in order to guarantee they get their money's worth out of an item.

Don't be intimidated, it really is fun and easy! Read the fine print, pay quickly and look at feedback ratings.

Leslie said...

I *love* ebay! I have to stay away or I become addicted. I buy all my homeschooling stuff there, and also things I collect, and things from my childhood that I thought I could never get again.

I always check back at the very last minute of any auction I *really* want to win and if I am not winning I will up my bid during the last few seconds. I have only rarely lost anything I really, really wanted, and that was just because it got way more expensive than I was willing to go.

Go for it! Everyone says it's a great place to buy baby stuff, although I've never used it for that.

Anonymous said...

Don't ever bid until the last minute, then bid only what you're willing to pay. Bidding ahead of time only increases the price, so you have nothing to gain. You can use the 'watch' feature to keep from having to look up the items you're interested in, and the 'my ebay' page will tell you when all of the auctions you're watching will end.

mamalife said...

You are not alone.

Anonymous said...

hmmm interesting. But don't I remember that at one time you were going to open an Ebay store and sell used equestrian equipment/apparel? How were you going to do that if you cannot use Ebay?

dedanaan said...

I love eBay! I've been buying/selling on it for about seven years now. I've found things on there that would take me a year of searching stores/thrift shops/antique stores to find. And Christmas gifts...don't get me started. From autographed celebrity photos to rare DVDs to signed, first edition Harry Potter books to old dial telephones, I've found gifts for people that I could never find elsewhere.

I second the anonymous person who advised waiting until the last minute to bid. Also, if you really get into it, you can buy software that will place your bid for you at the last minute if you aren't home when the auction ends.