We all love that the internet has given us a store right at the tip of our fingers. Once you reach college and have your own credit card you have the power of ebay whenever you want it. Of course, like any great thing, ebay can either be used for good, or evil. There are cons and tricks that shady ebay sellers use to take your hard-earned college loan money. Don’t let it happen to you. Here are a few buyer tricks that can help you keep more money in your pocket:
Check the Return Policy – You don’t ever get a chance to see the item, try it on, test it out, before it winds up on your front porch when you buy with ebay. That’s not too bad if you get a pair of socks in the mail that are European men’s large instead of American, but it is if it’s the Delorian that the seller forgot to mention was only model car. You should always check to see if you can return the item if it turns out to be something other than what you wanted, so that you don’t waste your money on something useless.
Read The Description Carefully – Like real-estate, ebay descriptions have a set of key words that don’t really mean exactly what you think they might. Things like “one-of-a-kind” and “well-loved” can hint that they are trying to up-sell something that might not be all that great. Watch out for phrases that seem incongruous, so that when they describe the steampunk leather purse as “unique” or “hand-crafted” you will know that they might really be saying that it’s held together with duct tape and super glue.
Don’t Get Caught In Bid Wars – We’ve all done it. We spotted the vintage video game that we’ve always wanted for way less than it is worth at it’s current bid. You place a bid thinking it’s harmless, and come back a little later to see that someone outbid you. Hey, what’s another 50 cents, right? Until that 50 cents somehow becomes several thousand dollars too much and you have to sell your car to make the payment. Bidding can be addicting so don’t let yourself get drawn into it. Before you start bidding on something, set yourself a limit and back off when you get there. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the spirit of the game, only to lose more important things along the way.
Contact Seller: Your New Best Friend – One of ebay’s greatest aspects is the fact that they track all of their sellers. That means that you can easily see how other people have reacted to them. Of course, that’s not a guarantee. If you aren’t feeling really certain about your purchase, you can always contact the seller. You can ask questions, set up any special arrangements, or just try to get a feel for the guy selling his used laptop to you, before you ship them the money and get a toy in the mail.
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