Get A Better Deal: eBay Tips

Don't Get Competitive

Every day hundreds of thousands of items are bought and sold on eBay, everything from used baby clothes to cars. Want to get in on the action? Here are some tips to getting a good deal.

1. Many items on eBay are being auctioned. A good strategy often is to wait until the auction is near its end before bidding. That way, your bid has less chance of being topped by someone else.

2. Try to avoid counter-bidding. This strategy can raise prices unnecessarily.

3. On eBay, the payment exchange is left up to the buyer and seller. Whenever possible, use a credit card, because it protects you from losing your money outright. If for any reason you don't get the item, or it arrives broken or in a condition other than promised, you then have the credit card company on your side.

4. Don't jump in too fast. Take time to browse through lots of comparable items, to get a sense of what's out there.

5. Start slowly. Begin your eBay adventure by buying a low-priced item.

6. Set the maximum price that you will pay for the item. Sometimes during an auction, buyers get caught up in the "competition." If you think of the auction in these terms, you could easily end up overpaying.

7. If you lose out to another bidder, don't take it personally.

8. Keep track of your eBay purchases, and how much you've spent on them. It's easy to become wrapped up in the eBay game, and it can quickly eat up both time and money.

9. Before you bid, look at the seller's rating. Have other buyers had a good experience with this particular seller?

10. Be skeptical. Items are sometimes sold on eBay for more than their real value. And although eBay has an internal police force that keeps an eye out for cheaters, scammers do exist.