Getting Great Deals on
by: Lorraine Venner
I love getting a deal. I try to smell them out from miles away. I love
frequent garage sales, flea markets, closeouts, and more -- but found that
I could much better by simply buying through online auctions - if I shop
Getting a deal out of EBay auctions is an art. Buying from auctions can
be a costly proposition or a very economical option depending on your
tactics. Buy wisely by learning from my (sometimes costly) experiences.
1. Is the Seller Trustworthy?
Both EBay and Yahoo auctions have seller ratings. Read these and their
associated reviews. If the seller has a great rating from buying and a
poor one from selling, you probably don't want to buy from them. Look at
both praises and complaints as they may or may not apply to what you are
2. Read the Description Throughly
It is very easy to read what you want to see in an Ebay auction rather
than what is actually written there. Read both what is in the Ebay
description and what is NOT in the description. Often your mind will want
to fill in details with what is your dream interpretation. You need to
re-read the description until you find out whether what you are searching
for and what the seller is selling match.
* Used or New?
Is the item you are buying used or new? If it doesn't say new, you are
most likely buying something that is used.
* Real or Fake
Is the item you are interested in "real" gold, sterling silver or
pearls? For example, a description saying: "gold necklace for sale" does
NOT say 14 kt gold or 18kt gold. That most likely means a gold COLORED
necklace which may or may not have actual gold metal. This also applies to
pearls as many call plastic fake pearls simply "pearls".
If the seller is selling beads, those beads could be plastic, glass,
stone, scrap metal, crystal, chips, wood, clay, gemstone or some other
* Item Details
Does the EBay description really say how much you are getting, how long
the item is, and quality of the item? Selling by the pound can be a great
deal - or a horrible deal.
* Beware of Hidden Costs
Look at shipping and handling costs. I've seen many penny auctions that
have $13 or more shipping. Some auctions even have handling fees.
* How Fast Will it Ship?
I've been seeing a fair amount of auctions that note that the product
will ship in 2 months or that shipping time is 2 months. If you are buying
for a particular holiday, be sure that you will get the item in time.
3. Is it a Bargain For You?
Many times an EBay auction will say that the items are "worth $XXX". In
many cases, that price is inflated. Often you can find similar items much
cheaper tah "$XXX" at normal stores. (However, the auction price may still
be cheaper than you can by elsewhere - it really helps to know how much
you usually pay for items!) If you are only interested in some of the
items in an auction, adjust your bid to reflect how much you are willing
to pay for just those items unless you plan to sell the rest as that is
how much you would pay for it elsewhere.
4. Auction Fever
Compare prices on the net at the same time to avoid overpaying. Know
that usually you can get the item later elsewhere. Wise buyers know to
walk away when the price is higher than the item is worth to them.