Monday, 24 October 2011

Warning For Ebayers - Must read 1

eBay is a mammoth marketplace, with millions of goods. Most people just bid, but there are a range of hidden tools you can use to track down and then bag the ultimate bargains. Whether it’s speedy searches for under-priced goods, taking advantage of spelling mistake listings, auto-bidding to cheaply seal a deal or just working out the maximum you should pay, they’re only a free click away.


  • Step 1: Tools to find under-priced goods
  • Step 2: The price ... is it right?
  • Step 3: Bidding tricks to bag a bargain
  • Step 4: Scam busting tips
  • Ebay is not the only site
  • Add Your Tricks/Discuss/Other Articles

You're bidder off on eBay!
Step 1: Tools to hone in on under-priced goods
There’re a whole host of powerful online tools that let you exploit eBay* to the max. These not only let you track down exactly what you want, but help you spot bargains that may have gone un-noticed by other bidders, keeping prices low.
    Spelling mistaykes save you cash
    Many people can't spell (martin's is awful) and consequentially mis-enter their eBay entries. This English teacher's nightmare is a bargain hunter's dream: wrongly spelt products attract fewer bids because many don't see them. A few specialist search sites take advantage of this, trawling eBay for all possible spelling mistake combinations.
    These include the simple typo search Fatfingers, set up a few years ago by a MoneySaver to help others and Goofbay with its powerful search tools including locating no bidders.
  • Local bargains cut delivery costs
    Sellers often specify that bulky, heavy items – TVs, tables, life size Dr Spock figurines – must be picked up in person. As people are loath to travel far, lack of competition keeps prices low. It’s possible to exploit this by going to Localbargainfinder. Simply tell it your postcode, how far prepared you’re to schlep and a maximum price; it then trawls eBay for hidden gems nearby. This trick’s a must if you’re furnishing a house on a budget.
  • No bid items
    Often sellers start auctions at 99p, hoping a bidding war will erupt. Yet many items go unspotted, staying at this super-low price. To take advantage, Lastminute auctions scours for ebay auctions that are due to finish within an hour but are still under £1, meaning there are many bargains to be had.
  • Keep alerted to favourites
    If you want something that’s a) hard to track down, or b) cheaper to buy second hand, set a ‘favourite search’ and eBay will email each time a seller lists the item you’re after. Simply type a product in eBay’s own search bar, such as “Star Wars Lego Millennium Falcon” or “Manchester City Subbuteo players”, and click “save this search”. Be as specific as possible for the most accurate results. Then, when someone clears out the loft and lists the item, an email will pop into your inbox.
  • Buy from eBay USA
    There are bargains to be had on overseas eBay sites, particularly the USA. To include foreign auctions in search results, simply click “worldwide” for location, on the left hand bar. But keep an eye on postage costs, and remember that if you’re buying from outside the EU, you may be stung with customs tax.

Step 2: Check the price is right
Many people assume that if it’s on eBay*, it’s automatically cheap, and some sellers hike up prices to take advantage of this. Yet with a few basic checks, it’s easy to spot if you’re really getting a bargain.
  • Benchmark cheapest prices
    Always benchmark the price before buying. Use shopbots (shopping robots) that whiz to scores of internet retailers to find the cheapest price; MSE's tool auto-searches the best of these for each category. After that, you may be eligible for cashback (see Top Cashback Sites).
  • Ask 100,000s of people to help
    This site’s forum is a mine of MoneySaving information, where bargain hunters club together to spot top buys. This mass consumer power means someone almost always know whether you're being ripped off. Pose a question on the Shop but don't drop, and you'll often find a bargain hunting nerd can help.

  • My most pertinent memory of this is when I featured Dell's short-term £10 colour printer sale in my weekly email. Later I discovered that one reader had used the info to buy 70 and made over £2,000 profit from eBaying them at £40 each – four times the Dell price. A quick forum check by the purchasers would've saved them serious cash.
    P.S. Some may say "good on them for making profit", yet this kind of behaviour goes against what this site stands for. Of course, businesses source products and make money – that's fine. Yet to use info from this pro-consumer site, to make other consumers pay way over the odds, just isn't cricket.
  • Check the ‘eBay going rate’
    After researching and finding that eBay’s the cheapest, there’s a quick way glean a product’s market rate. To do this, fill in the search box and check “completed items” on the left hand grey bar. It’ll come up with a list of prices similar auctions have already fetched; try not to pay more than this.
  • Google the info
    Some Del Boy types try and sell web-addresses as ‘exclusive info/tools of great interest'. Yet often they're available free elsewhere. To our great distaste, links to this site are constantly sold to the highest bidder. In the past, people have sold bank charge reclaiming template letters and links to the FlightChecker, as well as other tools from the site.
    Use Google to check exactly what you're bidding for. If it's just ‘information', you'll usually find the same elsewhere for free.
Thanks: moneysavingexpert
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Warning For Ebayers - Must read 2

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