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If you thought eBay was just an online marketplace where you can sell used goods and buy obscure auto parts, you’re only half right. Over the years eBay’s online store has become a host to many online retailers to sell brand new goods as well as deals that can be cheaper than what bigwigs like Amazon can offer. To help you navigate the site’s extensive and sometimes confusing interface, we’ve compiled five of the top tips for shopping online on eBay Australia.
If you’re not a regular eBay shopper, typing the product you want to buy into the search bar can turn up hundreds or even thousands of listings. Suddenly you’re inundated with tons of offers labeled “great price” while you squint to check if the product is “brand new” or “used”. We also have to admit that eBay’s product images don’t always look as good as they could be, sometimes being overloaded with overlaid text and branded backgrounds.
We’ll walk you through all of our tried-and-true tips that make shopping online on eBay a breeze. You’ll learn how to find legitimate sellers, how to post auctions and bids altogether, and where to find the crème de la crème of listings.
Tips and tricks for online shopping on eBay Australia
Find the official eBay store of your favorite retailers
Navigating through so many listings (and potentially shady sellers) is the main reason some are reluctant to shop online on eBay. If you can find your favorite retailer’s eBay storefront, happy days – you’ve killed two birds with one stone.
Once you’ve found the store of your choice, you can shop for the specific product you’re looking for with the peace of mind that you’re already shopping from a trusted seller. There are fewer products to skim through and you’re more likely to find items that have been discontinued as well. Sometimes eBay serves as a place for its brands to outsource niche products since they don’t get much traction on their external websites or online stores.
You’re also more likely to stumble across the brand’s certified refurbished products as well. This way you can save up to hundreds of dollars on used goods that you can enjoy at near new quality. And what could be better for your bank account and the environment in this climate?
Hot Tip: Bookmark your favorite retailer’s eBay storefront for future reference.
Check the seller’s ratings and reputation
Sometimes you can’t always find what you’re looking for on your favorite brand’s official eBay store. In this case, you have to rely on the search bar and trust what comes up.
Some retailers make it easy for you. Stores that you know and trust (or at least that you know from your local mall) have their logo or name affixed to the products so you know before you even click.
But if you need to branch out or don’t see any brands that you recognize, the first thing you should do is check what details you can find when you see a listing. Check if it’s brand new or used, see if it’s an eBay Plus item and compare prices to other listings to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck before you put it in put in the cart and buy.
If you are satisfied, click on the listing and view the seller on the right under Seller Information. The first thing to note is the name, the number next to it, the color of the star and the percentage of positive feedback. While it might not mean much to you at first glance, it’s pretty easy to understand.
The number next to the seller’s name is the total number of positive reviews the seller has received. The star is one of 12 colors that indicate the level of positive feedback. A plain yellow star means the seller has between 10 and 49 positive ratings, which is the lowest rating you can achieve. A silver shooting star, on the other hand, means that a seller has 1,000,000 or more positive ratings.
Wherever possible, we encourage you to contact a seller who has a shooting star next to their name. The minimum threshold for these positive ratings is 10,000 individual ratings. It can usually be assumed that these sellers have been tried and tested by many other customers. That doesn’t mean other regular star sellers aren’t as good or as safe, but we imagine you’ll feel more reassured by choosing a seller that has an established reputation. After all, 1,000 positive reviews are nothing to sneeze at.
If you’re still unsure, you can always click the number next to the seller’s name and navigate to their feedback profile. From there, you can read feedback from other buyers about their experiences and make the best choice for you.
Look for the eBay refurbished icon
If you’re looking for tech online, this is one to check out The renovated eBay shop. As we mentioned earlier, not only can you save a few hundred bucks by buying refurbished products, it is also a more sustainable way to shop.
Whether you’re ready to buy a new camera, your beloved Dyson finally bought it, or you want a more powerful laptop to take your gaming experience to the next level, you’ll find all that and more in eBay’s refurbished section. But remember, eBay has two definitions of refurbished: seller refurbished and certified refurbished.
The difference? For starters, anything that is considered “Certified Refurbished” has a little blue badge on its listing that reads Renovated. By choosing this badge, only authorized sellers can enter into an agreement with eBay that enforces three strict rules. The product must:
- Be in new condition
- Have it inspected, cleaned and overhauled by a manufacturer or a manufacturer-approved service provider
- Be in new packaging with original or new accessories
There are also some other caveats that sellers must agree to, including free standard delivery, an expedited shipping option, 30-day seller-paid returns, and a 12-month minimum warranty. It all sounds pretty neat if you ask us. Who doesn’t love big discounts on big brands like Nikon, Dell and more?
Meanwhile, if you buy something refurbished from the seller, you won’t have access to all the bells and whistles that come with a certified refurbished product. You trust the seller very much and his origin is probably unclear. The item could have been damaged in transit and has been returned and repaired, or it could have been a used product that has been restored to working condition and resold at a lower price. Many would more aptly describe this as “obsolete”.
How to find the best deals
Never take eBay prices at face value. If you want to find the best price, search for any product and click on the tile that interests you. Chances are there’s a cheeky discount code hidden inside. Below the prices, you’ll often see a small line of text that says “X% off this item. show me how”.
When you click “Show me how” a small popup will appear with the discount you will get if you take the suggested code and use it at checkout. You will often be told when the coupon code expires and taken to the terms and conditions if you want to know more.
if you a eBay Plus memberit’s a good idea to stay logged into your account as you can see exclusive discount codes that can be higher than what standard eBay accounts are offered.
Another thing to try if you are not looking for anything specific is to go eBay listings landing page. There you can shop by category and discover the best deals handpicked by eBay, from homeware to fashion to tech and games. A few curated items are often highlighted on the main page, so you’ll always know what’s hot.
Sign up for eBay Plus to receive unique benefits
If you’ve noticed that you’re shopping online more and more frequently on eBay, then you should Consider opening a Plus account. For as low as $4.99 per monthenjoy exclusive discounts, free metro express delivery and free returns on millions of items all year round.
Trust us when we say you appreciate the exclusive savings section. Ebay loves to offer tons of deals to its members, such as the eBay Plus Weekend Sale that recently took place at the end of May.
As for free returns, rest assured that regardless of some sellers’ return policies, you don’t have to pay for postage to send something back. It doesn’t matter if you just didn’t like a product or you’ve had a heart break, you’re still entitled to a free shipping label from Australia Post or ParcelPoint thanks to your Plus membership.
However, note that this advantage applies to eBay Plus items only. If you’re not sure how to recognize this, look out for the eBay Plus badge or stick with it eBay Plus listings page instead.
If you’re unsure about committing to $4.99 per month, you can always join a free 30-day trial. But save your free trial for the next time eBay decides to reward its members with an exclusive offer so next time you can buy, buy, buy and see if you like it enough to renew each month .