The freewheeling marketplace on eBay is great for buyers looking to buy gadgets on discounted or deal prices. You can buy items for a listed price, or bid on a gadget you like. You may even be able to find some items for far less than what it costs to buy on Amazon. The eBay marketplace also has sellers who sometimes offer international shipping for free, which is a great deal. However, it’s also important to be careful when buying. Here are several tips that will help you buy gadgets safely on eBay:
Use Advanced Search Features
When you type in a generic search term on eBay, you will get hundreds of listings. Often the ones on top are live auctions. To find exactly what you want, use advanced search filters that allow you to refine your search. You can specify parameters such as price ranges, used or new, auctions or sales, international shipping, and other common ones like size or color. Refined searches yields results closer to what you are looking for. So don’t hesitate to use this feature.
Decide Whether to Buy or Bid
For some gadgets, you will find listings for both bids and buys. Some sellers on auctions also allow interested parties to buy with a one-time payment, instead of waiting a day or two for an auction to conclude. You will have to decide whether it’s more cost-effective to pay the one-time price or bid. Keep in mind that bidding can get out of hand. You can check past ended auctions for the same or similar items to see what the final bidding price was. If it’s usually over the listed one-time price, you are better off buying without bidding. If you think you can finalize a deal for something under the listed price, go for it. But keep in mind that sellers usually have a price threshold in mind and bidding is conducted in a manner to go over this price.
Know How Much the Item Costs Elsewhere
Always check what an electronic gadget costs elsewhere before you buy on eBay. Check the original manufacturer’s website and other sites like Amazon or Best Buy to get an idea of how much the item usually costs. If you find a price that is significantly below the retail price, check to see why it is so. It could be that the item is old or has defects. Sometimes sellers offer really high prices above the listed retail price. High prices are usually combined with free international shipping. If you live overseas, you can calculate the retail price cost with the shipping cost to see if you are getting a good deal.
Always, Always Read the Descriptions Carefully
The seller provides the detailed description for the item on each product page. You usually have to scroll down a bit to see it. The description you see on top is just a brief. The real details are down below. You should carefully read this part because it’s the place where you usually find important information regarding gadgets. For example, a seller might list a gadget as new, but in the long description may list that only some parts are new. If you want measurement details, you will have to refer to the long product description. The seller will disclose other details like possible defects, packaging issues, or refund policy here. Know everything before you buy by reading the longer description.
It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you are not satisfied with a product, you will be able to get a refund through eBay. However, some purchases cannot be returned if the mistake is on your part. Therefore, follow the above tips to be safe when buying from eBay.
About the Author
Eduardo Bridges writes professionally about buying budget gadgets online. He is a former software engineer who now runs his own business. Click here to visit his blog.