How To: Ebay Shopping
Shopping on eBay
The internet is changing the way we shop. Instead of dragging yourself out to a store, you can sit comfortably in your dorm, click a few buttons, wait a few days, and bam – your bank account is mysteriously depleted but sitting in your PO box is a pile of new clothes!
Yet, for all the online shopping that our generation does, a lot of people seem to neglect one of the best sites out there: eBay! For some reason, eBay has earned a reputation as a shady, complicated auction site full of secondhand items that nobody wants. Contrary to popular belief, however, eBay is safe and easy to use – and if you know where to look and what to look for, you can score incredible deals on clothes, jewelry, phone accessories, and a whole lot more.
Who to Buy From
eBay is used a lot by international vendors, especially from Asia, and they have the good stuff. You can usually tell who they are because their listings will have pictures of beautiful Asian women and their English isn't very good. That doesn't mean they're shady though, okay!
Whenever you click on an item, in the top right corner of the page will be the Seller Information.
- The feedback score (the number in parentheses), which is essentially how much business they've done on eBay.
- The percentage of positive feedback they've received
- The Top Rated Plus symbol, which means that they are a trusted seller.
This seller looks pretty legit, but it's not always a guarantee. I've bought from highly-rated sellers and still got crap items. Fortunately for us...
eBay Buyer Protection
eBay has this cool thing where if your item isn't as described, lost, broken, etc., you can contact the seller and work out a solution. Most of the time, vendors will be willing to give full refunds, replacements, free items, etc. in order to avoid negative feedback. As long as you're buying from large vendors with a lot of feedback, you're pretty much free from risk.
Remember: Contact the seller BEFORE you leave feedback!
- Filter by category, free shipping, buy it now, and best match for optimal results. I usually filter by “Price + Shipping: lowest first” instead of “Best Match” because I'm poor, but you might have to sift through a lot of junk to get to what you want when you do that.
- Search generic terms: sweater, skirt, iPhone case, earrings, etc. You'll get thousands or even millions of results, so be prepared to scroll, but that's what makes it fun!
- The downside to buying clothes from Asia is that the sizes are usually smaller than US sizes, or they are only one size. Make sure to check the size chart before you buy.
- Check the estimated shipping time. When you're buying internationally, shipping can sometimes take over a month. I personally don't mind – you appreciate what you get so much more once you finally get it!
- Clothes: http://www.ebay.com/usr/activate2011store
- Phone accessories: http://www.ebay.com/usr/bigbenworld
- Jewelry: http://www.ebay.com/usr/bestshopping56
- Asian Cosmetics/Skincare: http://www.ebay.com/usr/cosmeticmarket2012
So as the weather gets colder and it gets harder and harder to leave your dorm, feel free to browse away and score some kickass stuff!