The New eBay: Getting the Best Deals

The first reaction some people still have when you mention eBay is “that auction website.”  Around seven million people visit the site each month and while it still remains the most popular platform to sell your unwanted items, today eBay is much more than a second-hand marketplace.  More than 80 per cent of the products purchased on the site are new and most of these are sold at a fixed price, not auction.  The latest product developments on the site make it easier for you to personalise how you find and buy products, making eBay one of the most effective price comparison tools available.  Featured in my new book, The New eBay, here are my Top 5 tips for getting the most out of Australia’s most visited shopping site.

Use Your Mobile

eBay’s mobile apps have been downloaded more than 100 million times.  The beauty of the apps is they allow you to browse the site anytime, anywhere and the user interface is clean, simple and easy to navigate. You can save items to your lists and pay for them at a later date or else use PayPal to purchase wherever you are.

Start Broad Then Refine

When searching for products on eBay, it’s best to start with a broad set of keywords to capture as many listings as possible, then use the filters on the search results page to narrow down to a more specific list of products.  Choose aspects such as item condition (new or used), product category (device or accessory), price range and format (auction or fixed price) to find the products that most directly match to the way you like to shop.

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Shop Globally

eBay brings you hundreds of millions of products to choose from simply by ensuring you conduct a worldwide search.   Make sure you include postage costs when deciding whether an international product provides more value than purchasing from a domestic seller.  If a seller does not specifically state postage costs to Australia, get a clear quote before proceeding.   Asking a seller to send here is one way of getting a product that none of your friends have.

Hunt for Value

Value doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest product.  Using eBay’s search filters, look for products that are sent with free postage, offer a comprehensive returns policy (look for sellers who offer 30+ days and free return postage) and faster, more reliable delivery options so you can get your product sooner and safer.  Of course if bargains are what you’re after, check out eBay’s Deals – thousands of products updated weekly sold at an incredible discount and often with free postage.  One little-known trick is to look for misspelled products so you can nab a hidden gem no-one else can find.

Personalise Your Experience

eBay’s latest feature on its homepage, known as The Feed, allows you to tailor your own browsing experience so you can be sure you never miss out on the things you’re most passionate about.  You can choose to see products matching your preferred searches plus item condition, buying format and price.

eBay is continuing to evolve and there are a lot more exciting product developments to come.   If you think it’s just “that second-hand auction website”, you’re in for a pleasant surprise when you return to find it’s arguably become the source of the widest selection and best value products on the planet.  Whatever you’re in to and however you like to buy it, visit eBay before you commit to paying for it elsewhere.

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Guest Blogger: Todd Alexander, author of The New eBay,  has been working for eBay for over 10 years and is currently the Director of Onsite Search. Through his workshops and his best-selling pocket guides, he has trained tens of thousands of people throughout the Asia-Pacific region to get the most out of eBay.

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