Many of my readers have been asking me about the things that I buy from eBay (clothes, accessories, wigs, etc) so I thought that I'd write up a sort-of 'buying guide' to shopping on eBay. I think people are wary of eBay because of all the fakes that are on there, and also the low quality items that are being sold. However I think that they have a lot of great items on there, both in low price and good quality!
I hope that this guide can help you in future pursuits of eBay shopping!
Tip #1: Only buy from sellers who have a long, consistent selling history
I learned this the hard way! I bought from numerous sellers who were not power sellers/high rated and most of the transactions were horrible, resulting in lost money and/or non-refundable money, and being stuck with a purchase that I wish I wouldn't have done. For your safety and want of not wasting any time, only buy from power sellers (they have a bright yellow, kira-kira star next to their name) and ones that are high rated as they are the ones who are most concerned about getting negative feedback, and will be more willing to work something out with you if you don't like what you bought.
Tip #2: Be wary if you see numerous listings with the same photo
I don't know how many times I've seen this! This happens all the time, with sellers stealing photos from websites and such, and not really showing the real photo of their item. I've had to deal with a few transactions like this way back when I started eBay, and I couldn't believe it! If you see listings with the same photo, you have to take some considerations into account: Are they a power seller? Have other eBayers bought this item and what was their feedback on it? Am I willing to take the risk of a bad transaction if it really isn't what it seems to be? You must protect yourself and not waste your money AND time on buying something if you really haven't researched it a bit. Just be wary!
Tip #3: If a seller has gotten a lot of negative feedback within a short amount of time, they probably aren't worth dealing with
I ALWAYS check to see the negative feedback that has been given to a seller to see whether it is an issue or not (sometimes it really isn't the seller's fault). If I see that they have been given 5+ negative feedback within a month, I immediately press the back button. Or if I see that they were not cooperative and/or didn't refund the buyer, I acknowledge that they probably will do the same to me if I don't like the item I bought. I even read the positive feedback that is given because sometimes people won't give negative feedback but will leave a passive aggressive positive feedback score to them.
Tip #4: Read the description of the item & closely look at the photos they uploaded
A lot of times sellers will write nothing in the description box, but will just upload photos of the item---DO NOT BUY FROM THESE TYPE OF SELLERS! If they don't even have the audacity to describe the item and make buyers feel at ease, how will they be like if something goes haywire? I always feel better when I see a seller talk about wanting to make the buyer happy, asking for you to contact them if there are any problems before leaving negative feedback, etc, because I know that they will do their best to work out whatever problems may arise. The photos they upload are very important, make sure you look and see whether it looks 'fishy' (blurred photos, etc) or not. For me, if they don't upload more than one photo of the item, then I instantly think it is fishy.
Tip #5: If you're buying BRAND items, make sure you do your homework
Oh gosh, do I even need to explain why? There are tons of fake items from high end brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, etc, and yes even gyaru brands (lots of Liz Lisa-ish stuff). If you're buying a brand item at a much lower cost than what it originally is, be sure to know what the REAL one looks like. Once you can confirm that the item is real, then try your luck and enjoy! Sellers will never tell you that it is a fake, they will protect themselves up until they can no longer sell on eBay. I highly advise you to buy the REAL thing and save yourself heartache over buying a fake. Yes, it has happened to me, and no, I won't ever buy anything brand on eBay ever again. Expensive things are expensive, yes, I know! But would you rather fork over money for something of less quality and will most likely end up having a short usage time, rather than spending the money for something of HIGH quality and long lasting durability? It is up to you!
Tip #6: Understanding Pricing
I have bought a lot of cheap cheap cheaaaaap stuff on eBay, and found that I couldn't get a lot of usage from them---especially jewelry! So understand that yes, you are buying it at a super low cost but the price reflects the quality so just know that you probably won't be using it for a amount of long time.
Tip #7: NEVER buy anything like eye drops, contact lenses, diet supplements, food, drinks, or anything that could be harmful to your body
Oh gosh I can't even imagine the horrors that some people have gone through from a bad purchase like these ones! For your safety, please never buy any items that could hurt your body and/or health.
Tip #8: Do not be afraid to approach sellers if you are not happy with your purchase
When I first started eBay, I did have some bad transactions and didn't understand that I could take it up with the seller to ask for money back and/or exchanges, etc because I didn't understand how eBay worked. Now, if I'm not fully satisfied with my purchase, I have NO problem going to the seller and telling them my my dissatisfaction with their item. YOU PAID FOR IT, so you better love the item or tell the seller otherwise. A lot of times they won't take returns, but if the item is damaged and/or not what they said it was, then you can ask for a refund and/or take it to eBay and have them help you get your money back.
Tip #9: Things sellers can't do
1) Make you give them positive feedback
2) Have them hold your refund until you give them positive feedback
3) Sell an item that isn't what is described in writing and/or their photos (they will say 'oh look at the photo' but eBay rules clearly says that the seller MUST put in writing via their description box what the item exactly is)
4) Not refund you if you can claim the item to have things wrong with it
5) Ruin your day :)
Tip #10: HAVE PATIENCE
I spend a lot of time looking for exact items that I want, sometimes I end up searching for hours! You need to be patient if you truly want a specific item, so don't give up quality for something that looks bad and/or is super cheap. In my case, when I look for wigs on eBay, I know that I can find cheap ones at a low price with the SAME photo every single time, but I know that those kind of listings are reaaaaaaally sketchy so I keep looking until I'm satisfied that I will make a good transaction. You can't be greedy! Unless you want to have a bad experience!
I hope that this will help you when/if you decide to try buying things on eBay. I don't find eBay to be a bad place to buy things, but you need to be SMART and SAFE when buying things on there!