Millions of people all over the world use eBay. Nothing new here as they have been around since the beginning of the internet. But what if I show you some of the tricks I have picked up in my 10+ years of eBaying? (Is that a word yet?)
I have some interesting tips to share with you MakeUseOf readers – just in time for the holidays.
eBay can be great to buy gifts at discounted prices or to sell items to make some money to buy gifts! What a magically time of the year. :)
Looking for deals? Let’s see what we can do you for…
Check out other eBay’s in your native language or use Babelfish to translate. The wife uses Ebay UK habitually and now thanks to Babelfish she is all into eBay France and eBay Italy. I showed her how to browse over to the foreign eBay sites and do a brand name search.
Then using a little ingenuity we try and pin it down to a category (if you can figure it out great, if not it’s OK. Just a little more clicking around later).
Then we copy the URL from the search page and plug it into BabelFish. We choose the “Translate a web page” option and select the appropriate language – here it is French to English (this will translate the French eBay search page into English so we can understand it). Don’t press the back button on your browser – it will bring you back to the BabelFish page no matter how deep you go into eBay.
Now you have a browser opened with your search translated! Sweet!
2. Use a Sniper app to help you get the lowest price and win a auction at the last possible minute. I have been using AuctionSniper (last minute bid software) now for well over 4 years.
AuctionSniper is not a free service but your first 10 snipes are free so hey close enough! Then if you get your friends to sign up for the free 10 snipes as well, they will give you more for free. You can also go on to purchase “snipes” if you run out. But hey I haven’t run out in years and if I do I will move on to another free/similar service.
The way Auction Sniper works is quite simple. You give them your eBay user name and password and they will automate your bid at 5 seconds before the end of the auction (this is the default and can be changed). This way all those bidding wars don’t start between you and some 12 year old kid in Kentucky.This also gives the highest bidder a sense of winning so they are not closely watching. This lets you and your sniper swoop in for the win at the last second. Just remember the currency is the website’s default – meaning if you are buying from eBay.co.uk it will be in British pounds, France will be in Euros and if you are hitting eBay.com it will be in US dollars. So don’t think they will be converting your 10 Euros to 10 dollars – dig?
3. How about finding great deals because other users mis-spelled their auction?! Check out Misspelled Auctions
Type in what you are looking for and it will try various popular mis-spellings to get you to a low traffic auction. This is a great breeding ground for deals! Low competition = BIG SAVINGS!
Here is a search for the awesome HTC Touch Pro:
You can see it searched for “tc touch pro”, “hc touch pro”, “tuch pro” and a whole bunch more – and look – we got a hit in the above picture!
Selling stuff? Do your homework first!
4. After logging into eBay you have the option of Advanced Search features. These are an eBay seller’s best friend. The advanced search feature I use most often is the Completed Auctions option. Why you ask?
It’s simple – if you quickly peruse the list of completed auctions for what you are looking to sell you can see at a glance the green prices sold and the red prices did not. You can get a pretty good idea of how much you can get for your collection (of something that meant something to you at one time and would be better off spent on beer money now!).
You can then also click on the little icon next to the auction that brought in the most money and use the “Sell Similar”. This will save you a bunch of steps in setting up your auction.
5. Tips and tricks are all well and good but do you know what helps more than anything else with selling on eBay? Pictures, pictures and more pictures!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words – let’s just say it can be worth a hundred bids here! People want to see what they are buying. Take these STRANGE eBay listings… Do you think they would have sold without images?
(Images are linked to the completed auctions..)
Think those auctions were strange? Check out Weird eBay Listings for more!
Also be responsive to questions asked by potential buyers and offer a slew of payment options like Paypal and credit cards.
Do you have any eBay tips or tricks to add? We would love to hear from you in the comments. Just think it might get you that internet fame you have been wanting for so long :)