How to Make EBay Purchases


Since its creation of eBay, millions have turned to this online auction site for all their buying needs. Making smart purchases using this website involves a bit of knowledge and practice. This article will explain the process involved in making eBay purchases and paying for items.

eBay TaskMap - Click to see full size pictures Original source of this article. Shared with permission

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Step 1: Search for Items

Decide whether to use keyword search or to browse by category. Keyword search is the quickest and simplest way to find a specific item. By browsing by category is useful when searching for the lowest price on a generic item

Keyword Search

1) Enter keyword(s) in search box. Use multiple keywords to help reduce the number of unintended results found. Multiple keywords may hinder chances of finding the item if seller used different keywords in the listing title.

2) Select a category. If you are uncertain which category to choose leave this set to its default (All Categories). Click on 'Search' once a category has been chosen. If no results are found for your keywords eBay will likely suggest keywords to use. If you decide to use eBay's new keywords, click on the new keywords to redirect to a new results page. If eBays suggestions dont match what youre looking for make change the keywords and search again.

3) Browse thru the search results. Click any title of an item to be redirected to the items page. If the item wasnt found determine if: the search needs refining, or if the keywords were too specific. If it is necessary to refine the search (i.e. too many results were found) you can use the side bar to refine the search criteria: Categories; Price: Min-Max; Seller

Category Search

1) Click on 'Categories' on the top menu bar, this will redirect you to the 'Category' webpage.

2) Select a category. Click on 'More' at the bottom of each sub-category list to see more sub-categories.

3) Select a subcategory

4) Search thru the results page.

eBay TaskMap - Click to see full size pictures Original source of this article. Shared with permission

Step 2: Buy an Item

1) Once you have search through search results and determined that the item you found you which to purchase, its time to make some final considerations and begin bidding to buy the item.

2) Consider the seller of the item.

3) Check that you can/are willing to use the method of payment specified by the seller.

4) Review the product description, shipping details, payment instructions, and return policy. If any of these details might change your mind on bidding, go back to searching for a different listing.

5) Send the seller a question (or questions) regarding the item. By asking questions you have a chance to get to know the seller prior to the transaction. The response time and the quality of the response is a good gauge of how the sale will go. Ask the seller any questions regarding the item or the seller's policies.

6) Decide whether to bid or 'Buy It Now.' The Buy It Now option will skip the bidding process and purchase the item for the specified price . Once bidding has started on an item the Buy It Now option will become unavailable. Consider the time left on the auction when deciding whether to bid or Buy It Now. If an item has just a little time until auction close you will probably win the item cheaper through bidding.

Buy It Now

A) Buy the item. Click on 'Buy It Now.

B) Confirm the purchase on the following page.

Bid on an Item

A) Calculate your maximum bid; be sure to include shipping costs in this equation. EBay allows for you to enter your maximum bid, which eBay will use that bid as a proxy bid (Proxy bidding means that eBay will increase your bid as other eBay users bid on the item until your maximum bid is reached).

B) Enter the maximum bid. Once you have entered your maximum bid click on 'Place Bid.'

C) Confirm the maximum bid. Before confirming check that the number you entered is correct, misplacing a decimal point could be a costly mistake. Once you click on 'Confirm Bid' you have entered into a binding agreement to purchase the item if you win the auction. After clicking Confirm Bid you may receive notice that you have been outbid (this happens immediately through eBays proxy bidding), if this happens return to step 1 and recalculate your maximum bid.

D) If you are the current high bidder, re-evaluate your maximum bid. Through proxy bidding your bid may be dangerously close to the maximum bid you entered, if this is the case it is time to re-evaluate your maximum bid.

E) Monitor the item. EBay provides the option of receiving outbid notices through email or SMS. Watching the item during the final moments of bidding will ensure that you can be the high bidder and win the auction.

eBay TaskMap - Click to see full size pictures Original source of this article. Shared with permission

Step 3: Pay for an Item

1) Click on 'Pay Now.'

2) Select method of payment.

Credit Card

A) Enter the shipping address. EBay will automatically choose the default shipping address, but allows options to add a new address or to change to a shipping address previously used.

B) Enter your credit card information.

C) Confirm payment


A) Enter PayPal information on the eBay payment page. This will automatically transfer the payment details to PayPal.

B) Verify that all information regarding shipment and payment is correct # Verify shipping address

C) Make payment

Money Order or Cashier's Check

A) Purchase money order or cashier's check. These can be purchases at banks, the Post Office, grocery stores and convenience stores.

B) Notify seller of payment made thru eBays messaging service

C) Mark payment made on 'My eBay.

Personal Check

A) Write the check. Ensure the seller's name and the monetary amount is correct. Photocopy the check and file the copy.

B) Mail the check. Check that seller and return address are correct.

C) Notify seller of payment made thru eBays messaging service

D) Mark payment made on 'My eBay.

E) Monitor email for shipping notification.

eBay TaskMap - Click to see full size pictures Original source of this article. Shared with permission

Step 4: Leave Feedback

1) Click on 'My eBay'. My eBay link located at the top right corner of any eBay page.

2) Click on 'Leave Feedback'.

3) Select transaction(s) on which to leave feedback. EBAY allows you to leave feedback for multiple transactions at a time.

4) Rate the transaction. Positive: Will add one point to the seller's rating. Neutral: Will not affect the seller's rating Negative: Will subtract one point from the seller's rating

5) Create an explanation of the rating. Describe what was good or bad about the transaction.

6) Rate the details of the transaction. Select the star that correlates to each question. Detailed seller ratings are anonymous.
Click on 'Leave Feedback' to submit the feedback.

eBay TaskMap - Click to see full size pictures Original source of this article. Shared with permission

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