Feedback as a confidence builder
eBay offers a means by which people from across the globe can connect and conduct business. The opportunities to buy and sell on eBay has allowed for a world in which you are no longer limited in what you can purchase based on your location. In order to maintain as a source of honest and accountable commerce, there are certain mechanisms that are in place to foster confidence among buyers and sellers alike. One important and highly effective mechanism is the feedback feature.
Customers looking to buy an item or service should filter their options using several factors. Cost, shipping, and the availability of receiving exactly what you are seeking are the keys to choosing among eBay sellers. Once you have narrowed your choice to those listings that meet your standards closest, dig even deeper to choose the vendor to receive your business. The feedback section can prove to be an invaluable tool in choosing a reputable seller.
Look for the "right" kind of feedback
Look for feedback that matches the type of product of service you are seeking from the seller. If you are buying a service, consider the feedback related to services over those related to items that the seller may have previously sold. A seller could have a stellar record of delivering services in a timely and professional manner while struggling to deliver items as well. That distinction will allow you to differentiate between sellers of similar feedback rating.
The information listed in the seller’s feedback will alert you if the vendor has had previous complaints about the timeliness and quality of their delivery. You can use the seller’s reputation when deciding what to offer for an item or service. A seller with a sub-par feedback rating may not attract the same amount as a vendor with an impeccable rating. There are no strict rules as to how you should use the information you glean from feedback but as much information you can gather and consider as possible can make the difference between a smooth and satisfying transaction and a transaction that is rife with snafus and delays that would be easily predicted by the tenor of the seller’s feedback.
Provide your own feedback after the transaction
After you have weighed all of the information at your disposal and have chosen a seller from whom to purchase, provide your own feedback once the transaction is completed. By adding feedback you will contribute to the eBay community and assist future buyers in choosing the vendor they will trust with their business. The community works best for everyone when as many people as possible contribute to all of the tools at their disposal.
[After the changes eBay made at the end of 2013, this doesn't work anymore. If you need to know full user name of eBay buyer, try Find Winning Bidder ID Service]
eBay does not show full User Id
If you've been outbid and want to know the User Id of the person who won the auction this post is for you. In the past, it was easy to get eBay User Id of the person who won certain auction by going to Bid History. It's not that easy anymore because eBay does not show User Ids. Instead they show something like this: 2***e (110).
In this post I'll show you one strategy you can use to figure out User Id. What can you do with this information? You can use it to search for other items won by this buyer. You can also use it to see what items they're currently bidding on.
Below is a sample auction where I want to figure out the winning bidder. eBay shows a***o as the highest bidder and I want to know who this is so I can do more research on them:
Directions for figuring out eBay User Id
1. Before you start, you'll need to get Item Number. You can get it from bid history that you see above or from auction description. In my example, item number is: 320893752279.
2. Once you have Item Number go to seller feedback profile. You can get there by clicking on the feedback score of the seller. On Feedback profile page, select "Feedback left for others" and look for your item number:
3. If you're lucky, you'll find it and you'll get buyer id so you can do further research.
Seller usually leaves feedback for the buyer when they ship the item so if the auction just ended, you might need to wait couple of days. Also, sometimes sellers do not leave feedback so you might not get buyer Id using this strategy. If you know of other ways to figure out eBay User Id, leave a comment below.
In this post I gave you one strategy you can use to figure out Buyer Id. Check out my other blog posts for more tips for eBay buyers.
Also, if you want to get an edge buying, try my eBay software for buyers.
Created new category
I've been pretty busy in the last two weeks and I haven't added any blog posts. I thought, I'll start by creating a new section to advertise my eBay software. I'll start posting items that I win using Buyer Auction Manager that I consider good deals.
Lot of 27 Silver American Eagles
About a week ago, I was watching Pawn Stars and running Win It Now module of Buyer Auction Manager searching for gold and silver eagles. The software picked up 1986 - 2012 lot of 27 silver eagles. I opened the item, quickly went through description, looked at the Buy It Now price, calculated price per coin and purchased it. All that in less than 70 seconds from the time this auction was posted.
Why is this a good deal?
My total price for 27 coins was $800 (including shipping and handling). The price per coin come to $29.63. The lot included 1996 silver eagle which sells for premium because it's the lowest mintage year. At the time of my purchase silver spot price was around $31.70. Silver eagles usually sell for $3+ over the spot price. If you can find them for $1 over spot, please let me know where as I'm interested in buying more. Just adding $1 to the silver spot makes the price $32.70 per coin. I would be a buyer at that price. This means that I would be willing to pay at least $880 for this lot which saved me $80+. As far as I'm concerned I got a great deal. If you buy sliver, you know that it's almost impossible to find eagles for below silver spot price.
I used my eBay software for buyers to get this great deal. If you're interested, try it yourself. It comes with 30-day no obligation trial.
Know your out of pocket cost
Before you bid on eBay you should know the total cost of the item you're interested in. Bid price or Buy It Now price is only part of that cost. There is also shipping cost and sometimes tax. Whenever I purchase anything over the internet using eBay or another website, I always add shipping cost and tax when calculating my cost of an item.
Shipping and handling fee abuse on eBay
When shopping on eBay, sometimes you'll see low bid price but high shipping cost. In some circumstances high shipping fee is justified for large or heavy items that cost a lot to ship, for expensive items that need to be insured or when shipping internationally.
There are some sellers who intentionally set shipping and handling fee high as a strategy to get you to buy an item. If you think you found a good deal and purchase an item without looking for shipping cost, you might learn that it wasn't such a good deal after all because you have to pay outrageous shipping fee.
This practice was more common in the past where sellers used it as a way to avoid paying eBay final value fees. Seller would charge low price for an item and high price for shipping and handling. For example seller would list their item for $0.99 and charge $14.99 shipping and handling fee even though it would cost them a few dollars to ship the item. This way they would get almost $16 for an item but pay eBay fee on $1.
Although eBay now charges final value fee on entire amount (including shipping fee) so it makes no sense to jack up shipping cost, there are sellers who do this so their price looks lower than competition. As far as I'm concerned it's a bad practice because it can easily alienate your customers and I usually do not buy from sellers who do this.
Remember to always know the total price of the item you're considering to purchase on eBay. This includes auction price or Buy It Now price, shipping and handling fee and tax if applicable. Looking only on the price of an item can sometimes be misleading.
To get more eBay buying tips, see my other blog posts. Also, check out my eBay buyer software.
Looking for red flags
Whenever I want to purchase something through eBay, I first run through steps in my head to try to identify red flags. If I see too many red flags or sometimes even one, I will not hesitate to move on to the next seller. I don't know who originally said it but I found it to be true more than once: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Doing research and using common sense
First thing I always check is seller feedback. If I don't see 100% positive feedback, I'll look at negative comments to see what unhappy buyers have to say. Sometimes seller responds to negative comments and I'll be able to get a feel of the type of person this seller is. For instance, if I see seller calling buyers names I might move on to the next seller. On the other hand, even if I see lower feedback score but I see that seller explains negative comments and those answers make sense, I might still consider this seller.
I also like to see what other items the seller is currently selling and also what they sold in the past. This can give me clues if the seller is legit. For example, if I see that seller was selling some kind of cheap items in the past and suddenly started selling some expensive items that would raise a red flag for me. On the other hand if the seller lists similar items as in the past and received positive feedback for those items, I'm probably not going to get scammed.
See my Research eBay Seller blog post for more in depth explanation on how to check feedback and research seller.
While looking at seller's other items for sale, I also like to look at pictures to make sure all of them look similar especially if the item I'm considering is expensive. If I see totally different pictures from one listing to the next (with different setup, background) that could be an indication that the seller stole the pictures and actually does not have those items.
Transactions outside of eBay
Be very careful if you get contacted by a seller asking you to complete the transaction outside of eBay. I learned this one the hard way in 2003 when I was scammed on eBay in exactly this way. Although I think now it's a lot harder for seller to contact you, keep this in mind.
To avoid being scammed on eBay, make sure you do some research before you purchase. Use common sense and remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Check out my other blog posts for more eBay buying tips. If you're looking for good deals, try my eBay software for buyers called Buyer Auction Manager. It will help you save money and find bargains.