BAM eBay Buyer Blog

Posts for eBay buyers about buying on eBay

What Woman-Owned Business Deserves Your Vote for the eBay Shine Awards?

What Woman-Owned Business Deserves Your Vote for the eBay Shine Awards?

eBay is having a contest for members to vote for the best small businesses nominated for the "Shine Awards." I took a look at the nominated businesses, separated into categories, and here is a summary of the woman-nominated businesses. I will cover the other business categories in a separate blog. Read their stories and see which one would get your vote!

- Woman-Owned Businesses

- Tanya Crew, Motorcycle Works

Tanya sells motorcycle accessories on eBay, starting out just to make some extra spending money. She was trying to finish college, but her eBay business was so good that she decided to go full-time on eBay. Now she has been able to buy a house and put her son through college.

- Eloise Holbrook, abstractelle

Eloise is an artist who makes abtract art, and had her own brick-and-mortar store, but "wasn’t getting the foot traffic she needed to make ends meet. So she changed her business plan, gave herself a crash-course in shipping, opened up an eBay store, and the rest is history." Her gallery used to get around 50 visitors a week, "but her eBay store sees thousands per day."

- Sophia Stevens, sweetpeaspice

Sophia started on eBay small, "listing a few of her own products to see if they would sell. She slowly added more products and now has her own line of bulk spices, herbs, chilies, nuts, and dried fruits—available exclusively on eBay." Her customers include personal chefs, restaurants, holistic healers, caterers, and spas, according to eBay. 

Sophia also regularly attends monthly meet-ups, "where she shares strategies and best-practices with other eBay retailers." Running an eBay business helps Sophia support her family and gives her the flexibility to be around for all of life’s important moments.

One of the more interesting tidbits in Sophia's story, I thought, was that the first thing she sold was "21 pounds of Cinnamon Sticks, which sold overnight." She said she was "so happy when I got the notification that my item was sold. That was also my first time shipping anything."

Which woman-owned business would get your vote? Which would you be most likely to buy from? Post a comment here! 


eBay May Reside in Social Networks, Says CEO Wenig

eBay May Reside in Social Networks, Says CEO Wenig 

Could we be shopping from eBay from within Facebook Messenger soon, or Facebook itself?

At a recent re/code conference, eBay CEO Devin Wenig said eBay may change in that it will be wherever people spend their time outside of eBay.  "So we may reside in big social networks.  We may reside in big social messaging networks." And, he added, it may be conversational; "it may take various forms.  Go to a site, go to a domain."

"I want to see eBay ubiquitous where people spend their time," he said.

Wenig also spoke about how eBay users are starting to see content curation on the site. "The home page of eBay is now curated; there's something called 'eBay Today.'  It's interesting collections of items.  We tell stories about those items."  And what one person sees won't be the same thing another person sees, or any of the other 160 million or so people on eBay.  "And if you start shopping and browsing, you'll see recommendations that I would call pretty good," he added.

"To me, that's part of the big platform revolution that's not often spoken about," said Wenig.  "The Internet of Things" ends up being about pictures and devices.  He says he thinks of it differently.  "I think of it as an Internet that comes to you, rather than an Internet that you go to."

What do you think of the idea of shopping on eBay from within, say, a Facebook or Facebook Messenger? Post a comment here! 


Is It Safe To Buy From eBay?

I have often been asked: is it safe to buy on eBay? My answer is always Yes! providing you take a few easy precautions.

Check the Feedback

When you are looking for an item on eBay, the first thing you always want to check is the feedback. If the feedback is lousy, and that means in the 80 percentile range, consider avoiding that seller no matter how much you want to get that item. This becomes doubly true if you read the feedback and many people have written about the items quality, poor shipping and even payment issues. Stay away from these sellers at all cost.

Making Payments

A lot of people get tripped up when making a payment on eBay. The best way to do that is with an electronic payment service like PayPal. There is no muss, no fuss, you simple transfer the payment directly from an electronic payment service directly to the auction seller. These transactions are recorded, and they will give you powerful evidence if the item is not received or the person says that you've never sent a payment.

Checks and Money Orders

Sending a certified check or a money order is not as good. Although they can be tracked to the person who cashed them, it will take time. The worst part is that someone can intercept your check from the mail, change a few things about it, and cash it for themselves. Does this happen often? No, but it does happen, and it can lead you into weeks or months of problems when you are trying to prove where it went, and to whom.

The worst thing to do is to send cash for an item that has been won. Cash is untraceable, and even if the seller gets the cash, they can say they didn't, and no one will know otherwise.

The Honesty Of eBay

In most cases, asking yourself, is it safe to buy from eBay is a no-brainer. eBay, as a whole, is very honestly run and people who sell there want you to have no trouble bidding and winning. They want the transaction to go smoothly and as effortlessly as possible. Just remember that you will always maximize your safety by using an electronic payment service and by always dealing with reputable people. Just by doing those two things, it will be safe to buy on eBay nearly 100% of the time. And buying right with safety in mind is another reason why BAM's got your back!

Learn The Ropes, Then Bid To Win on eBay

Bid on smaller items to learn

learn the ropesIf you are either new to eBay or you are having trouble winning items you are bidding on, consider first learning the ropes and then using that knowledge to bid and win.

Learn about bidding and winning by bidding on small inexpensive items just to get the feel of it. You can adapt the way you bid by winning these items, because the habits you form here will carry over when you are going for more meaningful or more expensive items. This is the time to try and perfect any sniping program you are using. If you make mistakes here, you can correct them now before you bid on more valuable items. Plus, winning smaller item boosts your positive feedback, and that's always a good thing.

Try bidding in the final seconds

Practice putting in bids at the last second and see how fast your computer reacts. There may be a lag time between when a bid is entered and when it actually shows up on eBay. This knowledge will be extremely valuable when waiting for the last few seconds to make a bid. If you know, for example, that once you press the “Bid” button that it takes 5 seconds before it registers on the site, you will know that your final bid must be placed a minimum of 5 seconds---at the very least---before the auction ends.

Learn about shipping and handling

Understand how to use any shipping calculator that is placed on the site, and inquire about handling charges. You may think that you have just won a valuable item for a great price, but if you don't calculate the shipping charges and find out about the handling charges, you may be in for a rude surprise. Many people bump shipping charges up and will also add in handling charges for one reason or another. You may end up paying more for shipping and handling than the item is worth. Learn how to apply shipping and handling charges to smaller purchases, and ask questions if you are unsure.  See this blog post for more information about shipping, handling and taxes: Know total price of eBay item before you bid.

Practice and save

Using these principles will get you the best deals for the money, and by understanding how the whole eBay experience works, you'll always win an item and pay for it with the best price possible.

Start out small, learn the ropes and then bid to win, because as always, no matter what you bid on at eBay, BAM's got your back!

When Bidding to Win, Temper Your Emotions for the Best eBay Deals

Temper your emotions for best deals on eBay

temper your emotionsThere are going to be times when you find something you really want on eBay, where the excitement becomes so overwhelming that you'll throw caution to the wind and bid to the sky. If you were the seller of that item, you'll hope that everything you sell garners that same type of emotional excitement.

However, in almost every case where you allow your emotions to get the best of you, you'll pay more, and in some cases much more, than the item may even be worth. To get the best deal possible on eBay, make sure you keep your emotions in check.

There is always another item to bid on

Virtually every item that is listed on an eBay auction will be listed again by someone else. That means there will be other opportunities to bid on an exact same or a similar item. Get an idea about how much your item sells for by looking in the “completed” auctions tab. This will give you a baseline figure about how much that item is usually selling for.

Once you know that price, temper your emotions and set your own price that you won't over bid. For example, let's say your favorite Beanie Baby usually sells for around $20 dollars. Use that figure as the highest figure you'll bid, then add on $2.00 in case someone punches in $20.00 ahead of you. This means that the absolute maximum you'll bid for that particular Beanie Bay is $22.00. No matter what, don't bid more than this, even if you are sniping at the end. If you lose it this time, try again next time. You will eventually get it at your price, or less, if you stick to this strategy.

Avoid bidding wars

Consider the alternative. If you let your emotions run wild, you may end up in a bidding war with someone else who is doing the same thing. Yes, you could eventually win the item, but the cost might be so high that it may not be worth it. And then, like so many bidders before you after winning, you'll be asking yourself, “Why did I bid so high?”

So remember, find out how much the item sold for, set the highest price that you want to bid on that item, and don't waver from your set price no matter what. To help you keep within your limits, you can use sniping software so you don't have enough time to increase your bid. If you lose the item this time, down the line you'll find it listed again, and then there is always that chance you'll get it for far less than even you could have imagined.