BAM eBay Blog

Posts for eBay buyers about buying on eBay

eBay Strives to Get Everyone Their Version of Perfect

eBay Strives to Get Everyone Their Version of Perfect

EBay has a new catchphrase, which is "to help every person get their version of perfect, no matter what it is," as reported by EcommerceBytes. 

In a YouTube video that shows women discussing their idea of perfect, one woman cheekily says, "My perfect would be somebody else's nightmare."  Another woman says one of her favorite items of clothing is a pair of Justin cowboy boots, and she says she's sold quite a few pairs of shoes on eBay.

"I love the idea of taking old clothes and bringing them into a new situation," says another woman.

EBay CEO Devin Wenig says the company has done some testing in the US and UK, and "you should begin to feel the sharpened eBay brand in our major markets" in the second half of the year, according to what he told Wall Street analysts, EcommerceBytes reported.

This latest catchphrase made me think of some of the others eBay has had over the years. In an ad campaign reminiscent of this one, eBay had said it was the perfect place to find "It," whatever it was. That year at the eBay Live convention there was a large fuzzy word, "It," on display in the foyer.

Another slogan eBay had at one time was to get your "Windorphins," meaning the feel-good endorphins from "winning" an auction. I recall seeing a large billboard with a Windorphins slogan on it when flying out of one eBay convention.

What do you think of eBay's new slogan? Do you think eBay is still the place to find "your version of perfect," or are there things that you feel you cannot find on there, or prefer to buy somewhere else, such as Amazon? Post a comment here!

What Categories are Hot on eBay Right Now?

What Categories are Hot on eBay Right Now?

What are the "hot" categories on eBay right now?  I am not totally sure, but I can tell you which are doing the best right now by amount of sales. (Anybody remember "eBay Pulse?"  eBay dropped that a while back, from the speculation of one user, due to their just not wanting to maintain it along with all the category and search changes). 

But back to the "hot categories." According to the terapeak research tool, these include:

- Asian Antiques
- Art > Art from Dealers & Resellers
- Books > Nonfiction
- Collectibles > Comics
- Computers/Tablets & Networking > Laptops & Netbooks
- Business & Industrial > MRO & Industrial Supply
- Cameras & Photo > Lenses & Filters
- Cell Phones & Accessories > Cell Phones & Smartphones
- Clothing, Shoes & Accessories > Women's Clothing
- Coins & Paper Money > Bullion
- Consumer Electronics > TV, Video & Home Audio
- Crafts > Sewing & Fabric
- DVDs & Movies > DVDs & Blu-ray Discs
- Dolls & Bears > Dolls
- Entertainment Memorabilia > Music Memorabilia

Some other categories that caught my eye were:
- Music > Records
- Pet Supplies >  Dog Supplies
- Toys & Hobbies > Action Figures
- Travel > Luggage

What are we to make of these categories having a high amount of sales? Asian antiques have been hot for a while, as American collectors and Asians themselves try to buy back the "before olds."

Art as a hot category surprised me somewhat, but not much, as art has actually been a sound investment over the years, if you pick the artist and scene wisely.

Laptops and cell phones always seem to be in high demand, but I did not expect "lenses and filters" in Cameras / photography. The professionals or professional amateurs must really like to pick their equipment carefully.

With eBay encouraging sellers to list crafts, and to have crafts in general to compete with Etsy, it's not a surprise that Sewing & Fabric would be in there.

Do these "hot" categories mesh with your experience on the eBay site? Where are you seeing the most sales, or where do you buy the most?  Post a comment here!

As for Music > Records, we have heard vinyl is making a resurgence, and this would seem to bear that out.

Finally, we certainly can expect to see "luggage" on there, with this being a big travel season with millions set to move around by train, plane or automobile.

An Update on eBay Bucks and How You Can Benefit

An Update on eBay Bucks and How You Can Benefit

A few years back, this blog shared some information about the eBay Bucks program.  We thought it was time to update our look at the program and see what, if anything, has changed, and how you might benefit.  

One thing to keep in mind is that although the typical eBay Bucks "money back" rate is 2%, eBay sometimes runs promotions where you can earn more than that. For example, just this past June, eBay ran a promotion where you could earn three times the normal amount in eBay bucks, or 6% instead of 2% on qualifying purchases. 

But let's run down the basics of eBay Bucks and some of the changes over the past several years.

What are eBay Bucks? 

The eBay Bucks Rewards Program is designed to reward eBay members for purchasing items on, according to eBay. You need to join, if you have not already, and then, after each calendar quarter, you can rack up eBay Bucks based on your qualifying purchases (there are some restrictions; see below). 

You can earn money back based on a base rate which is currently 2%. (Please see below for how that can change with promotions, etc.).

How do you join?

You can join by enrolling here, "or simply by responding to an invitation email that eBay may send from time to time."

If you earn $5.00 or more in eBay Bucks during that calendar quarter, you receive a reward equal to the amount of your eBay Bucks in the form of an eBay Bucks Certificate. You can use this Certificate to buy more things on eBay.

The program is free, so there is no downside to joining.

Changes Made to the Program

The following changes were made about January 1, 2014, to the eBay Bucks Rewards Program:

- If you do not earn $5.00 or more in a calendar quarter, then your eBay Bucks balance does not transfer to the next earn period and is forfeited. 

- If you don't earn $5.00 in a calendar quarter, you cannot transfer your balance to another eBay Bucks member. eBay Bucks are non-transferable. 


The eBay Bucks Rewards Program in Canada was discontinued around March, 2013.

Rewards Outside the US

- Are there any rewards programs for eBay users not in the United States?

If you are a resident of the United Kingdom, you may be eligible to earn rewards through Nectar, says eBay. 

Who can participate?

You can participate in the eBay Bucks program if, according to eBay:

 -  You have a US address tied to an eBay account and the account is in good standing (no holds or suspensions)

 -  You have an eBay account registered on
 -  You have a valid PayPal account or have successfully signed up for a valid PayPal account and such account is in good standing

Only one (1) eBay account per person can be enrolled in the eBay Bucks Rewards Program.

How do you earn with eBay Bucks?

You earn rewards with eBay Bucks simply by being enrolled in the program, and then shopping on eBay.  Not all purchases qualify; see the restrictions here:, and some below:

To qualify, purchases must meet the following requirements:

-  Paid for with PayPal (Payment needs to be made on eBay's checkout system. Payments made directly via PayPal to a seller's account aren't eligible.)

-  Made after you enroll in the eBay Bucks Rewards Program (can be a winning bid or Buy it Now). (That one's a no-brainer).

-  Bought on the US eBay site ( "Some third-party automated bidding applications (sniping tools) are actually placing their bids on international sites as opposed to bidding on the US site directly. Purchases completed by these applications do not qualify to earn eBay Bucks."

-  Purchases made in these categories do not qualify ("among other restrictions"):

-  eBay Motors (including Parts & Accessories)

-  Classifieds

-  Real Estate

-  Gift Cards & Coupons, but only for eBay Gift Cards within that category

-  Coins & Paper Money, but only for Bullion within that category

-  Business & Industrial 

But you can still use eBay Bucks to purchase items in those categories.

How Much can you Earn with eBay Bucks?

- The base percentage rate is currently 2%. However, the base percentage can chage: "eBay reserves the right to change the base earn percentage up or down. 

From time to time, "eBay may offer special promotions that would provide members with extra eBay Bucks or an additional earn percentage in addition to the base earn percentage for qualifying purchases during the promotion period. If your purchase qualifies for multiple promotions, you will automatically earn credit for the highest value promotional offer."

- How is the base earn amount determined for a qualifying purchase?

The base earn amount is calculated by taking the [item price] x [quantity selected] x [earn percentage]. Any additional fees such as shipping, handling, and taxes are excluded from this calculation; eBay Bucks are earned solely on the item price.

- Are all aspects of your qualifying purchase included in the calculation?

No, eBay Bucks are earned solely on the item price. Any other fees (including, but not limited to, shipping, handling, and taxes) are not included in the calculation of the earn amount.

Can the base earn percentage change?

eBay "reserves the right to change the base earn percentage up or down. From time to time, eBay may offer special promotions that would provide members with extra eBay Bucks or an additional earn percentage in addition to the base earn percentage for qualifying purchases during the promotion period. If your purchase qualifies for multiple promotions, you will automatically earn credit for the highest value promotional offer."

Are there any limitations on how many eBay Bucks you can earn?

Yes, according to eBay:
"You can earn up to $100 in eBay Bucks on any single eBay purchase. This means that if the eBay Bucks earn percentage is 2% and the purchase price (excluding tax, shipping fees) is in excess of $5,000, you would be restricted from earning any more eBay Bucks for that purchase beyond the $100 eBay Bucks purchase earn limit.


"You can earn up to $500 in eBay Bucks for all qualifying purchases during a given calendar quarter. This means that if the eBay Bucks earn percentage is 2% and the total value of qualifying purchases exceeds $25,000 during a given calendar quarter, you would be restricted from accumulating any more eBay Bucks beyond the $500 eBay Bucks quarterly earn limit."

When do you get the eBay Bucks posted to your account?

They are posted after you purchase and pay for your item(s) with PayPal. Note: If you make a purchase during one calendar quarter but don't pay for it with PayPal until the next calendar quarter, the eBay Bucks will be added to your account during the quarter when you pay for the item(s).

How can  you check you eBay Bucks balance?

Go to My eBay, and then click "eBay Bucks" under the "Buy" heading in the left-hand menu bar.

For more information on eBay Bucks, go to the FAQ, here:

So, as you can see, eBay Bucks are free money...don't leave it on the table, especially during those triple-points promotions!

Which Global Business Do You Like Best for the eBay Shine Awards?

Which Global Business Do You Like Best for the eBay Shine Awards?

Last week we looked at the nominees for the eBay Shine Awards for women-owned business. Today I want to take a look at the global businesses that are nominated.

Jalmar Araujo

- flexibrace

First off is Jalmar Araujo of "flexibrace."  Flexibrace is an ankle support that Brazilian soccer players use, and that thanks to Araujo, are now becoming popular in the US.  When Araujo  moved from Brazil to the US, "he went to buy the ankle supports he needed, however, he couldn’t find them anywhere," according to eBay. So he ordered ten pairs from Brazil, kept two for himself, and sold the rest on eBay. "Sixteen years later, Jalmar has turned that original $300 into a $2.5 million business, importing a vast array of support wear products and then selling them to eBay buyers around the world. Today, international sales make up more than 40% of Jalmar’s business."

Araujo's business is a great example of filling a need...these kinds of ankle supports were only in Brazil, and by simply buying them from Brazil and reselling in the US, he was able to build a business.

Neha Gajwani

- smack-tom 

Gwani wanted to start her own business after graduating from college, but "she just wasn’t sure where or how."  She decided to try selling on eBay, and soon "she was sourcing electronics accessories overseas and selling them through her own site and on eBay."  She has opened offices in Miami, India, and "most recently in China," according to eBay.

I wasn't sure exactly what kind of electronics accessories Gajwani sold, so I took a look at her eBay Store, which is at Among the things she sells are smartphone accessories, such as phone cases, as well as Macbook, tablet, iPod, mp3, gaming and other accessories.

Gajwani idenitified a very hot market, consumer electronics, such as the near-uniquitous smartphone, and chose that to run her business, which soon became global.

Schad Vanleeuwen

- speedaddictcycles

A fun fact about Vanleeuwen is that his grandfather had been a national racing champion, and "Schad grew up lending a hand in the family parts and accessories business," according to eBay.  He listed some of their old inventory on eBay, and soon it led to him running his own company, "Speed Addicts," out of his freshman dorm room in Santa Barbara, CA. He started with motorcycle exhaust systems.  Now Speed Addicts has multiple offices and $2.4 million in annual gross revenue on eBay, more than a third of which is global sales, according to eBay. Schad’s got a 99.7% positive rating from more than 33,000 buyers.

I liked Vanleeuwen's advice for other sellers: "Whether it is customer service policies or product selection, your customers will tell you everything you need to know." In other words, customers can guide you to the right products and new products to sell.

In general, lessons learned from these global sellers are to find a need or vacuum, or an existing popular niche, as well as to sell what you know, and products people are passionate about, like mortorcycle parts.

Which one of these three global business people would you vote for for the Shine Awards?  What type of product among the three is your favorite?  Post a comment here!

Buying Pieces of Sets to Sell at a Profit

Buying Pieces of Sets to Sell at a Profit

"Why do you have five copies of this book?" a relative asked me the other day.  I had to smile. On that shelf, I keep multiple copies of the individual books within a six-part set which sells very well. (Truly, I haven't paid enough attention to completing the sets, which is why those five same books were still there).

When I get all six copies in a set, I list the set on eBay or Amazon, and sell it at a profit.

This is something you can do, too, when you are buying inventory online (if you are not already doing it). What you want to do is look for items (they don't have to be books, though that is a lot of what I sell) that can be put into a set, and are reasonably or under-priced. You can even use the BAM Seeker tool to do this!

One example of this is the Harry Potter book series. You can find examples of sets for sale that have all of the books in the series, or just several of the books in the series.  You also don't have to look just online for this can find things like nice, hardcover first American editions of these books at yard and estate sales...just make sure they're priced low enough (like $1 or maybe $2) so that when you put them all together as a set, they will make you a decent profit that is worth your time.

What's an example of this?  Well, an extreme example would be a listing that's up now on eBay of every book in the Harry Potter series, all first American editions, for $2495.  (These are not even the British editions, mind you).

In terms of books, you can look for paperback books to put into sets, too. Right now there is a paperback 1st American edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for $3.94 on eBay. There is also one at a much lower price but at auction.

This doesn't mean you can make this kind of money on Harry Potter sets or other sets, but I have found that the popular set of things (be it books, charm bracelets, dishes, or what have you) will sell and re-sell, if you can identify what they are.

Happy hunting!