The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Let the bidding begin

It’s about to be that time of year again ­— the time for spring cleaning.

Even if you aren’t someone who takes part in the tradition, you can still reap the rewards .

People who participate in spring cleaning usually end up selling their junk at great prices.

Although they can choose from many different ways to sell their stuff, many opt to post their items on eBay.

If you’re a beginner, figuring out eBay can be daunting. But if you avoid these five mistakes, you can have a pleasant eBay experience and buy things at astonishingly low prices.

The first and biggest mistake beginners make when buying on eBay is engaging in “bidding wars,” or continuously maintaining the highest bid by remaining a few pennies ahead of other bidders.

While this may work at live auctions, the most important factor in eBay auctions is the time until the auction is over — within the last hour the price could double or even triple.

However, if you wait until the last couple of minutes before the auction is over, you could place just one bid and win the item.

Also, some eBay sellers recruit their friends to engage in a bidding war simply to increase the price of an item.

Since there is no way to stop a seller’s friends from bidding, the easiest way to avoid this situation is simply to not engage in bidding wars.

The second mistake many eBay beginners make is forgetting to check shipping and handling costs.

The shipping part of this relates to the cost of actually sending the item to the buyer. The handling part, however, is any other miscellaneous charges the seller adds on.

Some sellers list an item at costing less than one dollar to attract buyers, but the shipping and handling charges may be $19.

If the shipping charges are not posted anywhere, it is usually best to assume that the item is a scam.

Another mistake people make is not checking the seller’s feedback rating when they find an item they are ready to purchase.

The feedback rating is a system that allows buyers to see the sellers’ customer service history. Usually, the more ratings a person has, the more accurate his or her feedback is.

It is generally a good idea to read people’s reviews to get a sense of how that seller handles business.

However, some people have been rated thousands of times and still have a 100 percent positive rating, so those people do not need to be researched as much.

On the flip side, if you buy something and have a negative experience, it is common courtesy to discuss the situation with the seller before leaving bad feedback.

The final mistake that many beginners make is that they do not check the currency of the price when bidding on an item. On eBay, sellers can choose to list the price for their item in any of seven currencies.

Some people intentionally put their price in pounds because one pound is the same as about $2.

Even the shipping price is in that currency, so you could potentially pay quadruple the amount you intended to. And as always, keep an eye out for phishing scams and anything that seems “too good to be true.”  

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