Returns label printing and other things beginner eBayers should know

If you’re new to online bidding website eBay then it can seem a bit daunting. It’s unlike shopping on any other website and taking part in an auction when you have no idea how high the price may go can be nerve wracking. But on the flip-side, you can also grab yourself a real bargain, and if your win isn’t quite right some sellers do include a returns label to make it easier for you to send back your purchase.

But, let’s start with the basics.

How do you search for items on eBay?

This is the simple part. Like any search engine, you just type the name of the item you’re interested in into the search bar. Once your listings have appeared, you then have the option to search for products which are “Buy it now” (this means they are being sold at a fixed price, often in bulk so there is more than one available), or “Auction” sales (the traditional eBay bidding system). You will generally find the better deals from the auction sales. You can also sort the items to “Time: ending soonest”, which means you’ll be shown products that are about to run out of time and may be going for lower prices.

You should generally research the seller before committing to buy

If you click on the seller’s username, you’ll be taken through to their feedback page. Here you can find out a bit more about them to see if they are reliable to purchase from. You can see recent buyer reviews as well as their overall feedback rating as a percentage. As a rule, it’s best to choose a seller that has between 98% and 100% positive feedback over the past 12 months. If there has been neutral or negative feedback, give the seller’s reviews a read, it may be because the item was lost in the post, which was out of the seller’s hands, or they are not as fast to reply to a question as the buyer would have liked.

Research your item before purchasing

The seller is obligated to give details about the product, including any damage or points of note. If you are bidding on a t-shirt and it arrives with a stain on it which the seller did not make clear in the listing, you are entitled to return the item. Some sellers may provide a returns label, whereas others may not have realised there was a fault and might offer either a full or partial refund. If there is a dispute over the item, you can open a case to be resolved initially between you and the seller, but if you do not come to an agreement eBay may intervene and help to resolve the issue.

How to win an auction

Some people on eBay may seem to have quicker fingers than others, but there really is a knack to winning an auction. As the auction comes to an end, enter your highest bid in the bidding field, click “Place Bid” and as the timer counts down from around 15 seconds prepare to confirm the bid. At the last possible moment, click “Confirm bid” and wait until you are redirected to the confirmation page so you can pay for your win!

Happy eBaying