I’ve been selling on eBay for 15 years. I started a full time business several years back and have been doing great at it. I buy cheap, sell high. I am very picky. I only buy and sell the best quality. I’ve made a name for myself on that platform as one of the few in my niche that sells high quality and goes the extra mile. But, none of that is important. What’s important is that you learn how to save money for your family so you are not strapped all the time, am I right?
Here’s how I save massive amounts of money on eBay…
Shop early morning
Now, it depends on how you look at this. I’m a night owl. I don’t do mornings. So, when I say shop early morning, I mean EARLY morning (late to me). 2 am – 4 am is your best buying time on eBay. Why? Because the people who are listing at that time of day are having their stuff END at that time of day….how much competition do you think you’ll have for that auction? Not much! You can easily get in there, bid, and win. You can score a bundle for dirt cheap by doing this.
TypoJoe is a fantastic site. It searches eBay for misspelled words. Let’s use the necktie example again. You type in necktie in TypoJoe and a lot more hits come up. Someone spelled necktie like this: nectie. Again, the price is low because no one can find it. You score.
Use Best Offers
You know, personally, I hate best offers. I don’t use them for selling, and it’s rare I ever use them for buying. It seems like if someone has something listed for $9.99 and I bid a best offer at $9.00, they reject it. Like seriously. Why even have that on there. I have literally seen best offers denied for 20 cents lower! So, I feel like it’s not worth my time. But, for other people, it can save a ton of money if you are using that tool regularly. The trick is knowing that if you put in a best offer, someone else can swoop in and buy it now and you lose the item.
Use keywords and search the heck out of the item you’re looking for
There’s a search function on eBay. It’s a great tool. There are so many options to use. My fav’s are US only, BIN (buy it now) and setting the price lowest to highest. Another trick is searching keywords others may not think of. Let’s say you are looking for a new tie for Father’s Day. You can search “new tie” OR you could use the settings to search new, and play around with some keywords. Think outside the box. Not just tie, it could be called necktie. Necktie won’t pop up if you search tie. Neck tie would but not necktie. You could search sash (sometimes the weirder names will score you the best results. Someone doesn’t know it’s a tie, thinks it’s a sash and labels it as such. Gets no bids, so they list it a BIN super cheap. You swoop in and grab it).
Again, I hate this one too, and unless someone’s price is highly inflated as opposed to their competitors, I don’t bother. For some people, this saves a lot of money. But, one tip if you haggle on eBay, do NOT offend them. Like if the item is $50 and you offer $16. That’s just offensive. Really! After a while, I stopped answering those messages. Understand that there is a real, living, human being on the other side, struggling just like you. So, be fair with offers. 10% would be my personal recommendation or simply asking them if they could match a competitor and provide the link. That is all-around the better way to do that.
Never buy from a seller who has 99.6% feedback score or lower
In the long run, they are most likely a horrible seller and you’ll only end up paying in the long run with your time, your money, loss of item, broken item, bad shipping on their part, no shipping on their part, bad communication, the list goes on and on.
Read the description
One of the most common things I deal with as a seller is that the person did not even READ the description. It’s like, they saw the picture, clicked buy it now and then are upset and blame me when it’s clear as day in the TITLE and description. Read the title, all of it….lol. Read the description…all of it. Know exactly what you are buying. It’ll save YOU money on the return, because, yeah, that’s the buyers responsibility! Some eBay sellers even charge up to a 20% restocking fee, which is totally legal with eBay.
Think it over carefully before you leave negative feedback
I know some sellers can be real jerks. I get it. But, let’s say you buy something from Toys R Us on eBay and they make a mistake. You leave a bad feedback and they block you. Now, you can’t buy from them again, and if you think you’re going to be smart and open up another account to order from them again, that is against eBay policy and you can get banned for doing that. Many sellers block people who leave negative feedback. I am one of them. It goes along the lines of…don’t burn your bridges. Now, on the other hand, don’t be afraid to leave a negative feedback if you are totally in the right, but I personally don’t even leave negative feedback. I feel like it just always bites me in the bum when I have in the past. Even if I didn’t mean it for harm, some sellers are pretty vindictive.
Buy from your local stores on eBay
Toys R Us is totally on ebay. Places like that offer free shipping when you purchase a certain amount, usually around $75. It’s simple. You get free shipping, don’t have to wait the lines in the stores, you get a better selection that what’s stocked on your shelves at their brick and mortar store, and it ships right to your door. Simple, right?
Auctionsniper is the best tool in the world. Let’s say you see an item that is ending you like, but you like, uh, have a life (lol) and don’t want to sit and wait for it to end and be right there on the computer when it is ending. No problem. On Auctionsniper, you simply put in your maximum amount you want to pay. It automatically bids on your behalf seconds before the auction ends. It keeps bidding up until you have won or the auction goes above your set maximum price. They do charge you a tiny percentage of the auction winning price, (25¢-1%) but you’ll be able to pay it with all the money you save! I think they give you like 5 or 10 free auctions to try it out first to see if you like it before they charge, but you will like it! 🙂
Buy in bigger lots
One of the things that I really just do not ‘get’ is why some people buy just what they want. Let’s say you want to purchase a Disney Princess calculator for your daughter. The calculator is $5.99 on eBay. Most people buy it. But, say there’s another lot for $3.99 that has the calculator you want and a motorcycle helmet with it. Seems weird right? Happens all the time! They focus on the motorcycle helmet, you want the calculator. Buy the calculator, donate the helmet! Or better yet, sell the helmet for $5 and get your calculator for free. I know this is a weird example, but this is exactly how I get a lot of what I buy for free. I buy something in a lot, sell the rest dirt cheap, I don’t care, but I got MY item FREE!!! 🙂
What tips have you discovered that save you money on eBay?