There are certain shopping talents I was not blessed with—sample sales and Black Friday spring to mind. But I do excel in one very valuable arena: eBay. Whether scooping up a classic Chanel jacket or snagging a wonderfully unique bag from an obscure vintage designer, I’ve elicited many a plea from my fellow editors to share my tips and tricks. Truth be told, navigating the mega online auction destination is surprisingly easy if you know the basics. And of course, once you get the hang of it, this mode of shopping becomes highly addictive (beware of late-night surfing for vintage Hermès scarves). Here, the 3 most important things you need to know to score big. Just keep them to yourself.
#1: Make Sure The Seller Is Legit
The best way to make sure you're buying from a reputable source is to view their profile. Obviously you want their rating to be as close to 100% as possible, but it's crucial to also look at how many items they've actually sold. It's easy to get a 100% rating if you've only sold one thing. You want to deal with people that have a large amount of sales and a flawless feedback record. Also, all respectable sellers guarantee authenticity and back it up with papers (for items like Rolex watches), images of the hologram (for items like Chanel bags) and hallmark stamps (for fine jewelry).
#2: Always Negotiate
You should absolutely find the "Ask The Seller A Question" tab and communicate directly on the price. Sometimes people are willing to end an auction early and list a Buy It Now price to accommodate requests. For items that are listed with a "Make An Offer" tab, you're allowed to make three offers. If they all get rejected automatically, try reaching out with a revised offer in a message. If you don't ask, you have zero chance of getting a deal. Always use Ebay's platform to communicate and execute transactions. Don't get involved with written negotiations or exchanges outside of Ebay since that makes your vulnerable to fraud.
#3: Wait To The Very Last Second To Bid
If you're trying to win an auction, bidding early and repeatedly will only drive up the price. You have to channel your inner patience and wait until you've got 30 seconds on the clock, enter your maximum price, then confirm with as little time as possible. The idea is that if you loose, you can't be that mad because it was out of your budget. If you win, you know you got the best deal because you weren't in a bidding war driving the price up unnecessarily. If you can't be at your computer for the end of an auction, try using an app like Gixen, which will put in your highest bid at the last millisecond.