Most people who have Internet access today have been to the infamous Ebay. There are however some easy techniques that can be applied to get into this market, at a lower price then could be done without these careful tips. A few things, that will help to avoid overpaying for anything purchased from any auction site.
Searching Ebay for almost anything will produce a multitude of results. Finding the best deal on the item is what we're here for. So lets start with price marked. This is the minimum bid that will be higher then the previous bidder. The site will urge you to make a higher bid right away, so as not to get beat out in this auction.
This is the first mistake. Never bid on an item on Ebay until the item has less then 30 seconds to end. This will keep other people from over bidding you at the last minute. It will only encourage a bidding war.
Two separate windows can be opened for the same item, place a bid in the first one just above the current price, Then place a bid in the second box, for the largest amount your willing to pay for the item. 60 seconds prior to the end of the item, hit the submit button for the lower bid. Immediately the window will change, to let you know if your bid is successful or not. Regardless if the bid is high enough or not, 30 seconds later, hit the higher bid. This way if someone attempts to outbid your first bid, Ebay will automatically raise your bid and providing your highest bid is above the other ones that are already in, you will get the item for the best price possible.
Ebay offers it's users, a watch list to keep items of interest in view, right from our, my Ebay page. Put anything you want on this page, to watch until the auction is close to over. Then snap into action and as they say, shop victoriously.
Make sure you know who your buying from. Check feedback ratings very closely before bidding. Ebay has very little tolerance for retracted bids so making a mistake can take a lot of arguing to get a sale canceled. It can also be detrimental to the reputation of the canceling member, as Ebay works all on trust.
Buying certified coins only, is recommended because these items have been authenticated as genuine, by a third party grading service. Sticking to one of the three top services is also recommended because anyone can encapsulate a coin.
The three big grading companies today are PCGS, NGC, and ANA. These outfits have graded and encapsulated coins for many years and their reputation proceeds them. Buying a coin in one of their capsules insures not only that it's real, but that it has not been cleaned or tampered with. You'll know what your getting.
Make sure to read the sellers feedback and contact them for any large ticket coins. Transactions for thousands of dollars happen every day through this site and come out just fine. In the same token lower priced coins can be easily misrepresented. Raw uncertified items are exceptionally susceptible to being over paid for. This happens because the item was misrepresented as a better coin, either knowingly or unwittingly by the seller. Avoiding this can be done by requesting better scans or pictures of the item.
Watch for Ebay's guarantee on an item. Certain sellers have achieved a high enough trust level with Ebay that the site is backing all their sales. This adds an added level of comfort. A high feedback rating as well as an Ebay guarantee, make it impossible to loose your money.
Finally, when making that bid, be sure of your merchant. Make sure you've taken every step possible, to avoid a bargain, that will turn out to be no bargain at all.
Watch the sellers shipping time and the cost of shipping. Some unscrupulous sellers will take advantage of new buyers. They may list an item at an incredibly low starting price, but mark the shipping cost at a level that would buy four of them. Ebay does discourage this practice but things get through.
Once you have a successful transaction with a retailer on this site, save them to your favorite sellers so the next time they offer a coin you need, you'll save the research time with this vendor. After a while the list of trusted merchants will grow and collecting good coins on Ebay will become easier.
Ebay is a great place to collect US coins because of the variety and the selection that dwarfs the amount of product in conventional brick and mortar coin shops. Hopefully a guide to buying US coins on Ebay, has helped to prepare you for your use of the site.
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