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How to buy on Ebay

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 1

Ebay is a wholesaler's marketplace, and if you aren't already using Ebay to purchase shippable items at lower than retail prices, you should be. The fact remains that if the item is reasonably light in weight, you can probably get it for a lower price than if you were to purchase it at a discount department store. The mission of this article is to guide you, step by step, on how to make your purchase on Ebay.

Things You Will Need

bank account or credit card to fund Paypal

Step 1

get online


You can always browse Ebay without an account, but in order to make a purchase (or sell an item), you will need to open up an account. So you might as well get it out of the way now, so that you can focus your time on making your first purchase. It is very simple to set up the account, and it doesn't cost you anything to join. First, go to Ebay.com, and click on "register" on the left side of the page. You will then be directed to a secure page where you will set up your account with Ebay.

Step 2


The majority of vendors now use Paypal as the preferred method of payment. This is because numerous safeguards the company has in place are designed to prevent fraud. It is a very safe and easy way of doing business on the internet, and if you still don't have a Paypal account, you will probably need one soon, as it is becoming a mainstream way of internet commerce. Paypal is a subsidiary of Ebay, and makes it very easy to set up an account and interface with Ebay. To set up an account, simply go to Paypal.com and look on the left side up the page for the "sign up" clickable button. Then, click "get started" under a Paypal personal account. The website will then guide you through the rest of the process.

Step 3


Since this article is not on how to buy a "particular product" on Ebay, I will keep this step short and somewhat broad. There are thousands of different categories and subcategories within Ebay. If you have something particular in mind, you can click in "Buy" on the top right hand side of the screen, and then either type in the name of the product into the search field, or you can also click on a category of product, such as "tickets". Each category may have subcategories you can select to narrow the search. (There are many advanced features in looking for items, but you can learn how to master that at a later time in another "online article").

Step 4

explore ebay


There are a few ways to go about this, but once again I will try to simplify it. One way is to place a bid on the item. You simply tell Ebay the highest price you are willing to pay for the product, and your account will automatically bid with other Ebayers, until the auction closes at the determined time. The highest bidder wins the auction.

If you are not a fan of an auction based sale, and want to make a purchase now, you can purchase a product immediately for any item that has a "buy it now" option. These are often times from wholesalers that are selling large quantities of particular products. The prices are commonly less than what you would pay at a store, but you need to carefully read the product descriptions, and take into account the shipping charges.

Step 5


Regardless of your strategy, if and when you are the winning bidder, you will be committed to purchasing the product on Ebay. This is where Paypal comes in. You will be notified via your email that you won, and be prompted to pay through Paypal (this does not cost anything as a buyer). You can immediately pay for the product then and there, and that is all that is required of you! You can now sit back and wait for your item to arrive in the mail. And you can also be proud of yourself, knowing that you just saved a lot of money in the process as well.

Ebay can be an addictive hobby. The more you participate, the more comfortable you become with the process, and the more you save...

Tips & Warnings



Dec 28, 2009 12:50pm
Great and very detailed explanation... :) Just what I was looking for ;)
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