Buying Gifts on eBay

August 27, 2008

eBay provides a unique opportunity to browse through a wide range of products without having to spend time searching various websites/shops. Below I have written a few tips on choosing the right gift and getting the best deals on eBay.

#1 – Read the description
I cannot emphasise enough- reading the description will allow you to find out what the product is exactly, what condition it is in and why the item is being sold!

#2 – Compare the price
Although many bargains can be found on eBay, you should check to see if you can buy the product elsewhere for cheaper. For example I was looking for some scented candles to decorate my house on eBay but I found them much cheaper on a website.

#3 – Check postage
It’s great finding a bargain but make sure the postage isn’t a rip off!

#4 – Check the delivery time
Purchasing gifts is usually a time-critical task, make sure you check how long it will take for your present to arrive.

#5 – Check the returns policy
Make sure you can return the gift if it is unwanted- you don’t want to be stuck with something neither you or the recipient want.

Tips for buying antique furniture on eBay

August 22, 2008

Buying anything on eBay can be tricky, increasingly people are buying larger items on eBay including antique furniture. When purchasing these items from eBay it is a good idea to check the auction description carefully. I have written a guide/checklist (below) to make sure you check the important aspects of the items details:

#1 Read the item description carefully

Read the items description thoroughly, if they mention damage, scratches or marks stay well-clear unless you are in the business of restoring old furniture- in that case this is probably what you are looking for!

#2 Check the delivery options

Furniture is heavy and therefore costs a lot to post so it is important to check the cost (if postage is necessary) preferably it is advisable to collect the item from the seller as it will reduce costs significantly.

#3 Seller feedback

Check the feedback of the seller, feedback is a good way of seeing how reliable and accurate a seller is. If you’re spending £5,000 on Antique Dining Tables, you want to make sure the seller is reliable.

Australian woman takes revenge on eBay

August 16, 2008

An Australian woman has listed a photo of her ex-husbands lover’s knickers on eBay. The item has been described as ‘humongous’ and the seller is also selling the empty condom wrapper that led her to discover her husbands affair. The bitter seller had originally tried to sell the actual underwear on the auction site, however eBay informed here this was against their terms and conditions and the item would have been removed so the seller decided to sell a picture of the knickers instead.

The auction has attracted a lot of attention in the media and on social networks. So far there have been 92 bids and the current highest bid is $21,500 with just under 3 days to go.

The seller has also stated the next item she will be listing will be her ex-husbands “Harley Hogg” at 99 cents with no reserve.

Tiffany appeals in counterfeit case

August 15, 2008

Tiffany, the jeweller has started an appeal against April’s court ruling that eBay was not responsible for removing fake goods from its website. Tiffany sued eBay in 2004 when it found that 73% of Tiffany goods on eBay were counterfeits, however a US court ruled that the responsibility for protecting brand identities lies with the brand owner and not eBay.

eBay does however remove any counterfeit auctions that are reported to it, however Tiffany believes that eBay should also investigate all auctions without having to have them reported. If this ruling had passed then it would be very likely that eBay fees would have risen as eBay would have had to employ people to check all auctions (which would be very costly).

Recently eBay has lost two similar trademark infringement cases. A French court ruled in June that eBay should pay £31m to LVMH owner of Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon, Christian Dior and Cognac for allowing auctions of counterfeit goods.

In the second case eBay was fined just under £16,000 by a French court when it found the auction giant accountable for the sale of counterfeit Hermes bags on its website.

eBay mobile phone buying tips

August 14, 2008

According to the latest statistics from eBay a mobile phone sells site every 18 minutes, which is no surprise when there are 30,944 listed on the auction site at the time of writing this article. As an experienced eBay user I thought id share some tips on how to get the best deal, and what to look out for when purchasing a phone from eBay.


Buying a mobile phone is hard enough when visiting a phone shop, let alone on eBay when you can choose from every make and model of phone ever created!

Tip #1: Spend time researching the phone you want to buy and make sure you’re paying a fair price- look on other non-auction website for price comparisons.


A lot of the phones on eBay have already been unlocked, meaning you can put any SIM card in the phone no matter what network it is associated with. It is however worth checking that the phone is unlocked and if not how much it would cost to be unlocked or if your current SIM card is compatible with it.

Tip #2: Check the network of the phone you’re buying.


There are many mobile phone scams on eBay, for example there have been cases of sellers listing items titled ‘Brand New Nokia 6500 slide box’, when buyers see this in their haste and wanting to get a good deal they place a bid only to find they have purchased the box a Nokia 6500 Slide comes in and not the phone itself.

Tip #3: Read the title and description carefully, if in doubt contact the seller through eBay or give up and look at another auction.

Damaged Items

Many mobile phones appear on eBay which have been damaged, most sellers will mark this clearly in the title and give a full description of the damage. Damage may range from scratches to water damage.

Tip #4: Again, read the description carefully- make sure you know exactly what you are buying.


Finally, as with most eBay auctions watch out for high postage costs, especially on too-good-to-be-true priced auctions.

Find a bargain on eBay

August 13, 2008

There are many bargains to be found on eBay from footballs to refill kits. When looking for a bargain make sure you try to look for spelling mistakes- many bargains can be found on misspelt auctions. Ensure you check the condition of the item, if it is new then that’s fine, if it is old make sure you check if there is any damage and the reason the item is being sold. Always check the sellers feedback, if they’re dodgy, leave it.

PayPal looking good despite increased competition

August 13, 2008

PayPal’s president Scott Thompson announced at a conference recently that by the end of the year the majority of eBays payment volumes will come from its merchant services and not from eBay, as it has in the past. Currently 51% of PayPal’s payment volumes come through eBay, however with the launch of PayPal’s merchant services which are used by websites such as Delta Airlines and Starbucks this is set to fall below 50%.

eBay purchased PayPal in 2002 for $1.2bn and since then it has considered making PayPal the only payment option on the international auction website. Even before eBay purchased PayPal the majority of PayPal’s payment volumes came through eBay.

This announcement underlines PayPal’s strong position despite increased competition in the online payment service market. Google Checkout launched in 2006, and has since been banned as a payment method on eBay. More recently Amazon, eBay’s biggest retail rival has launched an online payment service called Checkout by Amazon.

Despite this increased competition (and the global economic slowdown) Thompson believes PayPal’s payment volumes will continue to rise. In the second quarter of this year PayPal reported net revenue of around $602m which is 33% up on the same time last year.

Lords auction ruined by fake bidders

August 12, 2008

Eccentric millionaire Lord Warleigh of Plymouth, David Piper has the eBay auction of his life scuppered by fake bidders. David Pipers auction is estimated to be worth around £4m, however there have been bids of £9m and £10m from eBayers who have been later discovered to be unable to afford this large amount.

The Lord Warleigh of Plymouth has been reported by local newspapers to have said he is “upset and frustrated” his genuine auction had been ruined in this way.
The auction, which we reported on last week included all of the lords possessions including his two Bentleys and his title as Lord of the Manor. David admitted he had never done an eBay auction before and he is very frustrated that the unrealistic bids will not be removed, meaning that any genuine bids are worthless.

David decided to sell his assets as he had been diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer and wants to move to London so he is nearer his family and to receive treatment. On a personal note, I think it is disgusting that anyone would do this on this genuine auction.

Bedtime story for Sale on eBay

August 11, 2008

An enterprising eBay seller has listed herself reading a bedtime story on eBay. leighalovesbooks, is charging $10 per story per week which she will read over the phone to the ‘lucky’ winner. If the auction reaches $20 per story ($1040) then she will read the bedtime story over a webcam. The winner can also choose to have a bedtime story replaced with a lullaby and international bidders must pay for any phone calls.

Royal Shakespeare Company warning to ticket touts

August 9, 2008

The Royal Shakespeare Company has issued a warning to theatre enthusiasts not to purchase tickets from eBay to see David Tennant (from Doctor Who) play the lead role in Hamlet. The theatre in Stratford only has capacity for 1,000 people and there will be 60 performances, making the tickets very valuable. Several of these tickets were reserved for 16 to 25 year-olds at £5 to encourage them to visit the theatre, however these ‘enterprising’ youths have started to auction their tickets for over £100 each. The director of the RSC, Chris Hill has condemned the resale of tickets at inflated prices and has stated that as terms and conditions have been broken anyone purchasing tickets through this medium run the risk of the ticket becoming void.

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