eBay Basics Brought to you by Fresno County Public Library written by Lisa Lindsay, MLIS
Today you will:
Learn what eBay is and why it’s popular
Create your own eBay account and learn about PayPal
Learn how to search for an item on eBay
Learn the basic terms common on eBay
What is eBay
www.eBay.com is the URL for eBay, the largest auction in the world.
Many consider it to be the alternative to spending time at the mall or at a garage sale. You can find new and used items from any computer that’s online.
You don’t need an account to view items for sale, but you do need an account to make a purchase and to sale.
Creating an eBay Account
You must have a valid email address to use eBay.
If you’d like an account, go to www.ebay.com and select “register.”
Complete the information form.
Just like with your email address, make sure you remember your user ID and password.
Check your email when prompted and follow the given link. This validates your account.
When you are all done the screen should show the following message: “Congratulations! You can now bid and buy.” At this point you are signed in and ready to shop.
Using Your Account
If you want to buy anything you must sign in to your account.
When signed in, your User ID will include the number of transactions you have completed on eBay next to it in parentheses. Note: a seller with a high number of transactions has done more business at eBay.
Make sure you always read the full details on what you are buying. Some sellers have specific requirements. If they say PayPal only, this means you can’t buy it without creating a PayPal account.
Always be sure to sign-out once you are done.
Listed on 88% of eBay listings.
Increasingly the norm on other websites doing eCommerce.
You need an email address and banking account to set up your account with PayPal.
It’s a simple process but they also validate information so it’s not instant.
Much more on PayPal is on your hand-out titled “Tip Sheet for Using PayPal”.
What can I buy on eBay?
Enter ANY item in the search box.
Can you find:
Concert tickets for a popular band
A piece of folk art
Narrowing your results
Follow the prompts that eBay gives.
If you want a specific brand or model add that to your search.
Include “new” in your search term to filter out all the used stuff.
Narrowing with the Directory
The directory along the left will help you see all of the options for limiting your results.
What if I’m not finding what I’m looking for?
Consider browsing instead of searching
Check your spelling
Try different search words
Search under both titles and descriptions
If you are looking for something extremely unique, it’s possible that it is in fact not listed at all, but more often the tips above will lead to surprising results.
NIB – New in Box
No reserve – the buyer has not set a minimum amount to sell the item for.
Buy it Now – instead of bidding you can buy instantly.
Watch this Item – receive email alerts if the item status changes (bid upon, sold etc.).
My eBay – customized content for you, based on what you are watching, selling, etc. (Must be signed in to use.)
More Common Terms
Feedback – comments others have left (buyers or sells).
When you make a purchase you get to leave feedback about the seller and they do likewise.
In order to keep your feedback “+” always pay for what you promise to buy in a timely manner.
Words of Caution
A bid or Buy It Now purchase on eBay is considered a contract -- you are obligated to purchase the item.
Always pay attention to the sellers payment details. If they require Paypal then you should get a Paypal account BEFORE bidding.
Pay attention to the description! Make sure you are fully aware of the condition of what you are buying.
Pay attention to shipping charges. The seller might have the best deal but charge more for shipping than other options. Factor this in when you are weighing the different costs.
Use eBay’s “help section” to answer questions on anything you aren’t sure on. If you have a question about an item, select “email seller” and ask your questions directly.
General Online Safety Tips to Avoid Identity Theft
Monitor your accounts.
Never reply to emails that ask for personal information.
Use strong and unique passwords.
Know what to do in the event of identity theft.
The government offers a lot of information (on avoiding identity theft and what to do if it occurs) at the following website: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
Creative Commons License
Written March, 2007 and updated June, 2007 by Lisa Lindsay, MLIS of Fresno County Public Library.
Template from a workshop created by N. Riesgraf for the Hibbing Public Library and revised by Kate Holmes of Jacksonville Public Library.
This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike Licensed. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/