New to Ebay? Some helpful tips for the Newbie

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Are you new to Ebay? Or have a very low Ebay score? Don't worry. You can fix that.

You may have noticed an increasing number of Ebay sellers have posted notices about not wanting to deal with  you if you have a low feedback score or no score.

Why? Many of us have been burned by fake Ebayers. I can name a couple of items I've had up for sale, have had someone bid on the item and then disappear. This is worse when you have had a couple of honest bids and someone fake trumps the bids. When it's time to pay, the big spender is nowhere to be found. Because of this, I always get a bit suspicious when someone with a 0 feedback rating makes a bid.

Here are a couple of easy steps to follow that will help you improve your score and get you started as an Ebayer with a great reputation.

1. If you have a 0 feedback rating, email the seller and let them know you are new and would like to bid on their item. Reassure them you are a real Ebayer and ask if it is okay for a new Ebayer to make a bid. Okay, you will occassionally run into a grumpy person, but the bulk of us will love you for your attitude. You have taken a big step in providing the seller with confidence in you.

2. Avoid big ticket items when you first start out. Start with small purchases to build your reputation. Remember Ebay is built on trust.

3. Before you buy, make sure you understand all the conditions of purchase. How much is shipping? Sellers will include a handling fee which covers the sellers expenses such as packaging - don't forget this can get pricey in the long run and sellers are in it to make a profit. Handling fees are part of doing business on Ebay. What you need to do is make sure the fees are not out of line. If you don't like the fees - then shop elsewhere! Easy as that. Rule of thumb - the larger the item, the higher the fee.

4. Do you have any questions about the item you want to bid on?
ASK FIRST. Do not bid on something and then change your mind. This will lead to the seller filing a complaint about you for nonpayment. Buyers remorse doesn't wash on Ebay.

5. Read the return policy. This is related to the previous comment. Returns generally cover an item that is not as described. This does not include getting the item and deciding it's not really what you wanted. Ebay is not the local mall.

6. Ask about payments. Does the seller require paypal? Cheque? Read the item carefully before bidding. Some seller's accept only paypay. If you don't have an account then you can't purchase the item. Also make sure any money orders are cashable in the country you are sending them to. I can't tell you how many times I've had to send back a money order because it was not valid outside of the country it was issued in. Check before sending!

7. Never, never ask the seller to end a sale early and let you buy it on the side. Not only will this annoy the seller, but may lead to a complaint to Ebay and get you in trouble.

8. Be polite in your email correspondence. I've dealt with some pretty rude buyers who expected me to give them everything from a discount - because they didn't like the price after they won -  to free shipping. If you've made a mistake, be honest about it. If the seller has made a mistake, again be polite. Rudeness will only end up costing you.

9. Recently I was in a dispute with a buyer because he was angry I wasn't using the US postal system. I couldn't get him to understand that as a Canadian, I can't use the US Post. Remember, you are dealing with a world wide market here and that means different pricing structures for different postal systems. The costs of shipping something across country will be a whole lot different than shipping between foreign countries.

10. The golden rule: Ebay sellers are selling to make a profit. If you don't like the price, shop elsewhere. There is a lot of competition on Ebay.

Hopefully you will find a tip or two that may help you become a good Ebay member
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