Sometimes when you go to purchase an item you find there are many sellers selling it. So how do you choose the best one?
1. Price is not everything. Just selecting the cheapest is not always the best option. There is no point saving $1 on an item if it takes twice as long to arrive or is not in the condition you expect, or you get nothing and get ripped off.
2. Feedback. Always check the feedback of the seller.
- Ebay rewards good sellers with "top-rated" status, so if you see this logo then you know they are trustworthy and send items fast and as described.
- There are many sellers with high ratings (like 99%) but that means if they sell 1000 items a month then 10 people are very unhappy, and generally you will find that there are more unhappy buyers, they just happened to miss the 60 day deadline to leave feedback.
- Read through the comments (even the positive ones) as many people even though they give positive may still say "bad communication", "slow postage", or "did not have item" but are still happy enough just to receive the item or a refund.
- Low rating number (less than 10). Means they don't sell much. Do you want to risk your money on someone with a good track record.
- No feedback for over 12 months. If someone hasn't used their account in over 12 months and all of a sudden are selling items, this is very typical of a hijacked account and someone trying to get money quick and run.
3. Shipping cost. Remember the total cost of the item to you is the item cost plus the shipping cost.
- Not every seller offers combined shipping, so if you buy multiple items don't assume you will get a discount for combined shipping, be prepared to pay the full shipping cost on every item.
4. Shipping time / handling time. Look at the expected delivery dates in the auction.
- Some items may be located far away from you and will take extended delivery time to reach you.
- Also check the handling time. A reasonable handling time is a couple of business days, but some buyers can list up to 10 days or more handling time (this is typical when the seller doesn't stock the item themselves and has to order it from a supplier).
5. Check item condition and read item description.
- If you are expecting a brand new item, then make sure the condition states this, and to be sure read the item description because sometimes they state item is new "but" it has a crack, or is unsealed, etc.
- Make sure you always read the item description regardless as all honest sellers will put all the necessary information there.
- Check quality of listing. If a seller wants to be in business for a long time (and not a grab the money and run), they will put effort into their item description and make it pleasant to view and have all the information there. Not just a white background with a couple lines of text.
6. Use PayPal.
- I know a lot of people dislike PayPal but as a buyer this is your best protection as if your item doesn't arrive then you will definitely get your money back. The only way you won't is if the seller has a tracking number that proves your item was delivered.
- If your item is damaged or not as described then paypal will again definitely give you your money back (although this time you must supply a tracking number proving that you returned the item).