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Everybody loves a great deal! Many people spend quite a bit of time searching for good deals on the items that they want and need - and when they find those deals, they experience a sure amount of satisfaction. These people typically haunt garage sales, stores that are holding sales, wholesale warehouses, flea markets, and especially online and offline auctions. With the incredible number of auctions that are constantly going on at eBay, it can be difficult to find the items you want, at the price you want to pay. But it isn't impossible to find great deals!
There are steps you can take to ensure that you are getting a great deal on the items you purchase through eBay. In fact, these same steps will also help to protect you against fraud. Participating in online auctions is a great deal of fun, but you must use caution as well. This caution entails doing your research before you place any bids.
Start with the auction in question. Make certain that you read every word of the description and the auction details. You can never have too much information - especially if that information is about an individual that you may be doing business with. Pay special attention to what the description and auction details do not say. For instance, is a guarantee mentioned? Is the item new? Is it authentic? Is there proof of authenticity? Look for auctions that provide the right information - and the right amount of information. Avoid those that do not.
Who will pay the shipping and handling costs? Often, the buyer pays these costs, and sometimes, the seller tries to charge more than the actual shipping and handling costs are. Beware of high shipping costs, especially for items that will be auctioned off at a very low price. Also note when the item is supposed to ship after the bidding has ended. Depending on what you are trying to purchase the item for, it may not arrive in time.
Don't make the mistake of bidding on an item simply because it is a 'good deal.' It is only a good deal for you if the item is something that you really want or need. Many people simply bid for the sake of bidding - or winning - without having any real need or desire for the item in question. Before bidding on items that you do want or need, check prices almost the Internet and the prices attainable from offline sources as well. Just because it is on eBay does not guarantee that it is the cheapest price available!
Finally, learn more about the seller. Can you trust them? What is their rating? Read their feedback page! Failure to learn more about the seller can be costly. Not everybody is as honest as you are - and the seller may be trying to take advantage of people that simply don't know enough to find out more about them. Sometimes scammers make their auctions sound like really great deals. Beware of prices that seem extremely low!