|Understanding Listing Details (cont'd)|
You can buy just about anything from anyone on eBay—that's why it's such a great shopping venue for smart, independent shoppers. Unfortunately, for the beginner some aspects of the eBay shopping experience can be a bit bewildering, or even a difficult to understand. eBay's auction listings can sometimes present such problems, and it's often only once you've found something you'd like to buy that the real work begins.
eBay's auction listings contain a wealth of information. Descriptions and photos of the item(s) for sale are par for the course, but so are a number of other details that should help to inform your decision about whether and how to buy. These details include the current bid and listing details that appear at the top of every eBay auction listing. An understanding of these is central to success as a savvy eBay shopper.
Anatomy of an Auction Listing Summary (Items J-M)
Above you see a typical auction listing summary—something you'll see at the top of each and every auction listing on the eBay website. This summary acts as your on-ramp to purchasing the item in question, since many (if not most) of the things you'll need to know (and click on) in order to buy the item in question can be found here. Not every component appears on every auction listing; this summary happens to show most of the things you're likely to encounter as you browse through eBay listings.
Here is a breakdown of components J-M above—and what they mean—organized by letter. Refer to the illustration as you read through the information below.
- Item J (End time and time remaining)—Every eBay auction runs only for a limited amount of time. During that period of time, new bids are accepted. When time is up, the item is immediately sold to the highest bidder. This item shows both the end time of the auction (the date and time at which it bidding will close) and the amount of time (in days, hours, and sometimes minutes or seconds) remaining before bidding will close. If you intend to buy an item, you must place the bid before this time and/or before time is up, otherwise the item will be sold to someone else.
- Item K (Shipping costs and details)—Here you'll see areas to which the seller is willing to ship and the shipping amount you'll owe for delivery to a given area. Do not bid if you want the item delivered to an area that the seller does not list here; to bid in such a case is a violation of eBay rules and the seller may take action against you. Remember also that this shipping amount is non-negotiable and also not included in your winning bid. That is to say that if you win the auction, you will be charged your winning bid amount plus the shipping amount listed here, with no exceptions.
- Item L (Item location)—This is the current location of the item, or where the item is being shipped from. This can help you to determine how quickly the item is likely to arrive once the seller has shipped it-but remember that such a determination also depends on the shipping method chosen by the seller and the amount of time that passes between the moment at which you pay for the item and the moment at which the seller actually ships it to you.
- Item M (Bid history)—The bid history information shows the number of bids that have been placed for the item so far. Note that this is not the same thing as the number of bidders. To see a list of the bids that have been placed thus far, click on the bid history.