Common Shopping Questions
Why must I join eBay to buy or sell?
Reasons for the requirement that users become members of eBay before being allowed to buy or sell on the site.
How do eBay auctions differ from “real” auctions?
Buyers and bidders new to eBay are often shocked and bewildered to discover that eBay auctions don’t work like the most common form of auction to which they are accustomed. There are a number of important differences between eBay auctions and “regular” auctions.
Is eBay dishonest?
Whether it's a matter of "too quick to be real" counterbids, high shipping costs and low starting prices, or used goods turning up instead of new goods, buyers new to eBay often wonder whether eBay is an entirely honest or fair company. Understanding more about eBay can help to answer such concerns.
Does eBay care about online crime?
Those who have had bad experiences with eBay can often be heard to say that eBay doesn't care about online crime. Are such accusations true? Is eBay really uninterested in fighting fraud and other harmful activity, or are they willing to turn a blind eye?
Can I protect my eBay purchases?
Worried about buying on eBay because you'd like to get a warranty for your purchase? Don't. You can, in fact, get a warranty for most types of goods that you can purchase on eBay. Here's what you need to know to get covered.
Why do I always get outbid?
Understanding the reaons why you might sometimes feel as though you're bidding upstream.
How do bid increments work?
If you're new to eBay, you may wonder how eBay decides what the next "minimum bid" for an auction is, since it seems to vary from auction to auction. In fact, the next minimum bid for any auction is determined according to eBay's "bid increments" table.
Can I take back (retract) a bid?
It is possible under some circumstances to retract a bid, but in general eBay rules forbid it. That's not to say that you can't get away with it, though, and here's how.
What do the stars after member feedback scores mean?
The stars after member feedback scores "rank" members according to their eBay feedback scores.
Is my seller overcharging me for shipping?
Buyers often suspect that sellers are overcharging for shipping. But is this really the case? And how do you determine the difference?
Are those auctions for real?
There are so many weird auctions on eBay, surely the can't all actually result in sales, much less for the tens of thousands of dollars that some of them appear to earn for their sellers. Right?
Can eBay feedback be erased?
Can eBay feedback be erased? Yes, if both parties agree to the removal.
Can I give an eBay gift card or certificate?
Gift certificates are a classic way to give an open-ended gift without having to send actual money to someone. Wouldn't it be great if eBay offered such a product?
How do I buy and pay for goods from other countries?
From time to time you may find yourself wanting to bid on goods listed in other countries. Can you bid on these goods? If so, how do you pay for them?
Is it safe to buy a car or truck on eBay?
eBay Motors offers shoppers the chance to buy major vehicles of all kinds on eBay. But is it safe to buy and sell assets of this size and complexity online?
Does eBay archive auction listings?
eBay maintains auction listings indefinitely, but using the eBay website members can only access listings that have ended within the last 90 days.
When is an eBay auction null and void?
Though in nearly all cases completed eBay item listings are binding legal contracts between buyer and seller, there are a few exceptions to this rule that come into play under exceptional circumstances.
Can I get RSS feeds for my eBay searches?
If you live your life through RSS feeds, you may be wondering whether you can shop eBay the same way. You can.
Can I buy and sell major assets on eBay?
Yes you can buy and sell homes, automobiles, boats, and other major assets on eBay. Millions of people have already done it!
Can I buy and sell wholesale or in bulk lots on eBay?
Though eBay is a great market for finding deals on (and getting rid of) household items and products that you use, it's also a great place for big-time buyers and sellers to move inventories at wholesale.
Can I buy and sell anything I want on eBay?
No, there are indeed limits on the range of things that you can buy and sell on eBay, and they are generally quite strictly enforced.
How can I find out when (or if) my purchase will arrive?
Waiting for a package is hard enough without having to wonder just when it is going to arrive or whether there is a problem of some kind with the purchase or shipment. But how can you find these things out?
What to Do When You See "Reserve Not Met"
It can be frustrating to see "reserve not met" on a listing after you've placed a bid, but don't just bid on another item of the same kind or retract your bid, since both could get you into trouble.
I wanted to buy that! Where did it go?
You thought about the purchase and you studied the listing and the seller. You went, came back, went, came back, went again, and finally decided to come back and buy. Only this time, when you got back, the item was gone! What gives?
On eBay, How do I...
Links to dozens of how-to documents for common tasks and needs on eBay. Retract a bid, cancel an auction, place a bid, find a drop-shipper, and too many other tasks to mention. Start here!
For non-U.S. shoppers, mail forwarding services can be a tempting way to gain access to domestic U.S. eBay auctions. Are there things you should know before you make use of one? Yes!
What can I do if buyer protection didn't work for me?
eBay's Buyer Protection is a shopper's first line of defense when things go wrong, but what if Buyer Protection has let you down? What else can you do?