Despite ongoing efforts to streamline eBay and make it more competitive with other ecommerce sites like Amazon.com, eBay remains a more complex buying and selling platform than most other online stores.
This means that most new users, and every now and then some old users, find themselves in need of help and instruction on eBay.
If this is you, right now, here's where to go.
Help at About eBay
If you're looking for introductory information to help you to get started, a few basic resources can carry you a long way.
- The absolute basics: Those completely new to eBay should visit
eBay for Beginners for lots of introductory information about eBay life,
including how to
what it costs,
sell, and a basic, common-sense understanding of
for buyers and sellers.
- Common points of confusion: New buyers and sellers alike should
also understand the
Eight Things Savvy eBay Shoppers Know, paying particular attention to
the articles on
trustworthiness (eBay feedback) and the
- Common terms and questions: After that, check out the eBay glossary, index of eBay jargon, and frequently asked questions.
Help Tools from eBay
Of course there are times when only question-and-answer format help or detailed information straight from eBay will do. For times like these, there are a variety of eBay tools.
- Contact eBay: If you're lucky, you may be able to
reach an eBay
customer service agent with your question or complaintbut the
experiences of many eBay users suggests that you shouldn't hold your
breath as you make your attempt, despite how
easy eBay makes it sound.
- eBay Customer Support: Formerly known as eBay Help, the
support system provides a large variety of in-depth documents on every
facet of eBay trading, from rules and fees to tips and tricks.
- The Seller Information Center: Sellers looking for answers to
common policy and logistics questions should visit eBay's
Seller Information Center, which is packed full of fundamental
information and tutorial help for sellers.
- eBay University: Aside from tutorial information links for buyers and sellers, eBay University provides links to a tool that will help you to connect with local instructors that can teach you about eBay on a face-to-face basis.
eBay also offers a series of tools to help users connect with other users in order to find answers from more the more experienced eBay traders out there; often, these answers are both the most timely and the most insightful.
- eBay Community: Through thick and thin, much of the growing
has remained active on eBay message boards and in eBay chat rooms; often
this is the best source of help available for ongoing issues or trading
concerns you have on eBay.
- eBay Answer Center: The
eBay Answer Center provides user-to-user help that's a little bit more
structured and a little bit more focused that the general eBay community
area. Ask a question and have it answered by eBay members more experienced
that you are.
- eBay Reviews and Guides: More general product-oriented and category oriented help with buying or selling can often be found in the eBay Reviews and Guides tool, where buyers and sellers write product reviews and tutorials for one another.
Though the maze of help available for eBay novices and veterans alike can sometimes seem overwhelming, and the responsiveness of eBay itself and its tools sometimes lacking, it's almost always possible to find an answer to the question you're askingthough it's not always possible to find an answer you'll like.