Gift shopping on eBay has by now become a holiday tradition, and tools like RedLaser have only served to deepen the public's holiday relationship to eBay. Though every now and then returns become an issue, for the most part, holiday shoppers have found that eBay is a great tool for wish fulfillment.
Make Things Easier
What many don't realize, however, is that deal hunting through eBay search results isn't the only angle that you can take when doing your holiday shopping on eBay. In fact, unless you're a natural-born shopper, the though of lots of digging and bidding on eBay can be a bit of a turn-off.
Here are some other ways to approach eBay shopping that might just help you to get what you want, in the way you want, for the person you're targeting.
Shop eBay Deals. eBay Deals showcases items that are significantly discounted by major retailers or big-name sellers on eBay across every category on the site. Watch eBay Deals over the holiday shopping season for opportunities to pick up items you're targeting at well under manufacturer-suggested retail price (MSRP).
Use eBay's Gift Guide. The eBay Gift Guide helps you to make gift choices based on who you're buying for and what price you're willing to pay. Only sellers with great performance and authorized manufacturer outlets are promoted here, so by buying through the gift guide you know you're likely going to have a positive experience.
Buy authorized/certified. If you're in the market for high-end gifts at steep discounts, it makes a lot of sense to stick with new or manufacturer-refurbished goods on eBay that come from brand-authorized or certified outlets. Products from companies like Apple, Acer, Visio, and Sony can all be found this way. Unfortunately, eBay doesn't have a directory of all the major manufacturer stores on eBay (the Brands portal misses things like authorized resllers), but you can find many big-name products visiting eBay Stores and either searching for a brand name by itself ("Sony") or by viewing the list of all eBay anchor stores (use the aphabetic index at the top to browse through the list more quickly).
Cater to special preferences.. If you're buying for socially conscious recipients, use eBay's Go Green portal to find only products that are environmentally friendly, or shop Giving Works to ensure that your gifting supports charitable causes. Buying gifts this way ensures that the item in the gift wrap isn't the only thought behind the gift for your holiday recipient.
Give an eBay Group Gift. When you're targeting something expensive or for someone important (say, the boss), buying a gift on your own can be a daunting or even impractical prospect. eBay Group Gifts is the solution here, making it easy to shop eBay as a group, with lots of people each chipping in a little bit.
Shop like (or about) a celebrity. If the someone you're shopping for has a particular favorite celebrity, eBay Celebrity makes it easy to shop both for the Celebrity's favorite goods and interests in support of their chosen charities, but also for memorabilia related to the celebrity in question.
Shop for what the social world likes. If you've got a recipient that's into social media and likes unusual, cool, or idiosyncratic gifts, visit eBay's Top Shared page to see goods on eBay that have been "taken social" by eBay shoppers. Shopping this way is a great back door into the more fun, less traditional goods that can be found across the eBay marketplace.
But Be Smart
No matter which way you shop, be sure to do all of your due dilligence for each purchaseas always, comparison shop and avoid limiting yourself to eBay when other shopping platforms might give you a better deal. Always check your seller's feedback carefully, beware of common scams that can ruin a gift attempt, and pay with a credit card so that you can easily dispute the charge later if for some reason eBay's own buyer protection program falls short.
But most of all, have fun. Happy holidays!