1. Money
Send to a Friend via Email

Holiday Tips for eBay Trading

Buying and selling hints to get you through the season

By

Holiday Tips for eBay Trading

Avoid the holiday commerce blues by keeping some basic shopping and selling tips in mind.

Willeecole / Dreamstime
The holiday shopping season is here once again and eBay is ready to help you make a little extra seasonal cash or to find great gifts for your hardest shopping cases. Sure one still encounters people here or there who are dubious about gift-buying and gift-selling on eBay, but these days such humbugs are few and far between. My own extended family has done rather a lot of eBay holiday shopping for several years now, and some truly unique and delightful exchanges have occurred.

If you're going trade on eBay this holiday season, check out the following tips for eBay buyers and sellers that can help to promote a happy shopping holiday.

Holiday Tips For Buyers

  • Shop as early as possible. Remember when you bid that auctions take time to close, payments take time to clear, sellers take time to ship, and shippers take time to deliver. So save yourself some grief and buy early enough to give yourself a couple extra weeks—not to mention saving yourself money, since fewer shopping days remaining means more desperate buyers and higher bids for the auctions that are left.

  • Buy only from reputable sellers. Even if you're normally happy taking buying risks or trying out new sellers when you shop on eBay, the holidays are generally not the right time to do this. Don't put yourself in the position of having to disappoint your recipient—check feedback and listings carefully and stick to sellers and auctions about which you're very confident.

  • Don't take the "too good to be true" bait. Every holiday season there are certain items that are hot sellers or that are very expensive and in demand—and given the nature of eBay, some number of fraudulent listings for these items are bound to appear. If an item is sold out everywhere at $1,000, don't even think about bidding on the one listed on eBay at $250.

  • Look for eBay gift services and rush shipping. These auction features let you know that the seller is happy to sell not just items but gifts, with an awareness of the extra attention and expedience that such purchases require. Even so, you should give yourself a little bit of time leeway, in case a shipment is delayed by the carrier (common during the holiday season) or the gift wrap job isn't quite up to your standards.

  • Pay attention to the exchange policy. People have become so accustomed to being able to return and exchange retail goods around the holidays that they often forget about such details when it comes to online shopping. Examine a seller's return or exchange policy carefully if it is important for your recipient to be able to return the item for another, or for cash.

Of course, the holiday season is also one of the best seasons to be selling on eBay—demand is high and the extra cash that you earn can go to help pay for your gift purchases. Read on for some tips for holiday sellers.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.