Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Shopping Online at eBay

The internet has made it possible for people to do lot of things even in the comfort of their own home. One of them is online shopping. eBay is the world’s biggest internet site where people the world over can either buy or sell goods online. A person can shop for almost anything on eBay. Goods that can be purchased include vehicles, antiques, collectibles, clothing, watches, jewelries, electrical appliances among others.

Global merchants can have their goods listed on eBay which will be offered in auction or in “buy it now” category.  Online shoppers have to win the bidding first in an auction in order for him to buy the listed goods. The “buy it now” goods can be bought by a shopper without having to go through the bidding process.

Generally, it is more feasible to shop physically if the goods are available in the local malls or retail stores. Offline purchases are cheaper and faster and the buyer actually sees the goods before paying for them and bringing them home. But not all the goods one wants to buy are available locally, and more so if the items are rare, collectibles or whose production is already discontinued. A person may want to have again or replace those cherished things that are broken or long gone because he is ever delighted in using them or that they have sentimental value on him. A hobbyist or professional in many fields of endeavor such as sports, photography among others can spice up his activities by shopping online. At eBay he can select cheap, expensive, brand new, used, common and hard to find items that he wants to buy. He can even purchase replacement parts of his equipment or gears. “When it is in your mind, it is on eBay”, “whatever it is, you get it on eBay” are two of some of the slogans that aptly describe online shopping at eBay. However, goods whose uses are considered illegal or immoral are prohibited to be listed and sold at eBay. Pornographic materials, guns, drugs, drug paraphernalia among others are some of the prohibited items at eBay.

The operations of eBay are localized in thirty countries. One who wishes to do transaction at eBay should first register in its site and at PayPal. Payments on purchases are made via PayPal. Customers can pay through their credit or debit card. If a customer is a debit card holder he must see to it that his bank account balance is sufficient to cover the cost of his purchases. PayPal will automatically convert one currency into another in a situation where a customer from an eBay host country buys goods from another eBay host country. My favorite site is the US eBay because it offers wider selection of goods that are listed for outright sale or auction.

Just like physical shopping one must first check the goods he is to buy online before placing his purchase. The item should be without defect if it is brand new, or that it should meet his standard if it is used. Goods listed at eBay have pictures that can be enlarged for inspection by the buyer. In addition the seller has to describe his items and state its condition to include defects if there are any. A buyer too can communicate with the seller regarding the item/s he wants to buy. A buyer should also look at the rating of the seller and the comments made by those who have purchased his goods. A higher rating and favorable comments suggest that the seller is trustworthy and that the buyer can exactly get what he expects from the money he spends on his purchase.

Goods bought on eBay are sent through regular mail, express mail or courier service.  Arrival time of goods depends on the buyer’s and the seller’s countries of origin and the type of delivery services the former selects for the transport of his goods. Regular mail is the slowest and courier service is the fastest. Some sellers offer free shipping on their goods while others require the buyer to pay additional cost on shipping. Goods sent through the mail are picked up at the post office while courier service companies make door delivery. In some cases, items that are categorized as luxurious and bought outside of one’s country are assessed at customs bureau especially if it is sent through a courier service company. A buyer then has to pay more for the goods in terms of custom duties.