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How to buy things and pay for items on Ebay? Is it safe to open an Ebay account to buy something?

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I know the above question would make an experienced online buyers smile, it is such a naive rookie question but that is what i am when it comes to buying things online. I have heard stories about how some people had their credit card information stolen while shopping online and quite a lot of money was used from that credit card. In the end, the credit card company even refused to pay up or refund the money used by scammers. The credit card holder had to pay up eventually. So i am kinda afraid and cautious when it comes to buying things online. I would actually only buy things direct from the company website. Lets say i am buying a Samsung phone, then i would head over to the Samsung website. If i have to buy an Iphone, i would head over to the Apple website.

Ebay as i have read, is where sellers are from everywhere in the world. How safe is it to buy from those sellers and what if they don't deliver the products as promised by them. I would like to experience buying small price items from Ebay first and from Canadian Sellers only. If i get enough confidence, then i could probably buy something small and cheap from international sellers. I believe most sellers would be from China anyways. How is the shipping services from China? Are they reliable and do the purchased items frequently get lost during transit?
asked in Bedford by Edward Newton (129 points)

1 Answer

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Ebay is one of the most popular website for buying and selling things online, next to amazon in terms of volume sales. Whereas Amazon stocks and sells a lot of the stuff online themselves, Ebay does not sell any of the stuff online themselves. Rather they have sellers from all over the world who sells their stuff online through Ebay website and Ebay earn a share as a commission on the sales. Buyers do not pay commission to Ebay directly since the sellers are already paying commission to Ebay. Sellers usually priced their goods and products enough to earn some profits and still pay commission to Ebay. Paypal is the usual preferred method of accepting payment for most sellers and buyers need to have both Paypal and Ebay account to complete the transactions.

How Paypal works is that when you sign up with Paypal account, you store your credit card information with Paypal rather than submitting your credit card information to the sellers in Ebay. Paypal is like the middleman who helps you to pay for the products you purchased at Ebay and then charges you the same amount on your credit card information stored with them. Your credit card Information such as expiry dates needs to be up to date for the transaction to go through. You don't want to give your credit card details to the sellers because you never know what the sellers could do to scam you with your credit card information. Paypal on the other hand would not scam you since they are in the business of protecting your credit card details and they earn some money from the sellers, every time money is received by the sellers from the buyers.

If you haven't signed up with Ebay yet, you could sign up at Ebay website. Also, if you need to sign up for Paypal services, here is the link to the sign up page for Paypal.

When you are ready to purchase something, you could do a search for a product at Ebay.ca

(1) After you have found a product that you like, it is time to check out certain information such as the item description, pictures of the products, condition as in new or used, shipping charges, approx delivery date, method of payment accepted, any returns allowed, and also the reputation of the seller. Be ware of seller who has a bad reputation. You can read all the reviews, comments, feedback about a specific seller and decide for yourself if you still want to buy from that seller.

(2) You can either choose the bid or buy it now option. Bid option usually happens when the item is placed as an auction style where multiple people would make an offer for the same products until the item auction ends or the seller decides to end the auction and sell to the highest bidder. By doing the Auction style listing, a seller can earn a higher sales price than they normally would with the "Buy it Now" option. At times, with Auction style there are drawbacks too when there is not enough buyer to bid for the same item and the seller would have to sell it for much lesser price than they wanted to. The seller can however set a price target that if the Auction price doesn't reach a certain price, then the auction is cancelled and no transaction takes place. The "Buy it Now" option allows you to buy the item right away without going through the Auction style. This means that you don't have to wait for the Auction to end for that item to win the bid. As you may know that Auction can be frustrating since you might have to wait for many days before the Auction for that item ends.

(3) You can then pay for the item using Paypal. Simply follow the instructions in the pages that follows, check to see that your address is correct, Type in any message you want to send to the seller, choose the type of Paypal account to take money from (Credit card on file or your Bank account), and finally click on Pay now. At this point of time, you have committed to purchasing an item from that seller and so you can't back out of the purchase, otherwise you could be charged some fees by Ebay for not fulfilling to pay for the item you committed to buy. So always read carefully the description of the items you are thinking of buying and all the terms and conditions of purchasing that item.

(4) You will receive an email from Ebay showing you the item you purchased and expected delivery dates by the seller. There will be another email from Paypal mentioning that you send money to the seller and under what name will the charges for the item be shown.

(5) Once the seller shipped your item off, you will receive another email telling you that your item has been shipped.

(6) If your item doesn't arrive within the time as mentioned in the shipping details of the item, you can click on the "Contact Seller" button and send a message to the seller to inquire about the delay. If at all, you still waited and you don't get your items, you could open a case against the seller. Ebay will handle the resolution and if you win the case, you could get your money back. But there are some buyers who scam the sellers out of their products by claiming false non receipt of items, when in actual fact the buyer had already received the item. Ebay is pretty good though in catching those buyers scamming the sellers out of their products.

answered by Sarah Robbins (161 points)

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