Blind Bargains

EBay Basics: Look at the Total

All this week, we're covering some of the basics of EBay, the world's most popular auction service. While many terms and features may be old hat to some of you, we feel it worth the time to explain some of EBay's most used features to new users or those needing a refresher. Today, we’ll talk about prices and shipping.

When shopping for a common item on EBay, you will be presented with many alternatives. The average user may immediately jump to the item at the lowest price and buy or bid on it. But there’s more to the story than first meets the eye.

A true comparison can only be done when adding both the price and shipping for an item. Consider a seller of a phone charger for one cent. On the surface, this looks like a great deal. But a closer examination reveals they are charging eight bucks for shipping, making your total price $8.01. Meanwhile, another seller has the exact same charger for $4.99 with free shipping. Of course, the latter is the better deal.

Most sellers will charge a flat amount for shipping, regardless of your location. They’ll call it a shipping charge, but they’re really just trying to avoid EBay auction fees. You see, EBay charges sellers a fee for the closing price of an auction, but not for the shipping, thus the wide variance in auction prices.

EBay has combated this somewhat by showing the shipping prices for an item in the search results. This offers an easier way to compare items side-by-side.

In summary, be sure to look at the whole picture when comparing two identical items to find the best deal. Your wallet will thank you for it.

Now that you know more about prices and shipping, why not head on over to EBay and try it out for yourself. If you’re new, you can register for free.

EBay Basics: All About Buy It Now

Category: Articles

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.

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