EBay Online Shopping Guide: Learn How To Buy On eBay

eBay online shopping – Ebay is one of the most popular shopping websites on the internet where individuals and merchants can buy and sell new and second-hand items. It is an open platform virtually for anyone. As a merchant, you can create a store on this platform and use it as a medium to sell your items (products). If you’re an individual looking for where to buy new or second-hand items, then eBay might be the best platform for you because you’re most likely going to find whatever you’re looking for there.

This article is basically for those who are new to eBay. After reading through this article, you will have a suitable knowledge about different methods on how to shop on eBay.

There are two major ways you can buy items on eBay:

  • Buying at a fixed price – In this method, a price has been fixed and you’ll be required to buy in the same way that you would buy in other online retailing stores – such as Amazon, Walmart and the likes.
  • Buying via an auction where you will place bids and the highest bidder wins


There are just two things you need to be able to shop on eBay:

  • a credit card or debit card
  • a computer or smartphone with an internet connection.

eBay Online Shopping

Step 1. Firstly, go to eBay.com

Step 2. In order for you to have the privilege to buy and sell on eBay you need to register. So if you’re new to eBay, click register (this can be seen above the eBay logo – top-left part of the website).

However, if you already have an account, click Sign in and enter your user ID and password, then skip step 3 and 4 – continue with step 5

Step 3. After clicking the “register” button, a form will be shown to you. Fill in all required information, such as your name, email address and finally, choose a password. After completing that, click the blue “Register” button (located at the bottom of the screen.

eBay online shopping

eBay online shopping

Step 4. After that, a new window will open which will take you back to eBay. Now to start shopping, search for items in the search bar using the name of the item you’re looking for. For example, if you’re looking for Samsung galaxy S8, type “Samsung Galaxy S8,” and click the search button; you will be shown lots of results by different vendors.

eBay Online Shopping

eBay Online Shopping

Step 5. Just like I mentioned in step 4, you will be shown lots of results by various vendors that match your search term or criteria. Now you can choose to display the items based on your choice – like filtering them as Buy It Now or auction.

eBay online shopping

eBay online shopping

On auction item after the image and name, you will find the information telling you the number of bids that particular item has, and the highest bid so far. Looking at the final column, you will find the amount of time left before the auction ends or before the product will no longer be available (removed). For example, 10d 16h. This simply means that you have 10 days and 16 hours to bid for the item. After this period, the item will be removed (no longer be available).

eBay Online Shopping

eBay Online Shopping

On the listing, you will also find out if the time is pre-owned or new, and whether the postage is free or not.

Using the Buy It Now option, the item listing will also provide you with similar information as the auction, and the amount you are expected to pay – just like in any other online retailing store out there – such as Walmart, Aliexpress and the likes. A price range is usually given if there are variations within the range – depending on the option you choose.

If you’re using Buy it Now, there is often free postage on items that fall on under this category.

Step 6. To get more details of the item you wish to buy using either Buy It Now, or place a bid (auction) method, click on the name or image of that item. Before you bid or buy, it is advisable that you check if the seller is reliable. You can do this by clicking on the user ID of such vendor – located under “Seller information.” Here, you will find some reviews and ratings by previous customers.

Step 7. If you want to place a bid, enter the maximum amount you would like to pay in the box provided and click the Place bid button underneath the box. For example, if the current bid of the item is $40 and you are happy to pay ‘$55,’ type in ‘$55’ in the bid box. If nobody has placed a bid higher than $40, the current bid will go up to $41. eBay will automatically bid for you against other bidders until your maximum bid is reached.

eBay online shopping

eBay Online Shopping

Step 8

If asked to confirm your bid, click the Confirm bid button. After this, you will be taken to a new page which will let you know if you’re the highest bidder or you have been outbid. If you have been outbid and wish to bid again, enter a higher amount and click on Bid Again.

Note: If you are a first timer on eBay, you will be required to confirm your address details, and provide a mobile phone number for the purpose of verification. After completing this, click on Continue.

Worth knowing, a lot of bidding usually happen at the eleventh hour (that is at the last few minutes or even seconds of an auction). Hence, it is advisable to stay online during this time and keep the page refreshed frequently in order to check if you have been outbid. Finally, if you are the highest bidder (that is the winner), you will be notified via email at the end of the auction, and you will be required to pay before the item will be shipped out to you.

How to buy at a fixed price

Step 1. Here, you don’t need to bid since you’re okay with the fixed amount attached to the item you wish to buy. To shop using this method, select the item from the listing page and click Buy It Now.

Step 2. You will be taken to a new page where you will be asked to review your purchase. The total amount you see here will include any postage cost. If you’re okay with the price, go ahead and click “Continue.”

Step 3. Now you will be asked to enter your payment details. PayPal serves as an intermediary here; this is how it works, you will pay to PayPal, and PayPal will pass on the payment. This is for the sake of security; it prevents the vendor from seeing your bank details.

The PayPal payment system is a lot faster, easier and reliable if compare to other alternative payment method on eBay. If you already have a PayPal account, proceed by clicking Login in in order to make your payment.

Worth knowing, PayPal is not the only method of payment on this platform. You can also make payments by using credit card. To do this, select credit card option during payment. So, if your country is on PayPal’s blacklist or you don’t like PayPal, then this method is a way to go.

By the way, a lot of vendors prefer PayPal – as a matter of fact, a considerable amount of them only accept payments from PayPal (they don’t support credit card payment). This is because it ensures that goods are paid for before they will be dispatched. Furthermore, the goods can be dispatched (sent) immediately rather than waiting for checks to arrive in the post or funds to be cleared.

Step 4. You will be taken to a new page in which you will be required to confirm payment for the last time. Once you click this confirm payment button, your transaction will be completed and the vendor will be notified, and the vendor in return will send you the item using the delivery method specified.

If your package doesn’t arrive after the specified time of delivery – no need to panic – contact eBay customer service department and they’d be glad to help you out. Items bought with PayPal are usually covered by ‘eBay Buyer Protection,’ hence, you don’t need to worry yourself; you’ll definitely get your money back.

One Response

  1. Charley
    June 4, 2018

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