As popular as eBay has become as an established medium for transacting business, I’ve noticed that there are still many people who are reluctant, for one reason or another, to use eBay to make purchases, even when doing so could save them lots of money. This is as true for scrapbooking products as any other. ScrapbookFinds.com will soon begin publishing items for sale on eBay among listings of scrapbooking products from other online marketplaces. In order to To help you feel comfortable shopping for scrapbooking products on eBay, here are a few things to consider.
What you need to start buying on eBay
First of all, you will need to set up an account with eBay. You can do this by going to www.ebay.com. Follow their instructions for setting up an account. Essentially this will involve identifying yourself with your address, a phone number, and an email address.
Most sellers on eBay prefer (or at least suggest as an option) payment using PayPal. If you want to use PayPal to pay for purchases on eBay, you’ll need to set up an account with them at www.paypal.com. Doing so involves a bit more than setting up an eBay account, because you have to set up payment options through your bank or using your credit card. If you would rather go the old fashioned route, you can pay using a money order or check. Many sellers also accept this form of payment, but it does mean that you will receive your order later than if you pay instantly using PayPal.
Shopping for Scrapbooking Products
The easiest way to shop for scrapbooking products is to type in the name of the product you are searching for or a general search. For instance, I just did a search for “sizzix alphabet” and 367 search results were returned. If you do a search and find that you don’t see as many options as you’d hoped, you can broaden your search by removing search words, and you’ll likely find more variety.
eBay offers many handy features that can help you with your shopping. For instance, you can add a “watch” to your account, which allows you to track the item (to see how high the auction price is going) so that you don’t have to look for it again the next time you come back. Also, if you want to see what price a product is selling for generally, you can check the box for “completed items” when doing a search. This will allow you to look at the auctions that have finished. If the scrapbooking product you want to buy has been bid up to be bit out of your price range, you can check the completed items to see whether that product normally sells that high, or if the auction you are looking at just has an unusual amount of competing bidders.
Other Issues to ConsiderFeedback
The eBay feedback system allows users to rate their experiences with other eBay users. Good sellers should be able to keep their ratings above 95%. When you are considering buying from a seller, you should check to see whether her feedback score is high enough. If you see a low percentage, you can read the feedback comments to see why people are having bad experiences buying products from that seller. Chances are that if many people are complaining about slow shipping, misrepresented products, and other concerns, you will likely encounter the same problems.
The eBay feedback system allows users to rate their experiences with other eBay users. Good sellers should be able to keep their ratings above 95%. When you are considering buying from a seller, you should check to see whether her feedback score is high enough. If you see a low percentage, you can read the feedback comments to see why people are having bad experiences buying products from that seller. Chances are that if many people are complaining about slow shipping, misrepresented products, and other concerns, you will likely encounter the same problems.eBay Stores
eBay has continually increased their fees for online auctions, making it so that many sellers on eBay would rather sell their scrapbooking products from their eBay stores rather than in online auctions. When you do a search on eBay, look at the results that are shown from store owners (usually listed below the auction results). When you find a good store with lots of scrapbooking products, bookmark it so that you can easily find it again. Many times store owners run auctions just so that you can find their store. If you find a particular seller that is selling one of the supplies you need, check to see if he or she has a store. Chances are you’ll find many more scrapbooking treasures for sale there.
Personal Information / Security
A fear that keeps many potential eBay shoppers from using that site to find scrapbooking supplies is also one of the difficult challenges facing eBay: fraud. Even if you don’t have an eBay account or a PayPal account, you may have noticed emails coming from people who are posing as eBay or PayPal. These fakes ask you to follow a link that appears as if it goes to an eBay or PayPal login page, when it really takes you to their own web site. If you follow one of these links and login with your username and password, you have given them access to your account. Hijacked accounts can be a real problem, just like any other form of identity theft. I recommend never logging in to eBay or PayPal from an email link. Instead, go to the actual sites (www.ebay.com or www.paypal.com) and login there to see any messages you might have been sent. Following this rule will go a long way in keeping your account secure.
There are many reasons to use eBay when shopping for scrapbooking supplies. Knowing what to look for and how to protect yourself from bad sellers and frauds can make your eBay experience enjoyable and can save you some money on the products you normally buy from larger retail stores.