Tag Archives: buying

Top Tips to Improve your eBay Experience

Danel is a 15 year old who is an avid eBay’er. He has already made quite a lot of money as a Seller. Here are his top seven tips for getting the most out of eBay.

  • When buying an item, do not place a bid for an item several days before the auction is over. This will just cause the bid to increase. I suggest placing a bid in the last few seconds. Have 2 windows open, one will be the bid you are willing to place for the item. And the other is another bid you are ready to place for the item. But, the second screen will be a higher amount. How high? Your choice. You see, other people also place their own bids in the last few seconds, and if someone places a bid higher then your first… there’s no chance of you going back and placing another bid. Thats why it is a good idea to keep another screen open with a higher bid price.
  • Ifyou find the item you would like to bid on that still has time left, it might not be a good idea to put it on your watch list. See, if the seller of the item sees that there is no bid on his item and 20 people are watching it, he probably will not drop the price. What you should do, is save the item number and view the item like that. If there are no bids on it, and no one is watching it, there is a large possibility that the seller of the item will lower the price.
  • Just because you find an item you would like to buy and are ready to place a bid on it, you might want to look at one thing… the user who is selling it. If a brand new user with zero feedback is selling a $20,000 car, it might not be a good idea to bid. If a user has 5 feedbacks and 3 of them are negative, once again… might not be a good person to buy from. If there is someone with 10,000 feedbacks and only 200 negative feedbacks, they are most likely a good person to buy from.
  • For some items, there is the “Buy it Now” option. Instead of waiting for the auction to be over, you could just click that button and simply buy it now for the price shown. But keep this in mind… if the buy it now price is $300 and the current bid is $50 with only a few hours remaining, it may be a good idea to wait. But, this is one of the things people just can’t predict. There is no strategy for this. Someone sees something they like, they know the price will rise, they buy it, with still plenty of time remaining.
  • The ‘reserve’ option is very popular. Some sellers may be worried that their item will not sell for the amount of money they want it to, so they put a reserve amount in place. This is a hidden price that only the seller will know. There will be text below the bid price that will say ‘Reserve met’ or ‘Reserve not met’. No matter how much you bid, if the price does not exceed the reserve price then you will not win the auction. Once the hidden cost of the reserve is met, whoever bids does have a chance of winning the auction. Some sellers use a strategy of telling people what the reserve price is, but most people do not. I suggest not to.
  • Some auctions you might see might get you ‘surprised’. For instance, you may see a pair of shoes for $10,000. This will most likely be a ‘best offer’ type of auction. This is where the person that sends in the best offer will get the item.
  • When selling several of the same items, it would be easier to sell them one by one in the same auction. If you are selling pencils, you will place a “buy it now” price, and tell how many of the item you will sell. People could then buy X amount of that item for the certain price you placed.

Buying Software

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Knowing what software to buy… and when… can be tricky. Here are some tips sent in by a community member to help you with your choices.

  • Decide whether you really need the software. Software can be expensive and the last thing you want to do is to go out on a whim and waste your money on something that you’re probably only going to use once.
  • Check compatibility. This is more for less advanced users, I’ve never done it myself but family members have contacted me asking how to get the software to work when there trying to install software for a Mac on a windows machine.
  • Read reviews etc. Websites claiming their software does something does not necessarily means it does it well, if at all. Third party reviews offer an impartial view and can always help you too understand whether the product is going to work for you or not. (I have found this is a great tip for almost all products I think about buying, not just software)
  • Make sure your going to be able to use it. By this I mean, it would be no good giving my dad (who is not computer literate) a copy of Photoshop and expecting him to be able to get his money’s worth out of it, make sure the software you buy is within your computer knowledge range.
  • Search for free alternatives. BY THIS, I DO NOT MEAN ILLEGAL DOWNLOADS! More often than not, the features of an expensive software package can be equalled by freeware. If you search around a little bit you can probably find many or at least 1 package that can match even the greatest and most expensive software.

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Top 5 Tips on Buying Technology: Hardware and Software

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I am an early adopter when it comes to technology. I tend to spot tech trends sooner than the average consumer, and I’m quick to buy something when it’s hot off the shelf. However, this isn’t always the best way to go about purchasing new technology. Here are Pongo Shawn’s top five tips when buying new technology products:

  • Don’t buy immediately Is this something you really need? Or do you just want it, because it looks cool or everyone else is buying it? Chances are, if you buy based on “want”… you will end up wasting money on things you’ll never use. Also, look for discounts whenever possible. You can always keep an eye on my chris.pirillo.com blog for special deals and coupons.
  • Don’t always shop at the same store Even if you have one favorite place where you like to buy all your techie products, shop around for other stores who may have the same thing at a much lower price.
  • Do your homework This is a must no matter what you’re doing. Check online for product reviews, but take them with a grain of salt. If people are complaining about the color… and that doesn’t matter much to you… then it’s not really “negative” feedback, is it? However, if many people are saying the same things about defects, you better think twice about that particular purchase.
  • Be careful buying used items This is especially true with buying through Ebay or other similar sites. Check out the person you’re wanting to buy from. For instance, on Ebay you can view a seller’s rating. My video uploader Kat has a method she always uses. She refuses to buy from anyone who has less than 1000 ratings. Of those 1000, they must have a minimum of 99% positive feedback. Otherwise, she looks for someone else to shop with. This is just for your own protection, folks.
  • Don’t wait forever for new versions There will always be something newer, but it may not always be “better”. When you find what fits your budget and your needs, buy it once you’ve researched.

Edited to add follow-up. I received another excellent tip via Email after this video was posted, and wanted to pass it along:

Hey Chris,
First i want to say that i am an extreamly avid readier of you blog, chatter in your chatroom, and subscriber to the Youtube channel, and podcast. Recently, I watched a video that you posted on Youtube, about a top 5 that you read, about Buying Technology, Hardware and software.

After watching it, i really wanted to bring-up another point: about 90% of the time, there is a free/shareware or opensorce alternative to the software out there. Allot of people don’t like this, because of things they have heard in the past about free software, (that they cause virus etc..) but as long it is trusted, and recommended by people that you trust, (like you!) you should be fine. Allot of the time, the free alternative is just as good, or better than the one you where going to pay a fortune for. Also, when buying software, don’t immediately buy it at the store. Not only can you most likely get it cheaper online, but sometimes, there are free demo downloads for the software on their website, or other trusted places, like Apple.com.

Hope this helps!

~Steven, Naples, Florida

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