Auction Tips

EBay information

What do you need The first thing you need is a User ID and Password. Signup is free. You’ll need a credit card attached to your account if you want to sell items.

What is PayPal?

Electronic fund transfer. You are not charged for the service unless you’re selling the item. Fees based on percentage of final total invoice cost including shipping. Buildup funds by selling items, or by transferring funds from a bank account. You can also pay for the item with the credit card you have attached to your account. You can transfer money out to your bank account. You must Signup with a user ID and password.

How do you pay for an item you won?

Seller provides payment options on listing. Typical options are PayPal, money order, cash, personal check (usually they won’t ship till the check clears), BidPay, etc. It is standard practice that you pay for the item within a certain amount of days after the auction ends. The terms are usually posted in the seller’s auction listing. Payment is typically made before shipment. Look at the seller’s feedback from other users before you decide to bid. Most listings are in US funds. If you use, the Canadian conversion will also be given. A good currency exchange site is . If you don’t pay for the item you win, the seller may leave negative feedback indicating you’re a nonpaying bidder.


From each transaction the buyer and seller can both leave feedback on the transaction. Positive = + 1 point and a short comment. Neutral = 0 point and a short comment. Negative = -1 point and a short comment. This brings down your overall percentage score.

Feedback gives people an indication of what you’re like to deal with. Some sellers will remove your bid if you have a lot of negative feedback. If you purchase multiple items from one seller all at once it only counts as one point if it’s positive feedback.


Once you bid you’re in a contract to buy the item if you are the winning bidder. You must accept the terms of the listing. Bidding is a two-step process to make sure you don’t bid in error. It is possible to retract your bid but this will be recorded on your feedback history, and the seller may also complain to eBay about you. You can bid any time during the listing period. Some bidders wait till the very last-minute or seconds to place a bid. Other people use sniper software to come in at the last few seconds. If you are out bid, eBay will e-mail you to let you know you can bid again if you choose. When bidding you can bid the next increment up eBay calculates or you can bid the most you’re willing to spend. If you’re maximum bid is higher than eBay’s calculated bid, they will bid on your behalf until it reaches your maximum amount. If you look at the bidding history for an item and you see the same person bidding more than once it indicates they have a higher max and eBay is bidding again for them, they are bidding again, or bid again to raise their maximum amount. The seller has the right to hide the user IDs of the bidders for a fee.

Researching what an item has sold for in the past

Type the item in the search window. On the left column select completed items. Press the search button. Only items that have already closed will be displayed. Items in Red didn’t sell, items in green sold. You can click on the item to see the original listing and how many bidders bid on the item.

Search by location

Click on search and check the postal code and distance to your location. Items within your limits will be displayed.

Favorite searches

Once you enter a search you can select Add To Favorites to save the search so that you can use the same parameters again. You can also click a box that enables eBay to search on your behalf and e-mail you when a new item is listed.


If you have a favorite seller you can also save them to your favorite sellers list and look at their items currently listed. You can also have eBay e-mail you when new items are listed.


Beware of Sellers who ship by UPS or Federal Express. You may get charged a hefty brokerage fee once the item arrives on your doorstep or at the Couriers location. United States Postal Service is the American version of Canada Post. U.S. Postal Service works well for most items unless the item is very costly and you may want a look at one of the couriers and have the item tracked all the way. Some sellers charge exact shipping fees while others may add a package and handling fee. Some package and handling fees are quite high. Some sellers provide flat rate fees posted on their listing, insure the flat rate fee is for Canada as well. If the shipping fees are not listed send a question to the seller asking how much shipping would be to your location. Include your postal code, city, province, and country. Look at seller’s feedback to see if they have complaints on packaging. Insurance: some sellers offer insurance on shipping for an additional fee.

Duration of listing

Listings typically run for three days, seven days or 10 days. Seven days is typical since there is no additional cost for this duration. Items that are in someone’s store with a Buy It Now listing are typically for longer periods.

Canada Post

If you’re going to be a seller and plan to ship by Canada Post sign up for a Venture One account. It’s free and gives you a discount on some shipping services. You can estimate shipping costs online at their web site by entering the dimensions, weight and location it’s going to.

Bogus e-mails

Beware of e-mails sent that ask you to click on a link and enter user ID and password information. These are typically scams.

About Me Page

A page you can create which tells people further information you want to provide, policies, favorite links, items for sale, etc.

Watching items

If you see an item you’re curious about you can select “watch this item” to add it to your watch list. You can then watch what happens with the sale of the item without bidding on it.

Buy it Now

If the seller uses “Buy It Now” you can select this option to buy the item without going into a bidding war with others. It is typically higher than the starting bid. Some “Buy It Now” listings require immediate payment.


If the seller has a reserve price then the item won’t sell until it hits the reserve price. Some sellers use this feature to ensure they don’t lose any money on the sale of the item. The actual reserve price is not typically in the listing. If the bidding goes beyond the reserve price you’ll see the term Reserve met.


Consult eBay’s web site for current listing fees. Fees for pictures vary depending on the number in the listing. The first picture is free. Consult eBay’s web site for current final value fees(The fee you are charged if the item sells).

PayPal fees

Only Sellers Are Charged a Fee.