Holiday Shopping on eBay

It’s that time of year. Time to buy Christmas presents for the kids and the others you love. But those gifts can really add up fast, ruining your budget.

Have you looked at eBay for your Christmas shopping? Obviously you have to do your shopping a little bit earlier to allow for shipping time, but it’s a great way to save money. You can get some very unique and beautiful gifts for great prices.

Now, I do not recommend going to eBay for hot gifts, such as this year’s Elmo doll. If you can’t get him in the stores, he’ll be much too expensive on eBay. If your child just has to have that popular toy that isn’t available before Christmas, promise them you will get it later. There is no good reason to spend double the price. Call it a lesson in patience if you have to.

On the other hand, many other great gifts can be had from eBay for amazing prices. Make sure, of course, that you include shipping and handling costs when you consider the price you are willing to pay.

Does a family member collect antiques? You’ll find many interesting pieces on eBay. Computer games? Of course. You’ll find more interesting items on eBay than in any store.

Now, winning a popular auction is not easy. One thing you need to understand if you are an eBay novice is that most bidding happens in the last few minutes of the auction. A very popular strategy is to not bid at all until that time, so don’t assume that because you don’t see a dozen bidders on an item that hardly anyone is interested.

To keep from overbidding in the excitement of the auction, I suggest putting your maximum bid in once you start bidding. Your bid will appear as only the next appropriate bid, so if it does not need to go to the maximum bid you set, it will not.

One thing to watch out for on eBay is negative feedback on sellers. If a seller has a lot of negative feedback, do not buy from them. Also beware new sellers without any feedback. It’s much more of a risk to buy from them than from an experienced seller. Even if a seller has a lot of positive feedback, take a moment and read through it. Many users are reluctant to leave a negative rating for fear of being given one in return, so read the comments. Negative comments are sometimes left on positive feedback.

Buying gifts on eBay can save you quite a bit of money, but can also be quite frustrating. Be prepared to look for a given item more than once and be very aware of the total price you are paying.


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