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eBay Australia: Everything you need to know

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eBay is a global ecommerce site that allows users to both buy and sell online. From its humble beginnings in 1995, eBay has quickly progressed to become a platform that sees millions of transactions go through it every single day.

Users have the option to shop for new and second-hand products available both nationally or internationally. As anyone can sell their wares on eBay, you can find just about any product listed on the site.

As well as hosting individual sellers, eBay also serves as a hub for major brands. Big-name retailers such as Coles, Myer and Dan Murphy's each have an eBay store you can buy their products from.

Shopping and your account

Do I need an account to use eBay?

You can shop on eBay even if you haven't registered an account, though there are some restrictions. If you're buying as a guest you'll only be able to purchase items under $6,000. You'll also only be able to purchase an item if it's listed as "Buy it Now", which means you won't be able to bid on items without an account. To find out more, check out eBay's Buying as a guest guide.

If you're looking to use eBay as a selling platform, you'll need to create a registered account. The registration process is simple and allows you to choose either a personal or business account depending on your needs. See the Signing up for an eBay account page for more information.

What kind of products does eBay sell?

eBay's goal is to be an online destination where you can buy and sell all items, new and old. As such, you can find just about anything on the site. From apparel and homewares to rare, one-of-a-kind items, whatever you're looking for is probably for sale on eBay.

Some of the most popular categories on eBay include:

Remember, anyone can jump on and start selling items at any time so even if something isn't currently on eBay, there's a strong possibility it will be added at some point. To ensure you don't miss out, you can even set up a listing alert to notify you when the item you want goes up for sale.

How do I get a listing alert?

To find out when an item you'd like to purchase is listed, follow these steps:

  • Once you're signed in to your eBay account, type a few words into the search bar that best describe what you're looking for (product title, brand name, etc). Hit search.
  • Click on the "Add to Favourite Search" link and make sure the email notification box is checked. You can also select how long you would like eBay to continue to search for the product by setting your preference using the dropdown box.
  • Click "Save Search".

That's it! Now, even if you aren't on the eBay site, you'll be notified if a seller lists the product you're looking for.

When I buy from eBay, where am I buying from?

This really depends on the item you're purchasing. eBay allows regular retailers to sell their stock on its site, meaning you can purchase products from stores like Myer through the eBay site.

As anyone can sell on eBay, you could also be buying through an independent seller. Seller details are listed on each product page, so you can see which seller you're buying from before you shop. Sellers are also given a rating by previous customers so you can see their feedback before you make a purchase.

eBay stores:

Many popular retailers have stores on eBay alongside their own websites. Some of these include:

More brands with eBay stores:

How do I pay for purchases on eBay?

This also depends on what you're buying as each seller may select certain payment methods to accept. This information will be listed alongside the product so you know in advance how you can pay.

In most cases, though, you can shop with PayPal, credit cards or debit cards. Bank transfers and payment on pick-up are also sometimes available.

Is buying on eBay safe?

Mostly, yes, but you should still use due diligence. As with any purchases made online, there's always a slight risk involved. Here are some tips for safe shopping on eBay:

  • Research the seller. If you're shopping through an independent seller, take the time to look at its rating and scroll through previous feedback. If it has several complaints from other customers, it's a good idea to buy the product from another seller.
  • Use common sense. Buying an item on eBay can often be cheaper than buying it elsewhere. However, if something seems like it's too good to be true, it probably is. If you see the latest PlayStation listed for $100, for instance, it's almost definitely a scam.
  • Pay with PayPal. PayPal is a free online payment system that acts as a bridge between seller and buyer. By paying through PayPal, the seller will never receive any of your sensitive financial information like your credit card or bank account number.

Shipping and delivery

What is eBay Plus?

eBay Plus is a subscription shipping service that allows you to receive free shipping on a range of items for an annual fee of $49. Over 15 million items on the eBay site are eligible for free delivery with eBay Plus. The subscription also includes free returns, exclusive deals and sales and double flybuys points.

How long do deliveries from eBay take?

As the eBay site has sellers from all over the world, once again, this will depend on the item and the seller's location. However, you can refine your search to items located in Australia. You can also browse items guaranteed to be delivered within a time frame of your choosing through eBay Plus.

All other items will give a shipping estimate on the product page.

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