07 December 2011

Getting the best from online auction sites

This Christmas online shopping is booming, being more popular than ever. And auction sites such as eBay, quicksales.com.au, Grays Online  are more popular than ever.  They offer some great prices on fantastic products but there are a few basics you need to follow to make sure your online shopping experience is a positive one.

1.  Do your homework.  It may be online but it's still shopping. Check the reputation of the seller, read the fine print and understand all the terms and conditions of sale (they may vary considerably from seller to seller).

2.  Know your prices.  Comparison shop before you start bidding. Know what the RRP is on the items you are buying, check for sale prices and discount coupons for online and regular shopping.

3.  Set your maximum price. You knowhow much money you have in your gift budget, stick to it. It's easy to get carried away in the heat of last minute bidding and go over budget. Decide your maximum price and stop bidding at that price.

4.  Know your seller. Just as you know a store's reputation, you can check the reputation of the seller you are dealing with online. It's up to you of course but I'd only deal with sellers that have 99% or higher positive feedback over a decent number of sales.

5.  Understand the final price. The price you've won the item at may not necessarily be the total cost. You need to factor in the postage and handling fees and any insurances, express or registered post costs. You'll find these on the item listing and it pays to understand them before you start bidding.

Lastly, enjoy your auction site shopping and remember to actually put the money you save into your savings account - otherwise it's not saved, it's just not spent.

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