Amazing eBay Finds - picture of couple looking at laptop with credit card in hand

Amazing eBay Finds (and How to Get Them)

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A few weeks ago, I bought two brand new long-sleeve shirts for my daughter off of eBay for less than $10. And shortly before that, I scoured eBay for a battery for my laptop and found one for less than $10, including shipping. Another time, I searched eBay for children’s bathing suits and bought a lot of them at just a few dollars apiece – and they lasted us all summer.

5 Ways to Score Amazing eBay Finds

These are just some of the amazing finds you can score on eBay on any given day – that is, if you’re willing to go through the hassle of searching for, and bidding on, the items you need. Here’s how I use eBay to save money on things I plan to purchase anyway:

Use ebay to compare prices.

When you’re looking for something out of the ordinary – like my backup computer battery, for example – I think it helps to use eBay as a guideline for pricing. When I began my search for a backup battery, I hit Amazon.com first, of course, then went to eBay to see how pricing stacked up. The battery I purchased ended up being around $12 cheaper through eBay, including shipping, which was a pretty sweet deal.

When shopping online, it’s always important to compare prices with shipping included; no matter what kind of online marketplace you’re using, the cost of shipping will determine the final price you’ll pay – and whether or not it is a good deal.

Related: Why Used Stuff is Better Than New

Search for auctions that are ending soon.

No matter what I’m searching for, I always sort the auctions by “ending soonest.” This is one way to get deals that are about to expire while also avoiding the hassle of too much back and forth bidding.

When I was shopping for clothing for my kids, for example, I searched for “girls 6T” and “girls 4T’ and scoured all of the auctions that were about to end. Using this strategy, I won a few auctions for brand name long-sleeve shirts and slacks that ended up being a few dollars apiece. Since I hate shopping, and basically refuse to buy anything new, buying my kid’s clothes this way is a dream come true!

Look for “lots” of clothing.

Since most of my ebay shopping revolves around used clothing, I like to minimize the costs associated with buying online whenever I can. One strategy to save involves buying “lots” of clothing from one individual. Not only can shipping be cheaper (or even included), but it often results in cheaper prices for individual pieces.

The key to making this work is not being picky about each individual piece. Since my kids are 6 and 4, they don’t really care what they wear yet. This is a huge help. Each time I have purchased a lot of clothing, there have been a few ugly pieces. At my house, we use them for play clothes and let the kids wear them when they play outside, paint, etc.

Related: Easy Ways to Save Money – Buy Used Kids Clothes

Use ebay to buy off-season.

Right after Halloween a few years ago, I purchased some really cute Halloween costumes for the following year. With the holiday over, many people had listed their just-used costumes online, and there was a huge selection!

I like buying off-season anyway, but eBay makes this especially easy. As long as you have a place to store whatever you’re buying, you can score some really good deals – and experience less competition – on clothing or other items that aren’t in huge demand.

Haggle for a deal.

Although many people aren’t aware, you can definitely haggle on eBay if you want. I’ve tried this strategy successfully (and unsuccessfully) many times, and it’s always fun. To ask for a lower price, you simply click “ask a question” on the items’ sale page, and write up your request.

This is where a little tact and common sense can come in handy. Asking someone to take 80 percent off their item with eight days left in their auction will probably be a no-go. But asking someone for a moderate discount on a “buy it now” auction that is ending soon could work. Either way, all they can say is ‘no.’

Related: Negotiate Your Way to Savings

The Bottom Line

The best way to save money on eBay is to only use it for items you planned to buy anyway. Whether you need new clothes, shoes, gym equipment, or sports gear, eBay is a great place to compare prices and potentially get a deal on a gently used or new item.

And if you hate shopping in real stores as much as I do, you’ll enjoy the fact that you can shop from the comfort of your own home. Thanks to modern technology, you can order your kid’s used wardrobe online, only for it to show up on your doorstep in a matter of days. When you think about it, that’s pretty amazing.

How do you use ebay to save? What is the best deal you have ever gotten on eBay?

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21 Comments

  1. I know that you can haggle on eBay because my dentist’s friend always bought his equipments on eBay. He told me that he tried to haggle it first before buying the item.

  2. When looking for an item I always use the option to sort by auctions by “ending soonest.” You can snag some deals. It’s important to read the description clearly too many offer free shipping, but some don’t so you don’t want to bid on one for around the same price, but than get stuck with additional shipping cost.

    1. I do the same! I like seeing the auctions that are about to end! You can find some good deals in there if you’re looking for something in particular.

  3. Razor cartridge refills are typically super cheap on e-bay (if you look). We buy a six month supply at a time. We also bought our fridge for less than half price from e-bay.

    My husband is great at getting tools and electrical components on e-bay often at just 10% of the cost of alternative retailers.

  4. Haggling is great. If I already know what the item is (especially if it’s pre-packaged), I will check out the sellers with poorer quality thumbnails/photos. They’re not likely seeing as much action as other sellers.

  5. I’ve shopped for children’s clothes on eBay before, and I agree looking for lots of clothing makes it much easier! I’ve also sold lots of clothing (all the same brand) and they sold lightening fast!

  6. We’ve bought quite a few of our kids’ clothes on Ebay, plus some of ours now that I think about it. The buying “lots” of clothes for kids is a great idea, especially when they’re so young and brings down that per item price. My go-to is usually Amazon but I definitely use Ebay to compare prices.

  7. Interesting, Holly! I hadn’t thought to check both Amazon and EBay to find the best possible prices. And I’m all about finding deals on gently used items!

  8. EBay is really good for buying coats and stuff you only use for a while like maternity clothes. It’s nice to not have to go to actual stores!

  9. Haggling on ebay? that\’s news to me. I thought it was just a place where bidding wars jacked up the prices to the extent of creating post-purchase cognitive dissonance! Will definitely try it next time. And perhaps an article about price negotiation techniques will be useful too

  10. Whoa, the haggling concept on Ebay is new to me too. I gotta try that!

    I also like your bulk clothing tip. With a 3 & 1 year old, I’m starting to see why the children’s clothes industry is so profitable – they just keep on growing and needing more! I definitely get more economic utility from hand me downs. 🙂

  11. Having an eBay store myself, I’ll add a little more to the “Haggle for a deal” and what I like and do not like.

    Like
    *Compare a similar item found elsewhere as a reason for the discount. eg I can get this Eddie Bauer flannel brand new at the outlet for $20, I think paying $15 for this item is fair. Agreed.

    Do Not Like
    *Offering an amount that is lower only to make the dollar amount an even number or below a certain amount. eg I will offer $13.01 plus shipping of 6.99 so it’s $20 even. No sir/mam I prefer the $24, because I like money.

  12. I had no idea that you could haggle on ebay. Haha learn something new every day.

    Great tips!

  13. I don’t shop as much on eBay anymore because most of the things I want are Buy It Now. And a lot of people are asking too much — either out of greed or no information. I’ll see something that is worth $50 that’s being sold for $200. I think maybe it’s the “it only takes one” idea. Or the person isn’t an experienced seller, so they don’t check completed listings. Instead, they just look around for prices and find someone who has overpriced it horribly.

    But if we manage to have a kid, I’ll definitely keep the clothes thing in mind!

  14. Good advice about making sure to add in any shipping costs to figure out the real cost. I have neglected to do that in the past and did not get the bargain I thought I was. Live and learn!

  15. Gosh eBay is one site that I really don’t use enough. I always think to go to Amazon or Target, but should really check for less expensive used options sometimes.

  16. I haven’t tried to haggle on Ebay. The next time I buy, I’d definitely haggle. I just hope I can get the price I want. Thanks for the strategy.

  17. ebay and coupons can help you to save a big amount of money

  18. My best tip is to use a sniping service. Gixen.com lets you put in your max bid on an eBay auction but doesn’t place it until the last second. You win the item at a price you are comfortable with and don’t drive the price up! Fine with me as an eBay seller since I don’t do auctions. 🙂

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