Sunday, April 7, 2013

What site to use for online purchases?

If you’re new to online shopping, you might wonder is which is the best site to use to get your stuff. Some people swear by eBay, while others stick t Amazon. Yet others go with Google shopping or some lesser known sites like Etsy. The truth of the matter is that just like there’s no single “best” newspaper or car, there’s no best shopping site either.
The two big name are, of course eBay and amazon. For the most parts, both offer the same products for comparable and often identical prices. One big difference is that amazon focuses primarily on products sold by Americans, while eBay has sellers from everywhere. In fact, a significant amount of products on eBay are sold by Chinese sellers. This is both an advantage and disadvantage. On one hand, Chinese sellers offer comparable products to American sellers, but at much lower rates – usually 20% lower, and sometimes as low as half-priced. Also, Chinese post is very cheap, so most American sellers will charge at least 10 dollars on shipping, most Chinese sellers will ship for free, which keeps to total cost down. The disadvantage of the Chinese market is that it is on the other end of the world, so you’ll typically have to wait 2-3 weeks for your item, while the same thing from an American seller will be on your doorstep within 5 days mostly. If speed is your primary concern, then yu might even prefer Amazon, which gives free 2-day shipping on many items for members of its prime program.
Another big difference is that eBay’s search engine is much more accurate, allowing you to use advanced search criteria to hone in on a product. For example, if you try to find a 32 GB SD card on Amazon, the search will also show you 64 GB cards, 16 cards and more. On eBay, not only will it be more specific, but you can also use expressions to narrow down the search. For example, you can use the dash character to have certain keywords removed from the search, and parenthesis to use variations. EBay has other selling formats too, such as “lots” and “set”, allowing you to focus on certain items. Lastly, eBay has a larger selection of used and refurbished products, which can get you better deals. For example, if you want an action figure of Spiderman, you can specify “loose” in the keywords to find open-box items, which are often much cheaper.
Want to learn more? Read more articles on my blog, or better yet, attend my public class on eBay buying. Click here to find more details and about the next class dates.

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