EBay auction: how it works

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Alejandra Rangel
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EBay auction: how it works for buyers

On eBay it is not difficult to come across online auctions, given that it is precisely this method of buying and selling that has made the Californian e-commerce giant famous. Let's see, therefore, how you can actually participate and try to win the product offered for sale and what factors you must take into consideration to ensure the objects of your interest.

participate in an online auction on eBay, first log in to your account by connecting directly to the eBay login page (if you have not yet created an eBay account, read my tutorial where I explain how to do it), type the name of a product you want to buy in the search bar placed at the top and, on the page with the search results, check the box Auction (located on the left, under the category Size). This way you will see all the auctions available for the type of product you are looking for.



At this point, locate the auction you want to participate in and click on product name that interests you, in order to view the details and technical characteristics. On the page that opens, in addition to displaying more information about the product put up for auction (characteristics, price, conditions of sale, etc.), you can also view the remaining time to make an offer.

If the product actually interests you and you would therefore like to actively participate in the auction to try to win it, click on the blue button Fai un'offerta and, in the box that appears on the screen, click on the button Make a bid EUR to try to win the product using the current auction base.


Alternatively, enter the maximum amount that you are willing to pay for the product in question and click the button Set up an automatic bid: in this way eBay will take care of making new bids on your behalf (without exceeding the maximum amount you have entered), deciding the amount based on the bids made by the other participants in the auction. This tool could be particularly useful if you do not want to continuously monitor the progress of the auction, but at the same time you want to formulate new offers to try to win the product.


After making your bid, you will receive some e-mails that will inform you about the progress of the auction: you will be informed about the offers made by any other buyers, you will know if the bids made by the latter are higher than yours or you may be informed that your offer is currently the best.

If you win the auctioned product, you will receive a notification by e-mail. Remember that if you have won a product, you are required to complete the sale and pay the seller (as clearly stated in the eBay User Agreement).

If you have made an offer and you have noticed that you have entered an incorrect amount by mistake (e.g. you have entered € 150,00 instead of € 15,00) or you believe you have other valid reasons to withdraw your offer, use the appropriate form to collect the offers and fill it out by typing the object number of the advertisement in the appropriate text box indicating the reason for the withdrawal through the relative drop down menu. Infine, click the button Collect the offer. You can only withdraw a bid if the listing expires after more than 12 hours or within one hour of being posted, if the auction expires within less than 12 hours.


If all goes well, you will be notified by email of the cancellation of the order. If you don't receive a confirmation email, try contacting the seller directly to make sure the offer has been withdrawn. For more details on canceling orders, see the support page that has been set up on the eBay website.

EBay auction: how it works for sellers

You would like it sell items on eBay by creating an auction but you have no idea how to proceed? Well, first log into your eBay account from its login page and click on the button Sell located at the top left (located near the eBay logo).


On the page that opens, type the title of your ad in the field Enter a descriptive title for the listing and click the blue button Start to start the ad creation wizard. On the next page, click the button Find to automatically assign a category to the object you have just indicated in the title and, if it is the correct one, click on the button Create a listing (you can possibly change the category and select one manually by clicking on the link Edit the category).

Now, describe the item you want to auction by adding as many details as possible: type a descriptive title for the listing in the field Title (actually it should already be pre-filled with the title you indicated previously); indicates the Condition of the object (Used, New, etc.); upload up to 12 photos for free using the appropriate buttons located next to the item Gallery, describe the item specifics by selecting its characteristics from the drop-down menus that you see on the screen and enter other product details in the editor located next to the item Details.


At this point, in the section Select the format and price, click here Online auction, then indicates the starting price duration of the insertion and reserve price (in order to set the minimum amount to reach to sell your item at auction) and set the shipping methods object: to do this, select one of the options available in the drop-down menu located next to the item Service, indicates the cost of the shipment in the appropriate field or, if you prefer, offer free shipping or the withdrawal of the object in the area by checking the relevant boxes.


Now, in the section Check your preferences, choose one of the accepted payment methods; indicates the POSTAL CODE of your city in the text field next to the wording Place where the object is located, select i packing times using the appropriate drop-down menu and decide whether or not to accept the return of the item you are selling at auction (by selecting one of the options available in the drop-down menu located next to the wording Return). In addition to this, if you want the item to be relisted in which case it is not sold, check the box next to the item Automatically relist this item 1 time if it is not sold (some extra fees may apply if you choose to use this feature).

Speaking of payment methods, I remind you that PayPal is no longer the default payment method on eBay (following the agreement that expired in the first part of 2021): if you have not yet done so, then, provide the details of the bank account on which to receive payments by going to this page, accessing your account (if necessary) and providing theIBAN (including a prepaid one) and all other required account data.

Now you can finally click on the blue button You are selling at the rates shown (i.e. the ones you see in the appropriate box on the right) to publish your ad and start your auction. Did you see that it wasn't all that complicated to complete the enterprise?

To monitor the progress of the auction, connect to the section My eBay of your account and click on the option Sales. From here you can check scheduled sales, items sold and unsold, drafts in preparation, listings in progress and so on.

I remind you that on eBay it is possible to create up to 50 free listings per month, both in online auction mode and buy it now without reserve price. However, if the sales are successful, eBay can ask the seller commissions of 11,5% on the final value of the sale (to which a commission of 0,35 euros per transaction + taxes on shipping costs must be added). For more details on rates, visit the official eBay website.

EBay auction: how it works on smartphones and tablets

As you may already know, eBay is available not only as an online service, but also as an application for Android or iOS devices. Its operation is very similar to that of the Web version of the service and, therefore, you can be able to participate in an online auction or create one by following the instructions given in the previous paragraphs. However, let me briefly describe some main features of the eBay app, so that you can have a clearer idea on how to best use it on your smartphone or tablet.

If the application download has already been completed, start it now and log into your account (or create one, if you haven't already). Once logged in, you should find yourself on the eBay app main screen, which is divided into five sections.

  • Home - in this section you can find the most relevant offers, recently viewed articles, featured offers and so on. Also from this section, you can search for a product using the bar located at the top and filter the results using the appropriate "Filter" button.
  • My eBay - from here you can manage both your purchases and your sales. In addition to this, the "My eBay" section allows you to change your profile (shipping address, password, etc.).
  • Search - in this section you can search for a product using the "classic" manual search or, alternatively, use the function that allows you to do this through the barcode scan.
  • Notifications - in this section all notifications regarding your purchases, your sales and your account will be grouped.
  • Sell - through this section, you can easily create an online auction following more or less the same steps that I indicated in the previous chapter.

After creating an auction or bidding on an active auction in the app, you can follow its progress using the tools and functions I told you about in the previous chapters of the tutorial. Easier than that ?!

EBay auction: how it works


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