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How eBay Working

Posted by Mohsin On 5/27/2012 11:49:00 PM 12 comments

If you are clueless about how the online auction giant - eBay works, this article will be a revelation. Read to know all about how eBay works for buyers and sellers.

While online auction is no longer a novelty, it indeed was when it was introduced as an idea in 1995. The website which started it all and still remains the premier online auction site all over the world is eBay. People new to online auctioning keep inquiring about how eBay works. Through this article, my aim is to provide a short introduction to working of eBay auctions and direct sales from the perspective of buyers and sellers.
How eBay Got Started

Before we go into the details of how eBay bidding works for sellers and buyers, let me recount eBay history briefly. With a listed revenue of $8.727 billion in 2009, eBay is the most visited online auction website ever. eBay was officially launched in September 3, 1995 by Pierre Omidyar in San Jose, California. At that time eBay was known as 'Auctionweb'. The very first item ever auctioned or bought on eBay was a broken laser pointer! The site was rechristened as 'eBay' in September, 1997.

From a mere 30 employees in 1998, with a revenue of $4.7 million, eBay has grown today to be the premier online auction site operating in 30 countries worldwide, employing 15,500 people and earning revenues that have gone beyond 8 billion dollars! It remains to be one of the best Dotcom success stories ever.

For Sellers

Let us first see how eBay bidding works from the seller's perspective. Any seller must first open an account with eBay to be able to sell items. A PayPal account will also be necessary to make reception of payments possible. Checking out the best selling items on eBay will provide you an idea about how items are marketed and sold on eBay.

To list an item, you must provide all the relevant information describing it. There is a fixed fee for listing items on eBay which you must pay for every item you list in there. You may also upload a photo of the selling item for free. There are two ways of selling an item on eBay. You can either sell an item in the auction format or through the 'Buy Now'.

If you want to use the latter option of direct sale, you have to pay extra fees. If you plan to sell through an eBay auction format, you need to set the starting base price and the time frame for which the auction will go on. You hold complete responsibility for the sale of the item and need to answer any queries put forward by the buyers. Specify shipping cost details in the product information.

Once the auction ends, you must sell the item to the highest bidder. The buyer who wins the bidding will be informed about it by eBay and will be asked to pay you for the item, via PayPal. On receiving payment, you must ship the item to the buyer and then provide feedback about the transaction. This feedback helps create the 'positive' reputation for the buyer on eBay. The website earns money by working as an intermediary to bring the buyer and seller together.

For Buyers

Now, let us take a look at the other side of the eBay auction and see how eBay works for buyers. A buyer also needs an eBay account. So if you want to participate in any of the online auctions on eBay, get registered as a buyer. You can make a category wise search of the items you would like to buy. If you are interested in buying any item put for auction, sign in to your account and place your bid. You may inquire about the item directly with the buyer and get your doubts cleared out.
The bidder must remember that once you put in your bid, you are in a binding contract to buy the item, if you win the auction. Once the stipulated time for which the auction lasts, is over, the buyer with the highest bid is informed about it. He must pay the seller using PayPal or any other such service allowed by eBay. The buyer must then provide feedback to the seller which helps in improving his rating on the site.

Hope this article has cleared most of your doubts about how eBay works to make the buying and selling of millions of items through more than 30 countries worldwide possible. If you are still confused about the working of eBay auctions, the best place to refer to is eBay itself, which has a detailed help section for users. 

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