E-commerce at its best
Commerce has changed dramatically in the recent years and the impact of the internet on its development cannot be underestimated. With an astounding number of online shops and service providers that have emerged within the last 10 years, it's truly incredible how far the world has come. However, as good as economic diversity is in the virtual commerce world, there are brands that stand out from the crowd due to their rich history and the bond they created with their customers. One of those brands is eBay.
It started out as a small auction website. Its developer Pierre Omidyar came up with an idea of connecting sellers and buyers in one place. It seemed so natural that there are people across the country who need to buy stuff, whereas in another part there are those who would need to sell it. So simple in its concept proved to be one of the greatest ideas that would spark a new era in the commerce world. Soon enough more people started selling and buying items on the website that would, later on, be known as eBay and by the end of 1996, it sold $7,2 million worth of goods. It's currently the biggest marketplace in the world.
The D in the Difference
As a business with such a wide reach, eBay understands their responsibility towards a sustainable world and its impact on stakeholders. This is the reason why they create and get involved with institutions that work in various areas to make the world a better place. Their politics on sustainability has got different agendas, all of which will help local communities to create a future for everyone.
Since its inception, eBay focuses both on the buyer and the seller. Widening the seller's reach to customers all over their local community, country or even the world helps to strengthen their position on the local market. With more customers, they are able to sell more products, earn more money and invest in their business. It's an opportunity they might not have otherwise. The key is to not just allow the local seller to register on eBay but to give them the know-how that allows them to compete on a marketplace. It also makes it possible to present beautiful, hand-crafted products, created with love and dedication to the entire world of prospective customers and clients.
Every time a customer wants to buy something on eBay, they have an opportunity to buy a charity item and at the checkout, give proceeds to their chosen organization. Everyone benefits in this model: the foundations reach millions of possible donors, people see how easy it is to support a not-for-profit organization and the good reaches those who are in need.
Shopping on eBay
Shopping on this website has always been easy and convenient, which is one of the biggest factors in contributing to its popularity. When you enter the website, you will see the latest deals. In case you're looking for those specific items, you can go to the category directly. If you're looking for something specific, though, a few clicks will take you where you need to go. Let's get started.
One of the best things about eBay is that you can find literally everything in there. From a broken laser pointer (which was the subject of the very first sale) to a house and everything in between. This is your place to find the items to furnish your home, office, stock your closet with and more. Click on Shop by Category and all of them will unveil.
Let's say you need a bag. When you find accessories and bags, you will first and foremost see the items which can be filtered according to their relevance or price. You can then go on and filter your search more to find exactly what you need. With each item, you will see the product ratings immediately. This way you will instantly see if it's good quality and if the other customers found it valuable.
When you click on the product, you will see the price and will be able to select colours, sizes, etc. You can also find feedback for the seller from the customers. It contributes to the trust that you can put into the seller - at least you know you won't get ripped off! Some products are on bids and others are on sale, simply choose whichever you prefer. Remember to check if the seller offers free returns, refunds and any other benefits from the sale or if the item is available for Click & Collect. Are you looking for the entire collection of gear? You can click on the seller's other sales and on recommended objects. This way you can find everything you need in one place.
Practical information about bidding
Bidding is still a mode of purchase frequently practiced on eBay. If you feel you have a real chance of winning a bid on a product, you should, by all means, participate in it. Every bid has got a time clock attached to it so you know when it ends.
If you're not new to the subject, you probably know that it might sometimes get problematic to come back every time someone else outbids you. It might very well happen at night when you're sound asleep or when you're in class or at the office. If you really want the item to be yours but you also don't want to be surprised by other people's bids, you can take advantage of eBay's convenient automatic bidding system. This way you will not have to come back every time. To ensure that you only place a bid you can afford, you can specify the amount you can pay. The system will not go over it and at the same time, you're the only one who sees this amount. What is more important - the system will not enter the maximum amount right away - it will increase the price step by step so that you can remain in the race as long as possible. If in time, you find that your maximum amount needs to be raised - you can do that at any time before the auction ends.
Each item needs to be paid for. There's nothing for free and even if it's just a few quid, you still need to pay the price the seller is asking for. By winning the bid or clicking "Buy it now" you agree to terms and conditions of sale and are therefore obliged to make the payment. Of course, you might have a genuine reason not to do so, in which case, you should contact the seller as soon as possible.
In other cases, if you're convinced you can pay for the item you purchased, you can do that directly through the website. No bank transfers are required and, in fact, it's not recommended to do that in case of a seller you trust. If you go and pay the seller through your bank, you might not be eligible for refunds, returns or any other customer privileges.
Most of the time, each seller specifies when the payment should be made. Whether it's one working day or within a week, you should stick to it. You can pay via the confirmation email you receive after making the purchase or directly via the listing. The seller specifies the payment options that suit their needs, although most of them open multiple channels for their customers. Rest assured that if you pay via the system with your card, your personal or account details are secure at all times. The majority of sellers also offer PayPal or PayPal-like payment options. In this way, your money is secure and receiving a refund if the item is damaged or you don't get it at all, is possible.
Practical information from the community
Believe it or not, some people have never purchased anything over the internet. Perhaps they have never had an opportunity to do so or they just didn't like the concept. If you belong to one of those groups, or you just want to learn new things about purchasing various items, you can benefit from eBay guides. These are articles written by experts in various fields that make the entire process easier and that give you practical tips on how to go about it.
For example, you want to buy earrings for someone you love. You might as well go to a jewellery store but it would take more time and you would have limited options with regards to the materials or design. eBay is, therefore, a fantastic place to find the right pair for the right person. If you don't know anything about buying jewellery, you can read a guide on how to buy the nicest items and how to shop for people who are sensitive to certain materials. If you're having trouble insulating your house and you wish to purchase some insulation material, you can also find great advice there.
In general, people love to interact with others and with the internet discussion groups, it's easier than ever. If you're having an issue with anything on the website, you don't know how to resolve it or you're simply looking for a quick answer, you can just post your question on a discussion board and someone will surely answer you.
Let's talk about other benefits of buying on eBay. The prices are fantastic, the sales benefit both the seller and the customer but is there anything else? Local listings, for example. Some of us can't be bothered with packaging and postage, waiting for the delivery to come. If you're looking for something to buy it quickly and you can easily collect it yourself, just look for Local eBay listings. The items might be brand new and handcrafted or second-hand - as always, all the information is in the bid.
If you're registered in the Nectar rewards system, you will be happy to hear you can collect points for the items you buy on eBay. You have to be a registered member of eBay and Nectar, link the two together and you can start immediately collecting points. For every pound you spend via PayPal on eBay, you will receive 1 point. The maximum number of points per one transaction is 300. Then, when you're ready, you can spend them on your eBay purchases.
With the mobile app, you can also collect and spend points, just like in the case of the website. If you see that the number of points isn't correct, simply contact the team and they will resolve the issue. There are some items which are excluded from the programme, in which case, you should refer to the information on the website. When you convert your points into vouchers to spend, they will be valid for 12 months. Remember to use them by then!
It's crucial to stay ahead of the competition in some areas and to offer your customers a possibility to shop in the most convenient way. eBay understands that and enables you to download an app that will help you shop on the go, wherever you are. An app, designed specifically for eBay will allow you to search for items you need and to buy them instantly. If you take part in a bid, it's important to stay updated on the status of the sale. You will be notified if someone places a competing bid so that you can act accordingly. If you're a seller, you will also be able to sell your items with your mobile device as well. The app is available for iPhone, iPad or for an Android device.
eBay has always stood out in a multitude of ways, however, one of its most appreciated features was the money back guarantee. Customers all over the world knew that if something was wrong with the transaction or the seller was dishonest, they would get their money back. When you pay with PayPal you are covered in 99% of instances on eBay and you will either receive an item you ordered, in the condition that was advertised, or you will receive a full refund. This tactic ensured that people who wanted to buy something on eBay were always protected. All the information on how to receive a refund, how to contact the seller to resolve the issue or which types of items are excluded from the guarantee can be found on a dedicated website.
Another guarantee is free and fast delivery on certain items. You are also given a chance to choose the delivery option that suits your needs best. You can opt for an express delivery if time is money for you or you will receive information in your chosen item is available for Click & Collect. Additionally, those sellers who accept returns will give you 14 days to do so. You'll have plenty of time to make up your mind.
Finally, if the mode of delivery is the most important factor for you when you're purchasing a product, you can filter your search
The Picodi component
Remember that when you register with Picodi, you will receive updates regarding newest promotions on eBay. You will then have easier access to finding the one that is the most beneficial to you. There are discount codes, free delivery options and vouchers you can get for free or when you spend a certain amount. Using Picodi is always free and all you need is your email address.