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How to Shop Online On Amazon And Ebay

Updated on August 22, 2012
A package received from Amazon
A package received from Amazon | Source

Ebay and Amazon can be great places to buy products that you are looking for. There is more to buying an item on Ebay and Amazon than simply paying for it though. There are a number of responsibilities as a buyer and you should know them so that you can avoid the headache, heartbreak, and confusion if any problems pop up during any part of your transaction. In this hub I will explain how to buy an item on Ebay and Amazon, but specifically what you should know if you plan on making any purchases.

Compare Prices

Compare prices when buying an item on Amazon. Be sure to check all of the sellers that are selling a product. Amazon will often times "feature" a specific seller if they are using "Amazon Fulfillment" with that product. The price on featured items can be the best deal but frequently they can also be much more expensive and not the cheapest. Make sure you check all of the sellers who are selling the item.

On Ebay you should look up completed listings to see how much the item has historically sold for. This will give you a good idea of how cheap you can get the item and if you are getting a good price. Ebay also allows you to sort items by price. This makes it very easy to see who is offering the product at the lowest price.

Check Feedback

Check feedback on the seller. Sellers with very good feedback will cause less headaches, save you time, and make sure that your product will arrive safe and in the condition described. I would consider very good feedback to be 96% or higher. Anything lower than that generally means that they are consistently careless with items. The only exception to this rule would be if they only have a few feedbacks because the percentage would be skewed.

Ultimately regardless of how bad their feedback is, it's important to remember that as a buyer on either site, you have 100% control over your transaction at all times. Amazon and Ebay both have absolutely absurd safeguards for buyers. Because of this, you should not be afraid to buy from someone with bad feedback. Just be prepared to send an item back, or get a refund and settle for less than what you expected. You can save some money this way but might also have to wait longer for the item. If quality and speed is most important, then I would not order from anyone with less than very good feedback.

A postal worker sorting mail at the post office. Can you imagine how much mail they see every day?
A postal worker sorting mail at the post office. Can you imagine how much mail they see every day? | Source


Communication could be part of your transaction. You should check your email from time to time and be prepared for any problems that could occur. If there is a problem with an item the seller will usually try to contact you. They may offer you a partial credit or they may contact you with a reason why they can't ship the item to you. If you wait for a month after buying an item before looking to see that they cancelled it, you will probably be very angry and leave them a negative feedback. There's no doubt that this is a losing plan for both parties.

If a problem pops up after you get the item, you should always contact the seller. It is their responsibility to get the item to your doorstep safely. Sometimes it is not their fault when an item gets damaged in transit. Still, they are responsible and you should contact them to see if they will resolve it.


Shipping times vary and depending on the method you choose, you should expect your item to arrive within varying times. If you choose the item to be expedited, it should arrive within 3 days of it being shipped. Some buyers think that the item will arrive 3 days after they bought it. Remember that many businesses do not ship on Saturday. Also remember that Saturday and Sunday do not count as business days. Most sellers ship within 2 days of the purchase, so if you purchase an item on Thursday night and request it to be expedited, it would not be unreasonable to expect the item on Wednesday.

Inside one of the amazon warehouses
Inside one of the amazon warehouses | Source

Some sellers assume that first class mail is expedited just because it can arrive very quickly, but it is not. Some sellers will ship an expedited order first class mail if the destination is to a nearby state but this is really gambling and it is dishonest. Besides, any item that you can ship with first class mail can almost always be shipped expedited for $5, not to mention the box or envelope is included in that price.

Please remember, if you choose standard shipping on a media item (books, cds, dvds, vhs) then that item will most likely be shipped with media mail. Media mail can be extremely slow. It may take over 2 weeks for your item to arrive! if you need or want it sooner then you should pay a few dollars more and get expedited shipping. An exception to media mail use is if the item will ship first class mail. Generally speaking, most CDs, DVDs, and VHS can be shipped first class mail.

You can find any book that you are looking for on
You can find any book that you are looking for on | Source


Descriptions are extremely important. On amazon specifically, it can be easy to overlook an item description. If you fail to read the item description however, you can set yourself up for a huge headache. If you are buying a book for example, the item description should include noteworthy flaws such as writing, damage, or other markings inside. You should not buy a book expecting it not to have writing if it says in the description that it does. Always read the item description thoroughly

On Ebay it is very important to read the description as well as terms of sale. You should read all of the details so that you avoid and problems. There are many details such as shipping and return details that you won't know about if you simply buy the item without checking!


Returns are very easy on Amazon and Ebay. The most important thing to remember when buying something on either site is that you are in control 100% of the transaction. When you make a purchase from any Amazon Fulfilled seller, you can return any item that you want painlessly for any reason. Many buyers unfortunately abuse this. Out of all the returns I have dealt with, nearly every single one of them has been because the customer didn't like the product, but claimed that it was defective so they didn't have to pay return shipping. Amazon will nearly always side with the seller, but not quite as often as Ebay. Ebay is very generous with returns and will allow you to return any item that you want with its buyer protection program. It is notorious for being a scammers paradise because of how easy it is to return an item.

I hope you enjoyed this hub! If you liked it would you subscribe for more? Do you love treasure hunting, selling on Ebay, or just learning about cool vintage stuff? Check out my youtube channel for tons of videos about my adventures and hauls as well as tips, tricks, and countless bits of information!

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