This is the first of a series of articles on buying on eBay – getting deals and avoiding trouble.
This first article isn’t so much about secret tips and tactics to use when buying on eBay, but how to get started on the right foot.
First of all, you need to register on eBay to become a member and bid on/buy items.
You should have 3 things ready before registering:
1. A secure computer.
You’ll need to submit your personal, financial information to eBay, there’s just no way around it, except maybe registering using your business information, if you have a business.
It’s smart to be cautious when providing such information, especially in the anonymous online world.
eBay is about as secure as a website can be however, and does a good job of keeping your private information private and safe. If your information is compromised, it’s most likely that you’ll be the one to accidentally give it to a scammer, not eBay.
We’ll get more into how that might happen more in a later article. For now, we’re covering security on your own computer.
First, you should have a good security/anti-virus program up and running on your computer such as Norton Internet Security, MacAfee, etc. There are lots and lots of programs floating around on the world wide web trying to infect an unprotected computer to steal information, change your programming, use your computer as a drone, etc.
There are programs out there that can infect your computer and record the keystokes you make and relay this information to the bad guys. So, if you were infected and signed up for an online service or paid for a purchase with a credit card, they would know your username, password, card number, expiration date, etc.
A couple free programs you can use to protect your computer and keep it clean and running faster are Spybot Search and Destroy, AVG Anti-Spyware, AVG Anti-Root kit, and Lavasoft AdAware SE. You can go to download.com, search for, and download/install each of these programs. I’m not recommending that you stop there however, you should probably have at least one paid for program to further protect your computer.
2. Your personal financial information handy because you’ll need it when signing up.
3. An email address.
If you do not already have an email address, you can get one for free from Yahoo or Google (Gmail), just go to either site and look for a “mail” or “Gmail” link. Follow the instructions for setting up an account, it’s quick and easy.
Once you have fortified your computer and feel safe, have your email address and personal information handy, go forward with the sign up process.
Just go to eBay’s website and look for and click on the “register” link, right now shown in the upper central part of eBay’s site. They change their design periodically but I imagine they will keep the register link in this easy to see location.
Registration is straight forward, just follow the steps shown on the screen.
Your username, or eBay ID can be related to your interests, etc, and your choice isn’t as important as if you’re planning on being a seller. You can always change it in the future if you’d like, after you’ve been registered for at least a month.
Your password should include numbers and both upper and lower-case letters, ideally easy to remember for you but relatively complex as far as the mix of letters and numbers.
After you click on the confirmation link that eBay sends to your email address, you’ll be a member and can then buy and sell on eBay. Congratulations!
There are some limitations on what you can do, being a new member without any feedback.
We’ll get into that, along with other meaty topics like building up feedback, searching techniques, evaluating a seller, eBay sniping, finding misspelled items, and more, in the next and future article installments in this series. Watch for the next one.