Explore The Best Things To Buy On eBay: How To Save Time & Money

Dive into the world of eBay shopping and discover how to maximize both your time and savings with these expert tips. Whether you're eyeing consumer electronics or hunting for rare collectibles, mastering the art of online shopping can lead to significant rewards.
Revounts Staff
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Revounts Staff
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Published On: April 22, 2024

Explore The Best Things To Buy On eBay: How To Save Time & Money

It’s funny: year after year, our gadgets let us do things quicker, and yet we’re still time poor. Why? Because saving time—and, in turn, saving money—is all about developing habits. Poor habits equal poor time management, and no amount of technology is going to change that. 

Online shopping is a brilliant example here. Most of us can waste hours everyday trying to decide what to buy online. And whilst research is undoubtedly important, there are ways that you can shop online without burning right through your lunch break.

For instance, did you know that you can earn Qantas Points when you shop on eBay Australia via Qantas Shopping? This allows you to streamline your eBay shopping experience and earn extra rewards as you shop those online deals.

On top of this nifty little trick, there are a handful of other ways that you can make secure purchases on eBay that provide you with plenty of value. Curious to know more? Read on. 

What are the best things to buy on eBay?

To start us off, here are our top picks for the best consumer goods to buy on eBay in order to help you save money and time!

Consumer electronics

It’s highly likely that every single one of us has jumped on eBay at one point or another to buy a phone case for a fraction of the cost that you could expect to spend at your local electronics store. But there’s so much more affordable tech out there for consumers to purchase on eBay that you may not be aware of. For example, if you’re in the market for phone charging cables and other mobile accessories, you can often find these at similarly lower prices.

There’s also a market for secondhand or used consumer tech goods, including laptops, printers, gaming consoles and gaming laptops, and even cameras. Some sellers may also list damaged electronics that may be of interest to refurbishers and resellers who may be on the lookout for replacement parts.

Specialty tools

Have you ever wanted to tinker with vintage watches? Restore old books? Have you ever wanted to buy a knitting machine? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then chances are you’ve jumped online once or twice to look for good deals on specific tools. 

Thankfully, eBay is filled to the brim with sellers looking to move specialised tools and equipment. You can get yourself great deals on everything from sewing kits packed with embroidery thread, to multi-tools for cross country cycling.

Personalised items

Believe it or not, but Etsy isn’t the only place online where you can buy and sell personalised gift items. You can find everything from desk nameplates to monogrammed pens, journals, watch cases, and even personalised cake stencils simply by scrolling through eBay. 

Just be sure to read through seller reviews to ensure that all the personalised items you’re looking to buy adhere to a certain standard of quality. But more on the importance of reading reviews and doing some other due diligence later!

Jewellery

Whilst there’s certainly a lot that must be considered when planning a wedding, securing the jewellery for your big day shouldn’t take up too much time and energy. Thankfully, the secondhand jewellery market is thriving here in Australia, with more consumers flocking online to buy wedding and engagement rings every year. And eBay is once again, another big platform here, as it allows jewellery resellers to rack up buyer testimonials.

But it’s not just engagement rings that are on offer here either. eBay has a community of buyers and sellers for all levels of Australia’s jewellery market, ranging from $10 costume jewellery to high quality body piercing jewellery constructed from surgical-grade steel.

Vintage or rare goods

If you’re a fan of thrift shopping, then you’ll find plenty to love about eBay’s expansive community of vintage sellers. From first edition books to 80-year old magazines and everything in between, there’s a seemingly endless range of vintage and rare (or ‘hard to find’) goods available for purchase on eBay. 

As eBay also allows Australian retailers to be listed as sellers, you can even shop the selections of your favourite vintage and antique stores right from the comfort of home by simply logging into your eBay profile and going for a scroll.

Legos and other collectibles

Of all the best places to buy Lego, you wouldn’t expect eBay to have very much on offer. But contrary to popular belief, eBay’s community of buyers and sellers looking to move collectibles is growing stronger with every passing year. Business is truly booming in the collectibles market, so if you have anything to offer – be it limited edition Lego kits, comic books, Pokemon cards, Beanie Babies, or all of the above – we strongly recommend you set up an account and get to trading, either as a buyer or a seller. 

Even with this list at your fingertips, it’s important to keep in mind that any item is fair game on eBay, even the ones that get little fanfare. It’s up to you and whether you’re prepared to cover all the small details in your quest. 

How to save time and money when shopping on eBay

Now that you know what to buy on eBay, let’s share our top tips on how you can save time and money on your next eBay shopping session.

Revisit your researching strategy

This might seem a given, but it’s surprising how often we forget to do a little research before we leap into a purchase. How deep you want to dive into your research is a matter of personal preference, but at the very least, it’s best to research the price of the item you’re after as well as looking into reviews across multiple sellers. Avoid the trap of believing the first price you see at the top of your eBay search is the best on offer. Often, these positions on the search ladder are occupied by sponsored sellers, who may charge more than other sellers a few rungs down. 

Also, be sure to research competitors' sites. Often, places like Amazon and Etsy will have the same or similar items, and possibly for a better price. And don’t forget physical shops that you live near. You might end up on eBay again, right back where you started – but it still certainly never hurts to check!

Bring your hustle

In the beginning, eBay was almost exclusively an auction house, with few sellers offering a buy it now option. And whilst auctioning items is still a huge part of the eBay world, instant purchases have taken over much of the market share. 

That said, it still pays to bring your hustle. This will help tenfold if you’re after items that are at auction. What many don’t realise is that a little hustle can still pay dividends when you’re after ‘buy it now’ items. A simple, friendly message to a seller can often work wonders. It’s the old adage: don’t ask, don’t get. Try it out and you might be pleasantly surprised. 

Become a patient bidder

When we talk about saving time, we don’t mean for you to treat your time on eBay as a race. Especially when you’re bidding for auctioned items. Patience is a virtue here, and while practising it mightn’t save you literal time, it will save you money. 

First things first: don’t watch items. The more you avoid this habit, the less you help make items look in demand, which is what competitive bidders want. Next, wait as long as possible to bid. Like, until the final minutes if you can. It’ll feel stressful—unless you thrive on this type of pressure—but it’ll be worth it if you land the dream item. 

Don’t forget shipping

Another potential banana peel. There’s little to gain if you find the ultimate deal only to find the shipping crushes the money you saved, and then some. This comes back to doing your research. Competitor sites might offer better rates; competing sellers, too. 

When you stumble on a deal that seems too good to be true, always check the shipping. It’s often where a seller will make their own gain. Also, check whether that same item has a local seller. Taking a trip in your lunch break to collect a new camera beats waiting weeks for it, anyway. 

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Shopping on eBay isn’t an exact science, nor is it some mercurial art form. Rather, it’s a game of patience and persistence. If you’re willing to put the time in, you’ll find you save time in the long run. And money. A good deal is always within reach for those prepared to reach for it. Be diligent, have an open mind, and pretty soon time and money will sit squarely on your side.

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