So if you are like most people than you are slowly becoming used to the idea of the internet and may have even started to shop online. The security of the internet, given the proper precautions, has gotten to the point that risk is minimal. This makes the convenience of doing business over the internet that much more appealing. So what about online auctions, are there any associated risks or things that should be known so that you don’t make a big mistake and pay for it dearly? Well in the next few paragraphs I want to go over some common sense pointers that will help you to make wise decisions the next time you start looking for something on ebay.

The first two pointers actually would apply to any purchase that you make, especially if it is a purchase that you don’t routinely make. First do research on what you want to buy so that you have a very specific set of criteria that the product must fulfill in order to be satisfactory. This allows you to learn what a good price is for the exact features and specifications that you want/need. This also eliminates the possibility that you will buy a product only to be disappointed that it doesn’t have a certain function when you just assumed that every thing in that category of product would. This happens all too commonly with purchases in general and when you buy things in an online auction you have to be especially careful that you know exactly what you are getting.

The second pointer is the axiom “deals come and deals go.” That is that you should be careful not to get sucked into the feeling of competition that many people who purchase on online auctions do. You need to have a price set in your mind that you won’t go over on and you must not compromise. With a little patience and sometimes a run of good luck you will get the item you want for the great deal that you are counting on.

The third pointer is that you don’t have to be satisfied with only getting used merchandise in an online auction. More and more everyday there are online stores that are functioning just like a typical store would down the street from you. Two helpful abbreviations to remember are NWT which stands for New With Tags and NWOT which obviously means New WithOut Tags.

My last piece of advise is to be careful with hidden costs, namely shipping. Many online auction sellers like to lower the price of their product by increasing the flat rate of shipping that they charge. Often if you look closely at the deals something that is going for a little more is actually the cheaper deal because they are being sleazy and gouging you with horrendous shipping costs. That’s it, have fun!