How eBay Works

Using eBay: Searching for Items

At the top of the eBay homepage, there's a search box where we can enter what we're looking for.

Here's what comes up in our simple keyword search:

Our simple keyword search delivered nine matches.

When you do a simple search, the auction results page also tells you which categories your results are in. You'll notice that there are matches for Homer Simpson Pez dispensers in other places besides the Pez category. So when we search both titles and descriptions, we end up with 25 results -- more than we did when we were browsing.

There's a listing about halfway down the page for a full set of Simpsons Pez dispensers, including Homer, with a starting price of just 99 cents.

That seems like a good deal. Here's the top of the auction page, where you'll find the basic auction stats:

The starting price is low, the shipping price is reasonable, and the seller has 99.6% positive feedback. Always check the shipping price, as some sellers mislead buyers by selling the item for cheap and then making up the difference by severely overcharging for shipping, and always check the seller feedback. The feedback is how you know if you can trust the seller (and your feedback is how the seller knows he can trust you). We'll talk more about feedback in the next section, but for now, we just need to know that 99.6% positive feedback is a good sign.

Since we're interested in this auction, we'll click on "Watch this item in My eBay" (top right of the auction page) so we can get back to it easily. Now it's in our watch list:

In the next section, we'll bid on this item.

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