One of my favourite sites on the Internet has to be the online auction page eBay.Over the past year I have seen not only myself but also my friends and family save hundreds of pounds by buying discounted new or used products online and then in turn selling bits and pieces that are no longer need for a reasonable price.

After my article last week on DAB radio I went out and bought a brand new Blaupunkt car stereo off of eBay and saved about £90 or so when compared with the best high street price that I found in Torbay.To my delight the guy had actually accidentally oversold the model that I ordered and as he had ran out of stock he upgraded me to a superior free of charge.This resulted in me obtaining a boxed stereo that would have cost clear of £300 on the high street for £169.99; brilliant!

It was this that got me thinking that it is such a shame there are so many people in Torbay who are terrified to buy off of eBay because of some horror stories that they have read.I do believe that almost everybody could benefit from giving the site a try, whether is it to buy or to sell and fortunately this article just happens to coincide with the fact that eBay are currently offering free sale listings for new users this weekend.Your job for today is to have a think about any items that you want to clear out and once I’ve convinced you to give it a go you should go online and get rid of them!

As far as I am concerned the most important feature of eBay to understand is the feedback system as although anyone should find it easy enough to locate what they are looking for there are unfortunately there are people who will try to rip you off and you need to learn to avoid them.

To take a look at the feedback of a potential supplier simply do a search for a product you are interested in buying and then click on one of the matches to see more information about the item in question.Once you are happy that this is what you were looking for take a look towards the right hand side of this page and you will see the name of the seller and then their feedback rating which is in the form of a numerical value.This value always begins at zero for new users but when two members complete a transaction they have the chance to affect this value; if the other party is happy then they will increase your feedback by one but if they are dissatisfied with the transaction it can be decreased by one and you also return the favour towards them.

As a new user, if you were to go online and agree to buy several products but then didn’t pay for them you are likely to receive several negative feedback reviews which will then deter others from doing business with you or even you being kicked from the system.When you agree to buy something off eBay in an online auction you really should pay!As a seller you can see the feedback of people bidding on your items and you can specify in the item description that you don’t want anybody below a certain feedback rating bidding at all therefore decreasing the chances that they won’t pay.

As stated at the beginning of this article new users are entitled to sell anything on eBay for this weekend and their listings fees will be reimbursed.You may find that as a new user that people may be wary of you so it would be best off starting by advertising several low priced items so that you can build your feedback up a little before you try any bigger sales.

Additional tools such as PayPal will allow auction winners to be able to pay you by Credit or Debit card and of course it will also allow you to pay for goods using your card if you decide to start buying online although you shouldn’t worry as users don’t get to see your card number and they can only take the amount of money that you instruct PayPal to give them.

Plenty of companies have tried to steal their crown but have all ultimately failed since eBay has established itself as the definitive auction site.To be honest there is far too much to cover in this single article but they have a good help section that should teach you everything you need to know to get started – simply visit www.ebay.co.uk and then clicking on the ‘help’ link.

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.