Call it an obsession.  Call it a confession, but I can't help it.  I  love being in eBaytionships.  Sometimes, more than one a week.  There are just so many good options.  And just when it seems like all the good things are taken or out of your league  price range, you find it; Exactly what your looking for at a price you are happy to pay.  eBay puts the joy of the hunt back into shopping.  Not that "shopping" and "joy of the hunt" are anagrams... but I digress...   

How can a four letter word make me so crazy!? Maybe this is how.

My most recent aquisitions:

Never Worn Wool Cashmere Blend Sweater Dress from Anthropology: $15.

New with tags BCBG 100% Cashmere tunic: $16.50 (with shipping)

New with tags Cole Haan purse: $27.50

Lantern Style metal lamp: $4.99

21 bottles of brand-spankin'-new LIQUITEX professional acrylic paint: $31.11

You can get hurt in an eBayshionship.  But this holiday season, these five tips should help you navigating love's eBay's plentiful waters.

5. Read the fine print.  This is why (I get) people get burned.  Like that time (I got) this friend of mine got the "Egyptian comfort 1200tm sheets", which I they read as "Egyptian Cotton, 1200tc (thread count) sheets", but ended up being closer to thread bare, polyester garbage.*

4.  In that same spirit, Look at the bad or neutral reviews a seller has received.  If it says the clothes were wrinkled, there probably isn't a problem.  But if it says the merchandise was crap or inauthentic, find another seller.  Check reviews more thoroughly with international sales.  Because of quality and shipping (oh, and patriotism too. . . I guess), I have taken to buying almost exclusively from American vendors.

3. The Buy it now option can be an easier way to shop on eBay. Occasionally, it's a great deal.

2. Talk to the seller.  There are a lot of people who make their living selling things on eBay.  If you have a specific need and you find a seller who sells what you need, ask if you can arrange a Buy It Now option on eBay.  This is how I bought favors for my wedding reception.  I knew I wanted leatherman micras and vintage lacquered pins.  I found sellers who sold those products and they both gave me amazing deals that were protected through an eBay sale.

1.  Remember: Ebay is a lot like dating ... but with durable and non durable goods. What I'm trying to say is timing is everything.  Don't bid until the last minute (and when I say last minute, I mean last 5 seconds).  Bid for as much as you are willing to pay.  It will only charge you for as many incremental bids as it takes for you to win.**  Type in your bid with a minute to go and click on "place bid."  A screen will come up asking you to confirm your bid.  Wait til there are 5 seconds left on the timer, and then click confirm!

Happy bidding!

*Though they were closer to garbage, they were new garbage in the original packaging.  This blogger would not recommend buying bed linens unless they are new.

**For example, let's say the current bid is 9.99 but I am willing to pay 27 dollars. Unless someone else bids more than $27, it will only increase my bid by a dollar fifty or whatever the incremental bid is.  But if other people are bidding, it will allow me to bid upto the limit of what I want to pay automatically.