How Does EBay Work?


Quick Answer

eBay is an online auction website where people can buy or sell items. Buyers can search for items by keyword, or they can browse through many different categories. Sellers list items on the website, and then they have the choice to allow buyers to bid or buy the product outright.

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Full Answer

If a buyer places a bid on an item, he is legally required to buy the item if someone else doesn't place a higher bid. The Buy It Now option allows buyers to purchase an item for an agreed price without placing bids. Buyers can set a minimum purchase price, and if nobody bids that price or higher, the item is not sold. For some listings, buyers can make an offer on a product, and the seller can either accept, deny or make a counteroffer. Buyers can sort listings by lowest or highest price, how soon the listing ends, most recently listed items and the distance of the seller to the buyer.

An account is needed to buy or sell on eBay. A Paypal account is required to sell, and many sellers only accept Paypal. Some sellers accept credit cards, cash, personal checks, money orders or BidPay, so a Paypal account is not always required for buyers, although it is usually the most convenient and preferred payment method.

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