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Different buying options
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In this article


For your enjoyment and convenience, eBay offers several ways to shop.

Start by comparing buying formats and then learn more about each one.

If you're new to buying, also see buying basics.

Comparing buying formats

Method

Benefits and considerations

Auction-style format

You bid up from the seller's starting price along with other buyers to get the best deal. You can watch the item to see how the bidding is going.

When the listing ends, the highest bidder wins the item and completes the purchase.

Benefits:

  • Bidding can be lots of fun.

  • You can find some great deals.

  • You can use eBay Feedback and, if needed, the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Considerations:

  • You need to wait until the listing ends to buy the item.

  • You might be outbid.

Buy It Now

You can buy the item immediately at a fixed price. This can also be an option in auction-style listings.

If a seller offers this option, you'll see Buy It Now in the listing and search results.

For items in some locations, same day delivery or free in-store pickup may be available.

Benefits:

  • You can buy the item right away.

  • You don't compete with anyone else for the item. Once you buy it, it's yours.

  • You can use eBay Feedback and, if needed, the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Considerations:

  • If you want the item, you have to act fast.

eBay shopping cart

The eBay shopping cart is an easy way to keep track of multiple fixed price items you want to purchase.

Any time you see a Buy It Now item you want to buy, you can add it to your eBay shopping cart.

Click the Add to cart button and the item will be added to your eBay shopping cart.

Buy It Now items can be purchased right away, and paid for in one transaction as long as all the sellers accept PayPal.

Benefits:

  • Lets you keep track of all the items you're interested in buying.

  • Allows you to pay for all your fixed price purchases and auction-style listings you've won in a single transaction.

Considerations:

  • Remember that an item in your eBay shopping cart remains available on eBay until you check out and pay for the item.

Classified Ad

Classified Ads connect buyers and sellers, who then complete the sale outside of eBay. You'll see "Classified Ad" in the listing and search results.

Benefits:

  • You can find items or services that don't fit into standard categories.

  • You can deal personally with the seller.

Considerations:

  • Classified Ad sales aren't backed by eBay services and protection, including Feedback and the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

  • Classified Ads are offered only for items in certain categories.

Motors Classifieds

Benefits:

  • You can find a vehicle close to you so you can see it before you buy.

  • You don't need to worry about shipping the vehicle.

  • You can deal personally with the seller.

Considerations:

  • Motors Classifieds sales aren't backed by eBay services and protection, including Vehicle Purchase Protection and Feedback.

Auction-style format

In an auction-style listing, sellers choose a starting price and sell to the highest bidder.

Here's how to bid on an auction-style listing:
  1. Search or browse to find an item you'd like to buy.

  2. Review the entire listing and decide if you want to place a bid. Some things to note are:

    • When it ends (always in Pacific Time)

    • How many bids have already been placed on the item

    • Amount of the current high bid

    • Any pictures of the item

    • The seller's description of the item

    • Payment methods and shipping costs

    • The seller's return policy

  3. Enter your bid.

If you'd like to try automatic bidding, we automatically raise your bid only as much as needed for you to remain the high bidder. You can win an item for less than your maximum bid, but you can also be outbid if someone else enters a higher maximum bid.

Learn more about how bidding works.

Buy It Now 

Buy It Now is the simplest way to buy on eBay. It lets you buy an item when you want it, at a fixed price.

  1. Look for items with a Buy It Now price. Buy It Now appears next to items on category browse pages or in your search results.

  2. If you're only looking for Buy It Now items, click the Buy It Now tab on search results or browse pages.

  3. Compare similar items to figure out what would be a good price and what you're willing to pay.

  4. Look at the item description and make sure you're happy with the item and the seller's terms.

  5. Check the Buy It Now price of the item. This is the price you'll pay for the item. Also check the payment options, shipping cost, and any other additional costs that may be listed in the item description.

  6. To purchase the item, click the Buy It Now button in the listing.

Buy It Now variations

Description

Items that only have a Buy It Now price

You can use Buy It Now to purchase the item right away.

Items that have a bid price and a Buy It Now price

You can place a bid or use Buy It Now to purchase the item immediately, before bidding starts.

Items that include a Best Offer option

If a seller offers this option, you can suggest a price that you're willing to pay for the item. Learn more about making a Best Offer.

eBay shopping cart

To add an item from a fixed price listing to your eBay shopping cart, click the Add to cart button in the listing. You can add items from the same or different sellers to your eBay shopping cart, and check out and pay for all the items in your eBay shopping cart at once. Each item will show up as a separate purchase with its own item number and the seller's user ID associated with it, exactly as it always has in My eBay. If you add multiple items from the same seller, the seller's items are grouped together in your eBay shopping cart.

Find out more about using the eBay shopping cart.

Classified Ads

When you see a Classified Ad listing, it means that you deal directly with the seller and buy the item at a fixed price. Because your Classified Ad purchase is outside of eBay, you won't be able to use eBay Feedback or the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

To find Classified Ads:
  1. Click the Advanced link at the top of the eBay home page.

  2. Enter keywords about the type of item you're interested in.

  3. In the Buying formats section, select the Classified ads check box.

  4. Click the Search button at the bottom of the page.

Here's a list of items you can buy using Classified Ads:

Websites & Businesses for Sale

  • Internet Businesses & Websites

  • Manufacturing

  • Marketing

  • Patents & Trademarks

  • Retail & General Stores

  • Service Businesses

  • Vending & Coin-op

  • Wholesale Trade & Distribution

  • Other

Construction

  • Buildings, Modular & Pre-Fab

Trade Show Displays

  • Banner Systems & Signage

  • Pop-Up & Booth Displays

  • Tabletop & Portable Displays

  • Trade Show Display Accessories

  • Other

Real Estate

  • Commercial

  • Land

  • Manufactured Homes

  • Timeshares for Sale

  • Other Real Estate

Specialty Services

  • Artistic Services

  • Custom Clothing & Jewelry

  • eBay Auction Services

  • Graphic & Logo Design

  • Home Improvement Services

  • Media Editing & Duplication

  • Printing & Personalization

  • Restoration & Repair

  • Web & Computer Services

  • Other Services

Travel

  • Airline

  • Campground and RV Parks

  • Car Rental

  • Cruises

  • Lodging

  • Luggage

  • Maps

  • Rail

  • Travel Accessories

  • Vacation Packages

  • Other

Everything Else

  • eBay User Tools

  • Funeral & Cemetery

  • Information Products

  • Reward Pts, Incentive Progs > Other

Motors Classifieds

You can use Motors Classifieds to find vehicles close to you. This way, you can see the vehicle before buying and you don't have to worry about shipping.

As with other Classified Ads, your purchase is outside of eBay, so you won't be able to use eBay Feedback or the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

To find Motors Classifieds listings:
  1. Click the Advanced link at the top of the eBay home page.

  2. Enter information for the vehicle you're looking for.

  3. In the Buying formats section, select the Classified ads check box.

  4. Click the Search button.

Other terms

In all types of listings, including Classified Ads, sellers must treat the buyer's contact information according to the eBay Privacy Policy. This policy prohibits sharing the buyer's information with anyone else as well as using the buyer's information for any purpose other than communicating with the buyer about the item, unless the buyer gives express permission to do so.

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