Tips for Buying & Selling on eBay in Spain
After El Corte Ingles, eBay is the second most visited website in Spain. Even though eBay’s focus has moved from second hand to brand new, take a look at our tips to help you pay less when buying or earn more when selling.
Buying New Items
Take a look at the eBay Spain homepage and go straight to “ofertas de eBay” to find the latest items on sale at reduced prices. Filter by most popular items or by groups: electronics, gardening, fashion and more.
For electronics and home appliances carry out a quick comparison with Amazon, Worten, Media Markt and even El Corte Ingles and remember to factor in any delivery charges. If you use the Advanced Search feature you can filter for items without delivery charges.
When it’s an unknown company that’s selling, Google the company name and the word “quejas” or “reclamaciones” to see if you find negative information on the internet outside of eBay.
Buying Secondhand Items on eBay
Don’t dismiss secondhand, sometimes prices are a lot lower than brand new especially after Christmas or Valentine’s Day. People sell their unwanted gifts and want cash without having to wait.
Find the final bid price of the same, or similar, items on previous eBay auctions to get an idea of what an item is really worth before deciding whether to go ahead with a bid.
When it comes to bidding, know yourself and your limits! Some people are quite good at setting a Euro limit and respecting it, others can get overtaken by the emotion of an auction and end up paying a lot more than they planned (and in some cases more than the item is actually worth).
Remember that people also sell items that don’t actually work (often bought as spare parts). If you’re worried about your level of Spanish not being good enough to understand all the description, use Google Translate (need to copy and paste the complete URL). Most sellers on eBay will answer any questions quickly, if you have any doubts ask before bidding.
Double check the shipping price beforehand too – some sellers put a low price on a product and make it up with a disproportionately high shipping price. Filter for items with free delivery or local pick up.
When checking out sellers on eBay, make sure that you look at the rating from buyers (compradores) and not from sellers (vendedores).
More Tips and Tricks
– Collect-only items often have fewer bids (but factor in how much it costs to go and pick it up!).
– Items that have spelling mistakes can be missed by many people. Common errors in Spain include swapping letter “v” for “b” (and vice versa) or a missing “h”. The same goes for foreign titles and names for CDs, DVDs, etc as these are sometimes incorrectly written (eg Teilor Suiff for Taylor Swift).
– Bids that end at times when less people are online tend to go for lower prices as competition is lower.
– Take a look at lastminute-auction (in Spanish) to find items for 1€ or lower with less than an hour to go till the end of bidding.
When paying it’s preferable to use for the PayPal option, as you’ll be reimbursed if you don’t receive the item you purchased.
Selling on eBay
If you’ve decided to list something on eBay Spain make sure your description is clear and in correct Spanish – get a friend to help if necessary. A better description will attract more potential buyers.
Set an auction end time for when most people are online, taking into account where your potential market is. If you’re aiming at Spain, end auctions in the evening (around 8 pm) avoiding Friday and Saturday evenings.
Choose the right time of the year – if you’ve just installed new air con and want to sell your old units, don’t do it in the winter when nobody’s thinking about the summer!
Don’t automatically use Correos to ship items. Take a look at online courier comparison site Packlink for a quote based on the dimensions.
Another advantage of using a cheap courier for lighter items is that you’ll automatically have proof of delivery, avoiding the possibility of someone saying that they never received items. If posting, use registered delivery.
As you’ll be charged a percentage of your selling price, but not of the delivery charges, you might decide that it’s better to put a low price and make up the difference with the delivery charge. In some cases eBay is catching on to these practices, but if you’re only going to sell a few items it might not be an issue.
If you’re located on the Spanish mainland or the Balearics, if you accept offers from a location in the Canary Islands then the cost of shipping will be a lot higher. It might be a good idea to limit your geographical area to the mainland, unless this could negatively affect the number of offers you’ll get.
Don’t forget – on eBay the old adage of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is definitely true as the weirdest things can be found. So, before you throw something away thinking that no-one could ever want to buy it, try listing it first. You could even list items to collect at 0.01€ rather than take them to the local Punto Limpio!