How to Buy Items Outright on eBay - dummies

By Marsha Collier

Although eBay’s success was built on auctions, eBay also allows sellers to handle outright sales. If you don’t have the time or patience for an auction, you can make a direct purchase

  • By using the Buy It Now feature in an eBay auction

  • In a fixed-price sale

  • In one of eBay’s stores

Buy It Now

You may have already looked at auctions and seen a Buy It Now price located below the minimum or starting bid amount. That little indicator means that if you want the item badly enough, and the Buy It Now price is within your budget, you can end the auction right then and there by buying the item for the stated amount.

Before using the Buy It Now option, be sure to check the seller’s shipping charges. Many sellers set a low Buy It Now price but place a high shipping amount on the item to make up their missing profits. A Buy It Now transaction is final; you can’t withdraw your commitment to buy. It’s best to know what you’re getting into beforehand.

If you decide that you want to buy, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Buy It Now button. An eBay confirmation page appears. If you still want to make the purchase, you can click Confirm to tell eBay that you’re willing to pay the purchase price. Then all you have to do is go through the checkout process and pay the seller.

You can still place a bid on an auction that has a Buy It Now option. When you do, the option to immediately buy disappears and the item goes into auction mode. If the item has a reserve, the Buy It Now option doesn’t disappear until the bidding surpasses the reserve amount.

Fixed-price sales

eBay also offers items for sale without the option to bid. These fixed-price listings may be for a single item or for multiple items. When multiple items are offered, you can buy as many as you like. Just backspace over the default 1 in the Quantity box, and type in the number of items you want to buy.


eBay Stores

eBay Stores are the secret weapon for knowledgeable eBay shoppers. First, of course, you can consistently find great deals. But you can also help small businesses make it against the behemoths. Sellers open eBay Stores to make searching merchandise easier for buyers; these stores also help save sellers money because sellers don’t need to set up private e-commerce websites.

Translation? Sellers can list items in their eBay Stores for even lower fees, passing their savings on to you, the savvy bargain hunter.

Before you buy any item from a listing on eBay, check to see whether the seller has the small, red stores icon next to his or her user ID. If so, be sure to click the icon before you bid on the item.

Most sellers run auctions for items to draw people into their eBay Stores, where you may be able to find more interesting merchandise you can buy, have the seller put it in the same crate along with your auction item, and save on shipping.

At the center of the eBay Stores hub page, you see a small group of store logos. These logos change every few minutes as eBay rotates its anchor stores through the area. Store owners pay a considerable amount to have their stores listed as anchor stores.


An eBay Store displays every active auction or Buy It Now item the seller has placed on the eBay site.


Most eBay Stores have a column on the left side of the home page that displays the following:

  • Store Search: Below the store name banner is a column topped by a search box that allows you to search all the items this seller has for sale.

  • Store Categories: eBay Store owners may assign their own custom categories to the items they sell to better organize things within the store. You may click individual categories to see items in that classification from that seller.

  • Display: You can decide how you’d like to view the items in the seller’s store.

  • Store Pages: This area includes links to Store Policies (the terms and conditions of the seller’s auctions) as well as the About the Seller area (which offers an About Me page).

At the top and bottom of the store home page, you’ll see a variety of things:

  • The store name: This is the name the store owner has chosen for the store. Each eBay Store has its own address that ends in the eBay Store’s name, like this:

  • Seller’s user ID and feedback rating: Some stores choose to put this on the home page; others replace it with graphics. Next to Maintained by are the seller’s user ID and the ubiquitous feedback rating.

  • Save the Seller: If you click this link, the store is added to the Saved Sellers list in your my eBay area.

  • Store logo and description: In the middle of the page is the store’s graphic logo, and to the right of that is the seller’s description of the store. (This is the area that is searched when you search Stores by store name and description.)