immediately be notified that you’ve won the auction (and instructed to pay—typi-
cally via PayPal), and the auction will be officially closed.
CHAPTER 24 BUYING AND SELLING IN EBAY ONLINE AUCTIONS
277
FIGURE 24.3
A Buy It Now
auction.
Other eBay sellers choose to skip the auction
process entirely and sell their items at a fixed
price. These listings also display the Buy It Now
button but without a bidding option. Fixed-
priced listings are common in eBay Stores,
where larger sellers offer a constant supply of
fixed-priced merchandise for sale all year round.
More Than Auctions: eBay
Express, eBay Stores, and
Half.com
eBay offers more than just online auctions. In
addition to the traditional online auction market-
place, eBay offers three other marketplaces that
focus on selling fixed-priced items: eBay Express,
eBay Stores, and Half.com
eBay Stores
In addition to those fixed-price items offered as part of the traditional eBay auction
listings, you can also find fixed-price items for sale in eBay Stores. An eBay Store is
an online storefront where eBay merchants can sell their goods without putting
them up for auction—and keep them for sale indefinitely, without the typical auc-
tion expiration.
You can browse through thousands of different eBay merchants at the eBay Stores
page (stores.ebay.com), shown in Figure 24.4. eBay Stores merchants are organized
tip
Even if a seller offers the
Buy It Now option, you
don’t have to bid at the Buy
It Now price. You can bid at
a lower price and hope that
you win the auction, which
then proceeds normally.
(The Buy It Now option disappears
when the first bid is made—or, in
a reserve price auction, when the
reserve price is met.)
by the same categories as the eBay auction site—Antiques, Art, Books, and so on.
You can also search for a specific store or a store selling a certain type of item, or
view an alphabetical list of all stores.
278
ABSOLUTE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO COMPUTER BASICS
FIGURE 24.4
Shopping for
merchandise
from eBay Stores
merchants.
Buying an item from an eBay Store is a little like buying from any other online mer-
chant, and a little like winning an item in an eBay auction. On the one hand,
you’re buying from an actual merchant at a fixed price, and you can always pay by
credit card (typically via PayPal). On the other hand, you have all the niceties you
have on eBay, including the ability to check the merchant’s feedback rating.
After you locate an item you want, you’re taken to the “virtual storefront” of the
eBay Store selling the item. When you’re in a specific store, you can purchase the
item you were looking at or shop for additional items. Your checkout is handled
from within the store.
eBay Express
The newest part of the eBay marketplace is eBay Express (express.ebay.com). As you
can see in Figure 24.5, eBay Express offers a streamlined shopping and checkout
experience for fixed-priced items.
eBay Express consolidates nonauction listings from both the main eBay site and
eBay Stores. That is, you can use eBay Express to find all the fixed-priced items
offered by eBay sellers without having to search the site, browse the Stores, or wait
for an auction process to end.
FIGURE 24.5
Shopping for
fixed-priced
items at eBay
Express.
CHAPTER 24 BUYING AND SELLING IN EBAY ONLINE AUCTIONS
279
All items offered on eBay Express can be paid for with a credit card, typically using
PayPal. Even better, you can purchase multiple items from multiple sellers and have
all your purchases consolidated into a single shopping cart and checkout system.
Buy multiple items, make a single payment—not a bad deal.
Half.com
eBay Stores and eBay Express aren’t the only places you can find fixed-price mer-
chandise in the eBay universe. eBay also runs a site called Half.com, which offers
new and used merchandise for sale from a variety of merchants.
As you can see in Figure 24.6, the Half.com home page (half.ebay.com) looks a little
like Amazon.com’s home page. That’s by design; Half.com was originally conceived
as an Amazon competitor. Today, Half.com offers merchandise from large and small
retailers and from individuals, too. The site specializes in CDs, DVDs, video games,
books, and textbooks.
When you make a purchase at Half.com, you’re buying directly from the individual
seller, just as you do in an eBay auction. The big difference, of course, is that it’s not
an auction; you’re buying an item (new or used) at a fixed price. The other differ-
ence is that you don’t pay the seller separately; all your Half.com purchases end up
in the same shopping cart, just like at Amazon.com. You check out once for all your
purchases and make just one payment (to Half.com). Half.com then pays the indi-
vidual sellers, who ship you your merchandise separately. It’s fairly painless.

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