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Buying at eBay

The eBay auction web site is a good place to find a wide variety of items. However, trying to buy things at eBay can be very frustrating if you aren't aware that the eBay auction does not operate the same way that live auctions - like a farm or estate auction - operate. More about this caution a little farther on.

Please be aware that I use eBay mostly for finding Z scale model railroad trains and accessories, so my comments often discuss my experiences looking for these items. However, I think that my experiences are consistent with anything that you want to get on eBay.

To bid and buy items at eBay you need to register - set up an account with a user name, password, etc. - much as you would do with many other web sites. You should probably also set up a PayPal account because many sellers are reluctant to take credit cards or checks.

eBay's web address is www.ebay.com. When you get to their home page you can search or use their links to find almost anything that you might want.  If you're interested in Z scale trains, choose "Toys & Hobbies" then "Z Scale" under "Model RR, Trains". You'll probably find enough trains and accessories for sale to make you drool!

The "My eBay" tab at the top of the page allows you to see your account, keep track of items that you're bidding on, and, with eBay's "Watch" function, allow you to keep track of things that you might want to bid on.

You need to use caution to have a good experience at eBay. Let's look at some of the cautions next.

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