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eBay online shopping review

Exclusive deals and auction-style bidding abound on this online marketplace.

This global online marketplace connects buyers with sellers, offering millions of items at any given time. Once a relatively humble site for collectors, eBay now attracts big-name retailers that offer exclusive deals and sales through its marketplace.

Transactions are kept honest through eBay’s protection policies, and buyers can take advantage of a range of benefits with eBay redemption codes, like discounts on purchases and free shipping offers.

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Many people check eBay to see if they can get an item at a cheaper price compared to a more traditional retailer. And with so many categories and items to choose from, you’re likely to find it there. Look over the seller’s reviews before making your purchase, and make sure you understand the return and exchange policies.

Keep in mind that your experience shopping on eBay could vary depending on the seller — so it might not be a good fit if you value consistency.

Quick take


  • Buyer protection
  • Free shipping and returns on lots of items
  • Stellar prices and deals compared to department stores


  • Shipping times can be inconsistent
  • Trustpilot reviews indicate poor customer service

Reviews and complaints: is eBay legit?

Reviews for eBay widely differ, since it’s a marketplace with more than a million individual sellers. We recommend carefully reading reviews for each individual seller before making a purchase.

Over 5,600 reviews on Trustpilot add up to only 1.5 out of 5 stars and a Bad rating. This should be taken with a grain of salt, since it includes opinions from both buyers and sellers, but the key takeaway is that some people do get scammed on eBay. One person reports that they did not receive the item they purchased, even though the seller claimed that it was delivered. Others report a poor experience troubleshooting issues with eBay’s customer service team. Still, it’s been accredited by the BBB since 1998 and holds an A+ rating with the agency, which means the BBB considers it to be a valid and responsible business.

If you see an amazing price from a seller with great reviews on eBay, it’s a safe bet to place an order. On the other hand, it’s probably not a good idea to order from a seller without any reviews if you’re worried about being scammed.

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What you can buy from eBay

One of the beauties of eBay is that it’s home to a vast range of items from all over the world — both old and new.

Looking for a new bathroom vanity? You can find one there. Rare Pokemon cards? They’ve got ’em.

But you’ll also find the latest fashions, hot beauty products and even your next car. Sellers on eBay can hook you up with designers like Anthropologie, Eileen Fisher, Kate Spade and Burberry along with cheaper off-brand items. Start browsing now to find your next new-to-you must-have.

eBay sizing

When shopping for clothing or shoes on eBay, check the sizing information on the product page for the item you’re interested in. As a marketplace, eBay offers goods from individual sellers around the world, so there’s not a uniform size guide for every listing.

If the sizing information isn’t in the product description, see if you can find the brand’s size chart on Google. You can also reach out to the seller directly for measurements about the product you want to buy.

Does eBay have plus sizes?

It sure does! Shop thousands of plus size items, in up to 10X for women and up to at least 4X for men.

Does eBay have maternity sizes?

Yep! Shop maternity clothes on eBay and budget-friendly prices from brands like A Pea in the Pod, Motherhood, PinkBlush and H&M.

Does eBay have men’s and women’s sizes?

It does indeed. Pick up clothes for the whole family, including men, women, kids, teens and nonbinary folks too.

Can I get free shipping at eBay?

Yes! Lots of sellers on eBay offer free shipping — but not all. To only see products that ship for free, head to a category then click on the blue filter button and select Free Shipping.

Shipping costs and options

Shipping costs and options vary by each seller. This information should be clearly stated beneath the item price and on the product page.

eBay payments and financing

Payment options on eBay can vary by seller, but most accept major credit and debit cards. Some sellers might also accept money transfer options.

However you pay, you can shop with confidence — eBay uses advanced web security to protect your information and offers a money-back guarantee if you don’t get what you ordered.

Does eBay accept PayPal?

Yep! Most sellers accept PayPal. Just select it as an option at checkout.

Does eBay have financing options?

Yes, eBay offers Bill Me Later as a buy now, pay later financing option. Select Bill Me Later at checkout, and you can complete a purchase by entering only the last four digits of your social security number and your birthday — no credit card required.

As long as you pay the balance by the due date, you won’t pay interest on your Bill Me Later credit account. But if you don’t pay it on time, 19.99% interest will apply.

If you’d rather use a third party app, check out QuadPay. This buy now, pay later provider lets order from eBay through its app. Then it splits the cost into four equal installments that you’ll pay over time. Like Bill Me Later, Quadpay comes with no interest or fees unless you make a late payment.

eBay returns and exchanges

Each seller sets its own return policies for exchanges and refunds. All return policies should be clearly stated on the item listing. If you can’t find this information or have questions about the policy, message the seller.

Buyers are protected from fraud when shopping with eBay. If you believe that you’ve been a victim of fraud, false advertising or misleading information, file a complaint through eBay’s dispute and resolution center. If you’re found to have been a victim of fraud, you could be eligible for a refund.

Does eBay have free returns?

Sometimes! Top Rated sellers are required to offer a 30-day free return policy, so it’s fairly common especially if you’re browsing on the first few pages of search results. If an item is eligible for free returns, it’ll say 30 day returns. Buyer pays for return shipping in the product information beneath the price.

You can filter your search to show only items with Returns Accepted to have a better chance at scoring free returns.

Does eBay do exchanges?

Exchange policies are set by the seller as well. If you receive a defective or damaged item, first try contacting the seller to resolve the issue. If you can’t reach them or can’t find a solution, open a dispute with eBay.

How to return an item to eBay

Follow the return instructions provided by the individual seller to ensure you get your refund.

eBay discounts and sales

Since eBay is all about bargains and rock-bottom deals, it doesn’t usually have sitewide sales — though it does have coupons and promo codes you can apply at checkout. You can also shop trending deals on everything from tech to footwear by clicking Daily Deals at the top of the site.

Some sellers offer special prices to celebrate retail holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so that’s a great time for your next eBay haul. In the past, we’ve seen deals like over 60% off a full-body massage chair, $503 off a Samsung 11.6″ HD 4GB laptop and $100 off North Face Denali coats.

Does eBay offer student or military discounts?

Nope, eBay doesn’t offer student or military discounts. But if you’re in a pinch, it might be worth messaging the seller to ask if they’ll offer one to you.

How can I contact customer support?

Get in touch with eBay’s customer service team via:

  • Email. Visit the Resolution Center to open a dispute.
  • Phone. Call 866-540-3229.

Keep in mind that if you have a question about a specific product, you should start with a message to the seller.

eBay alternatives

If eBay isn’t the right fit for you, shop around at Etsy, Newegg, AliExpress and other sites like eBay for similarly great deals and eccentric yet useful items for sale.

Frequently asked questions

Can I retract a bid I made on an item?
Yes — in certain situations. You can retract an eBay bid if:

  • The seller significantly changed the description of the item.
  • You accidentally bid the wrong amount.
  • You can’t reach the seller.

If any of the above apply to your situation, you’ll need to retract your bid at least 12 hours before the listing ends. If the listing ends in less than 12 hours, you’ll only be able to retract your bid if it’s been less than an hour since you placed it.

If you’re unable to retract a bid, you can contact the seller to see if they will cancel the bid for you.

Do I have to have an eBay account to shop on eBay?
No. You can shop as a guest. But there are some restrictions — the item must be less than $2,000 and you must be able to purchase the item using Buy it now. If you want to bid on an item, you’ll need an account.

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