eBay is an excellent resource for buying Christmas presents. A billion items are listed for sale on eBay at any one time, so chances are that you’ll find what you’re looking for. If you’ve not bought from eBay before, hopefully this guide can help get you started with your bargain-hunting. As well as second hand items, the majority (over 70%) of eBay items are new, with many of these new items made up of retailers selling directly via eBay. With both new and secondhand items to choose from, eBay could be a one stop shop for you this Christmas.

1. Be specific with your keywords

With so many items for sale on eBay at one time, so make sure you use as many keywords as you can when looking for something in particular, otherwise you’ll be looking through pages and pages of partially-related products that aren’t really what you’re looking for.

If you know the brand name you’re after or what colour you’re looking for, make sure you put that in. Searching for ‘orange trainers adidas size 6 mens’ will give you much more helpful results that just ‘orange trainers’. If you are a little vague, categories on the left-hand side encourage you to filter the results down further, so use this to choose parameters like shoe/clothes sizes, colours and brand names.

2. Check completed listings

Completed listings show items that have been sold. Here you can search for the item you’re looking to buy, and you’ll find how much the same or similar items have sold for, so you know what sort of price you should be looking to pay for the same thing. Prices can vary across eBay for the same item, so doing a bit of research could give you a realistic range of prices to look out for.

3. Don’t forget about postage

If you’ve got postage restrictions, use the filters so you only see listings with postage options that are applicable to you. For example, if you need the item within a certain amount of time, use the filters to only show listings that are posted within 24 hours or are sent by first class. You may even want to ignore listings from far-flung international sellers or those that can’t guarantee a fast delivery date. If you’re buying a large or heavy item, the seller may not be able to arrange delivery and therefore list the item as ‘collection only’. If this is the case, see if you are able to pick up the item yourself, otherwise you may need to arrange your own courier to make the delivery for you. Make sure you do your research first so you know how much extra this will cost you

4. Leave feedback

When you’ve received your item, give the seller a review on eBay. Be honest about the process and, so others can make an informed decision about using this seller, too. If the delivery was speedy, say so, or if the communication was great, say so. The seller will also be able to give you feedback, so your profile will show how many items you’ve bought on eBay and that you are a trusted buyer.