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Buying -- Getting Started

Welcome to eBay! It's easy to learn what you need to know to make your first purchase.

Step 1: Register

Registration is free and simple. Register now, or learn more about registering.

Step 2: Find items

You can find items by browsing or searching.

  • Browse when you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking for, or when you just want to explore the range of items in a particular category. To browse, click on a category in the left column of the eBay Homepage.

  • Search when you’re looking for a specific item that you can describe using a few words. To search, enter a few words to describe the item in the Search box, which is located in the top right corner of most eBay pages.

Learn more about finding items.

Step 3: Consider buying formats

There are numerous ways to buy items on eBay. Some buying formats include auction-style listings where sellers put items up for sale to the highest bidder, and Buy It Now, which allows you to buy an item when you want it at a known set price.

Learn more about buying formats.

Step 4: Consider payment methods

Every seller is unique and may accept different payment methods. Carefully read an item description before you buy to find out what methods the seller accepts. Most sellers accept PayPal because it transfers funds immediately.

Learn more about payment methods.

Step 5: Use My eBay (optional)

My eBay allows you to track all of your eBay activities – including buying, selling and feedback -- from one page. Once you've registered, you’ll have your own My eBay page. Visit it often to watch what’s happening with items you’re interested in.

Learn more about using and customising My eBay.

Step 6: Connect with eBay members (optional)

Once you’ve registered, you can participate in eBay's community discussion boards and chats. Connect with other members to get tips, ask for help, or just have fun. eBay Customer Support representatives also offer assistance on many boards and chats.

See the full list of boards and chats.

Contact Customer Service

If you have an additional question about this subject, email us at Customer Service.
If you would like to ask a question on another subject, please use the Contact Us page.

Contact us

Have a question? We can help.

 Contact us

Ask eBay members

Get help from other eBay members. Visit the Answer Centre to post a question.