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Amazon.com for Dummies

Amazon.com for Dummies

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Published by: prescottz on Dec 10, 2011
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Online auctions are a great idea . . . that eBay had first. Amazon came in a
close second, but eBay has definitely cornered that market. (And if you want
to get way into the online auction scene, check out Marsha Collier’s book,
eBay For Dummies.) A cornered market isn’t such great news for Amazon —
but it’s actually good news for you. Here’s why:

Amazon Auctions are easier to navigate. If you’ve ever even done a
search on eBay, you know that housing the world’s largest online auctions
community can be a little bit overwhelming. (You may want to bust out
that book even before you look.) Amazon’s auctions are not so over-
whelming. Let me put it to you this way: when I search for “Christian Dior”
on Amazon I get 519 search results. When I search on eBay, I get 4,025. Of
course, the flip side to this is that there’s less selection at Amazon, which
is why I encourage you to shop both! (See the next bullet.)

You can use both sites.That’s right. Forget loyalty, my friends. Bargain
shopping is a take-no-prisoners quest. Maybe Amazon can’t shop at eBay,
but you can. Amazon went into the auction biz a heartbeat too late, but
you increased your chances of finding that strange and special something.
Search both sites. If you find it at Amazon, start bidding there. (You’ll
probably get it cheaper.) If you don’t find it, go to eBay. Of course, if you’re
selling and you only have one of the item you’re going to list, you can only
list it at one site. After all, if you put two listings up you’ll likely have two
winners. One item and two winners equal auction unhappiness.

You can find better deals on Amazon.There are fewer people compet-
ing for the goods at Amazon. So things just don’t get bid up the same
way they do at eBay. You won’t alwaysget a better deal, but less compe-
tition is a good place to start.

You can pay with your Amazon account. No dealing with PayPal or
money orders, or check’s in the mail stuff. Amazon has created an auc-
tions payment system called Amazon.com Payments that’s virtually
seamless. No need to sign up for anything new. Just click away!

96Part II:You Want It? They Got It: Shopping and Buying at Amazon.com

So what do you find at Amazon Auctions? Almost anything. Here are the cate-
gories on the Auctions directory page (which you can access by clicking
Browse Categories in the Auctions subnav): Art & Antiques, Books, Cars &
Transportation, Clothing & Accessories, Coins & Stamps, Collectibles, Comics,
Cards & Sci-Fi, Computers & Software, Electronics & Photography, Family &
Living, Food & Beverages, Home & Garden, Jewelry, Gems & Watches, Movies &
Video, Music, Sports, Tools & Hardware, Toys & Games, Travel & Real Estate,
and Other Goods & Services. So you might find a used juicer, a vintage Lone
Ranger lunchbox, a diamond ring, or anything else you can think of that’s legal.
Who knows? That’s what makes it fun.

Bidding

Bidding on an auction is somehow thrilling — even online. To bid at Amazon
Auctions, you’ll need to have an Amazon account in place and be signed in (if
you’re not, they’ll ask you to do that en route). These instructions are for first
time bidders. Once you join the ranks of Auctions buyers, you’ll get to skip a
few of the setup steps and bidding becomes even easier.

So here’s how you do it:

1.Find an item you want to bid on.

You can get to the Auctions home page by clicking on the See More
Stores link (at the tops of each page to the right of the tabs) and then on
Auctions (under Bargains). Browse the categories or do a search just the
way you would for any other item at Amazon.

2.Enter your maximum bid in the appropriately named Enter Your
Maximum Bid text box.

Figure 7-1 shows an Auction detail page. The bidding box is on the right
side of the page. Your maximum bid is the most you’re willing to pay for
the item, but not necessarily what you willpay for the item. Amazon’s
system pits bidders against each other automatically, upping the ante
little by little, until there’s a winner. So if you’re bidding against other
people whose maximum bids are significantly lower than yours, you
mayend up getting a real deal!

3.Click the Bid Now! button.

You’ll come to a Sign In screen.

4.Enter your e-mail address and passwords in the fields provided and
click the Sign In Using Our Secure Server button.

You’ll come to the Billing Address page, which shows you every address
ever associated with your account, including the addresses of people
you’ve sent gifts to. You’ll be asked to choose one as a billing address
orenter a new address for billing.

97

Chapter 7: The Strange, the Special, and the Super Cheap

5.Choose your billing address from the list of possible addresses or
enter a new billing address and click Continue.

Choose the address that goes with the credit card you’d like to pay with
by clicking the Use This Address button next to it. Clicking that button
has the same effect as clicking Continue — it takes you to the credit
card/nickname/agreement page.

6.Review your credit-card information and billing address and check
the box that states that you’ve read and agree to the participation
agreement.

Make sure they’re showing the credit card that you want to use for your
Amazon Payments. When you’re asked to read and agree to the partici-
pation agreement, definitely read it. Auctions are not the same as regular
purchases — and the agreement clearly outlines the differences.

7.Give yourself a nickname and then click Continue.

Your nickname is how you show up as a buyer or seller on the Auctions
site. Amazon will give you a default nickname — probably something
close to your e-mail address — but you are free to change it. When you
click Continue, you’ll come to the confirmation page.

8.In the new page that appears, confirm your bid.

This is your last chance — to review the details of your auction and to
change your mind. Make sure you take more than a cursory glance at the
details because once you click, you’re committed. When you’re sure,
click the Confirm Your Bid button.

Amazon lets you know via e-mail if you’ve been outbid, and gives you an
opportunity to raise your maximum bid. They’re good about keeping you in
the game. In fact, one difference between Amazon’s auctions and auctions at
eBay is that at Amazon, if a new bid is received with less than ten minutes to
go in the auction, the auction is automatically extended for an additional ten
minutes. So you don’t have to worry about someone creeping in at the last
second and snatching up your item. If you win your auction, they’ll send you
an e-mail notifying you — very exciting!

If you’re desperate to have some cherished item and you don’t want to risk
losing the auction, you can use the Take-It Now option. This is a fixed price
that the seller is willing to take for the item. It’s higher than the minimum bid,
but it’s a sure thing. You can also use 1-Click to buy auction items with Take-It
Now, but unlike usual Amazon 1-Click shopping, you can’t cancel a 1-Click
Auctions take-it now purchase.

98Part II:You Want It? They Got It: Shopping and Buying at Amazon.com

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