10-step guide to become a master eBay buyer


Whether they’re designer sofas, dishwashers, Wiis or children’s books, sellers on eBay often specify items must be collected in person. As this often means fewer bids, there are bargains to be had. Yet you can’t search for “pick up only” on eBay, so we built tools to speedily track and map gems near you.

On the web. Do in at your desk, with the free Local eBay Deals Mapper tool.


Many people can’t spell, so they mistype their eBay entries. This English teacher’s nightmare is a bargain hunter’s dream. Wrongly-spelled products attract fewer bids because many people miss them.

A few specialist search sites take advantage of this. They trawl eBay for all possible spelling mistake combinations. These include Fatfingers, Baycrazy, Goofbid and BargainChecker


Listing your eBay delivery on Shiply will give you the chance to receive delivery quotes from thousands of feedback-rated couriers. Transporters will compete to give you the best offer; you can then compare different couriers based on their quote, feedback score and reviews they have received from other Shiply users.

To get the best quotes for eBay deliveries it’s important to list your item with as many details as possible. Find out more here.


Often sellers start auctions at 99p or less, hoping a bidding war will erupt. Many items go unspotted, staying at this super-low price. Lastminute Auction hunts for eBay auctions due to finish within an hour, but which still cost £1 or less. On a similar note, Baycrazy’s Zero Bids tool finds items ending soon with no bidders.

Double-check delivery charges, as some sellers hope to recoup costs by charging a little extra (though eBay’s now set maximum delivery charges for many categories).


If you want something very specific or hard to track down, set a ‘favourite search’ and eBay will email each time a seller lists your desired item. This is fab if you like buying on eBay, but don’t want to spend your life hunched over the site.

Simply type a product in eBay’s search bar, such as “Star Wars Lego Millennium Falcon”, and click ‘save search’. Be as specific as possible for the most accurate results. Then, when someone clears out the loft and lists one, an email pops into your inbox.


There’s a quick way to glean an eBay product’s market value. Fill in the search box and tick ‘completed items’ on the left-hand grey bar. It’ll come up with a list of prices similar auctions have already fetched. Then sort by “price: lowest first”.

If the price is red, it means no one bought it. Green means it sold – don’t pay more than the average


There’s nothing wrong with asking for a discount, even if the listing doesn’t show the ‘make offer’ logo. Haggling works best on buy-it-now listings, or auctions with a high start price and no bids. To contact the seller, click ‘ask a question’. If you’re polite and charming, you’ll get further. Blunt requests such as “hi, will u take 50p” are usually a mistake. They annoy the seller, and a discount is at their discretion.

Once you’ve clinched the deal, keep the transaction within eBay – just ask the seller to add (or change) a buy-it-now price. For 20 haggling tips for success beyond the web, see the High Street Haggling guide.


Listings that finish at anti-social times often get fewer bids, so sell for less. To locate auctions that finish in the dead of night, use BayCrazy’s Night Time Bargain search.

Don’t fancy burning the midnight oil? Combine this trick with auto-bidding tools that bid on your behalf while you’re deep in the land of nod.


Avoid sending cheques and never use money orders. It’s much harder for scammers to vanish with your cash when you use eBay’s online payment system, PayPal.

Paying this way costs the buyer the same as paying by cheque, but means you’re covered by eBay’s Buyer Protection scheme. If an item is faulty, counterfeit or non-existent, you are far more likely to see a refund.


In its essence, eBay’s just a marketplace. While it’s easy to snap up a scorcher, it’s just as easy to get burnt. Thus it’s a good idea for newbies to learn the ropes by bidding on a few small items such as books or CDs. This way, they learn how the bidding system works, before graduating to more costly wares.

Want to check if an item’s legit? Why not post it on the forum’s eBay board? Experts in there will tell you whether it looks dodgy.

Source: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ and http://www.shiply.com/

Father builds 180ft rollercoaster in back garden

Will Pemble spent approximately £2,075 and circa 300 hours into a rollercoaster project in his back garden.
The DIY project has led to him setting up the blog www.CoasterDad.com
‘We were just back from one of many amusement park trips and Lyle asked a simple question,
“Why don’t we build our own rollercoaster, dad?” ‘I couldn’t think of a single good reason to say no so Lyle and I
headed off to the lumber yard for a few supplies.’

Is this the bicycle of the future?

Students from Liverpool University designed a bike called ARION1 that can be ridden at approximately 90mph.
The carbon fibre casing is 40 times more aerodynamic than a Bugatti Veyron.

‘The project is no simple undertaking but, at this stage, just six months in, we are in a great position,’ said Ben Hogan, 22.

The students hope to finish the project by next year, to take part in the World Human Power Speed Challenge.
‘This is a fascinating project, at the very cutting edge of vehicular engineering’ said, Philippa Oldham, from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

‘The team will have to make sure everything is perfect – from the aerodynamics to the size of the wheels.’
‘It’s an extremely tough ask to get a human-powered vehicle to travel at 90mph – but with the right engineering approach it is possible.’

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Things to do at Easter

Create your own Willy Wonka-inspired chocolate bar

chocolate-making workshops

5 April 2014 to 21 April 2014, 12pm to 4pm

Join a chef from the Roald Dahl Museum café to create your own Willy Wonka-inspired chocolate bar.

In the Chocolate Room you can get creative with a chef from the Roald Dahl Museum café, and decorate your very own chocolatey creations. Taking your inspiration from Roald Dahl, come up with an ingenious name for your chocolate bar and create a wacky label and package.

Event Details

Cardbury Easter Eggsploration – Find A Trail Near You

For the seventh year running, Cadbury are supporting the National Trust and National Trust for Scotland to bring you the 2014 Easter Egg Trails, a great family day out!

There will be trails at over 300 locations across the UK, so start your adventure today by using our handy map to find an Eggspedition near you and get the date in your diary.

At the trail, we will inspire your child’s inner adventurer and transform them into an Eggsplorer! They’ll receive a make-it-yourself pith helmet, a Trail Journal containing all the clues they need to complete the trail and an Eggsplorer Passport to be stamped along the way, and on completing the trail they will be rewarded with a delicious Cadbury Egghead.

Kids can get creative and enter the Design Your Own Egghead Competition where the winning design will be printed onto Cadbury Eggheads in 2015. Capture a photo of your family on a trail this Easter and transform it with the Eggsplorer Scrapbook. Share your entry for a chance to win a family cottage break.

Find a trail near you

Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Easter Egg Cups

Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Easter Egg Cups
(makes 6-8 regular sized easter egg cheesecakes, you may need to adjust the amount of cheesecake filling depending on the size of your eggs)

6-8 hollow chocolate easter egg shells
150g (about 5oz) cream cheese, softened
30g (about 1/4 cup) icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar), sifted
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
125ml (about 1/2 cup) thickened/heavy whipping cream

For the ‘yolk’: 1 passionfruit, 1 tbsp apricot jam, 1 tbsp (about 15g) unsalted butter (passionfruit juice can be replaced with about 2 tsp of freshly squeezed orange, mandarin juice or mango, peach nectar, you can adjust the amount of juice to taste), alternatively you can substitute with any fruit curd you prefer.
Optional: you can include some cheesecake crust crumbs at the base of each egg if you really want to include some sort of crust into the dessert.

Using a small serrated knife, carefully remove the tops of the chocolate eggs. (A couple of people have mentioned that heating the knife under warm water will make this easier and neater, thanks for the tip! But personally I like having the jagged edges.) Place the eggs in the fridge to keep them chilled while you prepare the cheesecake filling, you can use egg cups or your fridge egg holder (Don’t use an egg carton like me. I shouldn’t have used it but I was desperate at the time, I bought the egg cups the day after!). Place the cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside and carefully whip the thickened cream in a separate mixing bowl to stiff peaks (watch it closely as thickened cream is very easy to overwhip and split). Using a whisk, gently combine the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until it is smooth. Carefully spoon or pipe the mixture into the prepared chocolate shells. Chill eggs for at least 30 minutes to allow it to set.


Prepare the passion fruit sauce; strain passion fruit pulp to remove the seeds and place in a small saucepan with the apricot jam and butter. Gently heat on low, whisking until the butter melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. (If your apricot jam is chunky you should strain the sauce at this point) Place in the fridge and chill until it thickens slightly. Using a small spoon, carefully scoop out a hole in the centre of each cheesecake, about 1 cm deep and wide. Fill hole with some of the chilled passion fruit sauce and return the eggs to the fridge to chill again for at least 30 mins. Remove eggs from the fridge about 10 minutes before serving. Can be made 2-3 days in advance, keep eggs in the fridge in a holder inside an airtight container or covered tightly with cling film to stop them drying out.


Source: http://www.raspberricupcakes.com/

Man finds his car in canal

Tomos Williams was out for a walk with his girlfriend when he heard of the incident while he was in a nearby pub.

Police helped Mr Williams to recover the car from the water near Pontcysyllte Aqueduct after its handbrake is believed to have failed, letting the car to roll down.

‘Someone came in and asked if I was the owner of a silver Toyota,’ Mr Williams explained.
‘They said it had rolled into the canal – it sort of ruined my day.’

The 30-year old said it marked the end of a bad week after learning he could lose his job.

‘I’ve had the worst luck this week – but I can see the funny side of my car rolling in to the canal – at least no one was hurt,’ he said.


Golden Ferrari 458 Spider Spotted in London

Supercars are the go to status symbol for rich and famous. However, for kickboxing champion Riyadh Al-Azzawi, buying a Ferrari 458 Spider wasn’t enough. Al-Azzawi went a step further, by wrapping his £200,000 car with gold vinyl – for the price of £4,000.

‘I’ve seen some pretty exciting cars roaming the streets of London, but a golden Ferrari is about as bold as you can get’, says Tim Burton, who runs the YouTube car channel Shmee150.


Bristol to Brisbane by Bike

Ed Cox likes adventure and riding his bicycle. So, after being fed up stuck in the office, he decided to stretch his legs and cycle around the world for a good cause. He pedalled 22,530km (14,000 miles) from Bristol to Brisbane, Australia.

“It’s amazing, a trip of lifetime but also very tiring, I think my favourite country has to have been Iran; it’s such a contrast to what we read and hear about. I have never felt so safe and the hospitality was like no other. I would love to return,” he said.

He finished his journey on Saturday and raised £8,600 for Alzheimer´s research, in honour of his grandmother. The 26-year-old quit his job in recruitment to take on the 9 months challenge.


Britain goes green

Vincent Bollore, a French billionaire will help Britain to go green by putting electric hire cars on Britains roads.

The businessman says “Pollution becomes a nightmare … so many cities where you can’t even go out and the planes can’t take off and you have to solve this problem.”

In the next two years Bollore will set up more than 3,000 electric hire cars and 6,000 charging stations, which means that the amount of outlets that are available today would quadruple.

The Bollore group, which won the rights for the £100 million project to help Londons Mayor Boris Johnson, will put 100,000 greener vehicles on the streets.

The vehicle sharing scheme will be commercial while the charging system will be run by Transport for London (TfL). By the end of the year, Bollore reckons that 100 “Bluecars” will be available and can be hired by using a smartphone app.