How to Buy Items on eBay

By Corbin HartwickUpdated on March 14, 2022

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eBay was known primarily as an auction website for a long time. However, in order to compete with new online marketplaces, they now include products that you can buy immediately, without having to bid on them. No muss, no fuss!

For this tutorial, we’re going to assume that you have created an account on eBay (so you aren’t buying as a guest), but have never actually bought an item before.

Buying on eBay

1. Go to in your web browser and click Sign In in the top-left corner.

Sign in to your eBay account

2. Type your email address or username into the first box, and then click in the second box and type in your account password. Then click Sign In.

Enter your login information for eBay

3. Once you’re back on eBay’s main screen, find an item that you’d like to purchase, and click on it to see its details. (Note: if clicking on it just creates a new window or a pop-up window, you may need to click on that item again in the new window to see its details.)

4. Once you’re on the item’s details page, look over things like the description of the item, shipping rates, shipping times, types of payment accepted, and return policies. If everything looks okay to you, use the functions near the top of the screen to select the version (if applicable) and the quantity of the item that you want.

View the description of the item you are interested in and confirm its details

From there, click Buy It Now if this is the only item you want to buy right now, or click Add to Cart if this is just one item that you wish to buy, and you will be adding more items to your order before you check out.

5. Regardless of your choice, on the next screen, you will be asked to enter your address so that eBay knows where to ship your items, as well as how to contact you (if necessary).

Enter a shipping address

Depending on the country that you choose from the drop-down menu, you may be taken to one of eBay’s international websites, and your options in the proceeding boxes may change slightly. In any case, use the rest of the text boxes and drop-down menus to input your street address city, province/state/territory, mailing code, and phone number. Then click Continue.

6. If you chose to add your item to a cart, you will be taken to your shopping cart, where you can review the items you wish to order, including changing their quantity or removing them from your cart. If you want to add more items to your order, just repeat steps 3 and 4. When you’re ready to buy, click Proceed to Checkout.

View your eBay shopping cart

7. On the next screen, you will have a few different options. First, click one of the buttons under “Pay With” to decide whether you want to pay for your order with a credit card or with the online transaction service PayPal. (Either way, eBay will process your transaction through PayPal, since it owns the service.)

Choose a payment method

You may also be able to choose which shipping option you want to use here, if more than one is available. You can also choose to make a donation to charity with your purchase, and enter a coupon code if you have one.When you’re all set, click Continue.

8. Assuming that you want to pay with a credit card, you’re going to want to focus on the boxes in the screenshot below on the next screen. Click the drop-down menu to select the country that issued your credit card, and then in the boxes below, enter your credit card number (the “Payment Types” field will automatically make a selection based on the number that you type in), your credit card’s expiration date, and your credit card’s security code (click What Is This? if you need help finding it).

Enter credit card information to confirm your payment

9. The rest of your billing, shipping, and contact information should already be filled in, but you can change some of it if you wish. Click Save Your Information with PayPal if you wish to create a PayPal account using the information that you’ve already filled in. This will make it so that you don’t have to re-enter it every time that you go to pay for an order. Otherwise, when you’re ready, click Pay.

Save payment information for the future

You will receive a confirmation email of your order, and your order will be added to your purchase history (see this tutorial about eBay purchase history for more information). Now, all that you have to do is wait for your order to show up at your door! Congratulations on buying from eBay!

eBay Global Buy

The eBay Global Buy program is a system that makes it easier for people outside of the United States or United Kingdom to buy items from eBay. It works by having an item’s seller ship the item to a local global courier service, and then that service delivers the item (or items) to whoever ordered them.

This service is only available in certain countries, and certain items are not allowed to be shipped through the Global Buy program. In addition, buying items through the Global Buy program may result in extra fees and taxes.

To learn more about the Global Buy program, see this help article on eBay.

And now you know how to buy on eBay! In our next tutorial, we’ll show you how to track the orders you’ve made.