How to Buy More Than One Item at a Time on eBay
By Danielle Fernandez
EBay hosts several million listings at any given time, and as a buyer you can purchase any number of products and services from multiple sellers in one simple checkout process. There's no need to complete a checkout after each purchase. Most eBay sellers invite you to complete all of your shopping before paying -- but it can get confusing to keep track of purchases, sellers and combined shipping charges. EBay simplifies this process by presenting you with a summarized invoice that offers both you and the seller the potential to customize it even further.
Multiple Purchases in One Invoice
As long as all of the sellers accept the same payment option, eBay will combine all purchases and shipping fees into one consolidated invoice. This feature means you take advantage of any combined shipping charges that wouldn't carry across unique invoices, plus it offers the convenience of a single credit card charge process. With one invoice, you can pay for any combination of auction-style and fixed price listings and pay all sellers at once.
Many buyers enjoy the auction-style purchasing on eBay but are confused about when they're supposed to pay for the items they've won. Sellers often include verbiage in their listings instructing you to bid on multiple auctions and wait until they've ended before paying, but you can always use the "Contact the Seller" link to ask if it's appropriate. Sellers generally welcome multiple sales, even if they have to wait a bit for payment.
Buy It Now Versus Shopping Cart
On fixed-price listings, you might notice two different buttons, "Buy It Now" and "Add to Cart." EBay's shopping cart system enables you to add, compare and delete Buy It Now items as you shop, so if you intend to browse but aren't ready to commit to a purchase, select the "Add to Cart" option after designating a quantity. After adding something to your cart, you can go back to the cart and remove items or click "Proceed to checkout" to complete your order. If you use the "Buy It Now" feature instead, that commits you to the purchase immediately. Cancellations must go through the Resolution Center, and excessive use can adversely affect your feedback. With either option, you can finish shopping before accessing the consolidated invoice and completing the checkout process.
Purchasing Multiple Items in One Listing
EBay sellers offering identical items for sale have the option of posting one listing with a customized quantity tool so you can buy one or 20 of the same item. At the top of listings like this, you'll notice the word "Quantity" next to a text field, which invites you to designate the number of items you'd like to purchase from that sale item. Next to this field is the maximum quantity available.
Request a New Total
You can further customize your invoices by using the "Request a new total" feature, which enables you to ask the seller to make changes or provide discounts that may not have automatically tallied correctly. Use this feature, for example, if the seller offers special combined shipping rates or discounts with multiple purchases that were too complex to program into the eBay invoicing.
Based in Tampa, Fla., Danielle Fernandez been writing, editing and illustrating all things technology, lifestyle and education since 1999. Her work has appeared in the Tampa Tribune, Working Mother magazine, and a variety of technical publications, including BICSI's "Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual." Fernandez holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of South Florida.