How to buy eBay shares (EBAY)
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This guide tells you everything you need to know about eBay shares. We take a look at its recent performance, who its competitors are, and the best brokers to invest with.
Compare the best eBay trading platforms
If you’re ready to start putting your money into the stock market now, use one of the brokers below. Our team of experts have been through all of the options to create a shortlist of the best platforms around. If you still want to learn more about eBay first, scroll down to keep reading.
How to buy eBay stocks, a step-by-step guide
The process of getting shares in eBay isn’t massively complicated, so don’t worry even if you’re new to stock investing. These are the steps to follow in order to complete your investment:
- Choose a broker. The first thing you need to find is an online brokerage platform. There are many different options to choose from, each with their own unique benefits and drawbacks. The comparison table above can help you select the right broker for you, and you can head to our comprehensive broker reviews if you’re still unsure.
- Create an account. Once you’ve selected your broker, simply go to their website and create an account. The steps required for this will vary from platform to platform, but generally you can expect to have to provide your name, email address, phone number, and some form of photo identification.
- Deposit funds. Log into your broker account and select the option to deposit funds. Depending on your broker you’ll have a variety of payment options available; most brokers accept bank transfers and debit card payments, but not all accept e-wallets such as PayPal. Select your preferred payment method and deposit the amount of money you wish to invest in eBay shares.
- Place an order for EBAY stock. Search for eBay’s ticker symbol (EBAY) and see the current price at which the stock is trading. If you’re happy with the price, enter the amount of shares you wish to own and place your order.
- Execute your order. Once you have placed your order, your broker will automatically execute it for you and your eBay shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in eBay.
What is eBay? And should I invest?
eBay is an ecommerce company best known for its online marketplace for buying and selling second-hand goods. Founded in 1995, eBay was one of the success stories of the early internet boom but has found it tougher to compete in recent years.
The biggest reason for that is the rise of Amazon and increased competition from the likes of Etsy and Shopify. In trying to adapt, eBay lost some of its original identity and saw its growth start to slow while the others accelerated past.
You might want to invest if you think eBay is undervalued relative to its place in the market. It has a big brand name and is the third largest ecommerce platform in the US, yet has tended to trade cheaper than its competitors. The risk is deciding whether that’s a buy-low opportunity or if the company has been left behind.
How has the company performed in recent years?
It was struggling until the pandemic hit, when a surge in online sales sent the share price soaring. During the initial lockdown eBay experienced its best quarterly performance for 15 years and the stock rose 60% in three months.
The years before 2020 were much more difficult. It lost market share to companies who offered a better service to small businesses, and growth slowed as it failed to attract new, younger customers to its marketplace.
That poor performance – its stock rose just 20% in five years up to 2020, set against competitors whose price went up by hundreds of percentage points – led a group of activist investors to intervene. Eventually, eBay caved and bowed to their demands: a change in leadership and a whole new ‘back to basics’ strategy.
Is it a good time to buy eBay shares now?
It all depends on the success of the new plan. If the pandemic bounce was just a one-off, then eBay needs to re-establish itself as an ecommerce powerhouse to attract investors back.
The best way to get investors back is to lure them in with bigger revenues and an expanding customer base. Attracting new buyers who then stay and sell through the platform, paying fees for the privilege, is the key to increasing revenue.
Along with signs of customer numbers increasing, you want to make sure eBay continues to stick to its new strategy. It sold off the ticket resale website Stubhub in 2019 and has sold off its advertising arm as well. Our market analysis can help you keep tabs on it and stay on top of anything else you need to know before investing:
Buying, selling and trading eBay shares for beginners
What to do before buying shares
You should always take the time to research a stock fully before investing your money, especially if you haven’t owned shares before. The more knowledge you have, the better your chances of making a wise investment.
With that in mind, here’s a checklist to run through before you start.
- Research the company. You should always examine the fundamentals of a company first. What is eBay? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is eBay’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about eBay, the better positioned you’ll be to make smart investment decisions.
- Make sure you understand the basics of stock investing. Before getting involved in the stock market, make sure you have an understanding of how it works. This will ensure that you have more clearly defined goals and have thought through how you will achieve them.
- Decide between share dealing and CFD trading. Choose the type of investment strategy you want to pursue, and make sure you have carried out the necessary technical or long term fundamental analysis for share dealing and CFD trading respectively.
- Set the size of your budget. The golden rule of investing is never to risk more than you can afford to lose. Not every investment you make will result in a profit, so it is important to set a budget that not only allows good potential for capital growth, but also protects against overly damaging losses.
- Find the right broker. Individual brokers each have their own pros and cons. Some will have low fees but have a user interface you struggle to understand, whereas others may be a bit more expensive but come with a range of features that you want to take advantage of. Our broker reviews can help you find the right platform for you.
- Examine broader market conditions. No stock exists in a vacuum, and it’s always important to analyse the general trends of the stock market as a whole before investing. If a bear market is setting in and stock prices are falling, it’s best to wait it out and invest your money later when the stock is cheaper. If, however, the market is looking bullish, you’ll want to make your investment quickly to get the maximum benefit from rising stock prices. Follow the latest news to keep on top of movements in the financial markets.
What is the difference between buying, selling, and trading shares?
If you’re new to stock investing, then it’s important to understand the basics of how to buy, sell, and trade eBay shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.
This process involves finding a broker and placing an order for eBay stock, as outlined in the steps further up this page. Ideally you want to time your investment when the stock’s price is low so that you can profit by selling the shares after they increase in value.
When you sell any eBay shares you have bought, you’ll want to do so at a higher price than the one at which you bought to earn a profit.
When you sell is up to you. You might decide to hold for a long period of time, hoping to benefit from the company growing steadily throughout. Or, if you see that eBay’s stock is already up a lot compared to the price you bought it and you’ve noticed that the stock market is starting to fall, it might make sense to sell and take your profits to invest elsewhere. Equally, if the stock has fallen since you bought it and looks set to fall further, it might be a good idea to cut your losses by selling your shares.
Trading is the same process, it’s just done over shorter periods of time with the aim to make small profits on a regular basis. This means that you can make money faster and spend your profits in your day-to-day life – however, on the other side it means you can lose money faster as well. For inexperienced investors, we generally recommend making investments for at least 6 months to a year instead of making trades in quick succession.
You can trade eBay shares through buying and selling shares, or by trading with CFDs. These allow investors to speculate on stock prices and trade with leverage in pursuit of bigger gains. CFDs trading is explained further in the next section, but it is worth noting that beginners should avoid trading with leverage. It comes with large risks and is best left to experienced investors.
Share dealing vs CFD trading
When it comes to investing in any stock, the two options you have are share dealing and trading. Which one of these methods to opt for largely depends on your investment timeline, with investors thinking long term tending to go for share dealing, and those looking for short term gains pursuing a more aggressive trading strategy.
Here’s a quick summary of the two approaches, and the pros and cons of each.
Share dealing refers to the practice of buying and holding shares in a particular company over the long term. When investing like this, you’re seeking to profit either from dividend payments or an increase in the stock’s price over time.
When investing your money this way, it is important to do thorough fundamental analysis of the company in which you are investing. You want to put your money in a stock you believe will trend upwards over time, even if there is some market volatility along the way, rather than get distracted by shorter term peaks and troughs.
- Can build wealth over time to achieve financial goals
- Don’t need to be very reactive to short-term market movements
- Some stocks will give you an income through regular dividend payments
- Takes a long time to realise any profits
- Your capital is tied up in stocks and cannot be used for other investments
If your aim is to generate profits in the short term, then you might be better off trading shares than holding them in your portfolio. Stock trades like this are executed using CFDs (contracts for difference), which allow investors to trade against the value of a stock without having to take ownership of it. When CFD trading, investors are looking to buy and sell stocks fast to profit from short-term fluctuations in value.
One aspect of CFD trading that many investors find attractive is that they allow you to trade with leverage. This means you can place large trades while only putting up a fraction of the value yourself – for instance, if a platform offered leverage of 1:10, you could put £10 into eBay shares and be able to trade £100 worth. This can maximise profits if the market moves in your favour, but be careful as it can also lead to heavy losses.
When trading using CFDs, it is key to be skilled at technical analysis and reading stock price charts. As you’re trading stocks quickly and frequently, the fundamental strength of the company in which you’re investing isn’t as important as being able to predict how its stock price will rise and fall minute-by-minute.
- Can generate fast profits if you read the market right
- Some platforms allow you to trade with leverage
- Prevents your capital being tied up so you can take advantage of investment opportunities
- Trading with leverage is risky and can lead to big losses
- Doesn’t necessarily generate growth over the long term
Consider which approach suits you best and craft an investment strategy that works for you.
How to choose a broker
With the wide variety of online brokers available these days, it can be hard to figure out which is the best service to go with. Our comparison table and in-depth reviews can help you cut through the noise, but by and large these are the aspects you should be considering when selecting a broker:
- Range of stocks available. The most important thing is that you can actually use the broker to find the shares you’re looking for. Some brokers offer more stocks than others, and many will allow you to trade other assets like cryptocurrency as well.
- Fees and commissions. You want to keep as large a chunk of your profits as you can, so it’s important to make sure your broker doesn’t charge high fees that can eat into your profits.
- Regulation. You should only use regulated brokers to place trades and buy shares. Unregulated brokers can be risky and offer little to no protection if the business were to fail while you had funds in your account.
- Payment methods available. You might want to fund your broker account using a specific payment method, such as PayPal. Not all brokers accept every payment method, but using our comparisons you can search only the brokers that support the option you’re looking for.
- Reputation. One of the strongest indicators of a broker’s reliability is the reputation it has with the customers who have used it. Brokers are online businesses, and as such many user experiences can be found online. You can check these out in addition to our reviews to make sure you choose the right platform.
- Customer service. As you’re going to be investing your money using the platform, you want to check that the broker offers good customer service in case you have a query or something goes wrong.
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