After registering on eBay, you'll be able to buy and sell virtually anything. Though eBay's online tutorials and the prevalence of books explaining how to use the website make getting up to speed on the ins and outs of eBay simple, you'll also have to familiarise yourself with the many symbols that eBay uses.
On your "My eBay" page, and the pages of other eBay users, you'll notice a coloured star in brackets to the right of the user name. To the left of the star appears a number; it will be a "0" if you've just signed up for the site. The number itself represents the user's feedback rating, while the star's colour reflects the user's number of transactions. A yellow star, for example, means the user has had 10 to 49 transactions on eBay. eBay uses 12 different stars, right up to a silver shooting star for more than 1 million transactions.
On eBay's auction listings, you'll encounter a lower-cased letter "E" inside a colourful crest. This is the symbol for eBay's Buyer Protection program, which you can use if you've paid for something that hasn't arrived. If that occurs, you can contact eBay and explain your situation. The site's staff will investigate, and you could be eligible for a refund of your purchase price and shipping. Look for this symbol on the top half of a listed item's page.
When browsing auctions, you may commonly notice a gold badge symbol with a red and green ribbon, similar to the type of ribbon given at contests. This badge indicates the seller is an eBay Top-Rated Seller who's been recognised for superior customer service and quick shipping time. When you're considering bidding on an auction that includes this badge, you can bid with confidence.
eBay uses several other small symbols to represent different information. A yellow hammer, for example, means a listing is auction-style, while a bar code symbol means the listing is being sold at a fixed price. A dollar sign in a blue speech bubble means the seller will accept offers on the item. If you buy and sell items, you'll soon be familiar with a few other symbols. A shopping trolley symbol means your checkout is complete; a blue dollar sign means the item has been paid for; a brown box symbol means the item has been shipped; a blue star with a yellow pen through it means you've left feedback; and a blue star in front of an envelope means you've received feedback.